Let me start by saying Oh my God. I’ve been wanting a stage-one setup since I got the bike. I know I’m not alone in this. The Scout doesn’t sound like a sewing machine off the showroom floor. But it barely sounds like a motorcycle. It’s got a nice low rumble, but it’s not loud. It has a persistent whine, too. Just not that impressive. It’s not turning any heads. Literally. Which, as bikers know, is dangerous in traffic. You want them to hear you coming.
Well I’ve been back and forth as to which brand I would buy. I kind of thought all along it would be the Indian brand, though I wasn’t completely sure. I like the Two Brothers, and I like the Freedom Performance. They’re pretty slick looking, but not perfect. And in fact, I think they’re a little too stubby. While the potato cannons the Scout comes stock with are ridiculously long – they stick out past the back tire – I also don’t want them to be too short. Well, the Indian brand seems just right. Of course, as proud as Indian is of their stuff, it’s the most expensive. By far. But I’m happy I did it. Here’s why.
I think they look slick as hell, number one. Two mufflers – big as the stock ones are – is a lot of repetitive pipe. They’re twins. Beautiful mufflers, don’t get me wrong, but just too much. Too long and too much. This cuts that in half. It looks less redundant and just overall nicer. I think I would rather have some nice short slip-ons than the stock mufflers in this case. Here’s a quick picture for comparison.
There’s also a marked performance increase, when you add the performance intake. I got that as well, but have not yet put it on. That’s today’s project. They claim an “over ten percent” increase. That’s significant, as my bike already has 78 horse from the factory. So let’s call it 8 horse. Now I’m at 86? 87? Okay, I’ll take it! Compared to Scott’s Honda Shadow, which from factory sports a 54-horse engine, I’m doing all right.
Then of course, there’s the sound. Louder pipes are safer. Not for your hearing, necessarily. When riding behind Scott I was getting my eardrums blasted by his exhaust upgrade. People will hear him rolling up on them, for sure. I didn’t want mine to be that loud, because I already have significant hearing loss thanks to my work in the Air Force. And I don’t want to have to carry earplugs as part of my everyday gear. Apparently you can unwrap the baffles in the new system I got, but after firing it up last night a
nd taking it around the block, it’s apparent that won’t be necessary for my needs. It’s plenty loud. I was, for the first time, actually afraid of waking the neighbors. But it wasn’t overwhelming as I sat on top of it. And it will be a little more dampened when I wear my helmet.
Anyway, here’s a before and after video. Check it.
Installation was not difficult. I’m mechanically inclined, and I found it to be moderately involved. Getting the old ones off is a task. My mistake was that I took off the nuts that hold the headers on first, then started working on the mufflers. Well, you can’t take the entire thing off as one piece, because you have to be able to separate the front and rear headers. So the trick is leaving the headers attached so there’s a strong hold on the whole thing, where you can shake and wiggle the mufflers loose and pull them out. Having to re-attach the headers sucked pretty bad, and added an extra half-hour to my labor time. But pulling off the old mufflers was by far the hardest part of the whole job. You wouldn’t think that would take all that much energy. Dear God. It was ridiculous. Well, I guess it would be easier if you weren’t trying to save them. I am. I plan to sell the stock setup to someone out there who might have laid his bike down or something. Mine are in great shape still.
Putting the new setup together was a lot easier than removing the old ones, and only took about an hour once I started it. The instructions that come in the box are pretty well done and thorough. There are a couple of steps where the image therein is a complete mystery. But a little common sense goes a long way.
This was a major investment in the motorcycle. It cost ten percent of what the bike cost. That’s pretty significant. But I think it’s worth it for the sound, which gives me peace of mind, and the look. I would highly recommend this upgrade, and especially the Indian brand. That little Indian emblem on the back is pretty sharp.