Akrapovic: from Slovenia with love
Akrapovic is one of those household names in the motorcycle and automotive aftermarket featuring cutting edge technology using exotic materials.
With a huge motorsports pedigree, Akrapovic is truly a must for every car and motorcycle enthusiast who has the means to afford these ultra high-tech exhaust systems.
Akrapovic was started in 1991 by motorcycle racer Igor Akrapovic.
He was unhappy with the current crop of aftermarket exhausts for motorcycles: those from Europe and the USA were too expensive, while those made in Eastern Europe were of inferior quality.
Additionally, Akrapovic noticed that the exhaust pipes being used were limited to what was commercially available.
Thus, the exhaust pipings would be too thick and heavy, blunting performance and causing a less than pleasing exhaust note.
Akrapovic then founded a small tuning shop called Scorpion with a six-man team in a 450 square meter facility.
As demand steadily grew over the years, they moved to a larger 3,000-square-meter facility before finally settling into their 13,000-square-meter factory in Ivancna Gorica, Slovenia with 1,000 employees in design, manufacturing and logistics/distribution.
The company, now called Akrapovic, initially made exhausts for motorcycles, and later into automobiles. Demand literally exploded exponentially.
Akrapovic uses for its exhausts a mix of mostly titanium, with some parts stainless steel or Inconel.
But titanium is what Akrapovic is known for. It is lightweight, able to withstand sustained heat up to 1,000 degrees Celsius repeatedly, and doesn’t crack, bend or break.
Its thin-wall characteristic means the exhaust system is even lighter than other titanium exhaust systems, often shedding one third to two thirds the weight of OEM exhaust systems, while delivering a drone-free noise at highway cruising, yet providing an exciting aural soundtrack on maximum attack.
Of course, added power and torque are a given, with many systems achieving an easy 5 to 7 percent power and torque gain on normally aspirated vehicles, and over 10 percent on turbocharged applications.
Gains increase further if the vehicle is custom-tuned/reflashed to utilize the benefits of the added airflow/reduced flow restrictions.
Additionally, Akrapovic exhausts are street-legal, meeting many of the noise requirements worldwide.
The company also offers full-race systems with no catalytic converters, or systems with a high-flow catalytic converter to keep emissions legal while helping uncork added performance at the same time.
As an added trademark, many of its aftermarket exhaust systems are made with a carbon fiber exhaust tip insert for a unique, exotic look.
Some kits also utilize a carbon fiber composite exhaust cut-out finisher on the rear bumpers.
Even these items are designed and manufactured in-house completely.
And every exhaust system slips right on or bolts right in easily, like it truly is OEM.
What makes Akrapovic more impressive is that it meets OEM or better levels of quality.
Akrapovic is offered as an option for motorcycle brands such as the Yamaha R1, BMW’s R Nine-T, various Suzuki and Aprilia motorcycles and is OEM for cars like the Bentley Continental GT3-R.
Akrapovic has also been an official Audi Sport partner, providing the LMP program with its exhaust systems since 2009, and together have won the Le Mans 24 hours multiple times.
It is also the exhaust supplier for the Porsche Carrera Cup one-make race series worldwide.
Akrapovic handforms into the desired shape and size almost all of its own exhausts from sheets of titanium sourced from its own in-house titanium foundry.
Other titanium exhaust manufacturers buy commercially available titanium pipes, then cut and weld them as needed, creating the signature lobster claw bends with the rainbow finish.
Many think this as cool and unique, but they do look very aftermarket, which puts off people who want a clean OEM look on their exotics and sport bikes.
Additionally, commercially available pipes have fixed wall thickness and overall diameter, so the actual exhaust design is compromised as they are bigger, bulkier and heavier than they need to be.
Akrapovic has its own in-house CAD-CAM design facility, along with its own rolling road, engine and motorcycle dynos to check for the best piping size diameters and design that will deliver the best performance, lightest weight, and most compact construction which helps ground, chassis and vehicle clearance.
Whenever possible, a robotic welding machine ensures consistent, clean welds in a controlled humidity and dust-free environment to ensure the welding process is perfect with no impurities.
Well-designed, well-engineered, lightweight, exotic and ultimately cool: What more could you ask for from the world’s arguably best titanium aftermarket exhaust supplier and manufacturer?
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