Road House Classic Two Into One Exhaust System

CR Tested

$581.95 (as tested)

In the past I've been badly burnt (that's an exhaust system joke son) by badly designed, underperforming aftermarket exhaust systems, so I've become particular about what I bolt on to my bikes. Roadhouse takes great pains with their fit and finish. The joints are correctly sized, so the pieces they fit together properly without any hammering, forcing or swearing and the pipes bends are gracefully formed. The chrome is deep and holds its shine well with a minimum of upkeep.

Installing the exhaust was a lead pipe cinch. The instructions are clear and well illustrated, my only complaint being that they recommended dismantling and removing the VTX's OEM exhaust piece by piece, rather than removing it in one big chunk as Honda suggests. It's no big deal, but certainly makes a case for reading through the OEM service manual beforehand. Other than that quibble, installation went as painlessly as possible, requiring little more than a few very basic tools and maybe 45 minutes.

Two-into-one pipes are attractive to me because they tend to enhance low and mid range power, without detracting from the top end. Although I didn't dyno-test the Roadhouse, off-idle performance and mid-range power has definitely been improved in a very noticeable seat of the pants way, and that's without doing any more to the jetting than tweaking the pilot screw. Whether your bike will perform the same way I can't honestly say, but it's nice to actually bolt on a pipe and start riding without jumping through a lot of hoops.

I'm also very impressed with the sound, it's not much louder than the stock system, but it has a much better quality; deeper, with more of a rumble, yet not so loud that it ever becomes intrusive. If I had to guess, I'd say it's no louder than any stock exhaust from the 70's.

Because the single muffler takes up less room than the OEM system, you can also fit larger bags to the bike, and given the rather skimpy size of the standard Honda-supplied saddlebags that alone is reason enough to spring for the Roadhouse.

My only complaint with the pipes is the way the heat shields are retained. The shields look and fit just fine, but Roadhouse uses hidden hose clamps to hold them in place. There's nothing wrong with that, and it does allow you to adjust them until the fit is perfect, but I'd prefer to see them bolted in place using welded bosses on the pipe.

Overall, the Roadhouse is an excellent pipe, and in fact, the only aftermarket exhaust I'd seriously consider installing on my own bike, and paying for with my own dollars. Given the level of fit and finish, the ease of installation and the all around performance they provide I have to give the Roadhouse the full five stars. If they'd rewrite the instructions, I'd even add a bonus point.