Mr. Muzzy's Pipe Shoppe
Torrance, California, October 11, 2002 -- Stock exhaust systems are looking better all the time on things like GSX-R1000s and R1s and 954s -- which now leave the factory with titanium pipes. (I hear titanium got cheap after the Russians quit building submarines out of it, but don't know if that's true. Anybody?)
In keeping with the bike's 80's theme and bargain price, though, Kawasaki equips its ZRX1200 with an exhaust that must weigh 30 pounds. I almost can't pick it up. Doesn't matter, though, because undoing the bottom radiator mounts, eight nuts where the head pipes meet the head, one behind the right footpeg area, and one at the passenger peg -- lets it clatter to the floor and then you can just drag it off into a dark corner. Naked bikes are cool.
The knowledgeable, helpful and lovely Doug Meyer at Muzzys Bend, Oregon works suggested system 141202-01 -- stainless exhaust with aluminum canister -- and we took the bait; $579.95 would be our price range if we were paying customers, though Muzzys $925 full titanium system is tempting. The stock system is one big four-headed snake, the Muzzys comes in three pieces: bolt on the head pipes, slip the mid-pipe onto it and pop on the spring (you need one of those spring tools or you'll hurt yourself), slip on the muffler section and bolt it up to the right passenger peg just like the stocker -- then tighten it all up. Piece o' cake. If the aluminum system isn't 15 pounds lighter, Calvin will eat my hat.
Now our ZRX is a growler, oh yes -- fun to run up alongside the Civics with the coffee-can exhausts and bark at them. Be afraid. And, the shiny stainless pipes look a thousand times better peeking coyly from behind the radiator than the already-crusty fat-girl flat black headers it replaced. And, after a few hundred miles, the stainless is turning a nice gold color which spiffily complements the engine's magnesium covers. (They're also a tad blue just as they leave the engine, which I'm told by people who claim to know, means we're lean.)
Contrary to popular belief, you can run just the pipe without doing anything to the jetting (Doug said we might have a flat spot or two but we don't) without melting down the engine from leanness. Our ZRX runs fine with just the pipe, and even picked up quite a bit of top-end -- leading us to believe the 80-db stocker was pretty restrictive up there.
Join us next week as we toy with needles, fool with jets, possibly dick with float heights, and try to contact a human one more time at the K&N air filter company.