Although Yoshimura started as an engine building shop, selling exhaust pipes quickly became the dominant element of the business. The reason is simple, an engine’s ability to make power is largely determined by how quickly it can exhaust spent gasses. So, in the beginning, one of the first pieces to be modified was the exhaust system.
Initially this was simply a matter of making a larger diameter header with a small (and loud) muffler! In the early days, mufflers were dominated by straight pipes and “megaphone” type mufflers.
As motorcycle engines and chassis have become more advanced, so to have the exhausts. Today, Yoshimura has invested millions of dollars in manufacturing equipment to keep up with this advancing technology. Tubes used to be cut with a hack-saw and bent by hand over a torch. Today, CNC cut-off saws cut pipe to length while multi-level CNC tube benders shape pipes to exacting tolerances.
Although Yoshimura uses some computer-controlled robot welding machines, the one constant that goes back to the beginning is that all Yoshimura pipes are welded by hand. One of the key reasons Yoshimura pipes enjoy the reputation they do, in addition to the incredible performance our racing, and R&D groups build into them... is the quality. Our TIG welds have been described as art! I don’t know if we’d go that far, but Yoshimura pipes are built at a quality level few other companies can match.