Exhausting Project

Over the last month I have received two emails from readers asking about exhaust system upgrades and what is the law concerning aftermarket exhaust cans.

Darren from Reading sent the following email.

“Hi Guys, the Saferrider site is very handy for useful ideas detailing mechanical enlightenment from you and riding tips with a light-hearted outlook on life through the eyes of Del. Keep up the good work!

My question is. I own a 2010 Kawasaki ZX6R. I am more than pleased with the bike in general, it handles better and is quicker than my skills can really cope with however, I want to upgrade the exhaust system from “Stock” to something a bit more aesthetically pleasing to the eye with a better, deep throated type growl to the exhaust note. I have done a lot of research on exhausts for my model on the internet using Youtube etc for example regarding noise samples and have set my heart on an Akrapovic system. The bike has just been “run in” and received its first service but is still under warranty. What are the benefits to upgrading the exhaust and what else will I have to consider?”

Well Darren I have to complement you on your choice of exhaust, clearly money is no object and in my opinion, Akrapovic has to be one of the best on the market.

Several things worth considering are. Correct me if I’m wrong but your 6R has the “MOTO GP” style single end can fitted as standard. Although these systems are quite quiet and have to abide by EU specifications regarding noise and pollution etc, they do look the “business” on a modern day machine. Akrapovic’s, even the carbon/titanium constructed types do look slightly dated in comparison, but it’s a personal choice for you, it’s your bike at the end of the day.

It’s always beneficial speaking to the Kawasaki dealer where you purchased your pride and joy from to make sure you are not going to invalidate the warranty on your bike. You should be fine with Akrapovic, but it’s worth the phone call for piece of mind.

The next stage, after choosing the model of exhaust is to contact your insurance company to tell them that you have modified your bike; they don’t normally charge anything apart from a one off administration fee. You don’t want the bike “165’d” (seized) by yours truly for having no insurance. Unless of course you are just going to be using your 6R as a track day bike only.

Regarding engine and fuelling set ups? You won’t have to worry on your bike Darren, just fit the exhaust can and link pipe then enjoy your new purchase. The fuelling on the bike will be fine, with no flat spots. Bikes manufactured after 2005 will not require a “power commander” or any other ECU adjusting device. The engine control unit’s (ECU) on all popular manufacture models have wide range bands to accept “after market” exhaust systems. Because your bike doesn’t need a Power Commander etc, you will save yourself an estimated £500 price tag for the device and a session on a rolling road.

I hope this has helped you Darren.

Barry asked the following question.

“What is the law regarding aftermarket exhaust cans on motorcycles? I have a Scorpion Carbon can which I fitted to my 2002 Honda Fireblade in the summer, I bought it second hand off of eBay. The exhaust sounds really good but maybe a little bit noisy. I have been told, if the exhaust is stamped with “Not for road use” anywhere on the can then it won’t pass an MOT, is this right? My MOT is due in March and I don’t want the hassle and expense of taking the bike for the test only for it to fail on the exhaust”.

Well Barry, I can’t really comment without hearing your machine and seeing the exhaust.

Having no warning stamps at all on the can is a start however. I have known one or two people to polish off the declaration from the surface of the exhaust and trust me; you wouldn’t know it had been there in the first place. The other thing to consider is, has the baffle been removed? If so and it previously had the removable baffle system, it won’t pass an MOT without one.

A baffle is a cylindrical insert that fits into the opening of the exhaust can and is secured with a rivet or a bolt. To identify a baffle further, I have included three images on this post. The photos show the cans fitted to my Blackbird, one baffle is in place, the other images shows the baffle being removed. If it appears the baffle is in place on your bike, then you should be fine.

I have a set of Fuel exhausts on the Blackbird and even with the baffles in place, it sounds loud!

There’s nothing like the feeling of starting up my bike early on a Sunday morning, on my driveway knowing my wife is trying to sleep upstairs and cursing me. I then spend the rest of the day enjoying the roar of my bike whilst being mindful that the wife is at home in a very bad mood instigated by me and my exhausts. Enjoy love!

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