The pipes are still cooling from test laps and the blisters are still bubbling on our hands from changing hot exhaust systems, but we still managed to type out our comparison of available exhaust systems for the 2009 Honda CRF450R, even if it hurt a little.We spent two days out riding and testing most of these pipes, however, some of these products were so fresh off the pipe company’s assembly lines that we only had a single track day to review them. Keep that in mind. We’ll provide updates on all systems as we learn more and they become available.Day one of testing was at Perris Raceway where it was a bit more slippery than usual-a good environment for feeling power and control. Our second day was at a ripped and loamy Milestone Raceway Park. Our Test riders were Jimmy Lewis, Chris Barrett, Tyler Ruiz and Chris Denison and the opinions of each pipe are a collaboration of what our riders felt each pipe did to the bike’s power.Since this isn’t a shootout there isn’t a winner, how could there be? Each pipe does something different to the power and delivery of the bike and this guide is to help you pick the pipe that matches the preferences you’re searching for.If you have a CRF, then you know (or will know when the ground thaws) what stock power feels like and can compare your impressions to ours to get a base on where we started. All the pipes are compared to the stock system for consistency and to the group as a whole. We also included price, weight and sound output so you can see it all in one place, plus additional prices and systems each company let us know about.Don’t have a Honda CRF450R but still looking for a pipe? Our experience with pipe companies is that each one has a character or flavor, if you will, that seems to define their product and it is highly likely their style of power is carried over to most of the similar pipes they produce. We will try and do more of these comparisons on other models in the near future if the response to this test is positive. That being said, we didn’t request or require specific sound requirements for this test, we just sound tested what we got. We used the SAE J1287 (20 in.) test conducted at 4500 rpm. The AMA currently has a 99 db limit for amateur racing and is working towards a 94 db limit (with a goofy +/- 2 db fudge factor) for pro racing.Quieter is a great direction and we applaud everyone for trying to make race bikes more stealthy, but this last minute change neither gave motorcycle manufacturers time to react, nor has the aftermarket fully responded yet. The good side is mufflers, in general, have already gotten quieter as the aftermarket is quickly working to make 94 db (actually 96 db) products. So, for the first time we are seeing quieter-than-stock pipes and mufflers working better than stock.We are going to stick to our guns about enforcing sound limits in the future and will set them for a lot of our tests. Currently, anything that blows 101.5 and above is failing sound and truthfully too loud to be riding, even at a track these days. And a lot of manufacturers have muffler packing with a very short life span-you need to be repacking those cans when they start to get raspy, Horsepower goes away quickly with a ratty muffler.And here is the best part. Some of the manufacturers have given us permission to give away the slightly used systems we currently have sitting in our shop. So here is how we are going to go about giving them away. If you have a 2009 CRF450R and you have smashed, crashed, or damaged the muffler, send us a picture and a story about it and we will pick out the ones we feel are the most worthy and send off a system. On your end we will expect another picture of you, your bike and the new exhaust system we sent, plus your impression of how that pipe worked on your bike. We’ll post those on www.dirtrider.com as a compliment to this story. Don’t beg! Or lie, it will catch up to you. Also, if you have done some really good work, and can prove it, to fight for our right to ride by working on land use issues or by quieting down some fellow riders (and you own a 2009 Honda CRF450R), let us know. Send all requests to: firstname.lastname@example.org with 2009 CRF450 Pipe Roundup in the subject line.So here is our exhaust system roundup, enjoy!Stock Honda, $977.47
|See your Honda Dealer|
This is the pipe designed alongside this bike. It is light weight and uses a mix of materials that are built to last and save weight where they can. Its performance is excellent with an all around good pull, some excitement (decent snap) on the bottom and a pretty smooth-yet-aggressive pull to the top. Overrev isn’t impressive compared to others in this test but it doesn’t disappoint either. It isn’t easy to hit the rev limiter but you can and there is sign off to warn you.
