Well, I finally settled on a new set of pipes. I went with the Cobra Speedster Slashdowns. Thanks to all who helped answer questions I had in making the decision! I love the pipes. Really nice deep, throaty sound. They can be relatively subtle at low speeds/idle, but really growl when opened up. Installation was very straightforward and only took about an hour, including removal of stock pipes and the wax coat I applied to the Cobras.
While I was under the hood (tank), I did the pair valve block-off. This also turned out to be easier than I anticipated (great pics and directions from Sherm's). I ended up replacing the open "T" connections with a piece of straight hose from O'Reilly's, and plugged the airbox hole (that used to go to the pair valve assembly) with a $.35 rubber plug from Ace Hardware. Both pieces cost less than $1.00. Ran it about 100 miles...plugs were had a bit of whitish residue to them, so I richened the A/F mixture 1/8 turn. Decel sounds awesome. Not one gurgle, cough, sputter or backfire. Whole process (pipes and pair valve) took about 2 hours.
Some thoughts on the process:
I was able to use a good screwdriver to back out the phillips screws holding the reed assembly in place. The whole assembly is in good shape if I ever wanted to re-assemble them later (probably won't). Would need to use a new screw though.
I ended up having to re-use the exhaust crush gaskets. Went to five different auto parts stores and NONE of them had a pair in stock. :harder: Was too impatient to order them. Took a chance and got lucky. No exhaust leaks.
I really recommend the purchase of the hose line and rubber plug. Eliminating the extra "T" connection and hose coming from the airbox makes for a cleaner assembly and gives me more confidence things will work correctly.
Made a "D" tool out of a .22 casing. Got it up there with a flexible screwdriver shaft. I adjusted the A/F screw with the tank back on and the airbox loose from its fitting. Pretty much a pain to get to that way. I'd recommend doing it with the tank removed (if possible) so the airbox can be out of the way. I may eventually spring for Hick's A/F screw.
With the new pipes and the minor adjustments, the bike cold starts much better, accelerates smoother, and (of course) sounds much better. I've not even had to use my throttle lock for warm-up. Also took a few pounds off the bike by removing the stock pipes.
Thanks again to all here who've posted (and linked) on these topics. Even the multiple posts help, because some cover things others do not. It's so much nicer to be able to do these improvements yourself, know it was done correctly, and learn about your bike in the process! Now, I'll need to look into picking up a set of the Kury driveshaft and swingarm covers. Cheers! :cheers:
Nice work and write-up; very satisfying doing it yourself and knowing it's done right. Make sure to re-check the header nuts again for torque/tightness after about your first 150 miles or so. They can back off a little after new pipe install.