Building a Cafe Racer Custom Exhaust – Part 1

Building a cafe racer custom exhaust system

I started in on the exhaust system for my CX-500  Cafe Racer project.   I started with the rear of the exhaust for the CX500 Cafe Racer, placing the muffler exactly where I wanted it to be on the bike as the first step.  This build was going to be a 2 into 1 style motorcycle exhaust,  with only one muffler for a  cleaner and cooler look.   Investigating hundreds of photos and parts catalogs I could not find exactly what I wanted for a muffler. I did not want anything chrome, megaphone or cone style mufflers, or anything flash in general.   I wanted something vintage,  flat black, and a little bit crude to go with the Cafe Racer style.  I ended up buying some mandrel bent tubing, and a bare muffler core to fabricate a custom exhaust.  I’ve done a lot of custom exhaust builds over the years, check out an earlier post where I show an exhaust build on a Ferrari 308   from last summer.

Custom Cafe Racer Exhaust system parts

Here are the parts needed to build the custom exhaust system for my cafe racer CX500 motorcycle exhaust.  I ordered up two 1.5″ diameter  U bends (PN: SCH-015016U) ,  two 1.75″ diameter J Bends (PN: SCH-017516J),  & a 12″ muffler core (PN: JEX-A3012B)   from Summit Racing.   Summit Racing is a great cheap place to buy exhaust tubing and mufflers.  They have been my go to auto parts supplier since high school.   I have a fairly large selection of nominal auto exhaust tubing in stock from previous projects but nothing in the motorcycle size range so I ordered everything needed to build the Cafe Racer Exhaust.  The tip on the muffler core I fabricated from some 2.5″ tubing and I will put an internal removable baffle into it to help quiet the exhaust some.  I am certain that  just the core it will be louder then  I want for regular daily riding.

Cafe Racer Exhaust build  muffler mounting    

Mounting the muffler was trickier then I anticipated. I had my CNC Milling Machine  bang out a variety of different mounting brackets for this project.  I ended up using several of the smallest of the three sizes I made and one of the larger skeletonized mounting tabs to put the muffler on the bike.   In the above pictures you can see where I located the muffler on the bike.  I am pretty happy with where it is mounted.

custom motorcycle exhaust build for cafe racer CX500

The exhaust tubing runs inboard and under the lower motor/frame mounting. This is important as I plan to lower the foot pegs a bit and make a new foot shift lever for the bike.  I find with the new seat and the low forward clubman handlebars that it is a bit uncomfortable with the stock foot pegs on the bike.

In the next post on the cafe racer custom exhaust system build,  I show how I make the 2 primary pipes merge into this rear exhaust system.

Mounting and Balancing a CX500 motorcycle tire

Bonus Photo:  The mounted and balanced new front tire on the painted wheel.  I will paint the wheel weights black before mounting them permanently with double sided tape.

One Reply to “Building a Cafe Racer Custom Exhaust – Part 1”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *