I like my bikes to look clean and tidy, so when I started to see rusty cracks breaking out on the chromed tips of my Goldwing’s exhausts, I knew that I needed to replace them. Whilst not as bad as the tips, the chrome covers on the mufflers/silencers were also showing rust coming through from the underside. If I was replacing the tips, I may as well do the covers at the same time. I had no idea at the time how bad things were!
With the bike up on a stand, the silencers themselves appeared to be in good shape, so I just needed to find replacement covers and tips.
I soon discovered that replacement stock Honda tips would cost €600 for a pair! Stock silencers/mufflers come with the chrome covers already welded onto them. Honda does not sell replacement covers and a pair of complete silencers would cost about €1,500. So, stock silencers and tips would set me back a whopping €2,100. There had to be a cheaper option.
I briefly considered the option of replacing the stock exhaust with an after-market set of Cobra silencers with attached end tips. I could buy a pair of Cobras for about €750 – a significant cost-saving compared to the stock Honda parts. However, online feedback suggested that the Cobra pipes rust quickly. You get what you pay for!
In response to my post on the Goldwing Owners Club of Great Britain Facebook group, Pete Siddals came to my rescue. Pete makes replacement stainless steel covers for the silencers. At a cost of 135GBP (plus shipping and fittings), I was happy to order a pair from him.
For end-tips, I turned to Motodiana, located in Evora, Portugal. I ordered a pair of Kuryakyn tips priced at €220 – significantly less than stock Honda tips.
Once the new parts arrived, I took the left-side muffler off the bike. That’s when I got a close look at the tips and could see how badly corroded the bolt-heads were that were holding them in place. There were no flat sides left, so a socket or spanner would not be able to remove them. I was going to need some help!
Fortunately, my friend Marco offered to help, so I took the bike to Guimaraes on a Sunday morning. We wouldn’t leave until late that evening!
With one of the silencers removed from the bike, we could see that we would need to cut the chrome covers from the silencers and then cut and grind the welded brackets to obtain a smoother surface.
The tips were more problematic. There was no way of getting to grips with the rusty bolts whilst the tips were in place, as they were recessed and difficult to access. We would have to cut the tips off. And that is when we realised just how badly rusted the end tips were!
The bike came from the UK and I have to think that it was ridden during winter, when there was salt on the road, and was not properly washed afterwards. Under the chrome, the metal had completely turned to rust.
With the tip removed, we were able to chip away at the crumbling rust, to reveal the badly corroded bolts. We used an angle-grinder to cut flats sides onto the bolt heads, hoping that would provide enough leverage to be able to loosen them. We were able to loosen and remove one of the bolts but the heads on the other two just sheared off. Our only option at that point was to drill out the bolts and re-tap the holes to accept new bolts. But that was a slow process, as the bolts were dulling the drill bits. Once we sorted out the bolts, we tried to fit the new tip, only to discover that the end pipe on the silencer was too long. We cut down the length of the pipe with the angle-grinder, so that we could get the new tip to fit. After much perseverance, we managed to eventually fit the new Kuryakyn tip and re-mount the left-side exhaust to the bike. It was already evening and we’d only completed one side of the exhaust system.
We started to tackle the right-side exhaust, but just didn’t have enough time to complete it. But we were able to remove the chrome cover and the old tip, grind down the welded brackets, clean up the rusty metal that was once an exhaust tip and shorten the end pipe on the silencer. We just didn’t have enough time to drill out the three bolts, so we mounted the exhaust without a tip. The bike was already booked in for a service at MotoTrofa a week later, so I would ask them to finish the job.
A little over a week later and the job was completed by MotoTrofa. The exhaust system is looking attractive again, with the new tips giving the rear end a different look.