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Putting on the pipes with a question

16 posts from 5 voices
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  1. bkman

    Hey - is there any harm in going forward with my pipe installation before the rest of the kit gets here (the MaxAir predator kit, that is)?

    My Cobra 2-1 HP pipe has arrived and I am wondering if I could go ahead and install it now - then do the intake / carb modifications once that stuff gets here, and when I have the time (probably next week). I don't know much about this stuff, but I would guess that the pipe would work with the stock carbs and jets - I just wouldn't see any real performance benefit until I open up the intake. On the other hand, I have read that a less-restrictive exhaust will cause the engine to run lean, though I don't understand why.

    Someone, please enlighten me. I am not going to do anything right now, but on Saturday I might like to dig into it.

  2. tcarl

    Refer to the Knowledge Base on V Star 1100 Riders Forum

    Depending on what year your bike is, there will be different solutions available.

    My recommendation is wait (I know it's hard to) until you get the full package. Your spark plugs color will be the best indication of how the bike runs after you've done the mods.

    You do not want to run the bike in a lean condition as it will discolor your brand new pipes.

  3. bkman

    Yes, that is a good resource. I have spent quite a lot of time on there recently, though I didn't ask this question there. Unfortunately, these are the guys who seem to have a rather strong dislike for the intake system I purchased (the MaxAir Predator) so I don't know if I can ask for help there and expect anything but the "you shouldn't have purchased that piece of junk intake system" kind of response. I know that this is probably unfair - to have any expectation of anyone before actually communicating with them - but I've seen that happen too many times on forums like these.

    I think that I will just wait - a wise old Sunday-school teacher used to tell us "when in doubt - DON'T" I think that may pay huge dividends in this case.

  4. tcarl

    You should post a question with the ful package you plan on running and simply ask for some guidance in setting it up. There are plenty of people on the forum that are willing to share their experiences.

    I think there are probably pros and cons for every combination out there - that's what makes it so custom....

    I'm interested in hearing the results when you get it all set up. I'm waiting to do the same thing to mine when I can afford to buy the components.

    I'm probably leaning toward the SS Customs Chubby kit or the Dragons Breath intake systems and Cobra Speedster Longs or Hard Khrome Res Tech pipes.

    The thing about the knowledge base - there are some specific instructions about later model bikes.

  5. quicgmicg

    I'd say put it on! LOL Just be careful riding a lot. The new pipes create a lot more airflow than the old pipes. More air with the jets in the carb adding the same amount of gas as they did before the pipe change are what cause the lean condition. If the other stuff is coming soon, just be careful riding. Keep the RPM's low and you'll probably be just fine for short rides.

    I'm WAY to impatient to wait. I ran my pipes for 2 weeks before I got it re-jetted with no ill effects. As I said earlier, just do NOT ride hard.

    good luck and send us some pics...

  6. bkman

    Well, the over-achieving postal service made this all moot today. Everything showed up!! So now all I have to do put it all on.

    I began by removing the stock exhaust and then I pulled the OEM oil filter cover to install the ORK. THAT was a pain in the butt! Those stupid braided oil lines are nearly impossible to assemble, and I am not sure that they are even going to seal properly (I can't start the engine yet because the pipes are off). Tomorrow morning, I will jump back into it with the AIS removal process and then the new pipes go on. If there's time after that, I will tear into the carbs and do the Maxair thing. Otherwise, it will have to wait a week and I'll just have to ride low and slow for another week.

    I will get some pictures up as soon as I can. The wife thinks I'm crazy - she likes the look of the stock pipes. I don't mind the look of them, but they sound really lame to me. Also, too many people have told me that there is so much more power available with the Cobra 2-1 pipe. I just HAVE to find out!

  7. bkman

    Well, its all done and I am VERY happy with the outcome. The Maxair kit may cost more than some others and those others MAY give you a good result, but the Maxair support and R&D are second to none in my opinion. There is no doubt in my mind that there are some people who strongly dislike the Maxair system, but so far I am extremely pleased with the vast improvement I feel in my bike. Some of this has to do with the Corba 2-1 pipe, I am certain, but the Maxair kit worked perfectly for me - I really didn't even have to adjust anything. I did exactly what the instructions said to do and, when I hit the starter button, it fired and ran - period. There are no soft spots, no popping, no hesitation and the power increase is bigger that I ever thought it would be. It is like riding a different bike.

    Cobra should be commended for this 2-into-1 pipe (the HP Pro). The sound is fantastic on the XVS1100 and it fits very well. I just hope it holds up, but it is pretty inexpensive so I can always buy another one in a few years if I have to.

  8. beaze

    congratulation on getting all the new stuff on your bike. I agree with your wife I like the looks of stock exhaust. Why do you think you will need to replace the pipes in a couple of years? pics would be great.

