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      04-08-2011, 09:52 PM   #1
Rboosted717
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First review: Akrapovic exhaust

Thanks to Ilya and Nate @ IND I just took delivery of the new Akrapovic exhaust yesterday evening.

First off the box is huge! Light (75lbs) but huge!
Second the exhaust quality is simply amazing. Its so nice that its unnecessarily nice. After working around and fabricating pro race cars for over 12yrs I've seen my fare share of exhaust systems and titanium fabrication. This is by far the most impressive "mass produced" exhaust I've seen. The quality is second to none. Without being overly anal, I can't find a single flaw or design element I would change. Seriously though, just look at the machine (robotic) welds on the exhaust tips. Simply amazing!

I'll be installing the system tomorrow afternoon so check back for post-install impressions and pictures of it installed on my Alpine white X5M. I'll try to get some videos of it by Sunday.
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      04-08-2011, 10:16 PM   #2
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      04-09-2011, 09:21 AM   #3
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Mine is stuck at customs


09 Apr 2011* 12:32:01* Vienna* Shipment Awaiting Physical Release From Customs Controlled Area.*
09 Apr 2011* 07:26:00* Vienna * Held For Customs Inspection. Will Be Cleared At First Opportunity*
08 Apr 2011* 15:00:00* Vienna* Customs Clearance In Progress.*
08 Apr 2011* 13:16:04* Vienna* Shipment Awaiting Physical Release From Customs Controlled Area.*
08 Apr 2011* 11:57:00* Vienna* Held By Customs, Awaiting Payment Of Duties/taxes By Receiver.*
08 Apr 2011* 10:30:00* Vienna* Customs Clearance In Progress.*
08 Apr 2011* 09:22:07* Vienna* Shipment Received At Transit Point.*
07 Apr 2011* 12:46:55* London Heathrow Hub* Shipment In Transit.*
07 Apr 2011* 07:03:48* London Heathrow Hub* Shipment Received At Transit Point.*
07 Apr 2011* 00:29:16* Liege Euro Hub* Shipment In Transit.*
06 Apr 2011* 07:56:31* New York Jfk Airport* Shipment Received At Transit Point.*
06 Apr 2011* 07:55:55* New York Jfk Airport* Shipment In Transit.*
06 Apr 2011* 07:55:41* New York Jfk
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      04-09-2011, 09:23 AM   #4
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Actually I can see a fault....

There appears to be some black paint peeling off the rivets on the carbon tips LOL
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      04-09-2011, 11:41 AM   #5
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Nice review! Can't wait to see the installed photos

Sorry to hear about the customs delay

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Originally Posted by Bob MG View Post
Mine is stuck at customs


09 Apr 2011* 12:32:01* Vienna* Shipment Awaiting Physical Release From Customs Controlled Area.*
09 Apr 2011* 07:26:00* Vienna * Held For Customs Inspection. Will Be Cleared At First Opportunity*
08 Apr 2011* 15:00:00* Vienna* Customs Clearance In Progress.*
08 Apr 2011* 13:16:04* Vienna* Shipment Awaiting Physical Release From Customs Controlled Area.*
08 Apr 2011* 11:57:00* Vienna* Held By Customs, Awaiting Payment Of Duties/taxes By Receiver.*
08 Apr 2011* 10:30:00* Vienna* Customs Clearance In Progress.*
08 Apr 2011* 09:22:07* Vienna* Shipment Received At Transit Point.*
07 Apr 2011* 12:46:55* London Heathrow Hub* Shipment In Transit.*
07 Apr 2011* 07:03:48* London Heathrow Hub* Shipment Received At Transit Point.*
07 Apr 2011* 00:29:16* Liege Euro Hub* Shipment In Transit.*
06 Apr 2011* 07:56:31* New York Jfk Airport* Shipment Received At Transit Point.*
06 Apr 2011* 07:55:55* New York Jfk Airport* Shipment In Transit.*
06 Apr 2011* 07:55:41* New York Jfk
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      04-10-2011, 01:23 AM   #6
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I finally installed the exhaust earlier this morning.

First off the install couldn't be easier. Honestly this is probably the easiest install I've ever done, especially considering most euro exhaust systems are junk. Every piece of the Akrapovic exhaust system fit like a glove on the first attempt. The stock exhaust is a heavy pig compared to this system.
Oh yeah and the entire stock exhaust system is one piece. Good luck taking it home as one piece. Thankfully I have trailer to tow it home with.

