This article is in the English language.
If you read this article, you might follow me on Social Media. Since last week I announced the news that I was going to switch my exhaust. Many people asked me: why do you switch from an SP Engineering exhaust to a Zard exhaust? In this article I will share my motives.
I got my bikers license in 2017. Several factors persuaded me to get my driver's license. I was convinced by the stories I read about "the ultimate freedom" and "the kick". I also was very impressed with the sound that motorcycles produced.
Since I got my biker license I have had about 7 different motorcycles. Actually, I had an after-market exhaust on all those bikes. I thought the standard exhaust looked too standard and the sound did not give me the experience I wanted to while riding a motorcycle. The sound of an after-market exhaust gave me this experience.
In terms of decibels, it couldn't be loud enough for me. The decibel killer was more in the garage than it was being used. In the 4 years I have been riding, I have been checked a few times by the police. This was often a general check or because the speed was a bit too fast. I never really had any problems with the police and in general. The officers I met were nice and understanding.
Most of the time I’m aware of my behavior. What I mean by this is that while riding a motorcycle I am aware when I do open the throttle. I don't want to bother people with my hobby. A good example is the Lekdijk in The Netherlands, for example. You have so many parts here where you can enjoy riding fast without anyone being bothered by it. From the moment the dyke stops and you ride a short distance through a village, it is the moment for me to keep the bike as still as possible. Why? Purely because there is already enough nagging from people living there and I can imagine it is not always nice to hear hundreds of motorcycles racing by, half of which produce more than 110 decibels, including my own bike.
There are a lot of ghost stories about making too much noise with your motorcycle. You probably know the stories like: ''Be careful when you go to Germany, the police is very strict and checks everywhere'' or ''If you get caught in the Netherlands, you will get a ticket of 400 euros and you have your motorcycle re-inspected by the authorities''. I never really let stories like this stop me. I have been to Germany about 7 times and I only saw one police car there that left us alone. And as for the story of the Netherlands, well how big is the chance you will be caught, they don't check that often….. right?
As far as the Dutch story is concerned, a lot has become reality in 2021. The chance of being caught is much bigger and it seems every police station has its own decibel meter. If you keep an eye on the Social Media channels of the police, you will see that in Kijkduin, Scheveningen and the Lekdijk, for example, they are checking a lot for vehicles that make too much noise. On the Lekdijk I get the idea that it is a specific action towards bikers… And all those checks just before the motorcycle season really started. That doesn't look good for when the motorcycle season actually starts. I looked up what the sanction is in most cases if you get caught with an exhaust that produces too much decibels in The Netherlands. In general, the sanction is 400 euros for producing too much noise in combination with a WOK status (jushave your motorcycle re-inspected by the authorities ). And that WOK status is absolutely no fun. From that moment on you are no longer allowed to drive your motorcycle and must therefore have it towed home. After this you can make an appointment with the authorities to have your motorcycle inspected. It seems that sometimes you can only come after 4 weeks to have your motorcycle re-examined. In short: 400 euros, having someone come with a trailer, and possibly not being able to drive for 4 weeks.
This was enough reason for me to look for an after-market exhaust, which has been approved by the law. Don't get me wrong, I also think the rules about loud pipes are nonsense. I immediately noticed that there weren't many companies that developed an approved exhaust for my bike. This is due to the renewed Euro 5 rules.
I contacted Zard Exhausts. Zard exhausts just launched a new "E-mark" and Euro 5 approved exhaust on the market for my Triumph Street Triple RS. This means my bike, in combination with the Zard exhaust, is totally legal. This is exactly what I'm looking for. What really attracted me to the Zard exhaust is the unique design. Still a bit more unique than the other providers.
I've had the SP Engineering exhaust for a little over a year. I have always been satisfied with the quality of the exhaust and the sound. Despite the fact that the sound was very loud (107 DB at 4000 rpm) it sounded nice and dark and not shrill. At least you always heard me from a big distance. SP Engineering does not offer an approved exhaust for my bike. Due to the stricter rules in the Netherlands and the high fines, I felt compelled to switch to another manufacturer. I will always be a customer of SP Engineering, as they are also growing in offering after-market parts for motorcycles. For example, I recently ordered some nice parts I will probably receive in mid-May. I also want to thank Dave from SP Engineering for the past year and the good service!
Picture of the SP Engineering exhaust.
The Zard exhaust is now in and mounted on my bike. The sound is a bit more quiet than the SP Engineering exhaust. I am still surprised that the exhaust is Euro 5 approved as the sound does not disappoint me at all. It is a bit more dosed but still very deep. I am very satisfied with the design and quality of this exhaust. After about 2000 kilometers I expect to have a better view of the Zard exhaust and I am going to make a review about it. I have already made a short audio clip of the exhaust. And as you probably know, it always sounds better in real life than on video. And believe me, the exhaust sounds much better than the OEM exhaust! Click here to open the soundcheck video.
Picture of approved Zard exhaust.