What Are the Different Types of ATV Exhaust Pipes?

Lori Kilchermann

An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is often tuned by the type of ATV exhaust pipes that are installed on the engine. The horsepower, torque and throttle response are all influenced by different styles of ATV exhaust pipes. Typically changed as a canister, the exhaust commonly consists of the canister-style muffler on a four-stroke ATV and as an expansion chamber-type exhaust on the two-stroke versions. From very loud racing-type ATV exhaust pipes to the quieter, toque-building pipes found on machines used for hunting, ATV exhaust pipes are available in a plethora of styles and designs tailored for a specific purpose.

Two-stroke and four-stroke engines use different types of exhausts to achieve the same results.
Two-stroke and four-stroke engines use different types of exhausts to achieve the same results.

The two-stroke ATV exhaust pipes are commonly designed as racing-only expansion chambers that build power in the mid to upper part of the power-band. These pipes make up some of the loudest ATV exhaust pipes on the market and often produce a sound that can be heard for great distances. Due, in part, to the extremely loud sound of this style of exhaust, these are marketed as race-only components, and as such, produce the peak power at the sacrifice of low speed torque and throttle response. This type of exhaust is intended for two-stroke, two-wheel drive racing ATVs only.

For the sportsman and farmer who require greater pulling and low-end power, ATV exhaust pipes are available that limit the noise output to make it less frightening for farm animals and wildlife while increasing the low-speed power of the ATV. Manufactured to be a slip-on or bolt-on type muffler, these are intended to be used on the four-stroke ATV models. Both two- and four-wheel drive ATVs can benefit from these mufflers because they can remain relatively quiet and stealthy while in the presence of wildlife. Models to increase pushing or plowing power as well as climbing power for scaling steep hunting terrain are easily installed by the ATV owner.

Improving power to the tires is not a muffler-only modification. Often, the ATV exhaust pipes leading from the engine to the muffler are an area of potential power increase. Creating the pipes from polished, stainless steel can add to the flow of the exhaust, creating better power than a typical mild steel version. Many manufacturers offer ATV exhaust pipes in various diameters and lengths to customize the power potential of the machine to a specific use. Owners of dual or multi-purpose ATVs will often have several pipes to choose from, depending on the intended use of the machine on any given day.

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