One of the most popular aftermarket accessories for a UTV is an exhaust system or exhaust silencer. Most riders want to get every little extra boost they can out of their engines. Some riders just do it for a different sound and some just do it for a different look. A UTV exhaust silencer can really add to the sound and style of a machine, but it’s important to know what you want out of your exhaust.
Get That Extra Boost
Most stock UTV exhaust systems tend to be a little restrictive, meaning they don’t allow the engine exhaust to flow out of the engine as freely as it could/should for optimal performance. An aftermarket exhaust system typically consists of a larger diameter head pipe than stock allowing more airflow right at the point where the exhaust leaves the engine. From there, the entire diameter remains larger from front to back. At the back end, the silencer is usually much less restrictive than the stock one and also gives the engine a much different sound.
Changing the exhaust pipes on your rig can add the few extra horsepower you are looking for. Most aftermarket exhaust systems claim several horsepower boost when properly tuned. When planning to purchase an aftermarket exhaust system, be sure to plan on buying a fuel tuning module to go along with it. Fuel tuning is essential to adjust for the added flow your engine is now receiving. With added exhaust flow comes a need to adjust the amount of fuel being used with each stroke of the engine. You can also increase the benefit of a fuel tuner with add-ons that will auto adjust to changes in altitude and other factors.
More Noise or Less Noise? That is the Question!
Although the primary purpose of an exhaust system is to gain some power, there’s often the added bonus of a better, tougher, but often louder sound. With almost all aftermarket exhaust systems, more airflow also means more noise. Some riders really like the added noise or at least feel that the added boost is worth the noise. When you’re on the dunes or a track the added noise isn’t really a problem. However, those who use their UTV for mountain trails and hunting may be more content with the stock exhaust option.
For those who prefer less noise, or closer to stock levels of noise, there are still some options that add performance without adding too much sound. These are great options to get a little extra boost without scaring all the deer away. Keep in mind, these options are generally not going to give the biggest power increases.
Because… They Just Look Cool
The silencer portion of your exhaust system is the part that everyone can see. For this reason, manufacturers have started making the silencers really stand out and add a little extra flare to the UTVs. If a little different sound and a cool look is what you’re after, just replacing the silencer is a popular option. Many people will leave the stock pipe on the machine and just switch the silencer. This gives the change in sound that many desire along with giving the back end of your machine a new and improved look!
In addition to the benefits discussed, most aftermarket exhaust systems are significantly lighter weight than the stock system. Does this weight difference mean that your UTV will go much faster now due to less weight? No, but every little bit helps! Some aftermarket systems weigh as much as 50% less than stock!
Another benefit, and a reason many people opt to change their exhaust, is that this is one of the more simple ways to add a little power to your UTV. Most exhaust systems can be installed within a couple hours or less and with just a few tools.
Should I get an Aftermarket Exhaust Silencer or not?
When considering whether or not to get an aftermarket UTV exhaust silencer, you have to decide what you want out of your machine and what style of riding you primarily plan on doing. If you’re building a race car or a dune machine, you probably want to get as much power as possible regardless of the noise. Maybe you just want a different sound or look and choose to change just the silencer. If you plan to hunt or ride on mountain trails, you may have to do a little more digging to find the right system. Or, you might not want to change anything at all. New machines come with a ton of power these days, so there are many hunters and trail riders that choose to leave the stock exhaust the way it is.
I definitely like a little more power, but I do not like the extra loud noise that comes with some systems. So, I prefer a system that gives a little less power boost than others (still more than stock obviously), but doesn’t increase the sound too much. And of course it has to look cool!
What’s your preference when it comes to exhaust systems? Let us know in the comments.