all about mufflers

/5 BMW motorcycle muffler

(Silencer, for the Brits)

by Duane Ausherman

This is old information, so please feel free to send me your suggestions about new products or your opinion of the ones listed here.

Here are some of the sources for slash 5 mufflers.  Some are /6 mufflers that will fit the /5.  These are random comments from riders around the world.  I have edited for errors in spelling and grammar.


If you leave fingerprints on your SS header pipes and start the bike up, your pipes will turn a crappy dull gray wherever you touch them.  Make sure they are clean before they get hot.  They are most easily cleaned by spraying with rubbing alcohol and wiping with a clean cloth.

Overlander, made in Australia 

These aftermarket mufflers for BMW motorcycle are Overlander and are made in Australia.

Photo from SteveD, thanks

1.  I’ve heard a lot of complaints about Overlander stuff.  The Overlander R27 header I tried this past year was so off it interfered with the frame.  The header for my Ducati Mark-3 was just as bad.  At least you live in Australia and can return stuff relatively cheaply.  I lost over $100 in postage returning ill-fitting parts.  I would not recommend Overlander parts.  —Steve

2.  I’ve had several sets of Overlander mufflers and header pipes over the years for the /7 series and have not had any problems with them.  I also bought a complete system for my R60/2 a couple of years ago and am very happy with it.  I did have a problem with the small kink in the headers not being large enough, so the mufflers would not raise enough to allow the muffler bolt to fit, but I sent them back, and they were bent a little more, and all was well.

Staintune.  made in Australia 

The staintune muffler for a BMW motorcycle.

Photo lifted from their website.

1.  Nice welding work on the units.  A quality item.  They clean up pretty easily with a scouring pad and metal paste.  Slightly louder than stock and looks like the original exhaust.  Not sure about the weight difference from stock.  The Staintunes are probably a bit lighter.  Always loved them, and it’s nice to have a permanent exhaust system that won’t need replacement down the line.  CAT

2.  I had one of their exhausts on my Oilhead and found it to be a very well made product.  It had a little baffle at the end that was removable for a little more sound.  the official ‘ Just Pete’ rating is Two Thumbs up:)

3.  I have Staintune sports on my mono.  I got them brand new for free at work.  There is no way I would pay that much for mufflers.  I can and have done better myself.  One of my mufflers rattles.  They have a very unsightly spot weld bumps all over the first cone. 

4.  I bought the tailpipes for my Mono, then a year later, the collector muffler.  The fit was perfect, the quality excellent, and the finish literally brilliant.  The products are expensive but worth it, IMO.  Headers are next on the agenda.  The sound is similar to stock, with a slight throatiness.  At the time, I got the pipes for AU$600 (but they were AU$900), the collector was AU$620, and the headers are presently $550, including the crossover tube.  Over here, the comments when anyone sees a bike fitted with them is …..’Ah, Staintunes!!’.  Bill.

5.  I have ’em on my R100RS.  They’re a quality product, no doubt.  They used to come as either sports or touring setup.  The sport was much louder.  I can’t remember what mine cost, but it was around OZ$700, discounted from more than $900.  The local club organized it.  Steve

6.  The Staintune parts I have used are very high quality with excellent fit and finish.  Vince

Epco, made in Germantown, PA

Epco mufflers for the slash 5 BMW motorcycle

Photo lifted from their website.

1.  Epco.  US  The EPCO mufflers are louder than stock, but not by much.  The fit and finish on the mufflers seem quite good.  The EPCO headers can be a little troublesome to install but manageable.  —Steve

2.  Epco got a bad reputation for poor fit, and it was due to old tooling.  It is felt that the new tooling makes a good product.  They are less expensive than the  Kiehan, which fits better.

