Though smooth, and plenty powerful for spirited riding around town, in stock form the CBR’s Inline Four engine is a little too vanilla for our taste. So we spiced up the riding experience by installing a V.A.L.E. M-2 Slip-On Exhaust muffler from Two Brothers. Available in three finishes (titanium, carbon fiber, and polished aluminum) we opted for the subtle yet racy look of carbon. Surprisingly, Two Brothers offers two separate carbon fiber designs, one with a conventional uniform weave pattern termed Silver series, and another with a more intricate-looking pattern dubbed the Black series. Other subtle differences are the use of black aluminum inlet and outlet pieces. We went with the Silver model since its more economical in terms of pricing ($518.98).
One of the coolest features of Two Brothers pipes is the way it mounts without conventional exhaust springs via its patented Variable Axis Locking Exhaust set-up. This not only saves weight but also eliminates the worry of having a spring break after prolonged use. The slip-on comes with a stainless steel mid-pipe that attaches behind the catalytic converter, behind the rider’s foot assembly on the right-hand side. All told the Two Brothers pipe sheds seven pounds from the motorcycle reducing its fully fueled curb weight to 408 pounds.
Since our CBR is fuel-injected the ECU automatically adjusts the engine’s fuel/air mixture so the engine continues to run near perfectly without any hiccups. However for optimum performance it’s worthwhile to spend extra money on a fuel tuner from Dynojet, Bazazz Performance, or Two Brothers, in the form of its Juice Box Pro.
Sound-wise the M-2 pipe delivers a much deeper, tougher-sounding pitch, which we love during track rides or on public roads in which traffic is few and far between. However in the city it is a bit too rowdy sounding and can attract unwanted attention from other motorists and law enforcement. Fortunately, Two Brothers offers an easy to install P1X PowerTip sound suppressor (staring at $34.98 and available in Silver, Gun Metal, Black, and Gold colors) that significantly reduces exhaust boom, yet retains that racy pitch behind the handlebar.
On a sportbike tires are the first consumable item that need replacement. We weren’t big fans of the OE-fitted Dunlop Sportmax D214 hoops so we ditched them for a set of Bridgestone Battlax S20s (find out more about it in the Bridgestone Battlax S20 Tire Review article). Over the last couple years we’ve racked up thousands of miles on this generation tire and have come to appreciate its neutral handling and quick warm-up times. Though the tires don’t offer quite as much road feel as we’d like, they still get the job done offering considerable grip at lean, during fast-paced rides. Since spooning on the set, we’ve done three track days and accumulated another 500 road miles. So far we’ve experienced no degradation in terms of grip and the tires appear to have considerable tread life remaining.
With a couple bolt on parts our red, white, and blue CBR is not only more thrilling to ride but more capable, too. The Two Brothers exhaust helps unleash some character from the motor yet isn’t so obnoxious to cause us unnecessary trouble and the Bridgestone tires give us the sporty do-it-all street/track performance with surprising durability.