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Discussion Starter #1
After recently purchasing a 2000 Vulcan 1500 Classic FI, I've decided that the first modification I would like to do is to replace the pipes. The stock pipes are satisfactory, but after doing some research I've learned that I can get my desired increase in performance, and a bit more sound from some aftermarket pipes. I've got my eye on HK as a result of reading many, many reviews.

I would really appreciate any/all input from folks that have undertaken this modification, or have experience with HK products. I'm uncertain how to distinguish the differences between all the HK pipe options for my bike, and match my wants with their products:

http://www.hardkrome.com/Metricpage...4&Model=96-04+VN1500+Vulcan+Classic&Submit=Go

Thanks in advance! :)
 

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Loud Beast

Ken,

I'm looking at the same for my 800B, probably the Big Shots or more likely the Kickers (sacrifice less turning clearance). I'll be curious to hear what your outcome is. There seems to be a lot of talk about the HK's being LOUD. Personally, I want the performance and a meatier tone but don't want to be deaf after a long ride.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've considered the reputation they have for being loud, too loud for some. But the quality of the chrome, the gauge of the double walls, and the guarantee, makes you believe that the HK's will not blue. I'm not looking for a terribly loud pipe, but I'll settle on some extra decibels if it means higher quality and durability.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK, I'm ready to make the plunge. After doing ALOT of research (I even emailed about 35 people on http://www.cruisercustomizing.com/ with my bike and HK or VH pipes). The repsondents with the HK pipes were 100% satisfied, not so with the VH folks. The written reviews also favor the HK's.

So, HK it is. I need to decide on the pipe diameter. I like the 3" pipes but they do seem to dominate the look of the bike a bit. So I'm wondering if maybe I should go with 2.5's or 2.75's. I don't really care for the slash cut style, or the 2-in-1's. LoL, I'm narrowing the field down, eh? :)

Any thoughts?
 

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re

2 into 1 will make a little more power if you like the look
imo-2.75 look good on the 800 and 3" on the 1600 is sweeet

you can't go wrong with H/K :wink:
 

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Ken,

What were the complaints you heard about the V&H pipes? I'm waffling on the HK's because of the price and the potential for ruptured tympanic membranes and excess vibes.

Pick
 

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Discussion Starter #7
PickYourPockets said:
Ken,

What were the complaints you heard about the V&H pipes? I'm waffling on the HK's because of the price and the potential for ruptured tympanic membranes and excess vibes.

Pick
The complaints were not huge but they were there. Everyone complained about the installation instructions. One person actually had them go blue right away, but he attributed it to being put on the Dyno at high RPM's right after installation. One person had bad billets. Another complained of vibration (although I'm guessing he did something wrong during install).

The biggest endoresement came from a mid-aged guy from the southwest who has had a Vulcan for years. He replaced the stock pipes the month he bought it with Cobras. Had a really bad experience. Next year he put on V&H's. He said they were nice, but not was he was hoping for in terms of quality and looks. He strapped on the HK 3" Big Straights this year, and has never been more pleased. His HP is up, his co-riders are in awe, and he says the quality completely surpasses Cobra and V&H. That about sums it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: re

bikeaholic said:
2 into 1 will make a little more power if you like the look
imo-2.75 look good on the 800 and 3" on the 1600 is sweeet

you can't go wrong with H/K :wink:
I hadn't checked out power changes with the 2-in-1's but I will now. Thanks.

I'm probably over analyzing (typical) :) The 3" pipes look impressive. In person, they are just SO much bigger looking than what I am accustomed to that they seemed to dominate the bike. But in reality, the Vulcan Classics are kind of "fat" bikes, and the 3" pipes match well. I did hear from one guy that had 2.5" HK's and he wished he had gotten the 3" pipes. I'm only going to do this once, and I don't want to have the same regret.

Thanks bike!
 

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I have the HardKrome pipes on my 1600 Mean Streak and they are awsome and the company really stands behind their product. I'd recommend them highly.

I will say that they are very loud, even with the baffles in, but they sound great and that's what I wanted. They put the stock pipes to shame as far as loudness and overall sound quality.

If you don't want them to be very loud, I'd suggest you look elsewhere. But if you can live with the loudness...I'd recommend them highly...I have a very slight scratch on my pipe and they told me that I could send it back in the winter to have the shield re-chromed and all I'd have to pay for was the shipping cost to get it there. They'd take care of the rest...I also had a problem with the billet end cap and they are sending out replacements at no cost to me immediately.

I recommend them highly.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
btreaves, as far as sound goes, what manufacturer falls between HK and the stock pipes? My biggest concern is the HK's will be too loud for me. I leave for work at 5 AM and so far, my neighbors still like me :)
 

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Very interesting article
 

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Thanks bt. That was one I came across during my research. Good article, but a bit dated. And not much said about sound, except for the Samson pipes.
 