3.  My Epco mufflers are quieter than my stock mufflers, but that’s not a fair comparison because one of my stock mufflers (the BMW replacement one) had holes rusted in it.  They sounded awful and made the bike impossible to tune by ear.  🙂  Ed

4.  I have the Epco mufflers on my 75/5.  They have a deeper, more resonant tone than the stock ones.  Probably a bit louder but not excessive.  To my eye, the smoother finish of the Epcos is more pleasing than all those seams on the stock mufflers.  Native/5

5.  I ordered a custom EPCO system for my Green Monster /2 conversion bike a few years ago.  I gave them the type/year of engine and chassis, told them to build the system using Norton Peashooter shaped mufflers, and to make the system add some snarl to the sound to fit the bike’s motif.  A few weeks later, the box arrived.  I fully expected to have to fiddle with the system to get it to fit properly.  Nope.  To my absolute amazement, the system fits with absolute precision with no need for any mods.  The system looked fantastic too.  I called Tom at Epco to thank him and commend him on his fine workmanship.  I saw Tom at the MOA in Vermont this summer and thanked him again.  Although the system costs a bit more than a stock chromed steel system, I highly recommend them.

6.  I can recommend them.  I have them on my R100/R65 hybrid.  I think they sound great, just a bit louder than stock.

7.  had Epco make a system to order.  very pleased with the communication.  and product.  oh …  and it’s CONSIDERABLY louder.

8.  I have installed these systems:  1972 R75/5, no crossover, sports mufflers 1975 R75/6, single crossover, sports mufflers 1981 R100 RS, single crossover, “OEM” style 1990 R100 GS/PD, EPCO exhaust pipes, Staintune R100R “Y” pipe, D&D muffler

I didn’t have PAS’s fitment, quality, or customer service problems.  I think there are too many negative posts based on his experience.  Both the EPCO and Staintune have good thick wall tubing.

9,  This is my experience. I hope the info is useful to others. These exhaust systems are expensive, in my case, a bit over $1000 U.S. It all transpired in the winter, but it took some time to close my credit card and receive written verification that the account no longer existed. I was fortunate to have the advice of a senior partner in a top-notch U.S. law firm.

There are two parts to this: product quality and customer service. The company involved is EPCO. I cannot comment on their other products or how other customers are treated. This is only MY experience, and it only relates to the exhaust system for my 1987 R100RS Monoshock. This motorcycle is straight, undamaged, and had the original BMW system on it.

PRODUCT: Right header pipe: Port end was slightly oval and too small. It could not be clamped in the exhaust port with either the old or new compression/clamp rings. It would just slide out. Left header pipe: When adjusted as far as possible (hard against the frame), its x-over pipe was 5/16″ too low and about 3/4″ forward of the left x-over. It was also pointing slightly down, i.e., not parallel to the other. Right muffler: No channel for the brake actuating rod (as per OEM). The rod was hard against the muffler and slightly bent. The flat area for the brake arm was at the wrong angle (compared to OEM) by about 19 degrees, so the muffler would hit the brake arm under compression (verified with the shock removed). I tried orienting the muffler in every possible way in the undamaged rear mount. Talk about DANGEROUS.

CUSTOMER SERVICE: I haven’t mentioned the H-pipe (replaces collector box) because I never received it, although I had paid for it. I received package headers, mufflers, x-over clamp, and 2 gaskets. NO H-pipe. I phoned immediately and was told that it was shipped at the same time, the same method, but separately because one parcel would be too big, and I should receive it shortly. Over the next few weeks, I made numerous calls, left recorded messages, and spoke to 2 people who assured me that it would be checked into and someone would call me. It went on, and my anxiety went up. They never once contacted me. About 7 weeks after the supposed shipment of the H-pipe, I returned everything with a letter documenting the defects, my displeasure with their service, and demanded a refund. No refund, no call, no response at all.

Armed with measurements, pictures, and all pertinent documents, I called Visa. Their dispute policy allows the merchant 30 days after the return before they take any action. After 30 days had passed, I called them again and sent them the requested documentation. 3 days later, I had full credit to my account. Perhaps coincidence, perhaps Visa muscle.

A week or so later, I ordered Keihan components from Motobins. They arrived in less than 2 weeks and were installed in 2 hours. Perfect fit, no gaskets, no leaks. The system performs well and looks great.  Doug

Supertrapp, made in USA    They don’t seem to have BMW specific mufflers.

