Will Changing My Motorcycle Exhaust Void My Warranty? – What You Need to Know


The perfect motorcycle is hard to find, and often the only way to it is to make modifications to a standard bike. One of the best ways to improve a motorcycle is to upgrade the exhaust system, but will changing the exhaust void the motorcycle’s warranty?

Changing the exhaust on a motorcycle will void the warranty if the modification damages the bike, if the part is changed by an uncertified mechanic, or if the new exhaust causes damage later down the road. Otherwise, the upgrade should not affect the warranty.

Upgrading or changing the exhaust on a motorcycle is a standard modification for many bikers. An improved exhaust can benefit the motorcycle in many ways. However, some bike owners have run into problems with their warranty when making modifications to the bike. Will changing the exhaust void the warranty? Let’s take a closer look.

Will Changing A Motorcycles’ Exhaust Void The Warranty?

Changing the exhaust on a motorcycle is a routine upgrade. There are many reasons to change a motorcycles’ stock exhaust.

However, when a motorcycle has been purchased new, it often comes with a warranty from the motorcycle dealership. Warranties usually have stringent rules, and if the warranty agreement is violated even slightly, the warranty is made void.

A void warranty will not provide for any repairs or replacement parts for the motorcycle in any circumstance.

This poses a problem for any biker who wants to change the exhaust on their new motorcycle while retaining the integrity of the warranty.

Generally speaking, the warranty on a motorcycle is valid for all parts of that particular motorcycle. Any parts not specified in the warranty agreement are not covered by the warranty.

This would mean that an aftermarket exhaust system would not void the warranty of the entire motorcycle. Still, after the exhaust is changed, the exhaust system and any problems caused by the exhaust system are no longer covered by the warranty.

That being said, there is a legal president that states that the warranty would not be made void by installing aftermarket parts, so long as the new parts do not damage the motorcycle in any way.

For this reason, many warranties include terms that state that if any aftermarket parts are to be installed on the motorcycle, they must be installed by the dealership or a dealership-recognized mechanic.

Under this agreement, an aftermarket exhaust would be fully covered by the warranty.

A general rule here is that if you change the exhaust on your motorcycle, be sure to go through the dealership to do it. Have the upgrade done by the dealership, or contact the dealer to find out what the protocols are.

Suppose the exhaust is not installed by a dealer or by a dealer-recognized mechanic. In that case, you run the risk of the entire exhaust system not being covered by the warranty.

Some warranties state that if the aftermarket part causes any damage to the motorcycle, the warranty is then void.

The bottom line is that if you install an aftermarket exhaust, use the dealership; otherwise, if the aftermarket part causes any damage, the warranty may no longer be in effect.

How To Be Sure That The Exhaust Change Does Not Void The Warranty

Motorcycle Baffle in exhaust

To be sure that changing the exhaust on your motorcycle does not affect the bike’s warranty, contact the dealer and specify any upgrades, and find out what their protocols are.

Some warranty agreements do not allow for any modifications to me to the motorcycle whatsoever. Other agreements specify that aftermarket changes can be done, but exclusively by the dealership or motorcycle manufacturer.

Some warranty agreements do not state whether or not modifications can be done to the motorcycle. These warranties can be the most difficult to circumnavigate, and they can be the easiest to deal with. It all depends on what is stated by the warranty.

To be sure that your warranty is not made void by installing an aftermarket exhaust, contact the dealer, find out what their policies are, or simply read through the contract that you signed when purchasing the bike to determine the policy on the aftermarket parts is.

So long as installing the part does not cause any damage to the motorcycle. As long as the part does not cause any problems to develop, there should be no warranty issues.

Suppose the new part is installed and something does go wrong with the bike that is unrelated to the exhaust. In this case, there is no way that the warranty can be made void, as established by legal precedent.

What If Changing The Exhaust Does Void The Warranty?

A motorcycle warranty can be challenging to understand. There is so much bureaucracy and red tape built into warranties that it is often difficult to know what you can and can not do with your own motorcycle.

If you have already gone ahead with the exhaust change, and have since realized that the new part does void the warranty, don’t panic!

It is possible to reinstall the original part, which, if done correctly, should reinstate the warranty entirely. Although, this is not the case in every example.

The good news is that if the exhaust has made the warranty void, only the warranty pertaining to that part and its effects on the motorcycle has been made void. The rest of the motorcycle warranty is still in effect.

Suppose a fault occurs, or there is damage to the motorcycle directly caused by the aftermarket exhaust. In which case, the dealership is likely to defer from making any repairs. 

However, suppose the damage or fault that occurred was not caused by the exhaust. In that case, the dealership is still eligible to make the repairs as stated by the warranty.

Does Installing Aftermarket Parts Ever Void A Warranty?

Making any kind of modification to a motorcycle that is still under warranty is a slippery slope. Most warranties have specific terms and conditions relating to aftermarket modifications, so it is always best to thoroughly read the contract you signed when purchasing the bike before making any changes.

Installing an aftermarket part on your motorcycle that is not covered or specified by the warranty agreement using a mechanic that is not certified by the dealer is highly likely to void the warranty of that part of the motorcycle.

If you install a part that was not installed by the manufacturer, the dealership has no obligation to cover or maintain that part or system of the motorcycle.

The best way to ensure that any aftermarket upgrade done to the motorcycle does not invalidate the warranty is to take the bike to the dealership for the upgrades.

Most dealerships offer upgrade packages, and following this process to upgrade your bike will not void the warranty whatsoever.

Conclusion

The exhaust is one of the most critical components of a motorcycle. Without a good exhaust, the bike will never perform or sound as good as it possibly can.

For this reason, many bikers change the stock exhaust of their motorcycle to an upgraded aftermarket part that improves the motorcycle.

The good news is that changing the exhaust of your motorcycle will not usually void the warranty. However, if the part is not installed correctly, or it is not installed by an accredited and dealer-certified mechanic, the warranty may be made void, especially if the part causes a problem with the bike.

The best practice is to consult the dealership or the signed warranty agreement before making any modifications to the bike.

Always make any upgrades by using the dealership or their dedicated mechanics. This will ensure that your upgraded exhaust will not void the warranty!

References

Robert Blake

Hi, I'm Robert and I've been riding motorcycles for nearly 2 decades. The intention of this blog is to give reliable up to date information to other motorcyclists who are looking for answers about all different aspects of motorcycling. All the information is either from my personal experience or investigational work I have carried out myself. Happy Riding!

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