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I noted that the slash cut staggered duals reviewed in the article are a bit different from the straight shots and kickers that most people are considering from HK. They have full-on muffler bodies and probably produce a softer note than the 'shots, even w/ baffles. Still, it is interesting to note that they were quieter than a comparable V&H.

Does anyone have these on their Vulcan 800, as opposed to the StraightShots or the Kickers? Do you find them too loud?
 

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I've been holding off purchasing new pipes for my 1500 classic because I also want to do this only once. My neighbor's V&H Bigshots on his 1300 VTX are definately too loud. I took his bike out on the interstate with my wife on the back and her complaints about the "loudness" were a few decibals higher then the pipes. I too am impressed with all that I've heard about HK but have hesitated because of the loud factor. I know that HK was supposed to come out with a "quiet" baffle (relative term) but has yet to do this. Only alternative I thought for me was the HK slip-on which is supposed to be a nice throaty timbre without before overwhelming. But, and this is a consideration is that I do not think you gain much in the way of performance with these slip ons. I'm not even sure if it requires a rejet. If you get the HK's please post back and let us how you are tolerating the decibals. They say that you can get accostomed to most anything over time. Quality wise, I believe these pipes have to be about the best.
 

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pipes too loud

Ken,
I went through the same exact thing when I wanted to change pippes and start making mod's to my bike. I really prefer the LOOK of the two into two pipes over the two into one pipes but the sound is way too loud at anything but low speeds. When you first get them it's kind of neat. But in my case the novelty wore off real quick when I made a two hour trip on the hwy at 75-80 mph (headache inducing roar) I refuse to wear earplugs when riding (why give up one of your main senses?) This was with cobra slashcuts on a Vulcan 800A. When I traded up and got the 1500 Classic FI I was told that the two into two pipes would be even louder on this bike(larger engine=more sound) so I started doing hours of research just like you guys are now doing. I wound up talking to a bike tuner in Pflugerville Tx. Johnny Cheese performance Bikes. He told me that to get the MOST HP & torque with the least NOISE was to go with the V&H PROPIPE HS the power commander FI module and a thunder air kit. I had him install all of the above on my bike and it looks and runs fantasic. Sit on your bike and look at what you see, you don't even look at the pipes unless you are off the bike! The propipe is much deeper & does not have an obnoxious bark like most two/two pipes on large displacement engines but really growls when you twist the throttle. I just knew that I did not want to make the same mistake twice with LOUD pipes. Good Luck whichever way you decide to go, but keep an open mind....the two into one pipes are VERY nice in appearance AND sound AND performance.
Hope This Helps!
Lonestar
 

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The HK's are loud, but I hope you all are wearing ear plugs...If you aren't you're doing yourself a dis-service. I can hear better with the ear "filters" than without them...They aren't really ear plugs as much as they are noise filters. They really only block out wind noise. I can hear a car next to me a bike next to me, a truck next to me, etc...etc...etc...

The wind noise is intolerable. I never ride without ear plugs unless I'm just cruising around at less than 30mph.

Ear Plugs/Filters RULE!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Awesome suggestion, lonestar. I checked these pipes out on http://www.cruisercustomizing.com. 38 reviews -- all 4's and 5's. Seems like you are dead-on about the sound. Many of the reviews came from people that did not want pipes too loud for their taste.

This one pretty much sums up what about 10 others said, "Went with the 2:1 pro pipe to squeeze as much hp out of the ms as I could. Absolutely love the sound of this pipe. With the baffles in it has a deep rumble that stirs the soul when you hear it fire up. Not obnoxiously loud. Just what I was looking for."

Was also able to find 6 people on the site that had photos of these pipes on their Vulcans. They look nice. I'll be sending some emails out to find out if these folks are still satisfied, and that they have not had blueing problems. Will report back what I hear.

Thanks again. Nice input.
 

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LOUD pipes

Ken.
My pipes have about 1000 miles on them and the only blue in UNDER the heat shields and is not visible. You can check out a really good sound clip of all the V&H pipes at their website, you can really hear how much deeper these pipes sound than the longshots or any other pipe they make.
Good Luck,
Lonestar
 

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Ken, I know everyone is up on the HK and VH, I put the Deluxe Slash cuts by Cobra on my 04 1500 Classic I have 2000 miles on them, they have full length heat shields and no discoloration at all. They were very easy to install ( less than 1 hour) and the sound is great, not too loud. They have a great rumble at constant speeds but open up when you when you twist your wrist.

I can sneek out of my neighborhood and still enjoy the sound. My mife was the biggest factor when we test drove several bikes her biggest complant was the noise on the Victorys we rode but she loves riding with these, they dont hurt her ears. Me I am already hard of hearing (too many years of fire engines) oh and did I tell you they look great too.
 
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