Casual and serious motorcyclists alike know that the right exhaust system can significantly enhance their riding experience. When it comes to personalizing and upgrading your Harley-Davidson or Indian Motorcycle, selecting the best aftermarket 2-into-1 exhaust system can be a game-changer. But one thing we get asked by a lot of riders is about the differences between the Shorty, Mid-Length and Full-Length exhausts, and which one is right for them. In this guide we’ll take a deep dive to look at sound, performance and aesthetics to help you decide which pipe is right for you.

What are 2-into-1 Exhaust Systems?

Before getting into the details, let’s start with a quick review of the basics. A 2-into-1 exhaust system (sometimes shortened to 2-1) is one that starts with 2 head pipes connected to the motor, which then merge into a single muffler. Contrast these with 2-into-2 or “true duals," where 2 head pipes each run to their own muffler. 2-into-1 systems optimize the flow of exhaust gasses and have the ability to improve the performance of your motorcycle – at least when they are properly designed and built! These are popular exhaust choices for touring and bagger riders because they can enhance the sound, performance, and looks of the motorcycle.

Visual Differences in 2-into-1 Exhausts

We’ll start with the obvious. Shorty systems are short, Full-Length systems are long, and Mid-Length systems fall in between. A lot of riders are very aesthetically focused and the appearance of the pipe plays a big part in their decision.

  • Shorty exhausts provide a sleek and minimalistic look, which can appeal to riders who like the stripped-down aesthetic. They also expose more of the bike’s frame and components, which gives off a more raw and rugged appearance.
  • Mid-Length exhausts have a more balanced look, complementing the bike’s design while offering a clean and polished appearance. These are popular for riders who enjoy a blend of style and practicality.
  • Full-Length exhausts provide a classic and traditional look that many riders find appealing. They follow the lines of the motorcycle and enhance the aesthetics while still boosting performance.

One final thing to consider is where the exhaust tip falls in relation to your bags. Many touring riders go for longer pipes so the muffler does not let out hot gasses right beneath their side cases.

Performance Differences in 2-into-1 Exhausts

While all Sawicki Speed 2-into-1 exhaust systems are designed to produce maximum horsepower and torque gains over stock systems, each length provides slightly different performance metrics.

Shorty 2-into-1

Shorty exhausts tend to produce the most gains high in the RPM band, but not as much of a torque boost as the other systems. So if you are a stunt rider or otherwise have an aggressive riding style, this pipe will give you that high end power boost.

Dyno chart above for Sawicki M8 Bagger Shorty:

+12 HP and +8 TQ over OEM

Shop M8 Bagger Shorty

Mid-Length 2-Into-1

Mid-Length exhausts yield a more even power increase across the RPM band. The mix of low-end torque boost and top-end power gains make these a versatile system great for all styles of riding.

Dyno chart above for Sawicki M8 Bagger Mid-Length:

+10 HP and +12 TQ over OEM

Shop M8 Bagger Mid-Length

Full-Length 2-Into-1

Full-Length exhausts are known for boosting low end power, great for pulling out of turns with quicker acceleration. On top of that, many riders report improved throttle response, making these great for long-distance rides and high-speed cruising.

Dyno chart above for Sawicki M8 Bagger Full-Length:

+8 HP and +12 TQ over OEM

Shop M8 Bagger Full-Length

Sound Differences in 2-into-1 Exhausts

Your choice in pipe length will affect the sound as well. All three options are going to be a great improvement over the stock system, opening up the exhaust flow and providing a fuller and more aggressive sound. And for those of you who don’t like it so loud, we can pack your baffle to give you that same great tone at a reduced volume.

Shorty Exhausts

Are known for their aggressive, throaty roar. They tend to be loud and intense, which can be great for turning heads but might not be as enjoyable on longer rides.

Mid-Length Exhausts

Produce a bit more of a balanced sound, with some deeper tones coming through without being overly aggressive.

Full-Length Exhausts

Produce a deeper, more resonant sound that is a little less in-your-face than the Shorty systems, but still powerful enough to be heard. That primo tone found in the other systems is nicely balanced, and the fact that the muffler lets out behind you (and your passenger) makes these a little more pleasant on long rides.

Closing Thoughts

Upgrading to an aftermarket 2-into-1 exhaust system is an important decision, so let’s review a few things to consider when making your choice:


  • Shorty systems offer a minimalistic, rugged look
  • Mid-Length systems provide a more balanced and polished appearance
  • Full-Length systems enhance the bike’s classic, traditional aesthetic


  • Shorty systems offer high end power gains, great for aggressive riding styles
  • Mid-Length systems provide a mix of low-end torque and top-end power, great for all riding styles
  • Full-Length systems deliver greatest torque gains, great for long-distance cruising


  • If you want a loud and aggressive roar, go for the Shorty!
  • If you like a balanced and robust sound, go for the Mid-Length!
  • If you prefer a deeper, more resonant tone, go for the Full-Length!

Ultimately, your choice should reflect your riding style and what you hope to get out of your exhaust upgrade in terms of power, sound and aesthetics. Ready to upgrade your ride? Explore our range of 2-into-1 exhaust systems and find the perfect match for your bike today!