How to Make an Offroad Vehicle Quieter

Offroad riding is used for creating thrills such as racing and taking in the great outdoors. However, those experiences can be ruined by the excess noise produced by the exhaust system.

How to make a dirt bike quieter

Powersports vehicles are noisy by nature, but ATVs and dirt bikes are particularly notorious for being way too loud. Making any offroad machine quieter often requires some modifications to the muffler or exhaust systemThe good news is making your offroad bikes run quieter through exhaust modifications is not that difficult to do. Here are some simple ways to make your ATV, dirt bike or other powersports machines quieter.

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Benefits of a Quieter Machine

The sheer noise pollution created by offroad vehicles can not only take away from the excitement of riding, but can also annoy the hell out of people that have to hear it. 

How to make an ATV quieter

Besides compliance with noise ordinances in your area, here are a few more benefits of having a quieter powersports vehicle.

Reducing Hearing Loss 

Motorcycle and ATV noise from stock mufflers can cause permanent hearing damage over time, even with ear plugs. Modifying the muffler on your powersports vehicle to reduce the decibels of noise it produces goes a long way in helping prevent hearing loss.

Respecting Neighbors 

Making your ride quieter is less likely to anger neighbors that have to deal with the amount of noise your machine produces. Noise reduction mods to your bike are a good way to show your neighbors some courtesy and respect.

Make dirt bike quieter benefits

Keeping Tracks and Trails Open

Noisy dirt bikes and ATVs make it harder to keep riding trails and race tracks open, as sometimes all it takes is one irritated landowner or authority to shut it all down. Not all tracks and trails are far enough away from private properties where noise regulations are in effect. So making your machine quieter helps to not only NOT disturb the peace, but also contributes to allowing the continued use of public land for offroad riding. 

Facilitating Wildlife Encounters

Whether you ride the trails for wildlife observation or for hunting, it can be pretty challenging to enjoy if you’re scaring off the animals before you get within range. Wildlife will hear you coming and scurry away by the time you arrive if your offroad vehicle is too loud. If hunting is your thing, making your machine less noisy can greatly improve your results, as a quieter exhaust may get you closer to game without scaring them off.

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Tips for a Quieter Offroad Vehicle

There are several simple ways to modify your powersports machine so that it doesn’t make as much noise. Depending on your mechanical skill level, some alterations you might be able to do yourself, and most are surprisingly affordable even with professional help. 

Muffler or Exhaust Silencer

The most effective way to quiet down the muffler is an exhaust silencer, also known as a slip-on muffler or muffler silencer. Whatever silencer you choose, these mods are known to produce the best results.

How to make dirt bike quieter slip-on muffler

Adding a silencer can eliminate a substantial amount of noise produced by your bike. If you install an aftermarket silencer, you’ll of course have to find one that fits your machine’s make and model. Silencers work by redirecting the noise coming out of the muffler down instead of up and out, producing a noticeable reduction in decibel output and effectively dampening the noise coming out of the exhaust. 

Pack the Muffler

A cheap and easy way to quiet down your ATV or dirt bike is to pack the muffler with fiberglass mats to absorb noise. It’s a “quick fix” that can be done without professional help, as it’s essentially just removing the muffler and lining the tube inside with the material. Some riders choose steel wool, but it’s a potential fire hazard, as the wool can heat up, shoot out of the muffler and ignite dry debris.

One drawback to packing the muffler with any material is that you could be restricting airflow and creating issues such as overheating. But if you’re going to pack it, stick with fiberglass products designed for that purpose. 

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Install a Spark Arrestor

Spark arrestors (or arresters) are designed to prevent fires, but they’re also known to slightly reduce noise out of the exhaust system. They’re typically made of a steel mesh that helps break up the noise output as it exits the muffler. You should install spark arresters to your ATVs or dirt bikes regardless to prevent fire hazards. And since they’re inexpensive and easy to insert, you might as well install them and enjoy the added noise reduction benefit. 

Some aftermarket exhaust system mods include a spark arrestor as part of the kit. Another option is to install quiet core muffler inserts, commonly known as dB (decibel) killers, and those often include a spark arrester.

Give Your Ride a Tune-Up

A simple tune-up is a way to get rid of noisy rattles and vibrations coming from the machine. Replacing parts like worn-out belts, bushings and wheel bearings can contribute to noise reduction. 

While you’re at it, go ahead and inspect your entire machine for loose or broken screws, bolts and nuts, and tighten everything up as needed to make sure loose hardware isn’t generating extra noise. 

Inspect your machine’s exhaust system for cracks, leaks or rusted out areas, all of which can make it considerably louder. Black soot and hissing out of the exhaust pipe are signs of a leak in the exhaust system. Find the leaks, and repair or replace worn or damaged parts to help with noise reduction.

Do Exhaust Mods Affect Performance?

Exhaust mods can make it more challenging for gasses to flow through the system. Restricting airflow too much can cause back pressure to build up inside the engine, creating issues like stalling, loss of power and misfires.

How to make ATV quieter exhaust mods

When choosing aftermarket parts for your exhaust mods, make sure they’re from a reputable brand that manufactures products specific to your machine’s make and model. Just keep in mind that if you decide to do noise reduction mods yourself, you could risk voiding the warranty.



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