One nuance with the Akrapovic exhaust is the weight of the clamps. With everything being so light, the weight of all eight clamps is pretty significant. And by significant I mean less then 2lbs total.

From start to finish took 1hr 15mins, with the majority of the time spent wiping down the exhaust with WD40 (post install) and aligning/staggering the tips (you could loose your mind adjusting them).

Sound impressions: Very Quite
Reason for being quite: Its not the exhaust, its the stock catalyst. If I hear one more person say this or any exhaust is too quite, I will loose my mind. Even when with the muffler bypass is active (100% free-flow) the exhaust is quite. I don't care what anyone says, no muffler/exhaust will be louder.
The stock X5M/X6M exhaust flows very similar to this system with the difference being the x-pipe and muffler section/ muffler bypass. The main benefit to this exhaust is the weight loss and potential to flow very well with the cats removed (to be installed shortly).

During the install I fired up the truck with open downpipes and was amazed at how muffled/quite the exhaust was because of the OEM catalysts. Given the location (directly behind the turbos) the catalysts suppress almost all exhaust resonance from the engine. The catalysts are the reason why this truck is so quite. No exhaust will cure this unless you remove the cats or switch to very high-flow cats.
I even fired up the engine after installing each section of the Akrapovic exhaust to verify if the sound would become more suppressed and it didn't (no surprise).

Cold start is slightly louder with the normal/warm idle sounding slightly deeper then stock.
Rev'ing the exhaust is also slightly louder with no substantial difference in tone or loudness.
Full-throttle almost sounds stock from inside the truck.
Outside it sounds slightly louder.
Shifts sound almost exactly the same in normal, sport and/or M-mode.
Power wise you won't feel a difference. 10hp is minimal at best on such a heavy and powerful truck. Honestly I would be lying if it said the difference is substantial. Installing an air intake on an E36 M3 produces more noise then this or ANY exhaust on an X5M/X6M.

HOWEVER, I'm 100% positive the results would be very different with the OEM catalysts removed. I've heard the full Hamann exhaust in person (with catalysts removed) on an X6M and the sound is amazing, almost Viper like (especially during cold start). I'm quite certain the sound will be similar if not better when I remove the catalysts. I'm hoping to get that done in the coming weeks when my downpipes are completed.

Below are some pictures during the installation before aligning the tips. I'll post up some rear shots once I wash the truck tomorrow morning.

For reference, here's my current mods:
ESS 91 octane tune
K&N air filters
Akrapovic exhaust
catless downpipes (not installed yet)
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      04-10-2011, 02:29 AM   #7
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Thank God it's quiet!! I have Hammann cat less headers installed with ESS 100 RON tune and the truck is really loud and the idle you can hear the turbos hissing and growling

The full Hammann is ridiculously loud, almost unbearable for a DD IMO

Can't wait to fit my Akra system!!
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      04-10-2011, 02:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob MG View Post
Thank God it's quiet!! I have Hammann cat less headers installed with ESS 100 RON tune and the truck is really loud and the idle you can hear the turbos hissing and growling

The full Hammann is ridiculously loud, almost unbearable for a DD IMO

Can't wait to fit my Akra system!!


boo it supposed to be loud and mean sounding....
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      04-10-2011, 10:48 PM   #9
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Great thread/write up!

Are you disappointed with the sound?

Would have though it would be a little deeper and more menacing than stock....I would almost be inclined to only to this exhaust with catless downpipes!

Doing catless downpipes?



Bob MG you mention your downpipes are hamman, or were they supersprint?

Or made for hamman via supersprint?
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      04-11-2011, 12:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northern2020 View Post
Great thread/write up!

Are you disappointed with the sound?

Would have though it would be a little deeper and more menacing than stock....I would almost be inclined to only to this exhaust with catless downpipes!

Doing catless downpipes?



Bob MG you mention your downpipes are hamman, or were they supersprint?

Or made for hamman via supersprint?
No I'm not disappointed with the sound because all other systems have the same issue. Plus the idea of only replacing the muffler for sound (ex: Eisenmann) is pretty lame IMO.

I purchased this complete system for following reasons:
#1 - Weight reduction - the stock system is quite heavy.
#2 - Quality & excellent materials - you can't beat 100% titanium and flawless welds.
#3 - Muffler bypass system - the ability to bypass the muffler using the OEM functionality is awesome!
#4 - Aside from the heavy and overpriced Supersprint system, this is the only complete cat-back system for the X5M.

