Leo Vince claim good power gains but it's the 12.5kg weight saving I'm after most
It's not like my 10R lacks power; 173bhp on the dyno, to be precise. It was the claimed weight savings that made me think it would be worth spending a morning skinning my knuckles and swearing at inanimate objects. Leo Vince reckon the GP Pro exhaust is 78% lighter than the stock item. I can't work out the actual weight saving, but it's probably about the size of Wales, or seventeen London buses.
It's not just the end can that's adding a muffin-top to the ZX-10R's otherwise svelte lines, the catalytic converter is guilty too. Blame the European Union for that one.
So I went for the GP Pro exhaust and de-Cat option. Leo Vince claim a weight saving of 12.5kgs over stock and a torque gain of up to 15% in the mid range and an additonal 15bhp at 7,000rpm.
It all sounds good. Skinned knuckles here we come..
Heat shield and standard end can come off quite easily. It's at this stage - and always at this stage - where you get a false boost in confidence and think you could wrap the whole job up in 20 minutes.
I took a few bolts out of the fairing to get at where the Cat's mounted to the chassis. It's going well, confidence is quite high. Might even get a brew on the go.
The exhaust valve worries me. There's no place for it in the new system, so I pop a bolt off the top of it where it's connected to the Cat and watch the assembly explode across the garage floor. Good job I won't be needing it again. Although, it may mean there's less of a banzai rush at 8,000rpm when the valve fully opens.
With the Cat off it's customary to fire the bike up and see how loud it is.. As well as deafening yourself, this is also a very good way of finding out where your cat has decided to take a nap. Small black cat leaps out of box in the background the moment the engine fires into life.
Link pipe goes on no problems, but when bolted onto the chassis it sits very close to the swingarm which is quite concerning. So far, 40 minutes in, it's looking good.
Perhaps I should have put a picture up before this one showing me struggling with the end can, trying to line it up with the link pipe and keep it away from the swingarm.
Things that aren't pictured here: me consulting the Italian-made nonsense masquerading as an instruction manual. Me Googling for fitting instructions to see if others have their exhaust so close to the swingarm. Me trying to ring the Leo Vince UK importer for a couple of tips and finally, me taking the link-pipe back off for a bit of jiggery-pokery with the whole thing.
I ended up loosening off the link pipe where it was connected to the chassis and loosening off where the end can was connected to the link pipe. I then attached the carbon-fibre exhaust hanger to the exhaust and with a mixture of brute force and gentle persuasion got the end can connected to the pillion peg hanger. From here it was a case of holding the link pipe away from the swing arm while tightening the jubilee clips bit by bit. I also added a couple of extra washers to where the link-pipe connects to the chassis, in order to push the whole system a few millimeters further away from the swinging arm.
Another 40 minutes gone, unsurprisngly, I've gone over the hour target I set myself.
Ta-dah! That's the job jobbed, as they say. Carbon-fibre heatshield was the only thing I needed to add. I also added the supplied baffle too as I actually like my bikes as quiet as possible. Especially inline-fours. When I run it on the dyno, I'll see what it gets with baffle in and baffle out.
It's worth noting that Leo Vince couldn't have made the location of the bolt to hold the baffle in any more baffling. I hacksawed off a good half of it, to get it in without scratching the can. If you buy a GP Pro, you'll find out..
It took me two hours to fit, which was one hour longer than I thought it would take but then again, I have no skinned knuckles, which is at least eight less than I thought I'd have.
You can get the 2011 ZX-10R Leo Vince GP Pro exhaust for: £425. The de-Cat link pipe costs a further £190.
Dyno report will follow shortly.
Contact MotoGB on 01706 212102 for your local stockist or visit their website at www.moto.gb.com
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