Harley-Davidson XR1200 Exhaust Pipe Comparison
Shootout At The XR Corral
By Don Lindfors, Photography by Courtesy of Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Don Lindfors, Jordan Mastagni
Remus Sportexhaust is an Austrian company that has been making performance exhaust systems for cars and motorcycles since 1990. For the XR they offer a 2-into-1 complete system they call the Power Cone that consists of stainless steel headpipes and your choice of an all stainless, black and stainless, or titanium finish muffler, we chose the black and stainless version. The Remus weighed 14 pounds and eliminates the stock rear muffler bracket for an additional 1pound savings. The Remus also came with a unique dB killer insert that is a small piece of pipe that slips in the rear of the muffler and is held in place with a large snap ring. It reduces the sound output to the strict Euro levels while still maintaining a pleasant tone that was an improvement over the stock mufflers. It takes only seconds to install or remove the insert so you can have your cake and eat it too. There was a slight decrease in power with the insert in versus removed, although hardly noticeable. The fit and finish are very good on this pipe and it tucks up tight to the motor offering improved ground clearance and it keeps the heat away from your legs, which is good since there are no heat shields. We felt that the Remus was the classiest looking of all the pipes tested and installation was very simple, although if they had moved the front O2 sensor bung slightly it would have been easier to access one of the flange nuts. The Remus was also the quietest of this test with a great sound.
Tsukigi Racing is a Japanese company that is little heard of in the US. That should be changing as they are now distributed here through Tsukigi USA. Started as a racing team in 1972 and expanded to a manufacturer of performance parts in 1981, Tsukigi's products have been available in the US since 2000. The XR system is styled similar to the original but is made of beautifully polished Stainless Steel. The finish of this system was the best of all systems tested, the welds were beautiful and it featured a unique mounting system with an aluminum flange and a stub pipe. The system then slipped over the stubs and was held in place with springs. The tapered cone shape was both unique and good-looking. The mounts were a little more involved than some of the others adding a little time to the installation. Weight was a reasonable 18 pounds. The low-end torque was very strong but horsepower suffered, as an alternative Tsukigi does offer a "Race" baffle that is a little bit louder with more horsepower.
Vance and Hines
Terry Vance and Byron Hines are two legendary racers that teamed up to form Vance & Hines Racing and have been offering performance products to the motorcycle market since 1979. No strangers to the Harley market, V&H came up with their own style with the Widow XR 2-into-1-into-2 Power Chamber system, which is very similar to the collector in a 2-into-1. They offer this system in black coated mild steel as we tested and also in stainless steel. The Widow XR system was the heaviest at 29 pounds (part of which was attributed to the beefy rear mounting plate), although the stainless version is reported to be lighter, 15 1/2 pounds according to V&H. Like the Remus, V&H could have moved the front O2 bung slightly to ease installation. The Vance & Hines turned out to be the best value in the bunch, offering good power increases with one of the best overall power curves at a very modest price, the lowest tested.
By Don Lindfors
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