How To: Repack Your Motorcycle Exhaust

Repacking your muffler should be on your “to do” list this season. Not only is it easy to replace, there are some surprising benefits that come along with fresh packing. Contrary to popular belief, a loud pipe isn’t the most powerful. Exhaust packing actually adds power and improves throttle response. Gregg Albertson takes you through the process.



  • Drill (for removing rivets)
  • Rivet gun and appropriate size rivets
  • Various sockets/T-handle
  • Allen wrench (if necessary)
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Pliers


  • High temp silicon


1.Remove the muffler from your bike. This is done by removing the seat mount bolts, mid/header pipe clamps and pulling the canister off. This is a good time to give your exhaust a nice clean (since you’re not worried about damaging the old packing) and make sure dirt isn’t getting in your exhaust when you reassemble.

2.Remove screws or rivets from the front of the can (closest to the engine) using a wrench or drill.

3.Next, you’ll need to pull the front end cap of the exhaust, out of the can. This can be done by clasping the mount in a vice and lightly tapping with a rubber mallet (as shown) or tapping the mount while holding the front end cap.

4.Once the front end cap is removed, the core should slide out and you can remove the old packing (you may need to pull the core out with a set of pliers.) Note: on some bikes, the front end cap and core are connected. Clean the core with a wire brush to remove any remaining packing.

5.Compare the width of your packing to the length of your core. If the packing is wider than your core, you’ll have to trim the packing with some scissors. Helpful hint, wear some sort of gloves when handling packing (contains fiberglass).

6.Once your packing is ready to go, start wrapping the core with the packing. Packing should be wrapped snugly but not too tight. Wrap the packing with masking tape at each end, to keep the packing in place.

7.Slide the core with your fresh packing into the canister. It helps to have the canister clasped in the vise. You will most likely have to give the core a few gentle taps with your rubber mallet to get it to seat into the far end cap.

8.(Optional Step) Apply a thin layer of high-temp silicone to the lip, where the front end cap meets the canister when inserted. This helps prevent any exhaust leaks.

9.Install screws or install new rivets to hold the canister to the core and the front end cap.

10.With the exhaust now back together, reinstall muffler back onto the bike. Make sure you have connected any springs that held the system together and mounting bolts are tight. It’s best to loosely install each bolt and make sure the exhaust is aligned and seated properly, before tightening.