  9. khunder102

    Way to go bkman! Make sure you synch your carbs, so you get all of what this package has to offer. Then, go out and ride it like you stole it!


  10. bkman

    congratulation on getting all the new stuff on your bike. I agree with your wife I like the looks of stock exhaust. Why do you think you will need to replace the pipes in a couple of years? pics would be great.
    I sincerely hope I NEVER have to replace the pipes, but my point was that - even if the Cobras did rust and / or turn colors and start to look bad after a few years, they are inexpensive enough that I wouldn't be too upset if I had to. Of course, now they are offering a "lifetime" warranty, but I am not sure what that covers - I didn't read the fine print. I don't say any of this to disparage Cobra products, it is just that they are less expensive for some reason - I imagine that they are not built with the same materials / craftmanship as the Hard Kromes or the Roadhouse pipes. It's just simple economics and I am not ashamed to say that I couldn't afford the Hard Kromes or Roadhouses - at least not after I dropped the cash for the Maxair. I am thankful that Cobra is there to supply a decent quality pipe for someone like me who wants to "have it all" but can't afford to go all-out. I think I made a good compromise.

    The look is growing on me. The misses even said earlier this evening that she didn't think the pipe looked that bad. It really starts to "look" better after you hear it.

  11. quicgmicg

    bkman, the nice thing about customizing your bike is that you can do it YOUR way. I bet those Cobra's will last a surprisingly long time. Sometimes things cost less because they are a damn good deal!

    The pipe looks awesome too BTW. I just love anything a little out of the ordinary (personal preference) just so if I park my bike in a parking lot I can tell which one is mine. You'll love the the Max Air kit.....

  12. bkman

    Thanks for the comments - I do think the Cobra pipes are a lot better than they used to be. I've seen some really nasty-looking ones before but I suppose that MAY be because of the owner.

    As for the customizing, my wife still doesn't quite get that one. She says she wants a custom paint job on her bike someday (which we now have to find because we sold hers) but she wants no part of removing / adding pieces to the body or engine. That IS personal preference and what makes the motorcycle community so diverse and interesting. Motorcycles do say something about their owners.

    Speaking of customizing, take a look at this and tell me what you think.

  13. quicgmicg

    Pretty wild stuff! What is that? kidding on the personal prefs. I just looked at the prices of STOCK mid 60's Triumphs, Hondas etc. They are getting a MINT for those things!

    Does your wife have any ideas on what she wants for custom paint?

  14. bkman

    Pretty wild stuff! What is that? kidding on the personal prefs. I just looked at the prices of STOCK mid 60's Triumphs, Hondas etc. They are getting a MINT for those things! Does your wife have any ideas on what she wants for custom paint?

    The lighting is that neon tubing you can get at Autozone for $20. I saw it and just had to try it. It really turned out a lot better than I thought it would and it really looks awesome at night.

    The wife wants an air-brushed fairy / dragon theme on her bike. She's picked out some really kick-butt images, too. I would love to see her get this done, but it seems we can't get her on a bike for more than a year at a time (she keeps changing her mind what bike she wants). I think that she'll probably end up on a V-Star 1100 - I just hope it's not mine.

  15. quicgmicg

    LOL at "I hope it's not mine."

    It sounds like she has done her work as far as images and style. Have you found a good airbrush person yet? I had a Ninja 600 all decked out with flat black with true flame (we renamed it Sinja). I wish I still had the bike. I'm picking up pieces --tank and fenders -- to do something to my V Star too, but plan on keeping the original ones the way they are. I think I'm going to go flat black again with some old school pinstriping with a flying eyeball (Von Dutch style) someplace...'s fun dreaming...isn't it? ...

  16. bkman

    Yes, dreaming is fun - and FREE!

    We had an airbrush place all picked out - REDZ custom airbrush in central Florida. We had a quote and everything, and we were just waiting 'til the little woman decided what she wanted to ride. In the meantime, the airbrush place closed their doors. It was sad, really. She was a very nice lady with tons of talent, but she just didn't have the passion to do it anymore, I don't think. She is a legend around these parts - it is pretty common to see her work at the numerous bike fests around the region.

    I don't know what to do now. I thinlk my wife really wants a V-Star. She loves my 1100, but wasn't so crazy for the neighbors 650 - she said it lacked the power she expected (but then she's used to a 340 pound Savage 650cc). I was a little worried about her riding a bike that weighs over 600 pounds when she is 5' 2" and less than 115. She is strong, though, for her size (she works out all the time) and she rides my 1100 with no trouble. In fact she said it was easier to ride than the V-Star 650. I might look for a used V-Star for her. It seems that this is a very well-built machine overall and I might not mind having two of them around.


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