“Riley” Exhaust Mod (VTX 1800C)

Posted by Bare | Last Updated March 19, 2015

Original content taken from Riley’s site

This is Riley’s exhaust mod for the stock 1800C exhaust. Riley is the original author of this information so if you have questions about this process please do not send them to me – send them to Riley. I would also like to add – please do not send me emails asking how to cut, drill and weld these pieces. Look at the pics, read the article and evaluate the tools you have at your disposal to do the work. If you can’t figure how to do it on your own or don’t have the tools necessary then perhaps this isn’t a project for you.

Now for my boilerplate disclaimer – undertake this project at your own risk!

This video clip will give you an idea of the sound to expect after doing this mod:

Required tools/Materials
I usually detail the tools required here, but since this is a “do-it-yourself” mod I’ll let you decide what tools you have that will work best for each step.


This is where the addendum to this mod comes in. There are different ways of doing this, but for me this was the easiest way to do it. You are going to cut once towards the front of the muffler (as shown below), scribing a line so that it lines back up and scribing a line towards the rear section also. You want a line long enough to bridge across the section you are going to take out. When cutting I think your best bet is a horizontal band saw, so the pieces are nice and straight and square.

If you want to shorten the pipe (or turn the tip), take the bare muffler (The baffles are out of mine, so the muffler is just a hollow tube) and just before the back end with the mounting tabs, scribe a line parallel to your cuts (going from the end piece all the way to the front piece you are saving) so that you know how the two sections originally lined up, and then using a horizontal band saw make the two cuts to shorten the muffler itself. The reason I say to do it towards the very back is because it will be easier to weld it back up later from the INSIDE. That heat shield fits pretty snug around the muffler, and I think the height of the weld would make it sit on there weird. Once you have the cuts made, take your end piece and put it up to the front section of muffler. You have the scribe marks now to line up, this will give you the original orientation of the exhaust tip. Rotate it to the angle you like & weld it up. Making the cuts on the very rear of the muffler allows you to not have to mess with the bottom muffler mounting bracket as well. Now you have to cut the heat shield. I think the best way to do this would also be a horizontal band saw. I would wrap the heat shield around a piece of PVC the size of the muffler so that the piece will not distort when cutting. Carefully debur the end so you don’t scratch the chrome, and weld the shield back on. As far as the outlet pipes go, they are gone. I have an open barrel from the header pipe all the way to the tip.

That’s it – you’re done – congratulations!

The Riley mod has been a mainstay in the VTX community for years since Riley originally came up with the process. In the time since then companies have popped up offering roughly this same modification for those without access to the proper tools to do it themselves. With so many riders replacing their exhausts you can buy stock exhausts online for about $30, so I often tell people – if you’re not sure about doing this mod buy a spare for $30 and give it a shot!
With that said I will interject one thing – I personally know of very few people that have done this mod and were happy with it as a permanent exhaust solution. That’s not meant to discourage anyone, for the price this is certainly a better deal than buying an entirely new exhaust system. I’m just saying that many riders will do this to get louder exhaust during their economic recovery period after buying the bike – but 6 months to a year later most will do whatever it takes to save the money and get the louder, sleeker, fancier (and more expensive) pipes they really want.

I often get asked questions about this mod, but the fact is I’ve never done it myself. Shortly after buying my VTX I bought a set of aftermarket pipes and I’ve never looked back since.

2 Responses to ““Riley” Exhaust Mod (VTX 1800C)”

  1. Mark says:

    If a person has the correct tools this is a very simple mod. I have done many of these mods and I must say that after completing the first mod the rest were very easy.
    I used a air drill, sawzall and a die grinder with a titanium cutting bit.
    Another note: I believe that most who do this mod still upgrade to a different exhaust.

  2. Charlie/ayonereer VTXOA says:

    I did the Riley mod and added a Super Trap 2 1/2 to 4 inch bell shaped muffler to replace the two stock muffler outlet pipes. The gutted stock muffler housing acts as a bellows giving the bike a deep sound. With the tunable baffles of the Super Trap muffler and the solid end plate cap the bike sounds really good. Not overly loud like straight pipes at idle or on the road. It does get louder with more rpm, but does not become annoyingly so.

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