Monday, March 31, 2008

Exhaust Time

From the first day I dragged this bike home I dreamed of having an aftermarket exhaust. I just love the way a '70s bike looks with a 4:1 header and megga. While I had hopes of finding a vintage Bassani or Yoshimura pipe, I wasn't able to find a good one for a reasonable price. The occasional Kerker came up, but usually the cheaper one - not the performance-oriented "K-line" header.

Jardine recently stopped making their exhaust, leaving Mac and Vance & Hines the only existing manufacturers of exhausts for the old Suzuki. Mac leaves a lot to be desired in finish and overall quality, so V&H it was for me. Free shipping and a serious discount didn't hurt.

The pipe went on easy and fit well - I used more fancy stainless hardware with plenty of anti-seize. It took about 50 pounds of real weight off the bike, but about 1000 pounds of visual weight. Of course since I didn't buy new exhaust gaskets it leaked a little around one of the flanges - nothing another $10 won't solve.

With new gaskets, it ran great and sounded really good. The stock exhaust was pathetically silent. I screwed the fuel screws out 1/2 a turn (to 1 1/2 out) and the air screws out 1/2 turn to get the idle back into range. It was a little lean at first so I went with V&H's recommendations, replaced the jets with 117.5s and pulled the lid off the airbox. It seems OK, maybe a little lean still but it's hard to tell. I don't plan to spend much time getting the jetting tuned in since it's easier to just get pod filters and a Dynojet kit. Or get some VM29 smoothbores.

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