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DRAG PIPES: Some traditional parts never die.


“I was always for loud pipes, an unmuffled Shovelhead at slow idle is still one of the best sounds on the planet.

However, some of the popular exhausts today, just irritate the hell out of me. Especially the style with the pipes about 18 inches long that both terminate looking at the ground under the air cleaner. If there’s any kind of dust on the ground, it looks like a damn hovercraft, and the noise is ear-bleedingly loud and doesn’t sound good at all.

It’s popular among the Japanese v-twin copies to run a 2″+ unbaffled pipe, these sound horrendous and stupidly loud.

These days I am running a tuned baffle in my Shovel drags, it gives me good low end torque, sounds great and doesn’t have the neighborhood gathering outside the house with lit torches.”


fad Noun: A fashion that is taken up with great enthusiasm for a brief period of time, a craze


Goldfish swallowing. Hula hoops. Cramming people into a telephone booth. Cramming people into a Volkswagen beetle. Ant farms. Flagpole sitting. Doing the limbo. Ouija boards. Rubick’s cubes. X-Ray glasses.

Some were more ridiculous than others, but they had one thing in common. These fads didn’t last long, because they didn’t have any significant value in life. Guess what? You can add super-short bike exhausts to the list, because these pipes, along with dozens of other trendy motorcycle fashions, don’t have any significant value in the biker subculture.

Here’s an idea for fashion-conscious bikers who’re enamored of the short-pipe look: They should cut the height of the cylinders of their Harley motors by half, accompanied by midget pistons. Hey man, the shorter stroke would allow the mills to rev to redlines of 10.000 RPMs! Make that shovelhead scream like a sportbike, baby! A shortened motor would also leave a ginormous space between the top of the motor and the frame’s top tube. A potential opportunity presents itself here for a new fad!

There might be enough space above the motor for an additional set of fatbobs. Less gas stops, man—there is no downside. Besides, can you imagine the crush of customers lining up for aftermarket piggyback fatbob tanks? Aftermarket vendors can triple the price for double the volume. There is no shortage of copycatters who follow the latest stupid human tricks fer bikes. Me-Tooism lives in the biker subculture. Two sets of fatbob gas tanks have never been done before! There’s that “one-off” exclusivity some are lookin’ for!

As far as the wheels are concerned, might as well stick to the short is more motif. How about cutting your wheels’ dimensions for that trendy appearance? Run an eight incher in the rear, and a ten inch wheel up front. Who needs a sixteen and a twenty-one? This way, you can save money by interchanging parts between your minified Harley and your Vespa.

Whatever extra exhaust wrap—another moronic fad—that’s left over from your amputated Harley pipes, can be used to mummify the entire moped! Give it that Lon Chaney Jr. look, man! If there’s any left over after makin’ your Vespa into a new iteration of “The Mummy Returns,” you can wrap your Harley’s down tubes, top tube, and swingarm. Cool, baby! While yer at it, why not wrap the gas tanks too? Also, why bother covering your seat with leather, when surplus exhaust wrap will do just fine?

If you think that any my suggestions are ludicrous, then think about this: They aren’t any less ridiculous than exhaust pipes that are shorter than the distance between your elbow and your fingertips. They serve no function other than being different, and isn’t that what all fads have in common? Fads will come and leave just as abruptly as they materialized, but classic parts will always be around. What was cool yesterday or yesteryear, will remain cool. Later.


One Response to “BIKER SUBCULTURE: “FADS””

  1. Tommy Says:

    The wide tire or should I say beach ball tire was beginning to make me sick.
    Just about the stupidest thing I’ve seen done to a motorcycle since using slugs to extend a front end.

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