What exactly were cutouts? If you follow the path of the exhaust down the pipes to the muffler, you come to a junction. Here the rider had a choice. He could force the exhaust to take the quieter route through the muffler or open the cutout and let the exhaust bypass the muffler, going directly into the air. Most cutouts were cable operated. Opening the cutout not only made more noise, but let the engine breath easier, thereby producing greater power.

Click on the images below for a larger view

1917 Excelsior cutout
1912 Sears Dreadnaught cutout
1913 Excelsior cutout

Return To Blazing Thunder  ]