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How Do I Choose the Best ATV Muffler?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated May 23, 2024
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In order to choose the best equipment, such as a muffler, for your all-terrain vehicle (ATV), you must identify the ultimate goal for your ATV. Mufflers available for ATVs are designed to produce several different results, from increased power and throttle response to increased torque and pulling power. There are many attributes to every type of ATV muffler, and they may or may not cater to your personal requirements or needs.

The ATV muffler is designed to provide particular results, and each result is designed to improve a specific aspect in the performance level of the ATV. Typically, these improvements in one area cause decreases in another area of the machine's performance. This is why extensive research in a particular muffler is required before you simply buy it and bolt it on. The first area to investigate is the type of engine your ATV is equipped with. Two- and four-stroke engines use very different types of exhaust to achieve the same results. Placing the wrong exhaust on your ATV can potentially ruin your performance and damage your engine.

If your goal is to improve racing performance and throttle response, you can usually go with an ATV muffler that will help both with only the loss of a slight bit of torque at low engine speeds. This is common among racing exhausts, and the quest for top-end speed is usually found at the risk of losing some off-the-line acceleration. Noise is also a byproduct of a muffler. The ability to move the exhaust through the muffler faster requires less back pressure and noise suppression. If the purpose of installing a new muffler on your ATV is to improve all-around performance, this may not be the wisest choice for your machine.

Riders who use an ATV for hunting most likely will not want to install a noisy muffler on an ATV. For off-road use such as trail riding and rock crawling, you might want an ATV muffler that will increase your ATV's off idle and low speed power. This type of muffler will typically remain quiet, and while the top speed of your machine will not improve, your ability to climb steep inclines and tread through wet and swampy terrain will be greatly improved. This type of muffler is also a good choice for a four-wheel drive ATV, as the muffler will add to the pushing and pulling power of the machine.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Logicfest — On Dec 15, 2014

@Soulfox -- Granted, you can get good performance with a quiet muffler, but there are some performance advantages to the ones that are loud (the article really did cover that OK). I will agree, however, that those loud mufflers should be reserved for the racetrack.

Anyone that takes one of those loud things out in the woods during hunting season is taking his life in his own hands. If you want to rile a hunter, get good and loud around him.

By Soulfox — On Dec 14, 2014

Whatever you do, please get an ATV muffler that is silent. Few things are more annoying than having some quiet time hiking through the woods shattered by people riding the ATVs with the loudest mufflers known to man installed on them.

Seriously, you can get great performance out of an ATV with a muffler that doesn't promote hearing damage.

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