2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R | Doin' Time

Wrist: Dave Sonsky
MSRP (2012): $14,699
Miles: 1401
MPG: 36
Mods: Two Brothers Powertip

Either I’ve finally reached a certain level of maturity or simply come to the conclusion that 186 horsepower is sufficient for the street, because I opted to reduce power output this month. Say what? Who would do such a thing? I certainly would have never guessed that I’d sacrifice power to drop a few decibels, and on anything less than the absurdly strong ZX-14R, I wouldn’t.

Last month’s installation of dual Two Brothers slip-on cans saved incredible weight (31.5 pounds) and added power, but they also spat out a bit more bark than I could tolerate for commuting duties. Two Bros offers a quick solution with its line of Powertip sound suppressors. Two tips with different inner diameters are interchangeable and are claimed to reduce sound output by 3-8 dB. Another trip to the dyno was scheduled to find out what price I’d have to pay for a little less exertion on the eardrums. Bear in mind that around town, the “untipped” exhausts sound impeccable, but for freeway droning they’re just a tad much.

The unrestricted exhausts registered 90.1 dBA at idle and 107.2 dBA at 5000 rpm—freeway speed. With the P1X Powertip (_www.twobros.com_; $34.98 each) we sacrificed 2.7 bhp but also knocked the dB levels back considerably—to 84.5 at idle and 102.7 at 5000 rpm. A 5 dBA drop goes a long way and required only the removal of each end cap to install. The less-restrictive (larger inner diameter) P1 Powertip ($29.98 each) cut the sound levels back to 86.6 and 104.5 dBA, respectively, while actually gaining 1.3 bhp at peak compared to the tip-less exhaust. I'm quite happy with the ZX-14R's soft growl with the P1X Powertips installed, and honestly haven't even noticed the three ponies I had to sacrifice. Maturity isn't so bad after all.