Roadhouse Dooley Exhaust

All of the images below are thumbnails - click them to open larger views in a new window.

To begin with, I ordered my Dooleys from Honda Direct Line.  I ordered the Shark Fin tips - I think they're very classic looking and go well with the whole Retro theme of the VTX. I called to check availability and get a price match.  I purchased them on a Monday – they shipped that same day and arrived in CT on Wednesday – very quick shipping!

They were superbly packaged – the mufflers themselves are in bubble wrap, in a box, which is in a box, which is in a box!  The  rest of the pipes are wrapped in bubble wrap, and the chrome heat shields come in plastic bags wrapped in bubble wrap.  Everything arrived in perfect condition.

I started installation on Saturday morning. Complete install start to finish took just over three hours. I worked slow are carefully to make sure I didn't screw anything up!

The first step involved relocating the ignition switch.  To do so, you have to remove the seat, left side cover, and water pump cover.  Here it is all removed:

Next, you remount the ignition switch using the clutch cable mounting bracket bolt and a new bracket.  Then run the supplied extension wires, and replace the water pump cover.

 

Next, disconnect the right side floorboard assembly, and remove the stock exhaust.


The next steps involve attaching the two head pipes and collector, then the right and left mufflers.  Everything is left loose at this point.  In the background, you can see my girlfriends's 2007 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic.  It's a pretty nice bike - low seat height, lighter than the VTX, and fuel injected to boot!

 

Once everything seems aligned correctly, you tighten down the head pipes and start attaching the heat shields.  They slip inside the mufflers, so tightening the mufflers is the last step.  A level and a tape measure come in real handy to get the properly aligned to match each other.

Once you're done and reassemble the bike, it looks like below.  The last two pictures show the kickstand up - it can be reached with the heel of your foot, but just barely.  I had bought a Harley Jiffy stand extension as recommended by another poster prior to beginning, but the kickstand isn't long enough for the extension to wrap around the pipe, leaving it hanging it the middle of nowhere.  It doesn't look good, so I'm leaving it off.

         

Roadhouse supplies two 1/2 (or so) spacers that move the right side floorboard assembly further outboard so it clears the pipe. I found that it still ended up touching the heatshield, so I spaced it even further out with a few stainless steel washers from the hardware store. I'll probably be buying new floorboards soon - the new pipes seem to cause more vibration in them, so I'm hoping some better boards will dampen that. Besides, who can't use more chrome? I'm considering the Rivco boards to match my passenger boards.

Of course, the real fun is starting it up for the first time.  I really had no idea what to expect, and was fearing something too loud that would piss off all my neighbors.  I'm pleased to say they have a nice deep throaty rumble when idling, but nothing too loud.  They bark pretty well when you really get into them, but it'd be easy to sneak out of the neighborhood in the morning without waking everyone around. 

After cleaning up, we went for a 20 mile or so ride - they sounded great.  The only issue I'm having is some fairly significant backfiring on a hard decel.  I have re-torqued the acorn nuts, but still have a tiny leak on the rear cylinder - I suspect this is the cause.  I did use new crush gaskets - so I'm anticipating having to replace them again, and try to twist and shift everything around to get the rear head pipe to seal better - a job I'm not looking forward to.  If anyone has any other ideas on this backfiring, I'd love to hear it. 

Even with the backfire issue, I'm very happy.  The sound is awesome, and the look is even better!  I highly recommend these to anyone who's looking for the dooley look.

I'll be happy to answer any questions and provide additional photos.