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My poor, poor pipe…

Posted by desflurane on March 10, 2016

 I think I made it fairly clear that I was going to no particular excesses in protecting the stock expansion chamber on my TE 300 – and I haven’t. I also haven’t avoided riding over (and sometimes directly into) rocks, ledges, concrete pipes, etc. , etc. and these various objects have left their fingerprints on the thin metal. 

As a result, my pipe now looks like this:


It has been pushed backward to the point that it contacts the plastic skid plate, and is actually melting it a little bit. 


This doesn’t worry me much, I consider the stock pipe and skid to be “consumables” that will eventually require replacement. But pipes are fairly expensive items and I don’t want to have to shell out $250 more frequently than absolutely necessary.  So I have ordered a very nice aluminum skid plate/pipe guard combo being imported by Slavens Racing. I believe these are made in Poland. 

That should effectively preserve whatever pipe I install beneath that bad boy! I think I’ll see if old Chester at the local KTM shop can massage my factory pipe back into working order. He is quite skilled at the task and this plan will only set me back about $80 rather than paying full ticket price for a brand new pipe. 

I know this seems like a rather extreme solution, but I have tried other pipe guards (P3 carbon fiber as well as my current aluminum P.O.S.) and I believe that any guard fastened only to the pipe itself will result in a ruined pipe. They don’t prevent the header portion of the pipe from being kinked in the event of a severe hit. The part beneath the guard is protected nicely, but the remainder of the pipe has to absorb all the energy. This led to the demise of two expensive Gnarly pipes on my old KTM. Both were significantly bent in that vulnerable header region while the rest of the metal remained in fine condition behind its protective composite cocoon. 

In theory at least the combo skid/pipe guard arrangement should transfer the energy of a big hit into the bike’s frame rather than the sheet metal of the pipe. All skid plates do precisely the same thing every time they get bashed on – and it seems to work out just fine. 

According to slavens, the item should arrive somewhere past the middle of this month. I’ll try to limp along with my crunched up exhaust until then. 


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