Great sound, low decibels and more power By the staff of Dirt Wheels
Yamaha’s YXZ1000R and the new YXZ1000R SS (Sport Shift) models have been a hit from the day they were released. It’s easily one of the coolest UTVs to come on the market with its 998cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, in-line, three-cylinder engine that creates a unique exhaust note that is race-car-esque. The YXZ1000R models are very capable race machines, and if you’re looking at racing one in a competitive setting, there are things you can do to get more power out of the already stellar powerplant. We wanted to take the power up a notch on our 2017 Yamaha YXZ100R SS LE model. We contacted Akrapovic for their Evolution exhaust system to see what kind of gains we could reach with a relatively simple exhaust install.
CONSTRUCTION, INSTALL & FUELING
Akrapovic exhaust systems are works of art, and we immediately noticed how well designed and constructed the Evolution exhaust was. The entire exhaust is handmade. Titanium is used for the header, mid-pipe and muffler, while the end cap is handmade from carbon fiber. This combination of lightweight materials makes the Evolution exhaust 50 percent lighter than the OEM exhaust. The muffler has Akrapovic’s patented hexagonal shape that is slim and adds a nice touch to the machine’s appearance.
A YXZ exhaust install is a breeze compared to other UTVs on the market. There is ample room in the YXZ’s engine compartment to use just about any tool you want to remove or install an exhaust. The toughest part about removing the OEM exhaust is getting the muffler rotated until it slides out of the frame. After we figured that out, we used the supplied Akrapovic thread-lock liquid on all the hardware and its liquid gasket material where each part of the exhaust came together. The removal of the OEM exhaust and the install of the Evolution exhaust took about 40 minutes.
Two important additions that we installed were a Power Commander V and an Auto Tune from Dynojet. The Power Commander V is necessary, as the YXZ needs more fuel to compensate for the greater flow it receives from the exhaust. The Auto Tune is installed into the bung of the header pipe.
It helps the fuel system compensate for changes in elevation and other factors, but it’s not necessary to use if you choose not to.
We took the YXZ to a closed course to test the new Akrapovic Evolution exhaust. Our test loop had long straightaways and long mountainous climbs with turns and whoops. It was music to our ears when we unloaded the YXZ from the trailer. The Evolution made the race-car sound even more distinctive. The best part is, at idle, the sound level is close to stock. Akrapovic claims it is only 0.2-decibel louder. On the test loop, less weight and a better-flowing design equaled more horsepower and torque! In stock trim the YXZ felt sluggish at low rpm, but the Evolution and the Dynojet products made the power more abrupt and helped it accelerate quickly. It gained more torque as well, which was very helpful in standing starts, during hill-climbs or pulling in slower-crawling situations.
In OEM trim, it seemed like the engine needed more fuel to make it run better to the speed limiter. With the Akrapovic, Power Commander V and Auto Tune, it reached the speed governor of 80 mph without feeling under-fueled, and it achieved 80 mph at a much faster rate. In rough sections like whoops or rain ruts, the machine felt more alive than before. The suspension felt more responsive, and it stayed on top of the obstacles rather than diving into them like it did on the stock machine.
We know that buying an exhaust or a fuel-mapping system isn’t for everyone. Trail riders are completely content with what they have and rightfully so—the YXZ is great in stock trim. However, if you’re looking to race your YXZ and want to add a little pep to its tire step, then the Akrapovic Evolution exhaust is a solid contender among the top-selling brands. It is on the expensive side at $2,148 (without spark arrestor), or like the model we tested, $2,256 (with spark arrestor). But, you do get what you pay for. A full-titanium exhaust with a carbon fiber end cap that reduces the weight by half? For some racers that would be a no-brainer. You won’t go wrong with the Akrapovic Evolution exhaust.