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Review

Review: SC-Project exhausts for Triumph Speed Triple

By Mario

SC-Project is a popular exhaust choice in MotoGP and Moto2. Although most closely associated with MV Agusta, they offer a massive range for other road bikes. We tried some new cans on Triumph’s Speed Triple.

Everybody loves a fruity pipe, right? So choosing what to fit comes down to a handful of questions: how much, how well made is it, how easy is to fit and what does it sound like? Plus, of course, aesthetics.

Beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder, but we reckon the SC-Project cans look the business. They’re certainly an improvement on the standard exhausts, and they shave 2.8kg off the kerb weight. Also, the weight loss shifts the C-of-G marginally down and forward – nearly always a good thing.

Aren’t twin, high-mount cans a bit "2005 called and they want their exhausts back"? Possibly, but it has become something of a Speed Triple trademark since Rodolfo Farscoli designed the first 1050 version of Triumph’s iconic machine. Also, while a 3-into-1 low-mount would be cheaper, I’ve been down that route before on a 2011 Speed Triple and it demands other changes. As a ‘look’ it only really works with a tail tidy and removal of the pillion pegs, to give that sharp, minimalist edge at the rear.

The Triumph Speed Triple before modification

The Triumph Speed Triple before modification

Why SC-Project rather than Hinkley-endorsed Arrow? Well, they’re both hand-crafted and made in Italy; both have impressive pedigrees in top-level racing, and both do much the same in terms of weight, power and exhaust note. But a look on the Triumph NZ website reveals Arrow high-level cans with a RRP of NZ$2,299, while SC-Project Oceania will sell you these puppies for $1,190 Aussie.

Not only that, the Arrow system involves replacing the ‘Y’ pipe as well as the cans, while the SC-Project cans literally ‘slip-on’ to the existing Y pipe. Or at least that’s the promise. We decided to fit them ourselves to see just how easy the installation is in practice. 

Tools for the installation

The tools for doing the installation ourselves

Socket to ‘em

Stripping the stock Triumph cans off and putting on the new SC-Project items doesn’t involve any special tools. A 10mm socket and ratchet, 12mm and 13mm open-ended spanners, a 5mm Allen key and a T30 star drive are all you need.

The starting point is to undo the exhaust clamps at the front which grip the Y pipe:

The exhaust clamps at the front which grip the Y pipe

The exhaust clamps at the front which grip the Y pipe

Undoing the clamps with 10mm socket

Undoing the clamps using the 10mm socket wrench

They’re accessed from the inside, between the two cans, with a 10mm socket.

Undoing Allen screws

Undoing the Allen screws

Next, strip off the pillion and rider seats. The pillion pad comes off with a turn of the key, the rider’s needs two short Allen screws undone at the rear. Once the seats are off, the two sides that constitute the ‘tail piece’ need to be removed, involving that star-drive bit and three screws per side. This gives access to the top mounts of each can.

So far, so socket set.

Out with the old

The fitting instructions process diagram

The fitting instructions process diagram

The fitting instructions, as you can see, aren’t exactly comprehensive but the process is pretty straightforward.

Loosening the bolts

Loosening the bolts

With the front clamps loosened, all that secures the original cans is a 12mm hex-head bolt that goes through a frame mount then screws into a retained nut on the can’s bracket. Loosen the bolt then pull it back enough to clear the bracket and carefully slide the can off the Y pipe.

Cans removed from the Y pipe

Cans removed from the Y pipes

With the cans out of the way, it’s easy to clean and inspect the area around the shock.

On with the new

Fitting the new exhaust is just as easy. There are no clamps at the pipe join. Instead, two Allen screws clamp the can to its bracket: loosening these allows the can to be slid down onto the pipe for the best fit, then clamped up. I was a bit sceptical that there wouldn’t be leaks at the join but it was all good.

Slide the new can onto the pipe

Slide the new can onto the pipe

Fitting and securing the can

Fitting and securing the can

So, just slip on each can, push the hex-head bolt through the hole on the bracket, then fit the washer and flanged nut supplied. The only faff is getting the washer and nut onto the thread, as access is tight. Top tip: put the washer on with your fingers but use an open-ended 13mm spanner to offer up the nut, then turn the bolt by hand to engage the thread.

Adjusting the can to seat properly on the pipe stem, then tightening the screws

Adjusting the can to seat properly on the pipe stem, then tightening the screws

Once the main bracket bolt is tight, adjust the can until it seats properly on the pipe stem, then tighten the two Allen screws on the inside. Voila!

Deciding where the heat-proof stickers are to sit on the can

Deciding where the heat-proof stickers are to sit on the can

All that remains is to reassemble the tailpiece, refit the seats and then–the finishing touch–decide where you want the heat-proof stickers to sit.

Finished Triumph Speed Triple with new cans

Finished Triumph Speed Triple with new cans

Sound choice

Here’s how the Speedie sounds on its stock system:

Speedie with stock system exhausts

Click the image to hear the Triumph Speed Triple with stock system exhaust

The SC-Project exhausts come with removable dB killers. Here’s what they sound like in:

Speedie with SC_Project exhausts that have dB killers in

Click to hear the Triumph Speed Triple with SC-Project exhausts that have baffles in

And this is with the baffles out:

Speedie with SC_Project exhausts that have dB killers out

Click to hear the Triumph Speed Triple with SC-Project exhausts that have baffles out

Which would you choose? The dB killers are held in place with internal circlips: quite meaty ones, necessitating a trip round to Ferg’s place for suitable pliers.

The SC-Project cans look and sound good, are a breeze to fit and appear to be well made, with a flawless finish. At AUD$1,190 direct from the Australasian distributor they’re pretty good value too.

The value of DIY

If you don’t do much spannering on your own ‘bike, a simple project like this is a great confidence-builder. And that’s a good thing because looking after your machine pays dividends in safety and resale value.

A lot of fine engineering goes into any motorcycle and the parts are more highly stressed than on more mundane vehicles. So being able to change your brake fluid and pads, tweak the suspension to improve ride and handling, or even adjusting the handlebars and levers for better control all make sense. That’s why our good mate Dave Moss has been such a regular–and hugely popular–feature at the Ride Forever Shiny Side Up events and other workshops.

So get your hands dirty and give it a go. If the weather’s not inviting you for a ride, get out to the garage and give your ‘bike a check over: tyres, chain tension, brake pad wear, fluid levels, tyre pressures, handlebar and lever position. All very simple but very worthwhile. And when it comes to accessories, the world’s your oyster. Next up on the Speedie is some crash protection, including a spindle for the rear wheel with paddock stand bobbins.

Specifications

Make: SC-Project
Model: High-mount ovals T16-12C
Material: Carbon fibre (+ titanium and black stainless steel options)
Weight: 1.75kg x2 (stock: 3.15kg x2)
Price: AU$1,190
Availability: Direct from sc-project.com.au