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the two facilities.
Forget Uncle Sam’s V-Twin, sportbike success took American drag legends to exhaust stardom. SSB explores the process of how race technology built what bolts onto our bikes.
History has a way of escaping the now. For instance, how many knew that Terry Vance, backed by the engineering genius of Byron Hines, won 14 National Drag Racing Championships, became the first on two-wheels to race a six-second ET (Suzuki was the weapon of choice) and sponsored road racers with the likes of Ducati and Yamaha?
When the economy dumped in 2008, Vance & Hines’ bond with the cruiser crowd grew stronger. Recession-resilient white-collar folk funded a steady stream of non-sportbike purchases that inherently required high-quality pipes amidst sliding streetbike sales across the board. The older couch crowd sought bolt-on HP gains that occasionally led them to a company already established in the Harley racing circuit. V&H happily went hog wild and obliged this sector. Funded by the slower crowd, sportbike system R&D continued and turned out today’s ever-evolving CS One exhaust line. To honor the racing roots that built Vance & Hines, SSB returned to the company inked in the pages of drag racing history to find out how current CS One sportbike systems go from raw tube and metal to objects of our performance affection.
From Prototype to Purchase Ready
Back in the day V&H was killing the scene with SS2R pipes, the coolest innovations and even a factory bike: the ’92 Yamaha FZR600VH. But to everyone’s surprise, V&H faded into the shadows for a few years only to re-enter the scene with the CS One exhaust in 2009. Although many missed the V&H of old, it’s nice to see the company back and making some noise.
01. OEM delivers the latest and greatest bike models and the R&D process begins. Engineers get to work on prototypes that prove themselves in one of the many dyno rooms.
02. Stamped with approval, new CS One master piping templates and fixtures are created and added into a massive library of 30+ years worth of V&H exhaust applications—racks on racks on racks of templates rest here; the companies first KZ1000 master is in there somewhere.
03. Raw pipe tubes, sheet metal and blocks of required alloys arrive for complete in-house fabrication. Staff and machines get to work.
04. Computer-smart machines and ol’ fashion elbow grease work hand-in-hand to cut and bend piping into form. Note the concentration required.
05. A machine dubbed “Bungholio” takes care of the required O2 sensor holes before the piping moves on for welding.
06. The business of nose cone and muffler inserts is completed and given a once over before being collected and ushered away.
07. Robots split welding duties with rooms of masked men in a symphony of sparks.
08. Watching it all come together puts a smile on your face. One last polish and it’s off to packaging.
09. Trucks are stacked to the ceiling with boxes of everyone’s favorite power-adder.
10. The CS One takes many forms, all designed for a rip-roaring good time.
1980: Terry Vance (racer) and Byron Hines (engine wizard) open for business building drag-race motors.
1983: The racing duo starts building exhaust systems.
1984: Vance becomes the first motorcycle racer to break the six-second barrier in the Top Fuel class with a 6.98 ET while riding an est. 1000+ HP nitrous-powered Suzuki.
1991: AMA 600cc SuperSport Championship win in the first year partnered with Yamaha.
1993: Daytona 200 win with the Factory Yamaha team.
1999: The Vance & Hines Ducati team celebrates one-two wins by Gobert and Ben Bostrom during the Laguna Seca Raceway round of WSBK.