1. I replaced the exhaust pipes and mufflers on my 1990 R100 GS/PD were Supertrapp.  The tubing is much thinner and lighter than the EPCO or Staintune.  The pipes were not as highly polished as the others, and they didn’t heat color evenly, giving them a funny mottled appearance.  The thinly walled mufflers sounded great, but the mounts were welded to the muffler without re-enforcement and caused the thin wall to crack several times.  Vince

2.  In line with Vince’s experience, but more positively.  The Supertrapp is more of a genuine performance/track item.  Although they have pretty welds, the surface finish makes no attempt to look as “pretty” as a stock or similar system.

Supertrapps are LIGHT.  This results in thinner tubing, which may not be as long-lived on a high mileage machine.

Supertrapps are tuneable.  They give you a very wide range of exhaust tuning, which can be very valuable on a track bike, and it only takes ten-fifteen minutes to change from track to street-legal.  This also allows you to choose exactly how much extra noise you get on the street, if any, so you can be as responsible or irresponsible as you like.

Supertrapps have a unique appearance that makes it very easy to spot one on any vehicle: hot rod, bike, whatever.  The stack of discs on the end that allows you to tune the exhaust (by varying the number of discs) makes them very distinguishable.  They do not look anything at all like a stock exhaust or any other manufacturer’s exhaust.  Personally, I find the appearance very attractive on a cafe bike, but they look a bit too utilitarian for a stock bike.  Kurt

Mac, made in the USA  

This is the muffler by Mac made for a BMW motorcycle.

1.  Mac seems to be out of business.  Factory made custom exhaust systems that would fit and work mostly without a need for re-jetting.  My bike had the MAC Wispertones.  I got them used from the IBMWR website, and they lasted 2 years.  After I got them, the rear baffle end part failed, with no way to repair them.  The chrome was good, and they were loud but not abusive.

2.  Duane, As far as the MAC exhaust system goes, they’re still in business.  I keep a set in stock at the shop.  I get them from Dixie, a wholesale-only distributor.  The problem in getting them, and what may make someone believe that they are out of business, is that they only make one run of BMW mufflers each year.  So when I need them, I call Dixie and check their stock.  If I’m having a bad day, they’ll tell me that the mufflers are on back order and won’t be in for a few months.  So I call MAC and get the same story.  Overall they are a good product, only requiring a little bit of nudging to fit up to the bike.  Chrome is good, and they last a long time.  Retail price is also good compared to others out there.  I haven’t seen the J.  C.  Whitney mufflers.  Or maybe I’ve seen them and didn’t recognize them for what they were.  But since I buy wholesale, it doesn’t matter.  Bruce

3.  Don’t know how many comments you have on Mac mufflers, but I have a couple of sets.  The first is on the black ’81 R100 I rode to the May rally.  A little louder than stock but not obnoxious.  They fit well and bolted up with no problems.  I bought them used and have had them on the bike for over 1 year and no problems.  The second set (also bought used) is on a 1980 R65.  The only complaint I have with these is the fit over the head pipe is quite loose.  I used a tailpipe expander on the ends of the head pipes to stretch ’em out a bit, and that helped.

I have heard some posts that rotted/rusted in a short time, but I have not experienced this and am happy with them.  I guess the only minus would be that the l/h side muffler has to come off to pull the rear axle…  Regards, Justin B.

4.  I bought these for my /5.  I have only used them for about 200-300 miles, but I am pleased with the quality and appearance.  My previous BMW mufflers were so rusted out that I cannot reasonably compare the sound to stock, but I would describe them as “very quiet.”  I generally buy all my parts from Hucky’s, but I didn’t want the Hoske’s (everyone here said they were loud), and I didn’t want to pay for SS.  Brian (in Italy)

No website for Sito found

Maybe from Motobins in England 

These Sito mufflers for BMW are from Motobins.

Photo of the /6 style lifted from their website

This shows the Sito muffler installed on a slash five BMW motorcycle.

Photo of the /5 style by Phil Hitch, thanks

1.  I bought a set of Sito mufflers from Motobins in the UK and am very happy with them.  The price (by the time I got them to Canada) was the same as MAC.

