Baffling options: Best motorcycle exhaust end-cans

Best Motorcycle Exhaust Cans
Best Motorcycle Exhaust Cans

There used to be a time when adding a replacement exhaust silencer would gain you additional power and performance but also a healthy dose of resentment from the outside world for the extra noise that it would bring. An exhaust can does something a bit different though.

With the increasingly stringent regulations for emissions – combustion by-products as well as noise – the days of gaining a handful of horsepower by changing a silencer are long gone. But that doesn’t mean the world of aftermarket exhausts is no more. In fact, far from it. It just means that there is now a different reason to be looking to replace your exhaust can. Instead of power and noise, you get improved looks and a change to the TYPE of sound from the exhaust.

It won’t be any louder but it may be deeper or emphasise certain characteristics of the engine’s inherent sound, such as a growl. Alternatively, if you have dropped your bike and damaged the OE silencer, then an aftermarket replacement can often save a lot of money over another OE example.

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To see just how prevalent the aftermarket exhaust world is, just look at any of the major manufacturer’s options list; almost all will include an official, manufacturer-approved silencer option. Many will be a ‘slip-on’ design, meaning they are designed to be a direct replacement for the original and slide over the remaining pipe once the original silencer has been removed. They take moments to fit and should offer improvements in looks and sound straight away.

If you are looking to use it on a road bike, then you need to make sure it is E-marked and doesn’t carry a ‘Not for road use’ sticker or tag on it. If it’s not E-marked, it’s not for use on the road and if it’s noisy, you’ll be attracting unwanted attention to yourself.

This exhaust can is designed to be used on any bike and comes with a tapered slip-on collar that will help mount it to pipes from 38mm in diameter to 51mm. It has a removable baffle to tailor the sound and the volume and comes in a carbon-fibre-effect finish with the necessary mounting clamps as well as replacement springs to hold to the bikes original pipework. It gets decent reviews online at Amazon and would appear to be a bargain.

Akrapovic are perhaps one of the best-known aftermarket motorcycle exhaust manufacturers (though they also make systems for cars) and produce everything from the cylinder head backwards. This slip-on exhaust can is formed in carbon fibre (there is also a titanium version available) and is a more rounded version than the original hexagonal Kawasaki variant. The company quotes minimal power gains but it does weigh some 2.3kg less than the OE silencer.

These road cans from Japanese manufacturer Yoshimura (but manufactured in the USA) are available in stainless steel or carbon fibre (at an extra £238) and are direct replacements for the original end-cans on a Kawasaki Z1000SX used as the example here (there are twin silencers on this model). The R77 series features a rounded carbon tip on both examples and a straight-through pipe within the silencer. The manufacturer quotes power and torque gains and the road range requires rebuilding, with the packing material replacing, every 7-10,000 miles.

Based in Italy, Arrow hand makes all of its exhausts and tends to offer products for the older range of bikes. Its offering for the 2010-11 Z1000, which uses twin silencers, is vast, ranging from twin aluminium end-cans, as shown and priced here, designed to retain the original baffles and catalytic converters, to a full titanium system that removes the cats. Following a similar form to the OE silencers, the Arrow example is finished in brushed aluminium and features stainless-steel rounded end-cap.

British manufacturers Scorpion have a range of styles and finishes available across their huge offering and their exhaust cans for the 2014-16 Kawasaki Z1000SX come with extension pipes to join to the original collector. This example is finished in brushed stainless steel, a personal favourite, though you can also specify carbon fibre or titanium if you prefer while there are also two others styles of can. This one follows the original lines but with a more rounded finish and look great on the bike, with an improved exhaust note.

These Black Suono (Italian for sound) end-cans from MiVV are formed in black anodised stainless steel that has been brushed to give a matt finish. The end caps are formed in carbon fibre and the mounting strap is also in carbon. The cans for the twin-silencer Kawasaki Z1000SX are fully EU road-homologated and follow the OE design but with a stealthy, rounded appearance and enhance the exhaust note in line with the company's ethos.

Fully road-legal and stamped with the necessary EU labels, this tri-oval end-can for the Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX uses a carbon-fibre skin folded into a rounded triangular profile and is finished with a stainless-steel end cap and protruding tailpipe for a slightly more racey look. Made in the UK, it comes with a hanging bracket, exhaust clamp and, according to the manufacturer, a removable baffle inside the silencer.

A definite variation on a theme, if you're looking for something a bit different, then this is for you. The twin triangular designed end-cans form a single unit and feature slash-cut ends that converge in the centre. They are homologated for road use and are formed in stainless steel with a carbon-fibre heat guard. Would give any Kawasaki Z1000 a futuristic look for those who like to be unique.

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