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Steve, Motorcycle Mechanic
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 6979
Experience:  30+ yrs. experience, MMI, HD technician, HD early, engine rebuild/performance, bike builder, kit bike program manager, CCI 2001-2004
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Rear exhaust is twice as hot as front exhaust on my 04

Customer Question

rear exhaust is twice as hot as front exhaust on my 04 softail deuse
JA: How many miles are on the car? How has your mileage been lately?
Customer: its a HD Softail Deuse
JA: What is the model of your '04 motorcycle?
Customer: HD Softail Deuse
JA: Are you fixing your bike yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: 2004
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: no im not fixing myself and haven't done anything to it other than ride it. im a new owner. I purchased it 90 days ago
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  Steve replied 5 months ago.

what is the temperature of the front exhaust and rear exhaust?

tell me everything you can.


Customer: replied 5 months ago.
420. on the front pipe about 3 to 4 inches down from the connection. And 720. on the rear pipe at roughly the same location. Plus or minus 5 on both pipes. Temp readings were taken with digital laser temp. gun. Also I changed the plugs today. temps are reading about 15 to 20 degrees cooler. But still a 300. degree difference from front to rear.
Expert:  Steve replied 5 months ago.

laser temperature instruments are not accurate on shiny, chrome surfaces. (read your instruction book)

the exhaust exiting the head is around 1200 - 1400 degrees. 700 seems reasonable. 400 sounds unusually cool.

- how are you warming the engine up to make these readings?

- are you having a problem with the bike?

tell me everything you can.


Customer: replied 5 months ago.
No problems with the bike. I just purchaced it approx. 90 days ago. Its my first HD to own. The front pipe exiting the head the pipe is blue in color to gold in color. the rear pipe in the approx. same location is very dark in color like the chrome is burned off the pipe. and with the 300. degree difference from front to rear. Its got me concerned like I said before this is my first HD so my experiences are like a virgin. I just don't know enough about them.
Expert:  Steve replied 5 months ago.

- is the engine fuel injected or carbureted?

- what make are the exhaust pipes? (i.e., stock HD, vance and hines, etc)

- do the exhaust pipes have heat shields?

- what did the plugs look like?

tell me everything you can.


Customer: replied 5 months ago.
oh and the answer to your question on what am I doing to get these readings. im just starting the bike and letting it run for approx. 15 minutes. Then take the readings im not riding it and then taking the readings.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Bike is fuel injected. I believe the pipes are stock not a 100% sure. No heat shields on the pipes.
Expert:  Steve replied 5 months ago.

please answer all 4 questions above.

as for your warming technique, I would advise you never to do that again. hopefully, you haven't caused engine damage already.

- your HD has an air cooled engine. this only works when the motorcycle is moving. your starting/ridding procedure should be as follows: prepare for your ride. get dressed....leathers, boots, helmet, etc. stand the bike up and start it the engine. allow the engine to warm for approximately 30 seconds, then ride. start off easy and allow around 5-10 miles before ridding normally.

- get heat shields, or new pipes with heat shields. bare pipes will turn all sorts of colors and they will be hot on your right leg.

let me know if you need more help.


Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Ok Steve it maybe Monday before I can get back with you. Thank you for the warming up instructions. ill try and find a logo on the pipes. Im wanting to get new ones. But not until I found out if something was wrong first. I didn't want the dark color happening to the brand new pipes. But anyway thank you again and I will get back to you in a couple of days. Take care !! John.G
Expert:  Steve replied 5 months ago.

any pipes will discolor.

that's why I suggest new pipe with heat shields.

I like D&D for performance.

a lot of guys like V&H for the sound and the looks.


Expert:  Steve replied 4 months ago.

let me know if you need more help.

if not, please leave a POSITIVE RATING.

thank you,


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