So was chatting to my good mate Neil today regarding the Kat and the conversation turned to the noise the Kat made – or rather the amount of noise it made. He was stood outside the dyno-shed while we ran the bike last weekend. He pronounced the bike loud back then and asked me what I was going to do with the pipe!. To be honest I haven’t given it much thought yet as I haven’t got the bike back from the good chaps at Cambridge motorcycles. The fact he’s mentioned it, while it amuses me as he currently has a TRX850 on Renegade race pipes (being an ex-race bike) which by his on admission is ear bleeding, is somewhat concerning. If he thinks it loud, then I guess it must be. In fairness I had ear defenders on during the dyno time as spending a couple of hours in a dyno shed can leave your ears ringing – so had been blissfully unaware of how loud or not the bike was during the runs.

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Anyhow .. to cut a long story short – we fired it up briefly at the end of the day (sans earmuffs this time) and I think I described it as aggressive as a bunch of dobermans fighting over a bitch in heat in my last blog entry. It is pretty loud TBH – for obvious reasons – the pipe is designed to deal with aircooled revs and power, not a GSXR1100 on full tilt boogie, and we’ve shortened it, and we did remove some of the internal baffling, so no wonder really! It had a wonderfully hard barking edge to it, and I would imagine it will be fearsome if we run full chat on the Queens highway; but, more importantly I reckon I’ll not get on a trackday!  What was wonderfully nostalgic (we all remember those deep guttural exhaust notes of the late 80’s early 90’s), are not so welcome in todays safety conscious and ever so PC-world. So I guess I’ll run foul of that sound testing Nazi bullshit I had with the Gamma 570 motor!! In those days I used to pull a single plug on the gamma to keep noise down at track day noise tests – but of course that doesn’t help the drive by red flags being used nowadays in addition to a noise test.

So … to get to the point … what do I do? If it is noisey – and we’ll find out shortly I can either:

  1. Ignore the problem and don’t go on track, and hope I don’t get a rectification notice while out and about on the road. This is not a long term option – and definitely needs to be sorted before the annual Ixion@Cadwell trackday which I am not missing!
  2. Chop the exhaust about even more to allow a long more modern can. This could be a permanent fixture which I don’t favour as the stubby period Harris is in tune with the look of the bike, or temporary, which would allow trackdays on occasions. However the current exhaust is one unit from the silencer to the point the down pipes meet the single tube section. So having a swoppable end can – while possible may be troublesome, expensive and probably more trouble than it’s worth .
  3. Fit a noise cancelling insert. Eblag offers some options which are quite cheap and may offer an alternative that keeps the looks, reduces noise, but probably comes at the expense of messing with the power. How much they reduce sound, and more importantly what do they do to the power is currently an unknown quantity?
  4. Chop about the exhaust some more but fashion an internal baffle that allows power but reduces noise. This is also likely to be expensive, developmental, and likely to be time consuming. I’m thinking a super trap style approach might work, or a single straight through perforated pipe internally with sound damping wadding may do the trick.
  5. Buy the new exhaust I want –  I give you the Racefit Legend. Full titanium loveliness – but oh so expensive. Of course the blurb on the website suggests it also needs an insert – but web based anecdotes suggest it does meet noise requirements with the insert.

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So there you go – some options – I’d rather go with option 3 for now. It’s cheap, it’s hidden, and while I’ll lose some power – I’ll have more than last year anyhow and losing a few ponies to the noise Nazis won’t be as galling!

In other news the keyless ignition (m-lock) I bought ages ago is finally fitted – it’s like magic  🙂  Sprockets should be here later today or tomorrow. This bodes well for a test ride this weekend or shortly after! I’m definitely starting to get that post build twitch where all you want to do it get on the damn thing and ride it!

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