|Stainless Steel/Aluminum Slip-on RS4|
This pipe felt like it made more power everywhere, was smooth like stock with better bottom and top. It sound tested a little loud and was similar sounding to the stock system on the track and to the rider but had top-notch looks.Easily the most factory looking system (especially since this is what will be on the factory Honda race bikes) this was also the most racey system we tested. It has more everywhere and even gets a bit too aggressive if the track is slippery where it needs to be ridden a gear high. It allows the bike to rev out much quicker in a lower gear or pull a gear high with plenty of authority. It made the bike feel crisper everywhere and faster everywhere (a lot faster), if you can control it in the lower gears. It is a very responsive power delivery.This full titanium header slips onto the stock muffler and had all of our test riders feeling better throttle response with similar power on the bottom but from the mid on up it felt more powerful than the all-stock system. For those that thought the full-system or slip on was too much, this was just right.Also available:
Stainless Steel/Aluminum RS4 Full System $595.00
Ti/Ti RS4 Full System $845.00Stainless Steel Header kit $229.95
94 db Insert Kit $29.95Pro Circuit
|Full Ti/CF RS4 system|
This pipe put out a very smooth, easy-to-ride lengthy spread and boosted power all the way through the curve, all while being very respectful of the sound. It is quiet to the meter and quiet on the track. It pulls for what seems like forever and makes plenty on top, enough for one tester to claim, “sometimes I couldn’t use all the power!” The pull is so good up top that it is very hard to get into the rev limiter. It gives the bike great throttle to rear wheel control and worked well on all surfaces.
|Ti Powercore 4 Slip-On|
The Powercore slips right on and gives the CRF a noticeable boost in chug and torque on the bottom and also more meat in the mid which made it easier to pull higher gears in turns. It felt a little flat on top compared to the boost on the bottom.Combined with the Megabomb header, this gave the CRF some serious snap on the bottom and a hit in the mid range with enhanced throttle response everywhere. The full-system also pulled longer and harder on top as well. If you like your throttle to delivery the snapping of the power without using the clutch, this system is for you.Here the snap is tamed, especially on the bottom making the setup a lot easier to ride for some riders and without feeling like the bike lost much power anywhere else. It also seemed to let the power last longer up top. And it was noticeably quieter to the rider and on the track which was great.Also Available:
4.1 Stainless Steel with Stainless Powerbomb Header $624.99
Powercore 4 Aluminum Slip-On $299.99
94db inserts available for all 4.1Mufflers: Ti-Powercore slip-on Mufflers and Powercore 4 slip on Mufflers $29.95
Q4 spark Arrestor Muffler $359.99
Ti-Q4 Spark Arrestor Muffler $399.99
Titanium/Carbon 4.1 Full System $949.99Jardine
|RT99 Stainless Steel/Aluminum full system|
This system was very similar to the stock Honda in power and pull with our testers feeling the bike gained in the upper mid-range.This was by far the quietest system we tried and it felt very plugged up. So much that you started hearing a lot of engine noises that you didn’t know were there. The power is tamed quite a bit from stock, especially on the bottom where the bike loses almost all of its snap. The pull is smooth and it makes plenty of power if you use RPM as your friend, but it always feels down on power compared to stock, like it is a 400cc bike. If you ride where noise is an issue, this is a system to consider, and likely we’ll all be riding with mufflers this quiet in the future, so we better start getting used to it.Riders could also feel the weight of this muffler’s mechanical sound dampening system.
|V.A.L.E. M-7 Stainless/Carbon Fiber Slip-on Exhaust System with P1 tip (29.95)|
This system put the power to the ground and was noticeably smoother, more linear than stock actually seeming to slow down how quick the bike revved up without slowing the bike down. It felt like the same power level on the bottom while slowly building up with more than stock on top. Pro riders who use a lot of snap said this pipe felt flat unless they were in the top power. This was a vet and novice friendly pipe for sure.Also Available:
V.A.L.E. Stainless/Aluminum Slip-on System M-7 Brushed Aluminum Canister $369.96Dubach Racing
|SS/AL Full System W/ Spark Arrestor Removed|
The DRD pipe was a noticeable boost on the bottom and mid for all of our riders and up top it had more usability than stock and felt like there was more power up there as well, like you could easily let it rev out instead of shifting sometimes without hitting the rev limiter. But, for sure, the best part was that it gave pros the snap they needed without making the bike harder to ride. For those not excited about a lot of hit, this system was a good performer (even though the pros felt the bottom end boost).Also Available:
SS/ AL: 189.95 head pipe; $360.00 Slip-On; Full System: $549.95
TI/TI: $233.99 hp, $545.99 Slip-On; Full System $779.95
TI/CF = $233.99 hp $645.99 Slip-On; Full System: $879.95
* SS/AL and TI/TI come with Spark Arrestor screen installedLate Arrival:
Leo Vince Full Titanium System
|TI Full system|
Impression will be available later.