I’ve had the “new” bike for a little bit now and have added a few after market parts. The wife and kid bought me an aftermarket slip on exhaust for my birthday/father’s day. I decided to go with the slip on for a few different reasons, not the last of which was cost. I could have replaced the entire exhaust system for around 550-600 bucks, or go with a slip-on for about 210. The benefits of both methods over the stock setup is measurable, but the difference between the two aftermarket options are not quite as significant. Certainly not enough to justify the additional cost in my mind. It looks good and sounds good, so I’m happy with it. I was a little disappointed about one aspect of the slip on though. I had hoped I would be able to remove the stock muffler and just bolt on the new one. Unfortunately that was not the case. To put the new muffler on I had to remove the stock bracket and replace it with cobra’s aftermarket piece. The reason for this is obviously so cobra doesn’t have to change the muffler as yamaha might change things on different model years. They just have to send a different bracket. I was hoping to be able to switch back and forth between the two with minimal effort. Maybe I go on a long trip and I want the bike to be a little more quiet, driving around every day I might want the extra sound of the aftermarket muffler. Right away the sound difference was noticeable and the new one seemed really loud, but after having it on for a couple of weeks I’m use to it and it doesn’t seem very loud anymore. It’s pretty comparable to the exhaust I have on the 650 (which says a lot for the 650’s setup…it barks pretty good).
I ordered myself a few add-ons at this time as well. I picked up an aftermarket intake and an aftermarket fuel management system (FMS). The reason for this requires a little knowledge about how bikes are setup from the factory. Due to EPA regulations, the bikes have to meet certain emission standards. In order to do that, they run as lean (more air to fuel) a mix as reasonably possible. If you adjust this so it adds a little more fuel, it will increase the power quite a bit and improve your overall performance. It doesn’t have a great impact on MPG’s at all. Adding the aftermarket muffler means there is less back pressure on the cylinders so the exhaust flows out more freely…which will thin out the mix just a little bit more. When I add the after market intake, it’s going to thin things out even more yet…which could cause problems like the engine running warmer than it should. By adding these parts I shouldn’t have been able to burn up the engine, but it isn’t the greatest for it. When I add the FMS it helps adjust the fuel/air mix to a more appropriate level. Most FMS have switches you set to change to a static ratio, the system I bought is setup to adjust the mix on the fly. The FMS takes various readings from the injectors and O2 sensor to determine how it should adjust the fuel/air mix. This setup costs a little more, but it is something that will keep me from constantly tinkering with the device to try and determine what the optimal setting is going to be in various conditions.
I’ve done plenty of work on the old bike, so I didn’t have any hesitations about putting any of these parts on the new one at all. For the most part, it’s just some allen head bolts and a screw driver. Taking the old intake off and putting the new one on was ridiculously simple. Putting the FMS into the bike was a little more involved. The main reason for that is I had to connect it into the fuel injector coupling that is under the tank. I didn’t want to take the tank off, so I unbolted it from the frame by the seat, propped it up and worked under it with my big hands. It took a bit of cussing and finagling, but I finally got things apart and put it back together. Overall, it probably took me an hour to put both parts on. There was an additional piece I had to put together because of the after market air intake. The crank case breather needed to have a different filter on it, which I bolted to the other side of the bike. The breather originally went into the stock air filter housing. This was expected and all the necessary parts were sent to me with my order.
I took the bike for a little cruise afterwards. The acceleration and low end power was noticeably different. The top end was pretty much unchanged…which is what I expected. The basic difference is how fast I get to the top end. It has plenty of power for me now and I’m quite satisfied with it’s performance.
I also ordered a driver back rest. This bolts on to the underside of the passenger pylon. I had hoped it would arrive before we took off for fargo, but it didn’t…it came the day after. I wasn’t able to use it on the run (which I’ll talk about in a different post) but I have put a couple hundred miles on it after that. The device comes in two pieces. There is a mounting bracket that bolts into the stock bolts on the bottom of the passenger pylon. The back rest is a pad on an angled piece of iron that slides into this bracket. Everything slid together very nicely and it worked as advertised. I immediately didn’t care for how easy the rest would slide out of this bracket. Obviously it wasn’t going to be an issue with me on the bike, but if I trailered it somewhere I wouldn’t be able to leave it attached. If I was leaving the bike somewhere unsavory it’s something someone could easily slide out. I’m not concerned about someone stealing it, but if a guy just puts a hand on it the back rest would slide out extremely easy. I’m more concerned about it sliding out by accident and chipping the paint or otherwise scuffing things up than I am someone stealing it. Also, it sits forward just a smidgen too far. Looking at the way things are setup, I determined I could easily drill out a bolt hole and bolt things together. The down side to that is I wouldn’t be as easily able to remove the rest for whatever reason. I wanted to get a bolt with a key or pin that I could simply remove if I wanted to take the back off. Looking at NoDak in town I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for…so for now I decided to just bolt it together. I can find a pin the same size as the bolt somewhere else at a later time. By bolting the seat down I was able to push it back into the passenger seat more. The difference in position is probably 1/2 inch or so…and it’s pretty remarkable how much of a difference that 1/2 inch makes.
I’ve put probably 50 miles on the bike with this backrest bolted down, and it is more comfortable. Overall I like the backrest and I’m hoping it will help prevent me from feeling the need to spend 600 on an aftermarket seat. It helps me sit more upright and takes quite a bit of pressure off my tail bone. We’ll see how it goes.
Overall I’m satisfied with the modifications I’ve made to the bike so far. I would like to add some engine guards with foot pegs, and some bag guards with the chrome rail. That stuff is a little spendy though, and I have a hard time justifying the money for something that doesn’t directly affect the performance of the bike. I’d also like to add an additional light bar, which would really help with night riding. The bike throws off more light than the old one…and I don’t think the light bar costs too much, it’s just a bit of wiring. I’m going to add a tach to it as well. I could go with one of those 200 buck cobra tachs, but I have seen where some guys have added a nice tach for about 50 bucks. It is going to involve me removing the tank though, so it’s something that can wait for the spring or fall.