Review: BlackWidow Decat pipe for NC700X

I’ve been stalling this idea for a few months after I got the bike in April.
I wanted to install a Decat pipe (no catalytic converter), and even told you so in the video Honda NC700X – My Bike Modifications! (opens in new tab).

It was not that week that I bought it, but just last week on a Sunday.
So here’s my experience with researching, buying and installing the NC700X Blackwidow decat pipe.

Research!
As you may know, there aren’t a lot of manufacturers that produce decat pipes for the Honda NC700X/S.
Here is a very short list of those who make decat pipes, including links to purchase them:
1. Leovince
2. Arrow
3. Blackwidow

Since I’m a cheapskate, I went with the cheapest option, which is offcourse Blackwidow.
It’s a relatively new and unheard of exhaust manufacturer, which probably stocks exhausts for almost every make and model of bike there is.

I already found out that Blackwidow made a pipe for the NC, but no-one ever tried it out.
It made me feel quite sceptical about the site too.

dec
Blackwidow NC700 Decat pipe

The one thing that pushed me over the barrier to purchase it was Premises187. He had made a video about the install of the Blackwidow Decat pipe for his NC700, and the sound that you hear in his video doesn’t justify the sheer goodness of the full system.

Buying!
So now I was primed to buy one, but since I live in Belgium, and the pipe has to be bought in the UK, I had to pay conversion fees. It still was cheaper than expected. I saved about 24 cents on this purchase.

You can only pay with creditcard or PayPal on the Blackwidow site. I had a Maestro card, but that one needed a CVC code, which I didn’t have. So I pulled out my prepaid CC, load charged it up and paid for the decat pipe.

The processing took about 1 day. Then it got shipped by DPD
I ordered it on Sunday and got it on Wednesday before noon.

Unboxing!

The decat came in a cardboard box, but it was so light I thought it was empty.
In the box there is:
– Pipe (front piece)
– Pipe (rear piece)
– Assembly putty/gun gum
– Keychain & merchandise (stickers)
– Manual and invoice

Blackwidow box

The pipes are packaged in plastic, with bubble wrap and Blackwidow tape around it, so It’s protected from dings and bangs.

Installation!
Install was quite easy, because I watched Premises’ install video.
However, I did have some problems concerning the fit of the pipe.
The pipe is a bit off, so my Ixil muffler sat askew in the bracket. Other than that, the fitment is perfect.
Don’t forget to remove the ground cable from the exhaust hanger first, because if you don’t you’ll risk damaging it.

Sound!
You have to hear it in person to hear the sheer loudness, raspyness, deep sounding roar that the NC now produces. It’s a big difference if you ask me.
I didn’t change the airfilter to K&N because Premises didn’t too.

However, you need to reset the ECU or you risk running too lean, doing damage to the bike in the long run.

I have made a video about the pipe here:

Review: Ixil Hyperlow XL

As almost everyone knows, stock exhaust systems never sound good on bikes, especially for commuters.

As an old saying (and also controversial saying): Loud pipes save lives.
This is partially true. I never get noticed by cagers unless I have a loud as f*ck exhaust on my bike.
Never had problems with an exhaust that is too loud, they always hear me coming from a mile away.

Now, the original exhaust (muffler) on the NC700X is so silent, that a cooling fan from a car makes more noise. I thus bought a second hand Ixil Hyperlow XL.

Ixil Hyperlow XL

The seller (and also my motorcycle dealer) wanted to have 250€ for it, which was way to high since it was also second hand.
I paid 170€ for the Ixil and cleaned it up some more, and it’s shiny again.

Sound:
The sewing machine sound is gone, and when I start the bike, it gives a nice low growl. When increasing the RPM (going at speed) the bike sounds a lot better.
Keep in mind that I ride without the dB-killers, because it is silent enough to ride without, but still loud enough to keep getting noticed by cagers.

Look:
I really like the look of the Ixil pipe, it reminds me of the Hurric Pro 2, but it looks more sporty.
It definitly makes the bike look good, but I’m a bit worried that water droplets get into the pipe when it rains and the engine is off.

Fit:
You need spacers to get the Hyperlow on the right place. Fitting the muffler onto the header pipe was a bit difficult. But it fits nicely. There’s also a center stand buffer on the pipe present.

Performance:
There is no noticable performance increase, because the catalytic converter still obstructs the flow. A decat header pipe and air filter should work.

Problems:
– Water can get into the exhaust when parked in the rain
– Centerstand buffer is too weak and bends on impact

Here’s a video of the sound recorded with the Tascam DR-05 V2

Review: MSR Classic Inox Muffler

About a year ago, I swapped my muffler for a new one.

For those who want to know why I swapped it, here are some reasons:

  1. The stock one is too silent
  2. The stock one is ugly
  3. The stock one is heavy and dead weight

I also didn’t like the sound it produced and it did limit performance, so the swap was neccesary to get a bit more power out of the bike.

I searched for about 1 week for fitting mufflers (because the Freewind is a special bike), and I found these mufflers will fit, sorted by certified ones:
Non certified (no “E – label”):

  • Dominator (uknown model)

Certified:

  • GPR Trevale
  • MSR (see site for different models, they should all fit)

Since I wanted legal sound, I only could choose between GPR and MSR, both Italian made mufflers, so the quality would (and should) be the same.

Price
Price was also an argument to buying an MSR.
The cheapest one cost about 185€ without shipping, and that’s the one I chose because a second hand GPR Trevale costs about 210€.

Delivery
Delivery was about a week, using wire transfer. Since it had to be delivered from Italy to Belgium, it was very fast.

Package contents
When it arrived, the package contained:

  • Muffler and linkpipe
  • Bracket (with rubber protector)
  • 2 Springs and spring covers
  • Clamp (which didn’t fit)
  • Spark arrestor
  • dB-killer
  • 2 spacers and a bolt

Installation
Installing was fairly foolproof, but you have to use the old clamp and the original bolt.
When istallation was complete, it looked okay, but upon closer inspection, the muffler hits the right indicator and the rear fender. I looked at the pictures on their site, and that looked even weirder than mine, but it isn’t such a big problem.

Sound
The bike sounds a bit more agressive with the new muffler mounted, and finally people will see and hear me coming in the traffic jams.
The sound is a low rumble, but when pinning the throttle, it screams with a lot 🙂
Using the dB killer is also easy, sound is a bit more civilized, but it feels like the power is blocked.

Conclusion
It’s a fairly good muffler for the price I paid. Great finish, but the fitment isn’t always right. It doesn’t rust (because it’s made from stainless steel), and with the dB-killer mounted, it still is a sporty exhaust.
If you want to buy an MSR exhaust, you can always visit maccasport.com or msr-exhaust.it.