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Aftermarket exhausts

Switching to an aftermarket exhaust is an obvious choice if you want to change the look, sound or performance of your bike. But you do have to consider a few things before you splash the cash.

First of all, check with your insurance company what changes are permissible without your premium changing or cover being cancelled.

Insurance companies operate on a principle of “good faith” and you should inform them of any changes, the trick to get around the race-can syndrome is to use the phrase “aftermarket” when you’re talking to your insurers.

That way you have informed them of the changes, but they aren’t faced with having to effectively endorse the use of an illegal component, so there should be no problems.

If they do ask more questions you’re at the mercy of each companies’ policies, and most won’t cover race cans, or put tight limits on power increases etc that they will accept.

If your bike is less than two years old, you need to be aware that fitting a non-standard exhaust will invalidate your warranty if the manufacturer finds out and it transpires that the exhaust was to blame in some way. As it is to get any increase in power you'll need to fiddle with the fuelling which could also invalidate any warranty.

You can fit certain race cans without changing the fuelling, but you will always run the risk that the bike will be too lean at the top end during prolonged high-speed running and that will damage the engine.

Check with suppliers or dyno-houses in your area once again, for real-life experiences with the set-up you're going for.

These days a lot of systems have exhaust valves, they can often be removed without affecting the bike’s performance as they are primarily for emissions and noise regulations.

However, their removal could mean that you are faced with an irritating FI warning light, unless you isolate that circuit. Again, ask the sellers what’s involved with fitting. 

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