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Vance and Hines 2-1 Upsweep Exhaust Pipe System Review

How it started

I’m pretty sure Vance and Hines have a solid role to play in me actually buying a Harley. Honestly! I went to my local dealer to take a bike out for a test ride; I had no intention to buy, I just missed the Harley vibe I’d first discovered in Texas. And that was it, the sound the power, and I was hooked. The bike I took was a DYNA Street Bob with a Stage 1 upgrade. This means it had the Screaming Eagle intake, retune and of course the stunning V&H ShortShots. Oh wow, they made a sound that just reached deep into my soul and told me I needed this bike in my life. Let’s just say the rest is history and now I own Thug my Street Bob.

I ran these pipes for a few years before discovering the temptation of the 2-1 Upsweep   …I figured it would be rude not to give them a go!

So how do I rate them?

Performance

In a sentence – oh boy do these pipes pull!! Definitely a noticeable improvement.

There are loads of pipes out there, and there’s a long list of differing effects varying pipe styles can have on power. So before you pick pipes you should think about what sort of riding you do most – i.e. what RPM range do you ride at most consistently. For me, just to be a little awkward to this theory, I do a range of riding; town, winding country roads, highway, long trips, short trips, high speed, low speed, and overtaking. I really do a mix. This leaves me ultimately needing a pipe system that can perform under a wide range of pressures. Introducing the Vance and Hines 2-1 Upsweep, which has magically been created to cater for the mixed riding demands of people like me.

So where does the 2:1 fit in? With the Vance and Hines 2-1 Upsweep, they work by having a single system collector that does a very good scavenging job on gasses and reducing reversion or pulses. This means you’re getting improved pull between the cylinders during the intake and exhaust valve cycles resulting in a cleaner charge of air into the cylinder and better combustion. Better combustion means more pressure, which means more low-end power. Plus, you’re combining this with shorter pipes, which are known for their top end power; giving you a far broader power brand and greater performance output.

  • Better gas scavenging
  • Cleaner air change within the cylinder heads
  • Better combustion

But how do they sound?

These babies give a beautiful deep and throaty note in a way that is just so perfect. They’re loud but not obnoxious like some; the sound is just beautiful. When you open the throttle: the raw, the power, the grunt forward is truly incredible. Coming from my ShortShots, which I thought sounded incredible; these take the sounds to the next level. More refined, more enjoyable, just flawless refinement. Put these on your bike, and you’ll be falling in love with something you didn’t know you could love even more.

Hear it for yourself…the moment I first heard them:

For those who don’t like a head turning sound…V&H do offer an optional quiet baffle. But that’s enough on that.

Factor all these together and boy do you have a machine that pulls and turns heads!

Look & Styling

2:1 pipes have had some bad stick over the years; however, Vance and Hines have cracked it with the Upsweeps. They’re slick, sexy but also chunky. They demand attention and stand proudly on your ride. They come with a matt effect [like mine] or in chrome for those who like the shiny look [far too much polishing for me]. The detailing on the pipes includes an embossed V&H emblem. I miss the little bling logo the ShortShots have, but these pipes make up for it 10 times over in all other areas.

Top notch looks from my opinion!

Build Quality

Anything that comes from Vance and Hines, from my experience, comes with their superb build quality. A brand doesn’t get to their level of prestige without producing the quality kit. I gave my pipes a very thorough look-over before installing them, and I couldn’t find a fault on them. Pristine! Everything you would expect for putting on your ride.

Also, anything that includes the description ‘machine billeted’ gets me excited! That’s talking about the end cap.

The best way to clean ceramic painted  pipes is with hot soapy water and a gentle cloth! The perfect combination of a cleaning session on the rest of the bike.

The only thing I would say on maintenance, and this is on all ceramic painted matt black pipes, you’ve got to be careful not to rub your foot on them as you ride. On my last pipes, I made a little guard to prevent me rubbing the black off. So far the riding position with the new pipes means I don’t actually rest my heel on them [but it’s my bad hip side], so I might add one simply because I like the custom look of a plate [and it’s an excuse to get the angle grinder out. Its’ definitely not needed.

Ease of Installation

Okay. I’ll be honest; I didn’t actually fit these ones. But when a legend like Charlie Stockwell offers to install your pipes [read about the day here] you don’t turn it down.

I was there with him when he fitted them, and including all the messing around with me distracting him, it didn’t take more than 1 hour to remove the old pipes, give the engine areas now accessible a clean, and fit the new pipes.

It’s a very simple system, and I would say you don’t need to be a mechanic to fit them.

Please note that due to the change in pipes I did need a re-tune, this was done using the Vance and Hines FP3 Fuel Pak via my iPhone. For more on the FP3, please see my review.

Crowd Reaction

Head turners. Definitely. I’ve had a lot of attention, people hear the lush sound and just can’t help themselves. I’d also say that as they’re quite a new pipe to the market, there is an extra level of interest with people wanting to know more, understand what they are, the performance impact and for me to start her up again. Always willing to give her rev.

There’s something about the unique sound of these pipes that just seem to give people pleasure. From the buddy riding next to me, the couple on the pavement or the car next to me. They’re pleasures.

£££

Pricing for the 2-1 Upsweep from Vance and Hines is on the higher end of the pipe market; ultimately if you can stretch to the price, I honestly don’t think you’ll ever have any regrets

 

Highlights

  1. Head turners
  2. Improved pony power [aka more horse power]
  3. Look lush, sound lush

Tips From Experience

  • Get them on your bike
  • That’s it…

Overall Rating

Fantastic all-around high-performance pipe system with great looks, fantastic sounds and what most important, improved performance.