There are two reasons people buy aftermarket exhaust systems: 1) performance and 2) the Rolex factor. Even though most riders won’t admit it, the second reason seems to be a major factor; it’s the “Hey look at me, I have money to stuff in a Howitzer” syndrome. There’s no other explanation for the $1000 exhaust phenomenon, especially when there are products like the DG R-Series exhaust available. This is a quality slip-on exhaust, made in Anaheim California that out-performs virtually any stock exhaust system and sells for under $200.
There are no exotic metals in the R-series. It’s an aluminum canister with a steel core and mid-section. The end-cap is a polished piece that is removable so that the muffler can be repacked. But overall, the look is one of quality, so Rolex-wearing riders won’t be too disappointed as long as they can conceal the price from their fashion conscious friends. DG offers the same basic product in a O-Series, which simply means it has a oval-shaped canister and end cap for the same price. The only difference is the look.
Performance-wise, both represent a significant boost. We tried the R-Series on a Yamaha Raptor 700 with great results. The DG pipe bolts into place in minutes with a perfect fit. The increase in power is significant, with most of the boost coming right off the bottom. The Raptor is somewhat bottled up in stock form, and some increase in throttle response can be gained simply by removing the stock airbox lid. In the age of fuel-injection, there’s a thin line between modifications that can be handled by the stock fuel mapping and those that throw the whole system out of whack. It’s clear that Yamaha engineers made some allowance for modification with the Raptor. With the airbox lid removed, there is no real penalty. With any pipe, you can start getting into uncharted territory. The EPA-approved EFI settings are lean, so when you have a more free-flowing system, you can create lean surges and hesitations. With the DG pipe, we only noticed that the Raptor took longer to warm up. Once up to operating temperature, feeling of an overly lean-mixture disappeared and the performance was boosted in every way.
Still, it’s clear that there’s more performance hidden in the Raptor 700 without resorting to real motor modifications. DG is currently testing an EFI mod box that will allow you to alter the stock fuel injections settings. We tried the prototype and it worked well. In the meantime, there are similar products available from companies like Dynojet. These generally are expensive (in the $400 range) and frankly hard to justify if you only have a aftermarket pipe. If you plan on more modification, EFI mods will probably be necessary.
THE TRAIL FACTOR
Any aftermarket pipe is going to be louder than stock. The production Raptor 700 is whisper quiet and the DG R-Series increases the bark by a significant margin. Our somewhat informal testing puts it around 97 dB at 4000 rpm, which is acceptable for private land and racetracks, but too loud for sensitive areas. DG sells a quiet insert for an additional $24 that brings the output down to around 94 dB. It reclaims much of the performance gain, but it’s small and easily installed or removed. Even with the quiet insert in place, the total weight of the DG system is two pounds lighter than stock. How does that compare to a titanium/carbon fiber, hey-look-at-me system? The extra $800 buys you another pound of weight savings.
That’s the reason we like the DG system so much. New ATV sales are in the gutter because of the economy, so it doesn’t make sense to spend big money putting a glitzy exhaust on an old ATV. We prefer spending smart money, and this is definitely falls into the smart category. For more information, go to www.DGperf.com, call (866) 653-1647 or go to any dealer that carries DG products.