Our Sister Sites:

Bikernet Bikernet Trikes Bikernet Blog
Ride Forever - Bikernet.com
Tuesday Edition

5-Ball Bagger Hits The Pipes--Samson Caliber True Duals

Doubling down with Samson Pipes

Text and Photo's by Richard Kranzler


When Bikernet Baggers purchased our used '97 FLT from Lifestyle Cycles it was already equipped with Screaming Eagle heads, Andrews EV27 cam and a S&S Super E carb, but it was still running the original exhaust system. We knew, before we even took delivery that this bike was constipated. With the added intake capabilities this engine had, it was probably leaving quite a few horsepower on the table with the original head pipes and mufflers.
This is a problem we knew how to fix and with  a call to our friends at Samson for some advice, and some back and forth debate within the ranks of the Bikernet crew we ordered up a  Caliber Stepped True Dual Crossover system with 4-inch mufflers.  
Part # FL-700
The Samson Caliber Exhaust systems are designed and tuned to produce maximum horsepower, torque, and provide a deep sound that will let everyone know you have arrived, and with the full length Quad Chrome Plating, these pipes look as good as they sound.
Within days UPS was kind enough to drop off what has to be the largest box I have ever seen exhaust pipes shipped in. This thing had to be 5 feet long and 18 inches wide. I wondered at that point, what we had gotten ourselves into, so I made a call to LifeStyle Cycles and asked if we could use their shop for the install. Lucky for me they had an opening and I was able to rush on down to oversee, or I guess some would call intrude on the installation of the new pipes on our old FLT. Luckily I grabbed my camera and a notepad, so I could let you guys follow along as Mike Weber at LifeStyle Cycles did the hard work.
First requirement, find the stock exhaust by strapping her down to a Handy lift and stripping off the saddlebags. We could actually see what we where dealing with.
Once we could actually see the mufflers Mike proceeded to remove them by removing the bolts holding the mufflers to the mounting bracket and then loosening up the clamps at the head pipes. After some twisting, pulling, and a few choice words, remember this was the original exhaust system on a 17-year-old-bike. The mufflers finally decided to part ways and found their way to the scrap pile.
Next we had to remove all the heatshields and loosen and remove all the clamps. Don't forget the clamp under the transmission cover or behind the rear cylinder. We also removed the right side floorboard to ease the removal process.
 Installing the flanges on the new pipes
The last item was to remove the four nuts holding the head pipes to the cylinders and remove the pipes. I make this sound easy but from the cussing that was going on, I gather separating the crossover pipe is a real pain in the ass. Now before you throw the old pipes into the scrap pile remember to remove the snap rings and flanges and install them on the new pipes.
Mike had to remove the Transmission cover to install the supplied bracket.
Mike had to remove the Transmission cover to install the supplied bracket.

Before we started putting it all back together you will need to replace the stock exhaust bracket under the transmission. On '93 and earlier models you only have to remove the transmission cover but on a newer FLTs like our '97, both the trans cover and the oil filler cover must be removed, before you can replace the bracket with the one supplied by Samson.
The rear head pipe opens up the right side of the bike
The rear head pipe opens up the right side of the bike

After Mike 86'd the factory pipes, we grabbed the rear Samson head pipe and loosely attached it to the exhaust port, after installing the new exhaust gaskets included with the kit. With the rear exhaust pipe loosely installed, he installed the muffler using the barrel clamp included-- Do not tighten the mounting bolts at this time.
Installing the rear pipe heatshields.
Installing the rear pipe heatshields.

Once we had the rear pipe and muffler loosely installed, We installed the rear  heat shields loosely and then  moved onto the front pipe by first, loosely installing the  heat shields using the supplied hose clamps. Once we had that done, we installed the front pipe and muffler in the same order as the rear. Don't forget to attach the front head pipe to the transmission bracket.
Installing the front pipe heatshields
Installing the front pipe heatshields

At this point we had both exhaust pipes and mufflers installed, and it was just a matter of carefully tightening down the pipes. Starting at the exhaust flanges we first ensured a proper seal, and then it was just a matter of working our way back tightening the mounting bolts and clamps a little at a time making sure of a proper fit. Once all the mounting bolts were tightened, we proceeded to tighten the heat shields and reinstall the front floorboard and the saddlebags.
With everything back together, we wiped down the exhaust system, to remove any grease or other substances that might have found their way onto the pipes. Then we yanked the Standard off the lift and went for a ride. 
I have had these pipes on the 5-Ball bagger for about 2000 miles now and the looks and sound is everything that Samson advertises. Plus the seat of the pants performance gain is noticeable. 
Caliber Stepped True Dual Crossover w/ 3-inch Mufflers
Part #: FL-700
Fits Late 1985 to 2006 Dresser or Road King
Features and Benefits
* Produces up to 20% more horsepower and torque
* Mounting hardware included
* Improves gas mileage
* Installer Friendly
* Includes removable Varitech baffles
* Awesome Deep Tone
* Exclusive Show Quality Quad Chrome Finish
* Limited 2 year warranty
* Full Coverage Head Pipe Heat Shields
* 3-inch Muffler
* 4 Step High Performance Exhaust System
Price: $1,049.95

Samson Makes True Duals for most models of Harley Davidson Motorcycles including Softails.
To check out all the different pipes that Samson makes. goto www.samsonusa.com


Back to Techs

Your thoughts on this article

Your Name
Anti-Spam Question:
Please enter the words you see in the box, in order and separated by a space. Doing so helps prevent automated programs from abusing this service.