Exhaust Systems, Ohlins Shock/Fork And Carbon-Fiber Wheels - Maximum Snob

How To One-Up Your Status-Conscious Riding Pals

In the rarefied world of hyperexotica, the bits and pieces that come on your admittedly really good superbike are painfully dull and terribly pedestrian. Where's the joy in an off-the-rack shock or a standard-issue set of tediously durable wheels? And what good can come from a quiet exhaust system that'll probably last the life of the bike?

Nothing, we say. If you're planning to impress the waitresses at the Twisty Road Caf (good luck with that), you'll need something with show-off credentials to make you stand out.

Pipe Dreams
Motorcycle manufacturers would love to give you roarty exhaust systems, pipes and cans that would let the engine really sing. The suits in Washington D.C. have something else to say about that, however-which explains catalytic converters and quiet-as-a-mouse mufflers. In what may be a return of the favor from former Cold War opponents, you've got Akrapovic exhaust systems. Currently the rage in image-infatuated Europe (thanks in part to the brand's dominant presence in World Superbike competition) these systems are built from TIG-welded stainless steel and capped off with your choice of titanium or carbon-fiber silencers ($1000). Race-only systems are louder yet, and are designed to boost high-rpm horsepower. Either way, you get some of the loveliest systems on the planet. Just check out those welds-makes you want to cry. Lockhart Phillips distributes Akrapovic's artwork here in the States; contact (800) 221-7291 or www.lockhart phillips.com.

Shocking (and Forking) Developments
hlins is the undisputed King of Cred. The presence of a gold-anodized shock and yellow spring unequivocally indicates your intelligence and consumer savvy. Actually, there's a good reason for stepping up to hlins gear. Take, for example, its race-derived inverted fork, designed to slip right into the eagerly awaiting triple clamps of the nearest Yamaha R1. Thanks to a super-hard nitride finish, the fork legs have less friction than the stockers and the internals are dramatically better. hlins, because it charges more, has the luxury of building closer-tolerance damping circuits that are designed for tuning flexibility. The Yamaha R1 fork starts at $2495 and includes specialized damping circuits and multiadjustability. hlins' matching rear shock ($1041) can be ordered with rebound and compression-damping adjustability as well as ride-height and remote hydraulic preload adjusters. hlins USA can be reached at (828) 692-4525 or www.ohlinsusa.com.

Wheely Trick Hoops
Are aluminum wheels old hat, has-beens, yesterday's news? Even magnesium makes you yawn? How about a set of carbon-fiber wheels, then? Dymag has been working on these hoops since 1994 and has perfected both the design and the manufacturing processes. (At $4545 a set, the company may be charging by the hour.) Dymag's die-formed carbon wheels are claimed to be about 50 percent lighter than even wispy magnesium aftermarket wheels, and probably a third the weight of standard-issue aluminum rims. Reduced wheel weight improves steering response, acceleration, deceleration, and makes life for the suspension much easier. And they look stupendously trick. Available in 17-inch sizes front and rear for the more popular sportybikes. Dymag is distributed through Superbike Racing (912) 242-0666; www.superbikeracing.com.