After 7 weeks since picking it up brand new with 3 miles, I just crossed the 3,000 mile mark on my XR. The last few hundred miles I noticed that the engine smoothed out and quieted down a lot. I also noticed that the stock exhaust REALLY quieted down. I could barely hear it over wind noise when at cruising speed. Under load, it sounded nice, but just didn't have the "bark" you would expect from a large v-twin.
Well, I was gonna wait until next year, but since Victory is offering $250 off, I decided to pull the trigger early on the Tri-Oval Stage 1 kit. It includes Tri-Oval pipes, Victory performance air filter, and EFI recalibration.
While putting together my wish list for future enhancements, I went to the Victory site to get some MSRP prices to compare for on-line shopping. Lo and behold, Ma Vic put a $250 off banner in front of me! I thought to myself, "Self, why wait? The price is right, right now!" So, I printed out the coupon and set up an appointment with the most reputable local dealer in my area
. They had the kit in stock and could get me in 2 days later, which happened to be today. I rode in when the shop opened, and after 90 minutes of impatient waiting, I was back on the road.
I knew the performance gains would be, ummm, modest at best. I was told 6, maybe 8 hp and the same for torque. That does get her up to 90-ish hp and 100-ish ft-lb at the rear wheel. Which, coming off a Vulcan 900, still feels like plenty of power. And seeing as this bike is only 7 weeks old, I didn't want to go with after-market cams, timing wheel, fuel controller and dyno tune (yet) and risk the remaining 97 weeks of the service contract. Ok, that's enough justification for my decision.
First, I think the pipes are beautiful. I elected to go with the full chrome. They compliment the bike quite well. Fit and finish are fantastic. I can't speak as to the air filter 'cause it's hidden under the tank.
Second, the sound. On first start-up, I could feel a shit-eating grin pull across my face. As I pulled out of the dealer and jumped on it, I finally heard a satisfying bark! That being said, for the first 25-30 miles while at cruising speed, I thought I may have made a mistake. It actually seemed annoyingly too loud! I couldn't understand how some others on this forum could describe these pipes as "not much louder than stock when cruising." But, after the 30 mile mark and several hard take-offs, the pipes seemed to settle in, quiet down, and rumble nicely at cruising speed. Definitely louder than stock, but not bad at all. Just a beautiful low rumble. (I have a feeling they will settle down even more with time and miles.) Under load...wow. An exquisite, attention getting, low grumbling bark. That's how 106ci SHOULD sound. Very satisfying to my ears and exactly what I wanted.
Third, and I think this is the underrated portion, is the EFI recalibration. I know some will argue that this is the most useless part of the kit, but I will beg to differ. Throttle response is much better and power is delivered much more smoothly though the entire RPM range. The biggest bonus is in the 2000-2500 RPM range - the engine actually seems happy there. The uncomfortable lugging is all but gone. Mind you, the real happy zone is still above 3600, and that seems to be smoother too.
All in all, if you don't want to go balls-out with after-market mods, and just take full advantage of the OEM set-up, this kit should make you happy. I know I am.