How to select the right aftermarket exhaust for your ATV or UTV

Buying a new exhaust for your atv or utv is by far the easiest and fastest way to gain lots of extra power from your machine.  But before you buy, It’s important to do your research and not run out and buy the first or cheapest exhaust system you find.  Nothing is worse than wasting your hard earned cash on something your just not happy with. In order to avoid that, here’s some things to keep in mind:


If you’re like me, the first and most important thing on your list is performance.   Performance can sometimes be the cure-all for any other downfalls you may see in a product.  Even if it looks and sounds like someone stuck an old soup can back there, if it outperforms everything else, your happy and ready to sing its praises. 

All exhausts are not created equal, the power delivery for every pipe is different.  Sometimes its hard to determine which exhausts perform the best.  The easiest way is to read your favorite atv or utv magazine pipe shootouts.  They usually have the best expert opinions plus dyno runs with hard figures you can compare.  Its also a good idea to look at what people have to say on popular online forums.

You can learn a lot from dyno sheets, learn how to read them and what the number’s mean.  The pipe withthe highest peak horsepower number doesn’t always mean it delivers the best “useable” power.  You want to find an exhaust that shows good power increases throughout the powerband.  Keep in mind your riding style and around what rpm range you do most of your riding. 

Keep in mind, If you plan to modify your motor in the future you may want to go with and exhaust that performs better on a modified motor versus a stock motor.


This part is fairly self explanatory.  Just keep in mind that there are many different styles and options out there for exhausts  like: different shapes, exhaust tips, colored, chromed, brushed aluminum, carbon fiber and way more. 


As time goes on this particular area has become more and more important.   Alot more than just your comfort level should be considered.  You should always check with your favorite riding area to see if there are sound restrictions.  Most tracks also have restrictions/ limitations.   

What typses of activities will you be using this ATV or UTV for?  (i.e. Hunting)  It’s not always fun to swap out your new exhaust for the stock one, every time you want to keep things quiet.  Do you ride through your own, or other,  neighborhood to get to your riding area?  Not fun to deal with angry neighbors or pay tickets.  Plus as an ATV community it’s important to be respectful of others,  the last thing we need is an excuse for someone to close another trail or riding area.

Another thing to keep in mind if your riding in national forest is if your exhasut USFS approved or does it have an USFS approved spark arrestor.  If your not sure contact the manufacturer.


You should feel comfortable with the exhaust manufacturer, do they have good a good reputation for developing good quality products?  Are they well established in the industry?  Are they available for product support?


Make sure you are aware of everything  that comes with the purchase of your exhaust system.  Here a a few things to look for:

-          Jet kit or proper jetting recomendations.

-          EFI controller for fuel injected systems

-          Are you paying for a full system or slip on

                     A.  generally an aftermarket header may only net you a couple horsepower. Is this worth the additional cost?

-           Air intake system

When weighing the Cost it is important to keep in mind these additional purchases you may need to make.

Purchasing a new exhaust system for your machine isn’t a cheap or simple process.  Do your reasearch.  In the end you’ll have the peace of mind that you spent your money wisely.  Be safe and Have fun!

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