Ulysses and Remus

4 Apr 2010

Although I’m sure you were expecting something intellectual about ancient mythology, I’m afraid this post is about motorcycling. My Buell Ulysses is three years old now – indeed yesterday was the annual UKBEG event at Black Bear in Newmarket, and it was there three years ago I test drove the Ulysses for the first time, and the shortly after in my order.

The Ulysses is a fantastic bike, and I’ve had no regrets about my decision. However, nothing is perfect, and one of the common issues with Buell’s is that their underslung exhausts, whilst fantastic for lowering the bike’s centre of gravity to make it corner well, are not built for British winters – they rust like anything. After two replacements under warrantee, it was time to replace the third on my own penny. Rather than buy the same exhaust again, I decided it was time to get a third party replacement that might last more than 12 months before starting to mimic the surface of Mars:

A very rusty tube of metal that is the old stock Buell exhaust.

Now, I’m clearly an atypical motorcyclist here, in that it seems the main aim of most third party exhausts is to make the bike sound louder, and I really don’t want that. I like the quiet sound of the Ulysses, and the fact that my neighbours don’t send death threats every time I start the bike up. But, Buell being somewhat of a niche market, there isn’t much choice, so in the end I went with the popular choice, a Remus exhaust and hoped that the option sound baffles would be enough to keep the noise down. It’s made of stainless steel, so hopefully will weather better than the Buell exhaust, which seemed to be made of iron embedded with salt crystals… One trip to the very nice people at Black Bear, and I’ve now got the new exhaust fitted.

A shiny chrome new exhaust with a 'Remus' logo on it mounted to the bottom of motorbike.

The Remus is louder, but hopefully not too much so. Black Bear originally fitted it without baffles, and that was just embarrassingly loud. I drove it a mile and had to take it back and ask them to fit the baffles – I was scared to overtake horse trucks as I left Newmarket for fear of killing the equine occupants through fright! But baffles in, I’m much happier.

It sounds a little louder than the video implies, but it’s not too bad – and it normally doesn’t eject water like that, I’d just hosed it down :) We’ll see in twelve months if it’s doing better than the stock unit and was worth the small fortune it cost to get the new unit. It gets the pillion’s thumbs up, but I suspect that’s mostly because the packaging refers to it as a “sportauspuff” :)