Great style, but falls a bit short of its pedigree

European exhaust manufacturer, Akrapovic, is renowned for its high-quality, race-proven exhaust systems used by many top-level motorcycle race teams. However, in the realm of cruisers, the brand isn’t as recognized. It hopes to change all that with its Akrapovic Slip-On Mufflers.

As soon as you remove the pipes from the box, it’s clear that Akrapovic products are special. From the perfect welds to the uniform appearance of the matte black finish on each muffler, it’s readily apparent that Akrapovic products offer a high level of craftsmanship.

Each pipe uses a two-piece design with a smaller stainless-steel baffle installed into the header before the muffler. The baffle retains access to the stock exhaust cross-over tube that equalizes back pressure to each cylinder. The all-black muffler features a rounded pentagon-shaped end cap that looks modern and appealing. Inside there is a catalytic converter, which can be removed for use in cities/states/countries that allow it. Thin metal matte black covers install over the baffle and headers, which give it a completely blacked-out look. However, considering that our test bike is black too, there isn’t enough contrast and it doesn’t stand out as sharp as the more conventional looking chrome bits.

The scales reveal the Akro setup weighed 10 pounds, 11.2 ounces (2 pounds, 3.4 ounces lighter than stock), which gave it the title of being third lightest behind the Bassani and BUB setups. Due to having more pieces, it took a bit more time to get fitted. Even still, overall fit-and-finish was rated third best, which was a bit of a surprise based on how good its products are in the sport and off-road markets.

On the dyno the Akro pipes were not as impressive as we hoped they would be. Right off idle the system delivers just a hair more power initially but both horsepower and torque fall off and are actually less than stock through the mid-range.

Up top, from 5,000 revs to redline (5,900 rpm) the pipes deliver a bit more power than stock to the tune of 58.78 hp at 5,800 rpm; however, it’s still in excess of 10 hp down to the class-leading Bassani. Peak torque figures were also behind the others with 65.08 lb-ft available at 3,300 rpm (seven less than the Bassani).

Better horsepower and torque figures may have been achieved if we removed the catalytic converter, but since we tested each pipe right out of the box as shipped by the manufacturer, that was the result we got. (Look forward to a follow-up test where we evaluate the modified setup.)

While we liked the Akrapovic’s contemporary styling elements and unique harmonics, the pipes may be too expensive for some riders. If Akrapovic could figure out a way to reduce the MSRP, perhaps by eliminating a few optional components, then it would be a more likely candidate for your hard earned cash.

The Akrapovic Slip-On Mufflers are available at Motorcycle Superstore starting at $1070.99.

RIDER NOTES:

“Excellent sound on the throttle!!! During acceleration the pipes generate a unique ‘new age’ tone that modifies the traditional sound of a Harley-Davidson engine, giving it contemporary character. The pipes aren’t overly obnoxious and don’t make any more noise than the stockers at idle. Throttle response was also improved, and the engine felt ‘snappier,’ though fuel mixture settings were compromised and the engine had a tendency to backfire slightly under deceleration. Though not as much as the others with exception of the Bassanis.”