It does have a deeper tone then stock and a slightly higher note at wide-open throttle, however, most of the noise can only be heard from outside the truck.

Yes I'll be doing catless downpipes. I expect to have them completed in the coming week or two. Currently Supersprint is the only manufacture of catless downpipes (Hamann uses Supersprint).
Based on some R&D, the factory downpipes are the cause of muted exhaust on these trucks. Unless you remove the catalysts or relocate them further downstream (practically a waste of money), you'll always have a muted sounding exhaust. I'm sure BOB MG can attest to the impact removing the catalyst have on performance and sound, even with a stock exhaust system.

Here's some additional pictures of the exhaust tips:
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      04-11-2011, 09:02 AM   #11
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      04-11-2011, 11:52 AM   #12
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Nice review and good installed photos

I like how the valve is closed on cold start just like the OEM system.
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      04-12-2011, 02:18 AM   #13
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So what kind of horsepower and torque would I see for each of the mods below

- ESS tune for 91 octane fuel
- supersprint catless downpipes
- Akra full exhaust vs stock exhaust

I've read close to 670 hp in a previous thread?
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      04-12-2011, 11:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northern2020 View Post
So what kind of horsepower and torque would I see for each of the mods below

- ESS tune for 91 octane fuel
- supersprint catless downpipes
- Akra full exhaust vs stock exhaust

I've read close to 670 hp in a previous thread?
Given you're using 91 (same as me), I would say the following would be a good estimate:

stock: 555hp

plus ESS 91 tune: increases the power to around 575hp (remember that most tunes don't add much top end power, but rather tons of low/mid-range power)

plus Akrapovic exhaust: ups the power to 580hp (advertised 10hp across the band, so maybe 585hp if you're optimistic)

plus catless downpipes and revised ESS 91 tune: ups the power to 620hp

The 670hp claim is grossly overrated when you're using 91 octane. Remember that 670hp is on a higher octane gas. Dinan and other manufacture claims 610hp with just a tune seems highly suspect given the dynoplots I've seen from ESS, Active Autowerks and Superchips. If you were to use 93 octane (or Euro equivalent 95) I would say 650hp or even 670hp would be possible, however, it would be highly dependant on the type of dyno, gas, conditions, etc...

The best way to gauge if you're making process is to take the truck to the drag strip. The quarter-mile and trap speed don't lie.

I ran a 12.76@105mph bone stock with a marginal launch, 40deg air temp, a half tank of gas and a 50lb trailer hitch setup (this was a Sacramento Raceway in Jan). On a perfect run I could probably squeeze off a high 12.5@110mph, however 12.5-12.7 is well within range for a stock X5M. I believe Motor Trend has video of a new 2012 X5/X6M running 12.5 at the drag strip in Fontana.

Once I get the downpipes installed I'm aiming for a low 12 (12.0-12.2 @ 118mph). On 100 octane I might be able to pull off a high 11 which is on par with others I've seen in Dubai. I doubt I'll drag it more, however, if the tracks crappy, the race car is going back on the trailer and the truck will hit the staging lanes. hehehe
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      04-12-2011, 04:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rboosted717 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by northern2020 View Post
So what kind of horsepower and torque would I see for each of the mods below

- ESS tune for 91 octane fuel
- supersprint catless downpipes
- Akra full exhaust vs stock exhaust

I've read close to 670 hp in a previous thread?
Given you're using 91 (same as me), I would say the following would be a good estimate:

stock: 555hp

plus ESS 91 tune: increases the power to around 575hp (remember that most tunes don't add much top end power, but rather tons of low/mid-range power)

plus Akrapovic exhaust: ups the power to 580hp (advertised 10hp across the band, so maybe 585hp if you're optimistic)

plus catless downpipes and revised ESS 91 tune: ups the power to 620hp

The 670hp claim is grossly overrated when you're using 91 octane. Remember that 670hp is on a higher octane gas. Dinan and other manufacture claims 610hp with just a tune seems highly suspect given the dynoplots I've seen from ESS, Active Autowerks and Superchips. If you were to use 93 octane (or Euro equivalent 95) I would say 650hp or even 670hp would be possible, however, it would be highly dependant on the type of dyno, gas, conditions, etc...

The best way to gauge if you're making process is to take the truck to the drag strip. The quarter-mile and trap speed don't lie.

