If you’re a Stock Honda driver who races in a SKUSA sanctioned series, chances are you’ve already heard the news about SKUSAs new spec exhaust pipe. The RLV R4, RCE T3, and others are still legal…for now.
Starting in 2014, the new SK1 will be compulsory for all stock Honda SKUSA competitors. The politics behind requiring a new $300 part for competitions may be a bit of a testy subject, but it looks like its a pretty decent part. The timing worked out pretty good for me, as my old RCE T3 was melting holes in my plastic rear bumper, and I was about to buy an R4. The SK1 looks a lot like the popular R4, but it’s made from fewer stamped pieces, meaning it should be more durable than the crack-prone R4. SKUSA is obviously confident in this design, as they’re backing every pipe with a 6 month (!) warranty. The sexy laser-etched SKUSA logo (and serial number) is a nice touch, too.
I actually got a chance to try out the pipe in its first legal race, the SKUSA Rocky Mountain ProKart Challenge at IMI Motorsports. And while the race didn’t go so well for me (slow, DNF’d due to a broken motor mount bolt, plus it was my first race in 1.5 years) , I can safely say that I like this pipe. It pulls much harder than my T3 ever did, and has a smoother powerband with no dull spot down low. Its also worth nothing that i had to keep leaning out my jetting compared to the T3, but take that with a grain of salt, as we’re at 5,280+ ft here, and it was nearly 100°F that day.
I haven’t had a chance to do any more testing to confirm if its faster, but come 2014 that won’t really matter, will it? The good news for non SKUSA racers is that the old pipes are still perfectly legal at many, many clubs across the country. Just don’t melt your bumpers off with them…