Motorcycle Maintenance

Graves Motorsports Full-System Exhaust | SR Tested

Graves Motorsports 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 full-system exhaust

Drew Ruiz

The Graves Motorsports exhaust is identical to the system used by Josh Hayes and Cameron Beaubiers on their MotoAmerica superbikes.

While the idea behind re-flashing the ECU on our 2015 R1 was to see how we could alter the bike’s performance using stock hardware, we were still curious to discover what the bike would be capable of when combining that electronic update with a more familiar modification: a full-system exhaust. Sans motor work, what is the new R1 really capable of?

Graves Motorsports, who works closely with FT ECU to provide flashes specifically developed for its exhausts, wanted to help us figure that out and stepped up with one of its full-system exhausts. Manufactured from nothing less than carbon fiber and titanium, this exhaust is identical to the one on Josh Hayes’ and Cameron Beaubier’s superbike. “Guys want to have the same product that they see on the superbikes, so if we make updates to the system on the racebikes, we do it to our customer product as well. And that’s what we’ve done with this latest exhaust,” Chuck Graves says.

The benefits of Graves developing its system for racing—and the crew’s quite obvious penchant for perfection—shows in the final product, with the exhaust installing without hiccup and all the components fitting together like they were made as one. Fit and finish is what you expect from a manufacturer/team that knows millimeters and ounces win races, and not something you find on exhausts with less riding on their tail pipe.

Yamaha YZF-R1 dyno chart

Sport Rider

Horsepower and torque for our 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 with re-flashed ECU and Graves Motorsports exhaust

As for the tangible performance advantages, we lost a total of 16 pounds (!) and gained an additional 4 hp (over re-flashed bike with stock exhaust), bringing weight to 423 pounds and the total output of our R1 to 181 hp and 79 foot-pounds of torque. More than that, however, the system gave us much more impressive power curves, with a noticeable bump in power between 5,000 and 8,000 rpm. On top of that, the R1 sounds like something out of a wet dream, with a throaty exhaust note that’s—albeit loud—enough to have you thinking this is Josh Hayes’ superbike.

Graves’ full-system exhaust retails for $2,650, meaning there are less expensive options (including Graves’ own $1,365.50 Cat Eliminator exhaust and $599 Moto1 Cat Back slip-on exhaust). We think that a 16-pound weight savings, modest bump in power, and much-improved power curve are worth keeping in mind though. Note also that because Graves had just updated the taper, tubing, etc., that it’ll also be updating the ECU tune, which will then be made available through the FT ECU File Manager. By the time you read this, a more perfect map will be available that could potentially offer even more horsepower gains (we were the first to get our hands on the newest version, meaning there was little time for Graves to update its map).

As for our R1, we’ve now taken it from a 170-hp bike that was exciting to ride to a 181-hp monster that sounds ferocious yet is somehow easier and more enjoyable to ride. If you want the most out of your 2015 R1, then this is definitely a road worth looking down.