I may have had a bit of bad timing when I decided to take off my stock pipes and install after-market exhaust. This was because of a recent noise by-law that came into effect on the same weekend and would be enforced in the city I ride in frequently.
(If you are interested in the by-law you can read a short article about it here… http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/06/10/14334801.html)
It was really kind of a no-brainer, the price was right because I bought them used. They were in pretty good condition and would look good after a bit of cleaning up. They also were going to reduce the weight of my bike which is a concern for me being a smaller rider on a big bike. They should improve performance and, well, I think they look good and hoped they would sound as good. The man I bought them from described the sound to me as a Corvette on steroids. Not sure just how that translates but I thought they would sound pretty good.
One of the round clamps had some damage to the insulator that the clamp sits in so I contracted Two Brothers Racing to see if I could order the part. After visiting their website www.twobros.com I could not find my pipes. They have a Customer Service form you can use to ask questions so I gave it a try. I noted they say they are dedicated to having the BEST customer service so I would find out if that was true too. Within two minutes I had someone email me back asking for more details. I sent a picture of the pipes and they identified them as Valkyrie Six into Two Slash Cut Exhaust. Unfortunately they have not made them for a few years and had none left in stock and no parts. After explaining what I needed, Larry found out that they use the same clamp on another exhaust system and provided me with the name of the clamp I needed and their toll free number so I could order direct. After thanking him for his help he said he wasn't even in Customer Service and when I call they will be sure to be there to help me out. So, my first experience with this company is very favorable. I like the quality of the product and just as important to me is the Customer Care. They have a lot of other products in their catalog and I am sure I can find lots of things for my projects from them.
Ok, time to take off the stock set of pipes which I will store carefully in my shop in case the noise bylaw forces me to return the bike to original exhaust. I am hoping that even if I am over the acceptable level, if I drive conservatively and stay out of trouble they may ignore me. We will see.
Comparing the Stock and TBR Pipes Side by Side
My stock pipes weighed in at 44 lbs (22 lbs per side) and the TBR's were exactly half that. I knew they were lighter but I was happy to see just how much lighter. So my savings is 11 lbs per side for a total of 22 lbs.
The top pipes are the Two Brothers and the bottom is the stock pipes. I like the color of the headers on the Two Brothers Pipes. They are not like this out of the box but change after a few heat cycles. This is said to be a normal characteristic of high quality stainless steel.
The diameter of the after-market pipes is noticeably larger then stock.
Rear view, TBR obviously on the left. Another big difference.
This photo shows the crossover which is not present on the stock pipes.
The gaskets on the stock set were used in the install of the after-market pipes. The carbs were not re-jetted and the stock air filter remained. In the installation instructions the manufacturer recommends doing it this way. After firing it up for the first time and taking a test ride I was very pleased with the look and the sound. Louder then stock, but the stock pipes are VERY quiet so I didn't see this as a problem. I really like the low throaty sound the bike produces now. It also felt like it had a bit more power but the bike had not been on the dyno before or after so I have no documentation to back that up.
The finished look, still needs some polishing and cleaning but I am anxious to go for a ride.
You can read the detailed installation instructions from the manufacturer here http://www.twobros.com/Cust_Service/Install_Inst/Hon_Valkyrie_6-into2-Canister_Instructions.pdf