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: Givi HP1111 Handguards for Honda NC700X

I like the look of riding without handguards, but the weather just doesn’t get better, and it even started hailing in April!
I thus impulse bought some Givi HP1111 handguards that will fit my Honda NC700X.

Having a windscreen also from Givi (D1111ST), I looked up if they fit, and they did.

Fitment:
The fitment is so precise that it has around 1cm (and less) space between handguard and windscreen.
The handguards mount to the bar ends and mirrors. You can still use the original bar ends.
The other side mounts to the mirrors using a metal bracket and some washers.

Installation
I struggled with the install because there were no instructions, only numbered parts and an exploded view, but it is possible to do it only with the exploded view.
There are also a lot of different parts, which is totally unneccesary and can be made much simpeler when combining 3 different parts into 1.
There is also a third bracket for the DCT version marked with an “A”.

Protection
The Givi HP1111 handguards are mostly to use for wind protection and not for branches or trees. They do have an aerodynamic design, but they don’t wrap around the controls.
I hope I don’t have to make some handguard extensions just like with my old handguards :’)

Cost vs performance
I hope a lot of R&D went into making these handguards, because 100€ for 2 pieces of plastic and some miscellaneous hardware is to my taste a bit overpriced, but I’m happy these fit in combination with my Givi windscreen.

Pros:
– Keeps some wind from your hands, but not all of it
– Protects the levers a bit
– Fits perfectly in combination with other Givi accessories

Cons:
– Expensive (but they are cheaper than barkbusters and Touratech stuff)
– Unclear instructions
– Too much hardware
– Isn’t sturdy enough

A few pictures

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RIP Freewind, Hello NC700XA

Bad news for the Freewind, time of death: March 30 2017. Died at age 19.
Cause of death: Broken gearbox.

I was on my way home, everything was good, till disaster struck. I departed from a traffic light (that was green) and my gearbox rattled in 5th gear.
A few moments later, I lost 5th gear and it sounded like grinding gears. 1-4 still worked.
I stopped to check my chain tension and it was fairly loose, luckely I have some tools with me, and adjusted the chain.

It then continued going home and a few kilometres from home, the first gear began to rattle too and it won’t shift into 2nd gear without putting it in neutral first.

10 metres in my street, the neutral began to rattle like hell. I lost the 1st and 5th gear, and it grinds gears.

Not having time and not wanting to repair the gearbox, I started disassembling the bike for parts. I sold the exhaust to a forum member Solis 560 as a part of a donation to my new bike.
Removal of all the expensive parts I bought for the bike was fairly easy. I recovered the crash bars, pannier rack, lights, handguards, centerstand, and some other pieces that I can use on my new bike or sell.

I then put the Freewind up for sale, but only got fake bidders. Then a man called from a motorcycle salvage yard who wanted to see the bike, I said yes, but didn’t want to let it go under 400€. He kept his word and I kept mine, so I still got 400€ from a bike that is worth 1000€ when it still worked. I think it is a fair price since parts for these bikes are difficult to get, and also expensive.

IMG_20170401_181213_01

Saying farewell to the Freewind that is gone with the wind 😥

The new bike!

Looking for a new bike took 1 day. I searched for motorcycle dealerships and came out at Motorcycle center Caset in Lichtervelde.
They had an enormous assortment of new and second hand bikes. I’m still bound to the A2 35kW regulation, so I went on and looked at the second hand bikes that were 35kW. The only one were the CB500 from 2013 and the NC700 from 2013.

With sub 10k kilometres, the bike was in pristine condition, only 1 scratch on the topcase. I was directly sold, and for that price I couldn’t let it sit. (it was sub 6k). I got a touring windscreen, gel seat, ABS, topcase and carrier, new tires and a new chain. Just like new!

The salesman (and CEO) Johan Caset is also a very friendly, but hard seller. I didn’t mind, because I wanted the bike. After test driving, I was totally sold. It has low mileage, looks new, high MPG and lots of options. The ABS spoke to me the most since I rode 3 years without it.

Now its just waiting till Monday, calling my insurance to fix the papers, and getting the bike on the road to eat up some kilometres!