Aftermarket exhaust pipe symmetry issue

arcticXS

XS650 Guru
Top Contributor
Messages
2,169
Reaction score
3,480
Points
263
Location
Tromsoe, Norway
I have a set of chromed, single wall, 38 mm OD (1 1/2") pipes, purchased from Heiden tuning some 10 years ago (Most likely identical to pipes sold by MikesXS at that time, and some time after ).
They were never perfectly symmetrical, when viewed from forward, but I never bothered to post any complaint about it. The mufflers still ended up symmetrical at the tail end, which was more important IMHO.
When fitting my rearset pegs, the RH pipe is interfering slightly with the brake pedal, so it has become more of an issue now. See attached pics, showing that they differ in both horizontal and vertical position as viewed from the front. The RH is both lower and further out from the frame cradle.
So my question is if any other forum members have experienced similar issues with MikesXS/ Heiden Tuning 1 1/2" pipes?
received_786766498927823.jpeg
received_1410125176023946.jpeg
 
I have a set of chromed, single wall, 38 mm OD (1 1/2") pipes, purchased from Heiden tuning some 10 years ago (Most likely identical to pipes sold by MikesXS at that time, and some time after ).
They were never perfectly symmetrical, when viewed from forward, but I never bothered to post any complaint about it. The mufflers still ended up symmetrical at the tail end, which was more important IMHO.
When fitting my rearset pegs, the RH pipe is interfering slightly with the brake pedal, so it has become more of an issue now. See attached pics, showing that they differ in both horizontal and vertical position as viewed from the front. The RH is both lower and further out from the frame cradle.
So my question is if any other forum members have experienced similar issues with MikesXS/ Heiden Tuning 1 1/2" pipes?
View attachment 186356 View attachment 186357
Yes, the ones I got from Mikes did the same... quite a bit actually. I used a bench top belt sander to change the angle of the flange that fits into the head. Adjusted up and down... left and right until both fit the same. Drawing is exaggerated obviously...


PXL_20210306_213523557.jpg
 
I've a set of the single wall 1 1/2" headers - provenance unknown - but these have the frame mounting tab on each side. Left side no problem, right side just a millimeter off to get that bolt started and in.
With the header bolted down tight at the head and the tab aligned but off a smidge down, the ratchet strap was applied to pull the header up a wee bit.
 
Unbelievable! You guys mean that those ethical and meticulous master technicians, Jerry Heiden and Mike Lalonde, would have sold defective pipes for so long to so many and never bothered to make a correction? Must be 'cause XS650 owners are so polite and reluctant to complain that Mike and Jerry didn't realize that there was a problem.:laugh2:
 
I've had the same problem with the same pipes from the same supplier which is part of the reason I've totally given up on those guys and their partners. but I digress. The lack of symmetry exacerbates itself when you mock up the entire system. My mufflers ended up being not centered on the bike and not even the same height off the ground. Hours upon hours of juggling shims, spacers, clamps and brackets finally produced something I could live with. It was a major P.I.T.A. 'cause I want things to fit right.
 
CC4F6D44-3D67-4D4A-B1C4-1BA50F0A6D4D.jpeg
Very difficult, if not impossible for an aftermarket outfit to get symmetry in exhausts. I think it’s a given that some juggling has to be done to get them anywhere near.
Two down one side, or Siamese is the way forward.
Quite how the original manufacturers did it ?
 
Last edited:
Arctic XS 650 Guru : Joe of Yamahaxs650.com replying for Mike Lalonde/Heiden Tuning.
Heiden Tuning and Mike Lalonde the owner of Mikes XS up to Feb. 2011 co-developed all of the exhausts except the XS1 mufflers.
The stock oem exhaust and all aftermarket exhaust at the time were found to be uneven when it
was discovered that 2 Very low mileage 81 650,s had a difference of Almost 3/8 of an inch at some mounting points on the same frames.
Talking heads and self appointed experts may constantly disparage the reputation of these builders but all that does is prove that
they have never been involved in the pipe or frame fabrication business. The smallest difference at the head can end up a big
difference rearward and at a lower position on the pipe. Fabrication and factory quality control is better now but still far from perfect.
Tolerances can not be so tight that the systems will only fit the most perfect ?? of Bikes. Force the small difference and you will find
that everything has moved after the first " Hot " run. Also you will find that the $1,200 OEM exhaust is no better than most of the $200.00 exhaust.
The president of Yamaha Europe when shown the XS1 replica's asked Mike if he would consider build some of Yamaha's limited production OEM
exhaust. The owner of MAC exhaust was a close friend of Mike and made all of Yoshimura's Suzuki exhaust including the Daytona winning race pipes.
Mike literally spent month's at the MAC factory during that era and learned a lot. Mike sold over 20,000 complete MAC systems to dealers and never had hardly any returns. How close to tolerance is a Monday bike to a Thursday bike ? How did the welder feel that day ? Joe
 