2.  I had a pair of Sitos a few years back and felt like they were restrictive, but no technical data to support that seat of the pants impression.  The Sitos are longer than the SWB /5 mufflers, according to what I have read and been told.  Thanks for your efforts on the muffler/silencer page.  Carl

3.  I put a set of Sitos on my RT about 3 years ago.  They’re attached to my Epco s/s headers.  I paid $267 delivered from Motobins, but I sold my old (stock) mufflers on eBay for $110.  Do the math, I think I got a deal.  I’m very pleased with the fit & finish of the Sitos, and they sound & look exactly like the stock mufflers.  I have absolutely nothing negative to say about them.  Scot

4.  I purchased a /6 style Sito’s set from Motobins in Spring 2006.  Although they offer the ‘cigar-end’ mufflers, I also went with the /6 style, which I like.  This style is also cheaper.  Both sets are overly long for the /5 SWB compared to the factory Zuena’s.  The cutout area for the rear axle and brake pedal arm is extra long to accommodate either wheelbase.  I don’t recall exactly what I paid ( and the price has gone up a bit since then), but even with approximately $50.  shipping to Pa., the total cost easily beat any other US supplier ( with the exception of the EMGO / JC Whitney model).  Postal time was about a week.  The construction is non-stainless steel with a high-quality chrome finish.  They have exposed welds, like the original style.  They are considerably heavier than the factory originals.  No problem with the fit.  Mounting brackets come attached.  The sound is a bit louder than stock, most noticeably at idle with a pop-pop-pop sound.  I kind of like the extra length, but someone else may not agree.  I am using Mikuni VM32’s, which were running slightly rich throughout the range.  After installing the Sito’s brought the carbs’ middle to the upper range to perfection.  I had to richen up the idle a tad.  I may have to mess with the main jetting a bit as it seems to bog a bit on WOT.  I only mention this because someone may find a slight change needed to the carb setup.  I thought I noticed a slight performance gain.  There is a tasteful marking of ” Sito” near the ends, which is only noticeable if you are quite close.  FWIW, they come with certificates for approved use in several European countries.

5,  I’ve had the Sito mufflers on my /5 since the spring of 2002. I’m still very happy with them. The chrome is still in great shape and is structurally as good as new. As a matter of fact, I was just cleaning the “winter grime” off my bike last weekend and thought to myself how good the mufflers are still looking.  Phil

6.  I put Sitos on my bike a couple of years ago. So far, so good. I’m pleased with ’em. Scot

Keihan, made in the UK    They make mufflers for many models.

These are Keihan mufflers and are available from Motorbins in England.

The Keihan /5 mufflers (silencer)  Photo lifted from their website

It’s just one data point, but my Keihans fit perfectly. They are day-and-night better than Epcos, the other stainless option.

Jon, May 2015

I have not had problems with my Keihns on my R90S. I bought mine from MotoBins in the UK, and if I had a problem with them, I would expect M/B to handle the problem.

Just one way to go……

Mac Kirkpatrick

Glenmoore, PA, May 2015

Keihan made good stainless silencers and exhausts for /2, /5 /6, etc.  Yeah, if they only would make them correctly.    I used to sell them several years ago….   Then I got a batch of mufflers that they had welded the mounting bracket on in the WRONG POSITION.  When you attempted to mount them, the bottom notch for the center stand arm was 1/2 way between the side and the bottom.    I complained.   I mailed them photos of a mounted muffler, plus photos of a chrome muffler showing the position of the hanger versus the center stand notch.
They told me there was nothing wrong, they had a master which they made them all from.   I told them they were full of shit.  If they insisted on producing defective mufflers and refused to correct them, I would not buy from them anymore, nor sell you know why I no longer stock Keihan. So, buy them if you want.   Remember my warning.
Vech, May 2015


