The supplied clamp for the intermediate pipe / exhaust header slip joint connection was too large. I was unable to find a suitable replacement clamp in a smaller size and the stock clamp was also too large, so I used a 1-7/8" OD x 1-3/4" ID Muffler Bushing from Pep Boys to increase the outside diameter of the intermediate pipe at the slip joint.
With the muffler bushing in place I was able to get the clamp tight enough to ensue a tight leak free connection. I tried to reuse the stock gasket material (messy stuff and hard to get out without damage) but due to sizing differences between the stock muffler and the intermediate pipe, this was not possible. I decided to use a light ring of PERMATEX® ULTRA BLACK® Gasket Maker on all slip joint connections.
After everything was installed, I elected to move the stock heat shield material to the lower rear of the side panel (point where the muffler is closest to the side panel). I noticed my heat shield was about to fall off when I initially removed the side cover, so I used clear silicone to reattach the heat shield in its new location. A good size piece of heat shield material is also included in Laser Pro Duro muffler kit (nice touch).
Laser recommends you wipe the muffler down with alcohol before starting the bike the first time in order to prevent finger prints and other contaminants from getting burned into the stainless steel finish during the first heat cycle.
Initial Test Ride Results
After 200 miles with the Laser Pro Duro I have no problems to report. With stock jetting and a K&N air filter at sea level, there have been no backfires, lean surges, nor have I noticed any dead spots from idle to 6000 RPM while riding. My "seat of the pants" dyno leads me to believe the engine is revving more freely on the bottom end with no difference noted on the top end. The front wheel will almost come off the ground when I grab a handful of throttle in first and second gear. This was never the case with the stock exhaust.
I am very happy not to have to listen to "tweety" anymore, and I would characterize the sound of the Laser Pro Duro as a little deeper and louder (negligible) than the stock muffler.
No tire clearance problems have been experienced to date. I am running a 4.60x17 rear which is one size smaller than stock.
The rear fender and side panel show no signs of melting. Longer rides during warmer temperatures will ultimately reveal if this will be a problem. (I toasted one side panel that was replaced under warrantee with the stock muffler)
The muffler is starting to turn a golden "wheat" color as the muffler goes through more heat cycles.
I plan on "reading" the sparkplug after a "clean shutdown" in the near future to determine if any changes in jetting will be needed. Stay posted for the results. See the two year update on pages 4 and 5 for more information.