Aftermarket Headers - Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 02-06-2020, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Aftermarket Headers

Instead of continuing to hijack another thread, I though I might start a new one on this topic.

Delkevic downpipes are beautifully made. Mandrel bend 1-piece pipe with machined plate. 32mm constant diameter is exactly the same as stock down pipe. Again, as I mentioned in the other thread, this will have the same characteristics of keeping exhaust gas velocities high at lower RPMs, which aides part throttle response and midrange torque, at the expense of top end HP. Whether this is good or bad depends on what the rider wants. For me, the Ninja 1000 is not a track bike, so I would rarely - if ever - venture near redline. Top end HP is of little concern to me. Kawi factory engineers selected this size downpipe for good reasons, as it suits the purpose for which they designed the Ninja 1000. I agree.



Lextek's downpipe is a real curiocity. It is made of the same 304 stainless steel as Delkevic. It starts out at 34mm, then flares out to 40mm via a welded cone section. Don't really know why they bothered to do this, as keeping it at 34mm would probably not change the power characteristic too much. But... it is what it is. Build quality is below that of Delkevic, with welded sections where Delkevic has mandrel bent. Fit is not superb, and it appears Lextek knew that, as they included adapter plates for the link pipe attachment point, as if to say: "you'll have to work out the final position, once fitted to the bike." And... the link pipe exit was angled a bit too far in toward the tire. Okay... I bolted the can down tight, and just "persuaded" the linkpipe to the correct angle. Oh well... it all works out in the end. For the price I paid for it, it is a wonderful piece of kit, with some minor DIY caveat. If this is your first rodeo, I wouldn't recommend it. For those of us who have dinked with aftermarket exhaust plenty, it's no biggie.

As for power expectations... I don't much care if it a 2HP more here and 1HP less there. If I really wanted big HP, I would've kept the ZX14R.



I do like the fact that it is single sided and pannier friendly. For now, I've got the 14" can from the Delkevic slip-on I bought for my Street Triple R, just to see how it fits and sounds on the Ninja 1000. I've got a Delkevic 18" polished S.S. can earmarked for the Ninja 1000. I prefer to keep it quiet, plus I favor low-midrange torque vs. top end power. Delkevic quality is every bit the equal of the likes of Yoshi, Two Bro, and GPR. Akra/Remus/etc. are on another cloud deck... but so are their prices.

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'18 Ninja 1000, '18 Street Triple R, '18 KLX250S, '15 250XCF-W, '14 K1600GT, '05 GSXR600 (track)

Last edited by Volfy; 02-06-2020 at 11:33 PM.
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post #2 of 26 Old 02-07-2020, 09:24 AM
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Thank you. Its nice to see some sizes for these systems. I like the detailed measurements. The reason it is significant, on a ninja 1000, is because of this:

Ivan's Performance Products

Look at Ivan's second dyno chart for the ninja 1000. This is the 2014-2016 bike. It's even more significant on the earlier bike.

According to ivan, the stock header tubes are not large enough, and his charts do show this as being true. Small enough that the bike gets a decent sized low-midrange boost as soon as they are replaced with a larger header. The power increases are everywhere, not just on top.

Plus, the top end gain is 15- 20hp. If it was just top end, I totally agree, but when you can increase low-midrange, now a larger diameter header might be worth a look. I get it if the gain is 2 or 3 hp....maybe even 5 but 15-20 is huge on a 120hp machine. All else being equal, the larger header pipes were nice to have. However, when one header is 300, the other 700, that's not equal, and the Dell is a worthwhile option.

You notice a 5-7 hp gain at 3000. 6500 is 15-20hp.

It also factors in that the delk has not been available for that long. I bet more people would have gone that way, if it were an option. For a long time we only had the akra or arrow to choose from, so that made the choice easy. The header had to go if you wanted the 20lb weight reduction.

I wish someone would buy that 149.00 dollar header on ebay.
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post #3 of 26 Old 02-07-2020, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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15-20HP gain is definitely significant. There were bikes I had before (and ones I thought about buying) that I wished had 15-20HP more. The '14 Triumph Trophy SE is a good example. The big triple is an excellent mill with good torque, coupled to a silk smooth tranny. Impressively agile in the turns. But... I wish I can ride nothing but twisties, but the reality is most of my road riding involve dealing with interaction with other traffic. On the freeway, it just was a tad shy on power. I have a very simple rule on what I considered "adequate" power for road riding: Does the bike allows me to put the bike where I want when I want? Especially in traffic situations, where opportunities to a better/safer position open up and close sometimes in a matter of seconds, having enough oomph so I can take advantage of them is crucial. That's important for a road bike.

With the Ninja 1000, it definitely has enough oomph per my rule above. While I wouldn't say no to more power, I don't want it if it compromises anything else. If there is one thing I know for certain, and that is there is no free lunch. It is as true for exhaust tuning as it is for everything else engine tuning related. Ivan has his tuning philosophy, and I respect his expertise. However, he is also in the business of making money selling his wares. I don't necessarily agree with everything he advertises. Take the engine braking for instance. My K1600GT is awfully annoying with its abrupt and harsh engine braking on trailing throttle. Other bikes, including the Ninja 1000, has it well balanced and not that big a problem. In fact, I prefer to have a good bit of engine braking, especially for riding The Pace with buddies of mine that know how to maintain momentum. Done right, you can ride "The Pace" all day without flashing braking lights, as Nick Ienatsch puts it eloquently. Last thing I want is a bike that keeps feeding fuel when I roll off the throttle.