I put a full set of Keihan headers, crossover, and silencers on my R75/5 about 13 years ago from Moto-bins in England. They fit without modification and hit all the attachment points dead-on.  The headers were rotated in the exhaust ports a few times to bring the cross-over and outlets in the correct position to link with the silencers, but a little force was needed to wiggle everything in place. The key is to leave everything loose while positioning as there are a lot of moving parts to be at the right angle.  Once the sweet spot was found, everything slipped on without a problem. The left silencer has an axle indent to match the originals, which hit the mark perfectly.
I was recently in an accident where both silencers were damaged cosmetically. This time I ordered the silencers from Tom Cutter of Rubber Chicken Racing Garage. I wanted to support airhead storefronts but also have direct recourse should there be a problem fitting them after such a long time.  The price was competitive, and they arrived well packed. They slid on without further adjustment to the headers and bolted up.  I sold the damaged pair to a friend for his ‘less than perfect’ bike, and he loves them.
Form, fit, and function are superb. These are not cheap systems, so I had high expectations. The quality of workmanship, welds, metal smoothness, and detail met them.  After a time, the stainless turns a golden wheat color, but if you use a bit of Mother’s or other polish compounds, they come back like chrome. I used Scotchbrite on the headers, which were stained and mottled from lack of care on my part. They turned into a brushed satin steel look, which has held up well and is easy to refresh. The note is a bit throatier than the original but pleasant to the ear. I actually like it better than the stock pipes.
If you have the dough – I would recommend this system. I would also recommend a ‘local’ dealer, so you have direct recourse and avoid expensive shipping to return if needed.
Feb 2017

1.  FYI, You probably know this, but Keihan makes the cigar end /5 mufflers as well.  These are stainless steel, so they don’t have the smooth, shiny chrome appearance a stock BMW set would have.  I just got a set from Hucky’s.  Expensive at ~ $550 to the door.  Cheaper than stock ones, though.  The mounting brackets are extra at $30 a pair!  Those are included in the $550 as well as shipping.  They look like the originals and are shorter than the Sitos.  Carl

2.  I have to disagree with Josh.  I have Keihan systems fitted to three airheads.  The fit is perfect, the finish is good, and (unless you manage to get a set of specials) the note and tuning is as stock.  The only slight criticism is that the rear of the ‘Mono’ silencers isn’t quite the same shape… but that is nitpicking! On the plus side, the header to balance pipe clamps are substantial Stainless items, not like the bodged on lugs on the stock headers

Yes, they discolor…  all stainless steel pipes do, but the old set I have for spare still cleans up like new with Sovol…  I really think they are as good as any on the market and considerably better than stock.  Rob

3.  High quality stainless steel, great fit, with certain issues involving a ‘stain’ on the headers and exhaust.  They sound fine, but something is wrong with the exterior.  Moto Bins has good customer service and resolved the issue.  Josh

JC Whitney, made in the USA??  See below.  They have a BMW looking muffler that will bolt on and is very cheap.  Good luck in finding them on the huge website.

Photo by Valkernaut, thanks

1.  The JC Whitney I’ve seen is a copy of the /6 and /7 type.   In fact, they are closer to the 40mm Exhaust.  They send it with an adapter to make it 38mm and look and sound almost like a stock BMW.

2.  I’ve had a set of JCW mufflers on my / 7 for the past four to five years.  They sounded a bit throatier than stock when I first put them on.  Chrome still holding up alright but is showing a bit of surface rust at welded spots.  Looks like they should last several more years.  I’d buy them again.  Randy

3.  The left one is made with a 4″ dimple for removing the axle on both the SWB and LWB models.  They are made by EMGO Asia.  I have these Emgo mufflers. The fit is pretty good. I got all the mounting holes to line up without issue.  The biggest difficulty is getting the spacer and muffler around the header tubes – what I ended up doing is sliding the spacer 1/2 way out of the muffler and spreading it around the header pipe, and used a rubber mallet on the end of the muffler to push everything together.

JIM CRAY.  UK designed

Cray Engineering
Unit 9 Eaves Court
Bonham Drive
Eurolink Industrial Estate
Kent ME10 3RY

Tel/Fax: 01795 431444

A R90S BMW with the Jim Cray mufflers

1.  Performance pipe, made by Keihan.  Recommended by Charles Newall.  About $40 more expensive than Keihan’s

2.  I picked up a set for an R100 project I’m working on.  (Had to have a friend in England get them for me because I couldn’t seem to get Jim motivated to send me a set here in the States.)  Don’t know if Jim makes them or has Kiehan make them for him, but they are beautiful!  They look like stock but are stainless.  Made for 40mm headers but come with reducers for 38mm headers.  The muffler baffle is a larger diameter than stock and is straight through.  He claims a substantial performance gain with proper jetting, but I can’t confirm as I haven’t put them on anything yet.  With the current exchange rate, they were EXPENSIVE.  Chuck S.