I ran a 12.76@105mph bone stock with a marginal launch, 40deg air temp, a half tank of gas and a 50lb trailer hitch setup (this was a Sacramento Raceway in Jan). On a perfect run I could probably squeeze off a high 12.5@110mph, however 12.5-12.7 is well within range for a stock X5M. I believe Motor Trend has video of a new 2012 X5/X6M running 12.5 at the drag strip in Fontana.

Once I get the downpipes installed I'm aiming for a low 12 (12.0-12.2 @ 118mph). On 100 octane I might be able to pull off a high 11 which is on par with others I've seen in Dubai. I doubt I'll drag it more, however, if the tracks crappy, the race car is going back on the trailer and the truck will hit the staging lanes. hehehe
Thanks for the reply....

From your text it seems like you have done the catless Dp's?

If you have, how do you like them?

Debating whether I should just pony up for the ESS tune catless Dp's, which it looks like is your biggest bang for your buck, and decide at a later date on full exhaust.
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      04-13-2011, 09:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northern2020 View Post
Thanks for the reply....

From your text it seems like you have done the catless Dp's?

If you have, how do you like them?

Debating whether I should just pony up for the ESS tune catless Dp's, which it looks like is your biggest bang for your buck, and decide at a later date on full exhaust.
+1

Thats the best, you've read my write up on SS DPs and the ESS 100 RON tune?

I also have the akra now, will post vids once its fitted so you can see the combo with the SS DPs
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      04-13-2011, 01:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob MG View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by northern2020 View Post
Thanks for the reply....

From your text it seems like you have done the catless Dp's?

If you have, how do you like them?

Debating whether I should just pony up for the ESS tune catless Dp's, which it looks like is your biggest bang for your buck, and decide at a later date on full exhaust.
1

Thats the best, you've read my write up on SS DPs and the ESS 100 RON tune?

I also have the akra now, will post vids once its fitted so you can see the combo with the SS DPs
Thanks...I guess it's a now brainer to do SS Dp's and tune....saw the vid you uploaded in a previous thread!

Can't wait until your Akra is set up and to hear your new exhaust.
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      04-19-2011, 01:54 PM   #18
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Great review and pictures.
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      03-01-2013, 01:35 AM   #19
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Great write up! I just had my Akra installed earlier this evening and I too am so surprised at how quite it actually is almost as if there is no aftermarket exhaust on the car but quality is amazing! What bumper are you running in the rear in order to have a tow hitch? Have you done down pipes yet? This is my next step.

Thanks
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      03-06-2013, 02:36 AM   #20
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Reading the reviews, I find it even harder to justify dropping that kind of money on the Akra system. It's gorgeous and the engineering is definitely excellent. Fit, finish, everything looks great, but the price on that system, at least to me, is a joke. It seems to me to be a classic case of BMW tax and not actually a valid cost due to parts/materials. The fact that the exhaust adds little to no power is also difficult to get past, though that's more a result of the OEM system being so well-engineered. Other exhausts won't add much power either.

I don't want to sound like I'm being negative because it looks like you're really happy and that's awesome and all that matters, I just wanted to put in my 2 cents. Maybe I'm trying to make sense of it and if you've got the money to drop on something like the Akra system, then that's awesome, but I still have a hard time getting it up to spend that much.

Enjoy though and thanks for sharing your experience with the product!
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      08-17-2013, 11:35 PM   #21
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did you find the turbo to really be noticeable as it spools up?
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      09-11-2013, 02:04 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisHorton View Post
Reading the reviews, I find it even harder to justify dropping that kind of money on the Akra system. It's gorgeous and the engineering is definitely excellent. Fit, finish, everything looks great, but the price on that system, at least to me, is a joke. It seems to me to be a classic case of BMW tax and not actually a valid cost due to parts/materials. The fact that the exhaust adds little to no power is also difficult to get past, though that's more a result of the OEM system being so well-engineered. Other exhausts won't add much power either.

I don't want to sound like I'm being negative because it looks like you're really happy and that's awesome and all that matters, I just wanted to put in my 2 cents. Maybe I'm trying to make sense of it and if you've got the money to drop on something like the Akra system, then that's awesome, but I still have a hard time getting it up to spend that much.

Enjoy though and thanks for sharing your experience with the product!
For a better sound, drop a bit less on just a muffler. You wont save wait, it won't be so well made, it will still be expensive, but atleast its not ridiculously expensive..I had an eisenmann race, as a muffler it made the car unbearable loud, driving through dtown vancouver turned a lot of heads. but as a daily driver, it ruined the car! so i took it off. check out the remus muffler..
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