I agree with Traderjoe on most points he made. The thing you have to remember is that like most things these systems are mass produced, and made to a price point so of course there will be some variation. Same with the bikes.

Somewhat like buying a suit. A off the rack suit will fit well enough but not even close to a tailor cut suit.
For us cheap bastards a little fitting and bending comes with the territory .

If you want something that fits as tight as a glove you have to seek out a more custom solution.

I was lucky living in Houston back in the day that I could take my bikes to Jon at Jemco exhaust and they built several expansion cambers for my racing bikes that were amazing. Fit like a tailored suit.

I regret not having them build pipes for Old Brown. Jon has retired but sold his tooling to a company in Kentucky.
BTW Old Brown has a 2 into 1 pipe from Mikes's that fits well enough.
 
Last edited:
Arctic XS 650 Guru : Joe of Yamahaxs650.com replying for Mike Lalonde/Heiden Tuning.
Thanks for your thorough and insightful reply!
I actually had a worse problem when fitting an expensive set of Italian made "Gualdi" CF / SS exhaust on my 95 Ducati Monster. So bad that I had to cut & weld the pipes myself. So is not an unknown issue.

Back to the XS; my " problem pipes" appear to be your part # 07-0757 (Single wall, 38 mm OD, approx. 35 mm ID) has there been any adjustments or improved QC on these items lately?
Also, even if they would fit perfectly symmetrical on my XS, they still could be improved IMHO. The bend radii seem too small, compared to the oem pipes, as well as the 70-73 replica pipes, your part #07-0753, which look a lot better.
From a fabrication perspective, one would think that larger bend radii are easier to do, so I struggle a bit with why the #07-0757 pipes have such abrupt bends. (Which also may compromise power a tiny bit, due to increased flow restriction)
But I also believe the #07-0753 are thick wall, so significantly heavier, and also have smaller ID? And also do not have the slight upwards bend at the and that the later models have. Please confirm if possible.
 
Arctic: The grizld one was calling Mike and Heiden specifically and He was replying to the usual insults
and accusations made by him. We cannot say what is been sold in the last ten years as the current
owners will run down the road for the smallest of lower prices.
 
On a set of aftermarket headers without the frame tab that were off a bit, it wouldn't be beyond me to try a "P" clamp and secure them to the frame.......but then again I'm kinda odd at times and not too particular.......
 
To be fair, I use a pair of 1-3/4" stainless pipes sourced from Mike's XS, and they fit fine. No frame tabs, used P-clamps to firm things up.

Easton (Jemco) makes claims he doesn't live up to. I bought a pair of custom nickel plated pipes from him years ago. "No," said Mr. Easton, "I don't do crush bends, I use only mandrel bends." He outright lied. Both pipes were crushed at the second bend, and not just a little bit. Given the location of the crush, he could have swaged it out. He didn't bother. The pipes arrived around 5 weeks after the promised date, the season was getting short, so I ran them. I'm dirty minded enough to suspect that Easton may have been counting on that.
 
On a set of aftermarket headers without the frame tab that were off a bit, it wouldn't be beyond me to try a "P" clamp and secure them to the frame.......but then again I'm kinda odd at times and not too particular.......
That's exactly what I did, and with spacers - both sides, different lengths. If I had to do this all over again I'd give serious consideration to the stainless "street" pipes by Gary Hoos. I can polish the livin' daylights out of stainless and the typical aftermarket kick-up at the end of the pipe means nothing to me.
 
Easton (Jemco) makes claims he doesn't live up to.

