Tested Dirt Bike Products - FMF Titanium Q Exhaust System - Experts on Dirtbikes at Dirt Rider Magazine

In the quest for four-stroke performance, there is the issue of sound. It is a common misconception that the louder the pipe is, the more power it makes. That is just plain wrong. It is also stupid because you are just upsetting people who ordinarily wouldn't even know you are out riding. So you have to keep an ear out for what muffler you are running on your four-stroke dirt bike. But, you say, all quiet pipes are heavy. Until now!FMF has upped the ante in quiet thumper performance with the introduction of its new Titanium Q. The FMF assembly weighs only 5 pounds 13.8 ounces (compare that with our KTM 450 EXC's 8-pound-3.1-ounce system)—an incredible reduction considering it measures in at 92 to 94 decibels using the 20-inch stationary test. FMF claims the Ti Q muffler is lighter than any OEM stock muffler and even open MX mufflers.We went overboard with the full Ti race Powerbomb header ($599.99), whereas we could have used a much-cheaper stainless Powerbomb ($349.99) in conjunction with the Ti muffler; or cheaper yet, just slipped on the muffler for a 2-pound weight savings.As for the performance, there were actually a couple of benefits, especially for a rider who appreciates a smooth power delivery. Whereas the stock system seems to let out a pretty healthy howl at big throttle openings, the Q muffles the sharp sound pulses a bit better and is much more pleasant from a distance. We doubt there would be a huge power gain on a dyno, but there is definitely crisper throttle response (on a standard-jetted bike). This has been our experience with bikes fitted with Powerbomb headers. It also offered a bit more torque in the low and midrange, letting us pull a higher gear in a lot of situations.The pipe bolted right on (though you must remove the shock to remove the stock pipe). It took only a slight amount of coaxing to get the header onto the exhaust flanges. Since it is so light, there is only a single mount on the muffler can, compared with two for the stocker. Clearance is tight around the shock, and it touched the spring just a bit at full extension while barely kissing the frame on the other side. Our pipe blued nicely at the header, and the can didn't seem to corrode or stain. And truly, we couldn't feel the weight reduction while riding. Heck, there is a battery just a matter of inches from the pipe, and it isn't light at all.The Ti header isn't going to take rock hits as well as steel, which is why FMF recommends the stainless unit for off-road. And we feel the same about the Ti can denting in a crash, as it isn't as resistant to dings as an aluminum one would be. But in day-to-day riding, ours held up well, and its light weight put less strain on the mount and connections.At $499.99, the Ti Q isn't cheap, but there are lots of more-expensive mufflers on the market that don't do half as much for more money. It's worth it, especially when you factor in its two great qualities: light weight and less noise.—Jimmy Lewis