When I decided I wanted to keep the Sporty, I put a new exhaust on my list of future upgrades. Fortunately for the Sportster, there are dozens of options. Like just about everyone else I know, I wanted the bike to sound a bit better than stock, although I didn’t really mind the way the stock mufflers sounded. I also wanted to get a bit of performance boost, so that pretty much ruled out some kind of slip-on option (which probably would have cost a little less).
I probably spent three or four months trying to decide what I really wanted. With World of Speed fast approaching, I have to admit I didn’t plan on getting too serious until I got back from the Salt Flats, but I was leaning toward a 2-into-1 system. In addition to looking very cool, the system scavenges better and was likely to give me a bigger horsepower boost than the duals that most guys end up putting on their bikes.
When I came across the Cobra PowerPro HP 2-into-1 system, I thought I’d found exactly what I was looking for. They offer this in black too, but I love the chrome—I guess I’m just old school that way. I didn’t want to go with a stainless system, although there are a few out there that have great reputations, but I didn’t want something that would stain over time. Cobra guarantees the heat shields and the muffler for life—which was a plus. I also didn’t want something that would give me less ground clearance. The Cobra looked like it was about the same as stock.
I thought the system looked good, so I put my money down and placed my order.
Vances & Hines FP3 Controller
I also ordered the FP3 controller by Vance & Hines. I’d been reading about how easy to use and what a great tuner it was for garage mechanics like me for a long time. It made sense.
Installation was a breeze, as expected. I’ve been experimenting with maps, but haven’t found the perfect situation yet. I’ve started to Auto-Tune, but I’m not done going through that process yet.
I’ll update my thoughts on the FP3 when I’ve lived with it for a while longer. Let’s go back to the exhaust.
Why Am I a Cobra Fan Boy?
I was pretty excited when my box from Revzilla arrived. I spent the next couple of days dismantling the stock pipes and installing my beautiful new exhaust.
Opening the package I couldn’t find any instructions, but I’d had the SuperTrap exhaust off the X1 a couple of times getting ready for Bonneville, so I figured things out. I didn’t know if it was an oversight, or if it just came that way. However, I had the exhaust installed before I realized I was missing the heat shield for the pipe coming out of the rear jug. I wasn’t too worried though, because Revzilla has always given me great customer service. I figured I would call them, let them know what was missing, and they would send the missing piece.
I was wrong.
They couldn’t help me. Because I had already installed the system, I couldn’t send it back for a replacement. They referred me directly to Cobra.
My Experience with Cobra
When I got Mike from customer service on the phone, he seemed a little frustrated that there were missing pieces in my package. I was missing some hardware for the mounting brackets (I just used the fasteners from the previous exhaust I already had—and didn’t think much of it), I was missing the instructions, along with the heat shield I knew I was missing.
He asked me if I could send it back.
I didn’t want to dismantle what I’d installed (installing an exhaust system by yourself can be a little more challenging than what you might expect) and told him it was already on the bike. We made sure I had everything else I needed to finish the installation before he told me he would take care of me. And, he did.
He sent me the heat shield as promised, and now, as you can see from the above photos, it’s on the bike.
When Revzilla passed me over to the manufacturer, I thought I might have to purchase the heat shield and I admit to being disappointed in the guys at Revzilla. On the other hand, Cobra took care of me.
I’ve got Vance & Hines on both Sue’s trike and my Road King, but when it comes time to replace them, I’ll be buying something from Cobra. They’ve won my business.
I don’t know if it’s confirmation bias at this point, but I do think I’ve felt some extra umph blasting up the local canyons—and she sounds pretty sweet.
Definitely a little different from a set of duals, but I’m liking it.