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BIKERNET TECH—Welcome to BDI Exhaust

Installing the BDI 5150 Raw Dyna Exhaust

By Wrench, Jeremiah Soto, with photos by the Cub

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Life is fascinating, daunting, bullshit, heart-breaking, exhilarating and once in awhile inspiring. It’s also a blast, sexy, and fast.

Just in the last couple of weeks, I encountered a struggling biker business on the brink of financial heartache. They survived the 2008 economic downturn, and became one of the few custom bike companies to make the cut, but when they ran into problems recently, some in our industry wanted to immediately call them toast. In a couple of weeks the boss made a deal, fixed the company, and they are styling again. That was Brass Balls Bobbers.

Another company I’ve dealt recently and most of my biker life struggled in 2009 but survived all the ups and downs of 40 years to stand tall always, and keep the chopper faith, Paughco. There are not a lot of companies who can make that claim. I was recently at their shop and it’s growing more than ever. “It I had to start this business now,” said Ron Paugh, “the regulations are too tough. I couldn’t do it.”

Another company has recovered under a new crew. Dennis Manning owned Bub Exhaust for 37 years. An innovator, a promoter, a world champion and now an author, Dennis broke the World Land Speed Record in 2006 at over 350 miles an hour.

Side note: I was standing on the Salt 16 years earlier and involved with the Easyriders team when they set the record at 321 mph and held it until 2006. We brought the record back to the good ol’ USA. Dennis kept it home for a couple of years with an engine he developed. He also developed the Bonneville Motorcycle Land Speed Trials and it is still running annually to support motorcycle-only land speed record attempts through his daughter-in-law, Delvene Manning.

Unfortunately, the Bub Company struggled and finally sold to a bank, but Ramsay Mitchell, a former employee, bought the assets and Bub is still alive as Bub Design, Inc. Under his leadership, the Bub name is lives on.

Years ago, a club boss came to Dennis and asked him to design a bare, low cost, pipe that performed and gave hard FXR riders plenty of ground clearance. “He wasn’t interested in the sound, just the performance and turning ability,” said Dennis. “We were able to develop a pipe that did the trick.” It turned out to be the winning formula and Ramsay immediately brought it back.

“It works perfectly on FXRs, Dynas, and Softails, Twin cam or Evo,” said Ramsay. “We don’t need to change a thing, except the mounting brackets.”

One of our Bikernet San Pedro riders got ahold of one of the new BDI 5150 Raw systems for a Dyna, and we went to work installing it at Peak Performance Customs in Harbor City, California.

Installing the clips and flange. I believe JIMS has a tool for this operation. Pay attention to the flange. It goes on one way.
Installing the clips and flange. I believe JIMS has a tool for this operation. Pay attention to the flange. It goes on one way.

“It was a breeze to install,” Jeremiah reported. He gave it super high marks for the price at $450, the ease to install and performance. “I also like the clearance around the dipstick.”

Rick’s assistant, Mable.

The customer needs to supply the flanges, C-clips, and gaskets. “It’s always a good notion to use new gaskets,” Jeremiah said. It’s a good idea to have some thread locker (or Loctite) and anti-seize handy. “We used anti-seize on the new head nuts to prevent them from damaging the exhaust port studs.”

If your gaskets are new or fresh, you can leave them in place and rock and roll, or pull them out and replace them. JIMS makes a terrific tool for installing new mesh gaskets. They can go to shit easy if you’re not careful.

These pipes can be rattle-canned with flat black heat paint, our favorite because it can be easily touched up. The pipes can be painted and wrapped with heat wrap. No heat shields are supplied. You can ceramic coat them or chrome ‘em. It’s up to you.

First, Rick, from Peak Performance installed the BDI muffler bracket to the transmission using the supplied bolts and spacers. Note the position of the spacers. The BDI team also supplies all the caps for installing any year ’02 sensors or plugging the holes for carb models.

Rick used his secret thread Locker for the bracket bolts. He wouldn’t let us have any, and Jeremiah lost it. He forgot to install the lock washers. Don’t follow his lead.

Rick used a handy offset socket for installing the head nuts with silver or copper anti-seize to protect the treads. The BDI header system slipped on super easy and all the flanges lined up perfectly. It ran tight to the engine with perfect lines, and the pipes ran well away from the controls, so no issues there.

The muffler slipped right into place and Rick dropped the fastener into the bracket and spun it into place, and then he started to tighten the muffler clamp, but not all the way.

The code for installing rubber-mounted exhaust systems is to install all the elements loose, except for the muffler bracket. Then start at the front exhaust port and snug the fasteners while working toward the back. You might want to perform this exercise a couple of times, or ride it 20 miles, let it cool and check all the fasteners again.

One of the benefits of a tight system like this includes its ability to move with a rubber-mounted drive train. The tighter the system, the longer it will last, keep the fasteners in place and not crack. This puppy follows all the rules.

Note: The stock pipe bracket is still in place, or it can be removed.

The last shot showed the clearance between the frame and the system for ground clearance and turning. So, what the hell more could you ask for? Shoot it with any barbecue heat paint color you want. Come up with a couple of very cool heat shield notions, and ride like the wind.


Peak Performance Customs
25017 Doble Ave
Harbor City, CA 90710
(310) 325-5400

110 Springhill Drive, Suite 14
Grass Valley, California 95945

JIMS Machine

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