MXA TEAM TESTED: SCALVINI YAMAHA YZ250 CONE PIPE
WHAT IS IT? It is hard to compete against the might of Pro Circuit and FMF, but Italian exhaust company Scalvini has found a way to stand out from the pack — cone pipes.
WHAT’S IT COST? $329.00 (cone pipe), $229.00 (carbon silencer).
CONTACT? www.scalvinipipes.com or (909) 608-0082.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with Scalvini’s Yamaha YZ250 pipe.
(1) Installation. Last year we tested a Scalvini YZ250 pipe and it didn’t fit very well. In fact, it didn’t fit at all. The Scalvini O-ring grooves in the flange weren’t deep enough, and the pipe wouldn’t fit in the exhaust spigot. We had to grind the stock O-rings down for more clearance. This time around, Scalvini got it right. The YZ250 exhaust pipe fit like a glove. The carbon fiber silencer did cause us some headaches but turned out not to be a deal-breaker because we didn’t like the performance of the Scalvini silencer.
(2) Last year’s performance. We hate to harp on last year’s Scalvini YZ250 pipe, but we can’t talk about where we are without knowing where we’ve been. Last year’s pipe was average at best. Across the low end it was no better than stock, and across the top it fell off quickly. It did make three more horsepower than the stock YZ250 pipeat 8000 rpm, but the overall horsepower difference between the two pipes actually favored the stock YZ pipe over the Scalvini.
(3) This year’s performance. Scalvini asked us to retest its YZ250 pipe because it had been reworked. It was much better, with one caveat: We got the best performance from the Scalvini pipe when it was mated to the stock YZ250F silencer. When we ran Scalvini’s carbon fiber silencer, the power peaked 500 rpm earlier and gave up almost 4 horsepower to our best combination at 9000 rpm. When we combined the Scalvini pipe with the stock silencer, we made 1.7 more horsepower at 8000 rpm, peaked at 49.80 horsepower (1.16 horsepower more than stock) and held that advantage all the way to sign-off. It made more power than the stock YZ250 pipe, from 6200 rpm all the way to 10,500 rpm.
(4) Cone pipe. A cone pipe requires the pipe builder to cut strips of metal into cones. The cones are welded together to form the shape of the pipe. Scalvini’s YZ250 pipe has 17 different welded pieces (although Scalvini does fudge a little by using a stamping for the head pipe). The typical stamped two-stroke expansion chamber is made from five welded segments. There is very little advantage to a cone pipe beyond looks—and you pay $80 more for the retro-cool aesthetic.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? The fancy and expensive carbon fiber silencer didn’t fit very well and didn’t add anything to the powerband, but you can easily fix that by not buying it.