Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bigger and Better in Texas!

Since I bought my bike 7 years ago, I have wanted a D&D Fat Cat. It's a 2 into 1 pipe that has a lot of attitude and performs great to boot. And, they are manufactured about 20 miles from my house. They are a bit pricey and I fell into the drag pipe trap that so many newbies tend to gravitate towards. Well, after several years I finally convinced my lovely wife that half the fun of owning a Harley is changing stuff. I also found a killer deal on a 1 month old Fat Cat from a fellow member of The system, which retails for $600-$700 depending on the vendor, was for sale for $350 and had been used very lightly. It had the "big bore" baffle in it which would not work with my 88 cubic inch engine, but the baffle could be replaced fairly cheaply. The previous owner bought the pipe and actually needed the Fat Cat's big brother, the Boarzilla, for his big cubic inch engine. So his loss was my gain so to speak. I picked it up for a great price and was thrilled to finally get the pipe I had been wanting for a long time. Of course, when things seem to good to be true, they usually are. The pipe arrived and I went to change the baffle and discovered that the fiberglass wrapped "big bore quiet" baffle was wrapped in fiberglass which had welded itself to the inside of the muffler. I spent days trying everything from knocking against the baffle with crowbars, 2x4s, pretty much anything I could fit in the muffler, to no avail. I sprayed a full can PB Blaster down it and even got to the point of damaging the baffle itself. It never budged. I called D&D and they told me this happens sometimes and they reccomend buying a replacement muffler to the tune of about $300 with the new baffle. Well, now all the sudden my good deal is not so good because I am basically buying a new muffler and used head pipes for more than what I could get a brand new system for from a local supplier. At that point I wasn't sure what to do. I had posted questions on my online resource for all things Harley,, and a fellow member responded that he had an old muffler off his D&D in his garage that had the standard baffle. He made me a good deal on it and because it included the baffle I needed, I ended up only paying about $40 more than I would have had the other muffler worked out. Now comes the silver lining...D&D changed the angle of their mufflers sometime in the last few years. They also make a standard version for softails and a longer Heritage version designed for the Heritage Softail. I have always liked the older style cut and the longer 20" muffler on the Heritage pipe. The new set of pipes I bought had the newer version which I wasn't as wild about. However, the replacement muffler was off an older Heritage and it was exactly the muffler I wanted in the first place. So basically, I bought a system that was made 20 miles from my house from a guy that lived in another State and put it together with a muffler from a guy on the East Coast to finally arrive at my current D&D Fat Cat. The system works great and looks even better and I'll probably never run another exhaust on my ride. I guess it just proves that good things come to those who wait...or it could mean sometimes being too cheap to by new costs a lot more in time and aggravation.


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