As the owner of Flying Brick Motorcycle Accessories Store, I see customers daily and every customer of mine has a bike with an exhaust, no surprise there…
What IS surprising, is the shape, size and placement of so many dual-sport exhausts.
Just think of it:
BMW 1200GS/A: huge can hanging out wide
Yamaha XT 660z: one can on each side, ditto for the 650 singles
They are most often overly-large, in-the-way, at risk of being dinged by looking too hard at it them, and worst of all, they are right where luggage OUGHT to be.
Now… many super-bikes have got this ‘problem’ sorted: design the exhaust to exit UNDER-SEAT, which on a dual- purpose bike, would do the following:
- Hard luggage would then be of equal size; no ‘exhaust cut-out’ on the exhaust side
- Pannier boxes could sit closer to the sub-frame, since exhaust-clearance is a non-issue
- No hot silencer to POSSIBLY interfere with a pillion (coming into contact with it) and NOT being happy!
- Symmetry: a bike that is not lop-sided in neither weight nor looks!
- Soft luggage: ZERO possibility of soft-luggage burning on a silencer, since it’s not actually ‘there’
- Whilst riding dirt, if you drop, say an BMW 700/800 GS, and that Apollo-11 sized space-ship hanging off the side of the bike gets an IMMEDIATE crease! AND then, and only then, does the customer pop in to buy a set of rear pannier racks which can also double-up as rear crash bars. RumBux pannier rack/rear crash-bar combo, anyone; ANYONE?
I hear you say: “what about wheel clearance, these are DUAL-SPORT bikes! What about it?
In a well-designed system, there could be space for maximum wheel travel AND an under-seat silencer, to both co-exist. The Germans, Austrians, Brits and Japs are clever tech-heads, after all!
Since a rear number plate and a rear light can be located pretty much ANYWHERE on the back of the bike, the silencer should have pride of place (in the centre) and silly, dangly number plate hangers should go the way of the Dodo. They are always coming unstuck or getting burned, so move the damn number plate already!
After all, we’ve all seen ‘crisp & toasty’ number plates on KTM’s and other bikes. And how many hundreds of number plates have not been ripped off their mountings? Put the damn plate on the swing arm, the sub-frame or even outer-space, and be done with it!
Ditto the rear light; an IMPORTANT bit of kit, sure, but try a different location, people!
So next time you see a super-bike with an under-seat exhaust, bend down, see how they do it, and ponder; I wonder IF it can be done on a “Dualie”, then tell me why it CAN’T be done?
We put people on the MOON in’69; it’s time for an under-seat exhaust!