I finally put a full Akrapovic system on my '04 625smc, and thought I would share my thoughts with anyone considering the system.
Fit and finish - Same as you always hear, grade AAA. Beautiful materials, the cleanest welds I've ever seen, and absolute perfect fit - which is pretty impressive considering the number of bends and individual welds in the system. Installation was a breeze. (Hint: when removing the stock one-piece header, I found that the easiest way is to remove the bottom two subframe bolts and swing the entire subframe up and out of the way.
) Once I figured that out, the rest of the installation only took about 1/2 an hour.
Price - High, obviously! I found the silencer on Ebay for a great price ($167), otherwise I probably wouldn't have bought it. I bought the header from Munn Racing over at www.ktmtalk.com
. If you're a member they take 15% off of list. So I ended up paying about $680.00 total for the system. List for the complete system is $1,160! OUCH!
Weight - Definitely a huge improvement. I did not weigh either headers, but they felt about the same. The big improvement was in the silencer. I still need to weigh the stock one, but the titanium weighed in at 4 lb on a baby scale. Not bad for a pretty sizeable can. Overall, I would imagine the total weight savings must be near 10 lb.
Performance - Definitely good, but I don't think I have as good of a report to give as most people that install this system because I had already modified the stock exhaust (same silencer as on the SXC). I had cut open the endcap and completely removed the inner tube. I cut the exit hole to about a 2" diameter. Now that I have the full Akra system, I think it's amazing how well the modified stock system did. I believe most people installing the Akra have only removed the screens in the standard exhaust. When I cut open the stocker and rejetted there was a HUGE difference in power, and I believe that's what most people experience when switching to the Akra. There is still a definite power increase going from the cut open stocker to the Akra though. The bottom feels the same, the mid is a little stronger, and there is a huge increase in the top range.
Sound - I was used to the sound of the cut open stocker, and honestly, the Akra doesn't sound much different at all. Which is good, because it sounds amazing! I am not running the insert - it saps the sound and life out of the bike. But, it's nice to have in case I ever hit a track day where noise is restricted. The noise is not deafening without the insert. It is loud, but not ear-splitting, just a nice mellow tone. I have no problem going by cops with the gas on. It's not loud enough to get stopped for - at least not here in the Midwest.
Overall - Is it worth it? For the full $1160 list price, probably not. Even for the $680.00 that I payed, I'm on the fence. Around town, the bike feels and sounds almost exactly the same as it did before. It's not until you hit the higher revs that it really wakes up. If you do a lot of track days or racing, it may be worth the money to you. If you just ride around town, save your dough and get the stock cut open immedietely! Would I do it again? Yeah. I have to admit, I'm kind of a poser in this way. I wanted an Akra since day one. They look great, sound great, and they're supposed to be the best system available for the LC4, so I had to have it. So there you have it. Take it with a grain of salt.
One last note - I have not yet rejetted to suit the Akra, so that may be good for some more gains. I will be taking the bike to a dyno in the future (hopefully in the next 6 months) to get it dialed in. I'll post any changes after I do.