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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Leo Vince Titanium Slip-on Exhaust

I had hoped to eventually purchase a slip-on exhaust for the VFR1200 but wasn't quite ready to lay out the cash until I stumbled upon this thread at VFRDiscussion 2 weeks ago.

The deal seemed too good to be true ($249 for a piece of equipment that normally retails for $699) but after some checking around I determined that the deal was legit and placed my order on amazon.com. The retailer is Fay Myers Motorcycle World in Colorado, who seem to have a pretty good reputation.

If and when I ever originally planned to install a slip-on, the Leo Vince model wouldn't have been my first choice. I'm partial to the Akrapovic or the DAM exhaust from Belgium. But at 250 bucks I'm very happy with the Leo. Leo Vince is an Italian manufacturer of high-end racing exhaust, and their products have a very good reputation so I could have done a lot worse.

This exhaust will free up a few horsepower and drop a little over 5 pounds from the bike. It should also look and sound better than the stock muffler.  Some time this spring I'll bring it back to my friends at Redline Motorsports for another dyno pull. The gains won't be huge, but a genuine 150hp at the wheel would be very impressive, along with some improvement in the midrange. The VFR doesn't need more power but I say you can never have too much.

 The exhaust came beautifully packed and packaged, with several layers of protection.

 It uses titanium link-pipes and a titanium sleeve with a thin carbon fibre end cap and carbon fibre clamp.

 It can be fitted as a high-mount or as a low-mount which is compatible with the factory hard luggage.
 This is the big fat stock pipe. Kind of looks like a crashed car muffler.
 Here's the new slip-on next to the OE muffler. I never quite understood why Honda went with a chrome finish on the heat shield. I just felt that chrome didn't belong on this ultra-modern bike.

On the other hand, the big muffler did have a certain visual "weight" that suited the design of the bike. When viewed from behind, the big steel stove countered the bulk of the massive final drive on the opposite side, giving the bike a stereo balance visually. In this sense, the aftermarket pipe will look a bit undersized, but from the side it looks great and shows off more of the beautiful rear wheel.
 Here's the Leo fitted up. The canister mounts to the link pipe with a tension spring fit, like a race exhaust. It allows some freeplay and adjustment range while keeping a tight seal.

Here is the DB-Killer insert which of course I had to remove. ;)
All installed with the luggage attached. The pipe comes very close to the heat shield on the pannier. Hopefully it won't rattle against it or I will have to modify the mounting hanger.

Videos for comparison:

Stock muffler with cable removed:

Leo with DB Killer:
Leo without insert:
I'm using the video function of a cheap point-an-shoot camera so the audio quality in these videos is poor and doesn't give a great representation of the sound.
Compared to the "bark" of the stock muffler, the Leo gives a sharp growl up to about 5000RPM which turns into a hard-edged raspy snarl in the upper rev range. I didn't wind it up past about 6000 in these videos as I don't like revving up my bike in neutral. When I eventually get out to ride this spring I plan to set up a "fly-by" video that will give a more accurate representation of the sound while under load and in motion.
Overall I'm very happy with the Leo Vince exhaust, especially for what I paid.


  1. I have the same thoughts about the Leo. Nice pipe and great price. Deep sound; not too loud. Also did not use the db killer.

  2. Enjoying reading the blogs. Great tips. Thank you.
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