Exhaust sound comparison

These are the stock pipes on my 2013 Victory Cross Country:

Be sure to turn up the volume on these 10 second clips 

In August of last year (yes, I know it’s been a while since I’ve purchased the pipes in relation to this post) I was able to get the one and half Gs required to purchase the Victory exhaust upgrade. Here is their site to purchase the part: Victory Tri-Oval Stage 1 Exhaust for Cross Country. For those of you not interested in visiting the site, aside from pictures, here is the meat of what you need to know:

  • Compliant with the SAE J2825 sound standard
  • Does not void the factory warranty
  • Meets EPA and CARB emissions limits
  • Dealer installation required
  • Kit Includes: Performance air filter, EFI recalibration by authorized Victory dealer and Victory Performance pipes
  • Fits all Cross models

Note the required dealer installation. That was about $500 give or take. But there isn’t a way to hear the “richer, throatier exhaust note” off of the website. Which brings me to the main purpose of this post. Take a listen to the pipes installed on my bike that same day:

The “note” was obvious to me right away. As was the look. As was the performance. I was already very pleased with the stock performance of my bike but now the extra power and responsiveness of the throttle make it impossible for me to ever turn back. I took a sporty stock cruiser and made it into a beast on the street — using their stock Stage 1 Exhaust. If you couldn’t already tell, I’ve never had a bike with upgraded exhaust.

I know there are other louder, “better” exhausts out there. And I know this isn’t the loudest of all the pipes on the road. Here is where you discover something about me: I’m boring. I don’t want obnoxious, annoyingly loud exhaust pipes on my bike. The argument posed to me has always been: “You know, loud pipes save lives.” And to that I say, prove it. Sure conventional wisdom says if motorists can hear you from their cars then you’re safer because your more noticeable. And sure, there are riders out there with their personal anecdotes about how their complete lack of any muffler alerted some driver of their existence and saved their lives. But other than conventional wisdom and this rider’s story, what evidence do you have? I googled it and I couldn’t find anything proving loud pipes help. Maybe you can. If so feel free to send it to me. Let me ask you this though: Have you ever been in a police car responding to an emergency with their lights and sirens on? I have. And with bright blue and red lights and a penetrating loud siren, people still had no clue of the existence of the police car. So your argument that loud pipes are going to make a difference in my safety on the road is going to be a hard sell. But to each their own. Have the loudest pipes ya’ want.

As for me, I’m in it for the deep sound as I roll on the throttle and the responsiveness of the Freedom 106 engine with the recalibrated EFI and performance air filter. I didn’t think it was possible to make the bike feel better than it already did. I’ve been riding with the pipes for about eight months now and I love them. Couldn’t be happier. No buyer’s remorse. Yeah they were expensive but anyone will tell you, passion comes with a cost.

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