3.  Jim Cray is a long time Boxer tuner who works out of Kent in the UK.  He is one of the few that I would trust (from reputation) with things Boxer.  He commissioned the silencers from Keihan.  They are outwardly nearly identical to the standard Keihan stainless silencers but have different baffles to improve gas flow.  The only visible difference is that the hole, in the end, is bigger.

As far as I know, they are only available through Jim Cray.  Although Jim is great when it comes to Boxers, he is a bit of a Luddite when it comes to other things, so he has no website and does not do Email.  contact has to be by snail-mail, landline, or in person.  (It says something for his reputation that he is still able to operate this way…)  Rob

4.  Jim Cray had always been talking about getting some sets of ‘sports silencers’ made up ever since he did the first stage tuning work on my bike.  A couple of years later, I decided to do the replica R90S route to include 40mm pipes, Dellortos, and some sports silencers.  I asked Jim about ‘progress’ on the silencers.  He said that he was looking for certain orders to make it worthwhile to get some sets designed and made up by Keihans.  I put the word out via the Motobins forum, Jim got some orders, and the silencers were made.

They look almost stock, sounds like a British twin on Goldstar type silencers, and are a straight through design.  The silencer is stainless and looks new 3 years on.

5.  Located in the Industrial wastelands of Sittingbourne lies a genius of engineering named Jim Cray.  I stress the emphasis on engineering, Jim won’t thank me for adding to his workload with routine servicing, especially as he is back to just himself full-time and a P/T technician/apprentice.  Jim’s workshop is generally full of rebuilds, renovations, and his preferred favorite pastime road & race performance tuning jobs.  If you want your airhead to fulfill more of its potential, then Jim’s the man.  My PD had his Stage 1 Engine Tuning Package done by Jim, and he has also, in my period of ownership, he rebuilt the gearbox and the front suspension in addition to routine servicing.  His knowledge is vast, and all his work is repeat business, word of mouth.  A good supporter of the club, he opened the doors of his workshop to us and is always willing to offer his advice and knowledge.  Rob

Armours I requested information and got this.

Hello, We do manufacture stainless steel exhaust systems for most pre-1985 BMW motorcycles; please send details for a quotation.

Rabenbauer, Germany.  The site is in German.

These are exact Hoske replicates for BMW motorcycle mufflers and made in Germany by Rabenbauer.

They also make many BMW motorcycle tools.  These mufflers are the closest thing you will ever find to a real Hoske pipe.  They come in 38mm and 40mm sizes and have a removable baffle.  They are an exact replica of a Hoske, as I have a real Hoske to match it up against.  They are EXPENSIVE (~450 Euros), and they will NOT sell to the US, so if you want a set, you have to know someone in Europe who will buy them and ship them to you.  But they are WORTH IT!  Phil

Hucky’s Spare Parts 

1.  I have Hoske repros from Hucky on my /6.  Not nearly as loud as yer average obnoxious cruiser pipes, but a good deal louder than stock. Any louder, and I’d feel guilty and antisocial. They do sound nice, but the next exhaust I buy will be SS and not louder than stock.  The finish is pretty good; no corrosion after 2+ years, only heat discoloration.  Warland

Emgo mufflers, these may be the same ones sold by J.C. Whitney.  Go to page 9.

  You might want to mention EMGO mufflers.  They go for the bargain price of just under $82 each on Amazon.  One side is a few cents higher than the other.  They look like the /5 muffler, and you can also get a set that looks like /6-/7 parts as well.  They are also available from Dennis Kirk and other suppliers but at a higher price.
  I think that these are the ones sold by J C Whitney as well.
  As far as how good they are, I can’t say as I’ve never sold any or mounted them.  The ones that I’ve seen appear to fit OK and have decent chrome. I just don’t know how long they’ll last and still look good.
Bruce Davidson

Updated 17 July 2022