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TOAD TALKS: Are aftermarket exhausts a thing of the past?

Visordown looks at the current trend for OEM exhausts and wonders why you’d need anything more

FLASHBACK ten years or so and pretty much every bike over 125cc would have had a raucous sounding end can fitted to it. I bike without a Micron, Beowolf, Akrapovič or Arrow exhaust end-can just didn’t sound like a bike.

And I’m not trying to say that this isn’t the case today, you see plenty of bikes hitting the streets with aftermarket cans fitted, but is that all about to change?

What got me thinking about this subject was the Triumph Street Triple RS we rode at Cartagena in October last year. The 765 engine fitted to the 2020 has been fettled and fiddled with by Triumph’s Moto2 engine development team, making it the most powerful Street Triple to date. But it wasn’t the extra peak power I noticed; it was the sound of the thing as it wailed down the main straight at 150mph.

Triumph might not like me for saying this but, I really cannot see how any aftermarket can could make that thing sound any better. Its soft wail below 5k becomes a rasping shriek as the bike nears the red line. Even with my foamy plugs pushed tight in my lugholes, the sound was intense like I was wearing some fancy noise-canceling headphones!

Another bike worthy of a mention for sounding so good on a stock exhaust is the new for 2020 CBR1000RR-R SP. Fair enough, Honda had some help in building the exhaust for this one, holding hands with Akrapovič from the beginning of the project, but still; it’s a full homologated, road-legal system and it sounds that damn good! It might actually be too good, with the folk at Akrapovič thinking that the system might be too loud for some UK and Euro trackdays.

It’s not just those two bikes either, on the launch of the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX the other week, one of Kawasaki’s lead riders was using a kitted out bike complete with an Akrapovič carbon end can and link pipe. Whether on tickover or riding hard you were hard pushed to tell the difference between the machines.

Obviously, there will still be some cases that just require a trip to the dealership for slightly less unsightly exhaust – Suzuki GSX-R1000 take note – and I’m not denying that some aftermarket cans can save weight. Whether or not the average rider will notice the difference though is another matter.

The point I’m making is that if this is the start of some noisy revolution in the premium motorcycle market, I’m really all for it. The fact that we can have all this audible pleasure without breaking warranty, increasing our insurance cost or getting into trouble with the Mr Plod is all good by me.

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