Disabling Lambda sensor close-loop feedback is another. I get that it is necessary for making max HP, but I prefer to keep the efficient of a close loop feed back on mixture control. If this were my track bike, sure. For a sport touring bike where I have to worry a bit about fuel tank range and efficiency, I am not so keen on getting max HP at the expense of everything else.
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'18 Ninja 1000, '18 Street Triple R, '18 KLX250S, '15 250XCF-W, '14 K1600GT, '05 GSXR600 (track)
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post #4 of 26 Old 02-07-2020, 10:55 AM
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You make a lot of sense, and I like how you describe things.

As far as engine braking goes. You are on a 2018 bike. You notice Ivan doesn't have a reflash for it, so his page is dedicated to the earlier bikes. The bike was released in late 2010, for the 2011 riding season. Lets call the 2011-2013 the first gen, the 2014-2016 2nd gen, the 2017-19 third gen, and now we are up to the 2020 which is probably the 4th gen.

Your bike has been revised three times, and from what everyone says, the fueling got better with each generation. You just dont see the complaints on the later bikes like you did with the early machines. The first gen bikes were awful, and the engine braking was massive. I dont know of too many who actually liked the stock bikes fueling if they had ridden anything else. It was terrible, and was damn close to ruining this bike.
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Last edited by rcannon409; 02-07-2020 at 10:58 AM.
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post #5 of 26 Old 02-07-2020, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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I really appreciate being able to express different views and even disagree on things without folks getting bent out of shape. This forum is a refreshing change from the typical stuff I see in other places. You and other regulars here are a big part of it. I just have to give credit where credit is due.

I've been around bikes a long time but a newb to Ninja 1000. It is wonderful to be able to share what I know and also learn from more experienced guys like you. Thank you.

Anyhow, it's been a long time since I test rode earlier models. All I remember was the buzzy engine. I don't doubt you're absolutely right about the fueling in those. Incremental regiment is one big reason I like the Ninja 1000. It really has come a long way since just 8-9yrs ago.
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post #6 of 26 Old 02-07-2020, 03:27 PM
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Volfy, thanks for this thread. Excellent documentation on something I've been thinking about. For me, it's less about extra hp and more about eliminating the cat (for heat reasons) and weight loss so the Delkevic system is a winner for me.

I agree each generation is getting better. The 2011 had the exhaust valve that added some engine braking. Vibration I thought was interesting between the models.
My 2011 started with vibration. Unbearable in the 5-6k rpm range. It smoothed out over time, ~15k miles.

My 2014 started out smooth and developed more and more vibration with time. It never really reached the level of the '11 and stayed the same after ~40k miles. It had 68k on it when we parted.

I haven't been out on my '18 yet so I can't say. Fingers crossed it's nice and smooth. There were mitigations that worked to keep the vibrations away from my body (gel grips, rubber washers under rear tank mount, etc.) but the mirrors remained blurry no matter what.

As for fueling on the low end, a few folks posted their results for dyno tuned power commanders and, if memory serves, the mixture was too rich in the 2-4k range. It was speculated this had to do with sound requirements. And, BTW, we aren't the only ones who like engine braking. Ivan must have heard it enough times that he offers a version with braking restored for those that want it. Just ask.
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post #7 of 26 Old 02-08-2020, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Lextek headers + link pipe right out of box. Front end fitment was excellent. No problem getting everything lined up, with all four 40mm pipes. The O2 sensor port is at the right place (end of collector). Fitment on the tail end, as mentioned above, is not the greatest. 304 is not the best stainless steel alloy, but roads around here rarely gets salted (only once in my 20yrs here), and my OCD doesn't allow my bikes to stay dirty.


'18 Ninja 1000, '18 Street Triple R, '18 KLX250S, '15 250XCF-W, '14 K1600GT, '05 GSXR600 (track)
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post #8 of 26 Old 02-08-2020, 09:59 PM
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I'd be curious how they perform against the Akrapovic. My Akrapovic header tubes are 38mm. One of Ivan's comments to me it's most of the headers are too big and lose down low and in the middle. He said the Akrapovic was best overall.

You definitely would not want to run a ZX10R header even if it fit. They are 37.5 that step up to 43mm. I wonder how this 03 Z1000 Leo Vince header I have laying around would do on the newer gens, or if it would even fit? It's also 38mm.
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post #9 of 26 Old 02-08-2020, 10:33 PM
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Akra is 38? I'll measure my arrow, tomorrow. With it on, you dont loose low end, but that's not because of the pipe.

When Ivan removed the restrictions, that added so much, it's impossible to say just what the fat pipes did, or didnt do. When he adds 10, who knows if you gave up 2 or 3 and only got plus 7?
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post #10 of 26 Old 02-09-2020, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcannon409 View Post
Akra is 38? I'll measure my arrow, tomorrow. With it on, you dont loose low end, but that's not because of the pipe.

When Ivan removed the restrictions, that added so much, it's impossible to say just what the fat pipes did, or didnt do. When he adds 10, who knows if you gave up 2 or 3 and only got plus 7?
I just measured my gf's header. I do remember my old Arrow being bigger, even visually. I measured OD, not ID

Last edited by 57x; 02-09-2020 at 12:19 AM.
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