I’ve been rocking Lextek pipes on my 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS for quite awhile now. When I was with J&P Cycles, I was afforded the opportunity to take a full system; headers with an OP15 muffler, for a spin to review. You can read that review here for my initial thoughts a couple years ago, and to add some context to this review.
To this day, everything in that review holds true, with both more than a year and over 15,000 additional miles on the pipes. The Lextek headers remain a great addition to the RS, and are holding up every bit as good as OEM, if not better. They’ve taken on a fine gold color at the cylinders that fades to bright chrome as they approach the muffler.
I can’t complain one bit about the quality of the fit and finish. While my Z900 RS is kept in my garage, I don’t baby it. It sees as much rain, sand, dirt, grit and grime as the Texas roads can throw at it. Even when the most exposed parts of the pipes dull a bit from exposure to the elements, a quick cleaning and polishing with basic cleaners (not even actual metal polish) makes them shine.
They’re great, and I can’t recommend them enough, especially for the price.
So, when my wife wanted a muffler to replace the quiet, chunky monkey of a stock muffler on her Z400, I saw it as an opportunity for a bit of change. While the black chrome OP15 silencer was fine, and looked pretty good, it wasn’t quite the right look for RS.
I decided to do a bit of a switcheroo, and put the sportier OP15 silencer on the Z400 while picking up Lextek’s AC1 Classic silencer for the RS.
After spending less than an hour in the garage removing the silencers from both bikes, swapping the OP15 onto the Z400, and installing the new AC1 onto my RS, we were ready to rock and roll.
I waited for the exhaust sealant paste to cure, then fired up the RS to test the system for any leaks and hear how it sounded. Fortunately, I nailed the install, and there were no leaks.
I loved the sound. The AC1 produced an exhaust note that was more in line with that classic 70’s and 80’s inline-four muscle-bike vibe of the Z900RS. It was a throaty gurgle at idle, behind which was nestled a sharp aggressive snarl when I cracked open the throttle, which signed off with a few pops and chirps, almost like a turbo blow off, before settling back into idle. It sounds great, or as my wife describes it “really loud.” It just sounds pretty darn good.
It looks good, too. The tapered cone shape is classic, and not as much of a departure from the shape of the stock exhaust as the OP15 was; a lot like the stock exhaust went on a bit of a diet. Just like with the OP15 silencer and the headers themselves, I have not experienced a single issue with fit or finish with the AC1 silencer. The polished stainless steel remains bright and flawless and the included bolts and mounting hardware are tight and stay in place.
I’m a big fan of Lextek’s products. The quality rivals much more expensive brands, for a price they can’t touch. With the huge variety of headers, link pipes, silencers, and other exhaust components they have available, it’s easy to get the look and performance you want out of a custom exhaust, for virtually any bike, at the price point and complexity of install that works for you.
Cost, quality, and performance all come together into a package that seriously puts the heat on costlier brands like Akropovic, Leo Vince, and Yoshimura.