Yesterday, after a week of continual rain, and freedom from other commitments, I managed to take a ride down to Pietermaritzburg.
I didn’t mention in the earlier post, which dealt with fitting the Akra, that I had decided not to take the bike in to Alfie Cox Racing to be re-mapped (or have it collected as Alfie had kindly offered), but rather to wait instead for the 1000 km service. I did carry out the well-known 15 minute EFI reset, mainly in order to allow the silencer to reach operating temperature in a controlled manner. This is apparently important to allow the thermal wool inside the silencer to expand evenly and should extend the life of the wool. I’ve never read anything about a 15 minute reset in any official KTM material, so for all I know it may just be part of orange mythology. Even if the procedure does allow the EFI to compensate for altitude and temperature changes, I very much doubt that it would have any effect in terms of adjusting to the new silencer – for which the KTM remap is recommended.*
The new silencer looks great, and subjectively has a slightly deeper tone without being loud – which is what I wanted to achieve. The bike seems to run perfectly even without the remap, and again subjectively, seems to handle the throttle being opened at below 3 500 rpm more comfortably than with the standard unit fitted.
I was a little put off by the note in the Akrapovic fitting instructions which recommends that the silencer be checked at least every 5000 km to ascertain whether the thermal wool needs replacing. How much of a pain this turns out to be remains to be seen.
The pipe which emerges from the end of the silencer is not perfectly finished and looks as if it was cut on a day just before Akrapovic were due to replace their saw-blades, cutting wheels, or whatever is used in the factory to cut the pipes. I’m nitpicking, but at the price, I think one is entitled to expect perfection.
Gorasd Marovic, owner of Wings, has offered me one of the first units to be made for the Duke 4, so I’m looking forward to receiving that in due course and comparing it to the Akrapovic.
The bike remains a joy and I keep thinking of ways to take slight detours in order to extend my riding time.
* postscript 30 November 2012 – subsequent to writing this post, I became aware of conversation on the Dutch forum motor-forum.nl which indicated that the available remap for the Duke 4 is intended only for the camshaft/airbox/exhaust modification and that no remap is available for the simple exhaust upgrade. Owners who had fitted the exhaust only, and who had then remapped were reporting stalling issues.
Alfie Cox has subsequently confirmed that a remap is not required, (or appropriate) and I must say that I’m somewhat relieved as the bike is running so well that I was reluctant to have it remapped.