Pretty much the opposite of my experience with Jemco. For example I took my KE125 pit bike to them. Bear in mind that this "pit bike" had racing slicks,clip on's and rear sets. I came back with a beautiful pipe that took advantage of the ground clearance under the engine that took full advantage of the trimmed rotary valve and carb from a larger Kawa dirt bike. It was a pretty pipe with removable suppressor that could be replace with a length of EMT when I wanted to annoy my the neighborhood.

My R5 race bike had Jemco expansion chambers that were amazing in comparison to the other Yamaha 2 strokes with chambers I had ridden. Again well designed and I scraped stuff on the R5 but never the pipes.
Now admittedly things change in 35-40 years but I have seen some recent Jemco pipes that were worth the "Custom Suit Price" they charge.

I'm saving my dimes for a set of pipes for my RZ rebuild from them will I can still get them.

And the one thing you left out was how did the bike run with the Jemco pipes?
 
In any case, it seems there are precious few off the shelf options, especially if I want thin wall 1 1/2" (38 mm) OD pipes. MAC are shut down, if I understood correctly, and in any case, all their pipes were 1 3/4" . I did like their exhaust with "TT" style headpipes, running under the engine, before angling up and out to connect to the mufflers.
If I could get a pair of 38 mm, thin wall SS headers in that style, or like the stock headers, I would accept a pretty stiff price if they were reasonably well made. And should they need any tweaking, SS polishes up nicely after welding anyway.
 
Last edited:
To be fair, I use a pair of 1-3/4" stainless pipes sourced from Mike's XS, and they fit fine. No frame tabs, used P-clamps to firm things up.

I assume you have a fairly hot 750 cc engine, IIRC? Otherwise the pipes would be a bit too large, if I understood what I have been reading about XS tuning.
No frame tabs is an advantage, in my opinion, as that allows the use of alternative flanges. The stock, and aftermarket reproduction flanges are stupid heavy cast iron, and alloy flanges hold up just fine, saving a lot of weight.
 
I've needed to "tweak" just about every aftermarket exhaust I ever got for any bike. I just sort of accept it as S.O.P. On my two 650s, I put MAC headpipes on the first one many years ago. I got them from Mike's because this is what they sold before they started having their own made up. The left side fit fine but there were issues with the right. It was too close to the engine case along the bottom, actually hitting it. There was also a bad sealing issue into the head. The MAC pipes have a very narrow sealing lip on the end. It easily slipped off the seal ring and wouldn't stay put so they leaked like crazy. I fixed the issue by using the stepped ends of the old original headpipes .....

1rc0sYU.jpg


Not only did this mount them up leak-free and solid as a rock, but it also spaced the pipe away from the bike a bit more which cured the clearance issue under the right engine cover.

I recently got some of the current MikesXS headpipes for my '83. They had some issues as well. Again, the left side was fine, and while the right does have the needed clearance under the engine side cover, it wasn't bent out enough on the end so the muffler contacted the axle head. I fixed it by slightly bending the end out more in a pipe bender. The only other issue I have with them is I wish they swept up at the ends a bit more. As it is, you have to pull a muffler to get the rear axle out .....

joAyxGq.jpg


On the other hand, the MAC pipes are just perfect in this regard. They kick up the mufflers enough to clear the axle but set them low enough to clear my bags .....

kFWNR4c.jpg
 
@traderjoe
Thanks for your explanation, although some questions just from a technical point of view still remain for me.
Given all the explanation that one will, i still don't understand if the frame had a bias of 3/8" in the front why it would, judging by the pictures triple in the back?
For me 3/8" in the front would be still 3/8" in the back, but maybe that's just my reasoning or as often I understood only half of it.
Different it would be if somebody tells me that the gasket mating areas of the header pipes where milled uneven or with low tolerances, but Imho 3/8" on frame parallelness doesn't explain sufficiently, for a header pipe being off that much in the rear.
I think it would be quite helpful if one of the owners of said headers puts both of them on a flat surface and compares measurements/angles.

Kind regards

Christian
 
Last edited:
Well, my pipes, on my bike, show several inconsistensies. The LH pipe runs pretty much vertical as viewed from the front, while the RH angles out slightly, so ends up further out from the frame cradle. And the bottom of the lower bend is lower om the RH pipe.
 
Back
Top