Balance Pipe

Joined
Feb 22, 2006
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200
G'Day Everyone,

Having just had a minor exhaust pipe experience I have been pondering the relative benefits or disavdvantages of having a balance pipe between the two header pipes.

We all well know the problems that are related to vibration and exhaust pipes, I think just about every balance pipe I have seen has been welded after cracking due to vibration.

Does a balance pipe benefit the perfomance and does it contribute to smoother running :?:

Mike.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Messages
48
Supposedly, they help performance a little, but my opinion, not enough to put up with their breakage. They also make it more difficult to position the right exhaust pipe such that the kickstart lever clears the pipe. I use only the non crossover type.
 
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Nov 12, 2006
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You know,I have asked this same question on this, and several other forums in the past, and never got a satisfactory answer. I don't think anybody really knows! I know that originally, balance pipes were used so that manufacturers could use small, stylish,but fairly quiet silencers,and still pass noise restrictions.Theoretically, each silencer could handle twice as much flow, with a balance pipe in place. There must be something to this, because HD still uses hidden balance pipes on its small, stylish, but relatively quiet mufflers.
You don't see balance pipes on crotch rockets,but they all have huge,free flowing mufflers bigger than the ones on my truck.

I don't think that our bikes, with relatively free flowing Peashooters,are going to be affected much one way or the other. I'd do away with the ugly, rattley things, myself.

Cheers,
Bruce
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2006
Messages
200
Bruce,

I don't have a balance pipe on mine, i was wondering if there was an appreciable benefit that compensates for any problems and extra costs that are associated with having a balance pipe fitted.

I have gone to purchase a new set and they tried to sell me was a pair with a balance pipe, clamp pipes, etc. for an extra $150 Oz.

They eventually dredged up a pair of seemingly good quality English made single header pipes which I am about to fit up.

:x Beware of the cheap Chinese copies they may be less than half the price but they don't fit properly.

Mike.
 
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Dec 4, 2006
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mike mcmanus said:
Having just had a minor exhaust pipe experience I have been pondering the relative benefits or disavdvantages of having a balance pipe between the two header pipes.
They do exist, no doubt .... :D

mike mcmanus said:
We all well know the problems that are related to vibration and exhaust pipes, I think just about every balance pipe I have seen has been welded after cracking due to vibration.
Never had any problems with mine on a Mk.III - after approx. 76,000 mls, they were still in excellent shape (stainless). However, there are some replacement (pattern) versions out there with mis-aligned balance-pipe connectors - they are out of angle and thus mounting the balancer pipe forcefully means to put them under permanent torsional stress, which makes them crack after a while.
Otherwise - when perfectly alligned and mounted appropriately, vibration desn't seem to do them any harm - the exhaust system as a whole can follow the engine's "isolastic" struggling due to the elastic rubber mountings of the silencers.

mike mcmanus said:
Does a balance pipe benefit the perfomance and does it contribute to smoother running :?:
The balancer pipe effectively doubles the complete exhaust volume available for each cylinder. Contrary to the un-balanced "one cylinder, one pipe, one exhaust" system, exhaust gases are offered the volume not only of two silencers, but also of two pipes, since the balancer pipe is located closely to the the twin exhaust ports.
This reduces exhaust noise somewhat, but, more importantly, it reduces exhaust gas back-pressure in the mid-to-high RPM range, and thus also somewhat reduces heat stress on the cylinder head's exhaust side.
However, if you're not using a "hot cam" and if you don't ride your Commando at the rev-limit most of the time, you'll barely notice the effects of these improvements and you might thus consider them negligible. Otherwise, there are unbalanced 1.5" dia exhaust systems out there, easing exhaust gas flow a little.
IMHO, the non-balanced pipes look "cleaner", since they provide an uncluttered view at the engine's exhaust side. If you want to use such an unbalanced exhaust system on a Mk.III, you should be aware of it's unique dimensions: the left pipe's downward section must be approx. 1" longer to stay clear of the Mk.III's fatter primary drive side.
 
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My balance pipes leak exaust like crazy. I can't wait to replace the balanced system with the older pea shooter set up as mine have the Dunstall silencers on, which in my opinion are ugly as sin.
 
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Feb 22, 2006
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There is a set of, still in the wrapping, good quality English made Header Pipes on E bay here, starting bid $180 oz., I just paid $350 oz. for exactly the same set from the local Britsh Bike fiend.

A new set of Pea Shooters are about the same price as the Header Pipes, how do ya figure that out. :eek:

Mike.
 
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Aug 20, 2005
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There is old post about this, but balance pipe was something to do with noise redcuction to get round regs, they dont need to be there!
 
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Feb 22, 2006
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I thought Werner explained the reasoning behind it further up the page, what he said made sense to me.

Mike.
 
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Geoff said:
There is old post about this, but balance pipe was something to do with noise redcuction to get round regs, they dont need to be there!

I like it loud! The pea shooters should be louder and have more attitude than the Dunstalls on my MKIII.

I actually fired the sucker up for the first time on Sunday. Commandos have a nice loud thumpy growl to them. I'm pumped and ready to piss off the neighbours. :twisted:
 
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My better half says when I leave for work at 6 a.m. on Saturdays it shakes the whole neighbourhood :twisted: and she can still hear me a couple of kilometres away :lol:

I will have to try and be a bit quieter

Mike.
 
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My neighbours have been keeping me up with their partying on Wednesday nights. Guys screaming at the top of their lungs and people running down the streets at 2 a.m. They are students and Wednesdays must be the cheap beer and titty night at the University bar.

I predidct a rude awakening with my nice Norton alarm clock once spring comes around.
 
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Coco said:
My neighbours have been keeping me up with their partying on Wednesday nights. Guys screaming at the top of their lungs and people running down the streets at 2 a.m. They are students and Wednesdays must be the cheap beer and titty night at the University bar.

I predidct a rude awakening with my nice Norton alarm clock once spring comes around.

Hehehehe!

:twisted:
 
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Nov 12, 2006
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CommandoRoadster said:
I know that originally, balance pipes were used so that manufacturers could use small, stylish,but fairly quiet silencers,and still pass noise restrictions.Theoretically, each silencer could handle twice as much flow, with a balance pipe in place. There must be something to this, because HD still uses hidden balance pipes on its small, stylish, but relatively quiet mufflers.
You don't see balance pipes on crotch rockets,but they all have huge,free flowing mufflers bigger than the ones on my truck.

I don't think that our bikes, with relatively free flowing Peashooters,are going to be affected much one way or the other. I'd do away with the ugly, rattley things, myself.

Cheers,
Bruce
Geoff
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 1:19 pm Post subject:
There is old post about this, but balance pipe was something to do with noise redcuction to get round regs, they dont need to be there!

Not all that old of a post,Geoff! :lol:

Mike,what Werner said makes logical sense,and is perfectly sound. However,what I meant in my first post,by"I don't think anybody really knows!" is that I have never seen any dyno testing showing that balance pipes, by themselves, increase performance in any meaningful way.Nor,have I ever known anyone who either removed,or installed balance pipes,and gained,or lost performance. I maintain that balance pipes are only going to have a real effect on machines with relatively restrictive silencers.

Wouldn't all the ricerockets have balance pipes if they actually worked?
By the way,two-into-one,three-into-one,and four-into-one pipes work on a completely different scavenging principle,and should not be compared to balance pipes.

I'd do away with the ugly,rattley things,myself :!:
:D
Cheers
Bruce
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2006
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200
Bruce,


I didn't mean to give you the impression that I didn't agree with you and Geoff said I think you spot on about the rattley old things that's why I
have the two separate pipes. :wink:

Mike.
 
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