Story by Ron Pfister. Pics Neale Bayly
A couple of months ago my buddy Ron bought himself a new BMWS1000RR and as excited as he was about the bike, he wanted an exhaust system that sounded like he had 180 horsepower at his disposal. A quick cyber trip revealed a few options with the Taylormade Moto GP system catching his eye, as it not only lost weight, gained power, but it made the bike look even meaner. When I found out he had ordered one I asked him if I could tag along for the install to see what it involved, and find out what he thought about the pipe once it was in place. So with cameras in hand, I headed over to Ron’s place to get the story in his words.
The installation instructions provided by Taylormade are detailed and include high quality pictures demonstrating much of the assembly. The allotted time for installation by a “competent mechanic” is 1-2 hours. I’m not a professional mechanic, but I am also no stranger to turning a wrench, and this installation (with a highly competent assistant), took in excess of 4 hours. BMW buttons up the faringvery well with no less than 30 bolts securing both lower and front faring, this disassembly along with removing the seat and side cowls took almost 45 minutes alone. And note that although the instructions do not indicate removal of the seat and both side cowls as necessary, they are instrumental in removing the rear butterfly cables which operated the rear exhaust valve (we’ll get to that).
The parts list for the Taylormade exhaust is minimal and includes both right and left side carbon fiber plates, two header pipes, a collector, and the assorted nuts bolts, and spacers necessary for installation. After disassembly of the faring and removing the stock muffler cover and tailpipe the instructions indicate to “detach exhaust cables and remove cable from the front servo motor”. This seemed simple enough until further examination indicated the front servo motor drives the butterfly valve off the header and rear servo motor drives the butterfly valve off the exhaust pipe. Each of these cables needs to be removed in order to remove the stock exhaust. Also note the rear servo-motor is located below the seat and is only accessible after removal of the seat and both side cowls. The instructions later indicate that the rear exhaust valve cables are to be fastened to the muffler bracket. That assumes the cables are kept, which is not necessary as removal is easily accomplished by accessing the servo below the rear seat, and lends a more completed look to the bike.
After removing the stock header and collector, a side-by-side comparison of the stock and Taylormade exhausts revels the remarkable size and weight savings. But be aware, although the Taylormade is much more compact, the sizing is tight with only minimal tolerances for rear wheel and exhaust spacing. The instructions include pre-assembly of the headers and collector box and suggest using WD-40 for fitting. As I noted the tolerance are tight, make sure the headers are fully inset into the collector box as this is absolutely necessary to provide rear wheel spacing. Generous use of WD-40 will allow for some play in the header pipes, which is necessary to fit it to the exhaust block. Beware, several different lengths of socket extensions are necessary to access the header bolts.
Once the Taylormade is hung, reinstalling the faring and hanging the Carbon panels is very intuitive. Prior to installing the exhaust panel you need to make the decision to pull the DB Killer. If you chose to leave the DB Killer in, the Carbon Fiber panel will have to be pulled to access and remove it after installation. The carbon fiber panels mate perfectly into the stock faring (after pulling back the heat shielding) and result in a very clean look. As the instructions note, after completing the installation stand back and take a moment to admire the results of all your hard work (likely 4 + hours of it)
So wrapping up, I have to say the Taylormade exhaust is truly beautiful in its ability to blend-in seamlessly into the S1000 RR fairing. The exhaust becomes an integrated member of the bike and eliminates the standard obtrusive outboard exhaust. Further, the mid-range power improvement is very good and the sound is deep and exhilarating (much to the disappointment of my neighbors). And the price for a full system is right.