Mental exhaustion: Best aftermarket exhausts for your motorbike

It’s safe to say that the most popular aftermarket motorcycle accessory of all is an upgraded aftermarket exhaust.

Whether you want to make your sports bike or cruiser sound better, fancy giving your bike a bit of branded bling, want to cut weight or improve power or all of the above, an aftermarket exhaust is the way to go.

But, with prices ranging from hundreds to thousands of pounds, a baffling choice of brands and an equally huge variety of types available — full systems or just silencer/can — it’s hard to know not only what aftermarket exhausts are available.

Which is where we come in. This guide isn’t intended as a definitive explanation of what’s available for your specific bike — we simply haven’t the scope or space here to do that. Instead it’s an overview to most of the different types and brands available, which should point you in the right direction to be able to make a decision about your machine.

So, with all that in mind, here’s our current guide to (some) of the best aftermarket exhausts available, in no particular order…

Related: Best bolt-on engine upgrades for your motorcycle

A great example of a performance can for machines other than sportsbikes, in this case Honda's Rebel 500 cruiser, and also one from one of the less-known American brands; others include Vance and Hines, and all are worth a look.

This aftermarket exhaust is in matt- black stainless steel with a carbon-fibre end cap and, importantly, retains the bike’s stock 02 sensor. It’s also beautifully crafted and sounds great, although it’s not the cheapest.


  • One for cruiser fans
  • Respected American brand
  • Quality construction


  • Check it's UK road legal

One of the biggest names in motorcycle exhausts, on one of the most popular 125s. Slovenia's Akrapovic has become the virtually undisputed World #1 for motorcycle exhausts in the past 20 years or so for its quality and reputation and this is a good example of its wares.

A full system from cylinder to silencer, giving the biggest potential for performance enhancement, in 100% titanium for lightness, with an oval silencer in either carbon fibre or titanium. It sounds good, this one’s race only (due to noise, road versions are also available), enhances performance and is beautifully made which, at this price, perhaps it should be.


  • Best brand of all
  • Full system so most performance gain
  • Fabulous quality


  • This one race only - not road legal

If you can't afford or don't need the maximum performance gain a full system offers, a bolt-on silencer or can is a very popular option, as typified by this example from reputable Italian brand Arrow.

With a titanium body and carbon fibre end cap it looks almost as good as a full system, is quicker and easier to fit, requires no re-mapping and yet still sounds and looks great – and all for a far more affordable price. With this Arrow (and many others) lots of different options, shapes and materials are available, but make sure you get the right one for your bike.


  • Reputable brand
  • Great looks and sound
  • More affordable and easy to fit


  • Hasn't the extra performance of a full system
Price: £122.01

Although two-stroke powered two-wheelers are now few and far between due to tightening EU emissions regulations, they're still popular and available among scooters and lightweights and the power-enhancing 'expansion chamber' exhausts that can significantly boost performance remain popular.

One of the leading brands is Italian scooter performance specialists Gianelli (which is also behind Arrow) with this pipe for the Vespa PX125/150 a typical example of its wares. It’s beautifully made, significantly raises performance and is of decent value, too.


  • Decent performance (and sound) hike
  • Reputable brand
  • Good value


  • Can require expert setting up

Japanese brand Yoshimura can rightfully claim to be another of the world leaders in motorcycle exhausts with a huge variety of both road and race full systems, slip-on cans and more with this R-11 model typical of its top-quality wares.

It comes in a variety of specs, either stainless steel, titanium or blued titanium, all with a carbon end cap and collector-box heat shield, has a detachable ‘DB killer’ baffle, looks and sounds great and is easy to fit.


  • Famous quality brand
  • Top quality
  • Variety of finishes


  • Premium price
Price: £275.28
Amazon Amazon Prime

Here's another example of a decent, mid-range can, this time from the more affordable Italian brand, GPR, and also one that usefully retains the exhaust catalyser. It's street-legal with a black finish. On the downside, due to the MT-09's one-piece stock pipe, the original needs to have its silencer cut off before you can fit the GPR version.

Nor is it as fancy-looking or in as exotic materials as some offerings, which may all add up to the question ‘Why bother?’ There is a double removable db-killer baffle, though, so at least you can make it sound good!


  • Street legal
  • Improved sound
  • Reasonable value


  • Requires stock exhaust to be cut

Scorpion is probably the leading British aftermarket motorcycle exhaust brand and, like its larger rivals, offers a huge range of exhausts, cans and more both for road and race.

This is their high-end road/race can with a super-light carbon fibre construction a claimed 3bhp power improvement over stock (without need for remapping) and great looks and sound. It’s pretty good value, too.


  • Improved power/weight
  • British brand
  • Decent value


  • Less well-known than some
Price: £655.88

Another full system, this time from quality, but lesser known, French brand IXIL. The downpipes are in corrosion-resistant stainless steel which then fit to a separate, slip-on and stylish twin outlet, black finished silencer.

Performance is claimed to be slightly up, as is the sound; weight is usefully down, and long-term durability should be excellent – plus it’s even not that expensive! IXIL may not be as well-known as some in the UK but they’re worth checking out.


  • Good value
  • Improved performance all round
  • Lighter than standard


  • Lesser known than some

Another British exhaust/accessory brand, but this time one at the more budget end of the spectrum. This race (not road legal) can is fairly simple, straightforward and typical of its products. It's a straightforward oval design in stainless, is easy to fit and simply slots onto the standard header pipes with no need to re-adjust the fuelling.

It hasn’t the performance gains, options or quality of some more expensive alternatives but, at this price, is great value.


  • Good value
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Simple to fit


  • This one's not road legal

- Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections.