Form versus function-diametrically opposed poles fixed to a continuum that pits the aesthetically appealing against the purely utilitarian.
Well, my aftermarket motorcycle product choices are decidedly skewed toward functional performance gains rather than eye-popping glitz.
However, I am finding that the two do not always have to be mutually exclusive, as recently evidenced through experience with a LeoVince SBK Factory Slip-On exhaust for my BMW R 1200 GS Adventure.
The LeoVince SBK exhaust is a thing of beauty. Expertly crafted in Italy, the CP1 Titanium canister is adorned with near weightless carbon fiber straps and a conical end cap that is aimed slightly upward and outward, a la World Superbike.
Mounting the slip-on exhaust required less than 20 minutes and the resultant fit was spot-on. The TIG-welded 304 stainless steel mid-pipe mated perfectly to the stock header, and the canister mounting points matched the stock brackets with precision.
Additional bits of hardware are included to keep the centerstand from interfering with the exhaust on the standard GS, but are not necessary with the added ground clearance of the GS Adventure motorbike.
In stock trim, the GS exhaust is underwhelming from an auditory perspective. However, cracking the throttle with the new LeoVince SBK exhaust installed is a goose-bump invoking experience, and removing the quiet insert allows the big boxer engine to snarl with authority.
The insert itself rattles a bit with heavy snaps of the throttle, and my ears quickly concluded that it would not be necessary going forward. The exhaust note is a deep and pulsating rumble at steady throttle, but ignites to a brutal roar at the twist of the throttle.
On the road, the rev-up and power delivery is cleaner than stock, and the harmonic resonation that the GS is known for is noticeably absent at the critical 4500 rpm cruising speed.
LeoVince claims the SBK Factory Slip-On provides a five-percent horsepower gain, but the improvement is not about brute power increase, it’s about improved rideability.
Coupled with a dramatic weight savings-it weighs less than half that of the stock canister-the LeoVince SBK Factory Slip-On is a svelte beauty with the brawn to back it up.