Four Steps to Heaven
"Today’s environment has become even more difficult for custom style motorcycle dealers than it usually is," says Dom Pompeii, founder and Managing Director of Australian custom exhaust manufacturer Blow Performance Exhausts.
"Aside from Covid, the latest issues to shape the business environment are little matters such as inventory shortages, freight delays and rising inflation. Increasing costs and shortage of product are a toxic combination at the best of times - but for most authorized and aftermarket dealers it just adds to what is already a complex matrix of business challenges.
"One of the most difficult challenges, of course, has always been the cost of inventory, and that doesn't only mean the bikes on the showroom floor. Shops that want to stay serious about optimizing the aftermarket exhaust system sales opportunities are operating in a hugely competitive environment - one where inventory, even if it is only sample inventory, is itself no small overhead.
|Our 'KUTBAK KITS' mean dealers can cover most Harley-Davidson Big Twin model applications with just four exhaust systems. Our systems connect with a center bolt and connection housing and attach to the gearbox, not to the chassis.
"When we built the Blow Performance business model, we did so in such a way that we could balance the need for a dealer to let the customer see and get their hands on the product, with the sometimes prohibitive expense of being able to hold examples of as many of a manufacturer's designs, applications and fitments as possible.
|With just the addition of a Screamin' Eagle heavy breather air cleaner, the blow performance 'KUTBAK' 2:2 made 89.7 hp and 109.4 nm compared to the 2011 90 cubic inch stock Fat Boy's 65.8 hp, 85.8 nm with the stock factory exhaust.
"These days nobody can afford to have the kind of inventory needed to keep anything up to a dozen exhausts on the wall, or on the shelf outback, just for customers to be able to make their choice. That would be a lot of capital tied up, and it can also create complex sales issues, too." "Which one is right for my bike? Which design do I like best?" "We have met that problem head-on and are able to make it far easier for our dealers to be able to answer those questions for their customers without breaking the bank."
With Blow Performance Exhausts' "KUTBAK KITS", just four exhaust systems will cover most of Harley-Davidson Big Twin applications - 80 ci to 131 ci Evo and Twin Cam Big Twins from 1984 right up to 2016, as well as 107 ci to 131 ci Milwaukee-Eight applications - from their introduction in 2017 right up to 2022 models.
"Our systems connect with a center bolt and connection housing and attach to the gearbox, not the chassis," explains Dom. "This allows our product to suit most of the Harley Big Twin range - we had this in mind from the 'get-go' when designing our exhaust systems. We are working on new designs to incorporate Sportster models (Evo engines with forward controls) and H-D 2021 models with three and four oxygen sensors, and we are hoping to have these available by mid-2022.
"But different and better our systems truly are, and different and better engaging with the Blow brand truly is - and that logistics problem? We keep permanent, well stocked inventory levels in North America and Europe, so dealers in the primary markets won't need to keep their customers waiting."
Dom says that in order to find out exactly how good the Blow Performance exhausts really are, they hooked up with Anthony Rodrigues (Maztech of Melbourne), one of, if not the most highly respected dyno tuners in Australia ("or anywhere for that matter," says Dom), for an independent analysis and comparative test.
|Pro Performance catalytic convertor
"Under controlled conditions we compared our exhaust systems with the factory system on a stock Harley-Davidson 2011 96 ci Fat Boy with our own and with two of the world’s biggest motorcycle exhaust system brands - Vance & Hines (Big Radius 2 into 2) and Bassani (Road Rage 2 into 1).
"Several comparisons were performed on various Harley models and engines, but we like using the 2011 Fat Boy data because it is 'real world' representative of a lot more of the bikes on the road worldwide at this time than a late model.
"Rodrigues tuned each set of pipes under the same controlled conditions. We left the original Harley-Davidson stock air cleaner with the stock pipes for our first test, for the other three exhaust systems we simply swapped the stock air cleaner with a Screamin' Eagle Heavy Breather.
"We found that all three of the replacements added power and torque compared to stock, but that the Blow Performance exhaust put on an additional 24.9 hp (a 38% gain) and 23.6 ft lbs of additional torque (a 28% gain) over the Harley-Davidson factory exhausts. That’s like adding an extra cylinder! All we did was to add a performance air cleaner and our 3-step performance exhaust system.
"Admittedly, Rodrigues is one of the best, and it is extremely important that when changing air or exhaust you do retune the engine to optimize the return on the customer's investment, but you can see for yourself by simply searching for the Maztech of Melbourne Facebook page and listening to what Rodrigues has to say about our product, rather than just taking our word for it!"