Editor’s Note: In each issue of Snow Goer magazine, our team of experienced product testers reviews various aftermarket products in the Cold Tested department. This review was printed in the November 2013 issue of Snow Goer. Subscribe to Snow Goer now to receive such reviews, 7 times per year delivered to your home.
Reduced weight and a different sound from the exhaust are a couple reasons why some snowmobilers install aftermarket silencers on their snowmobiles. The Starting Line Products (SLP) Lightweight Silencer we tested on our 2013 Ski-Doo MX Z TNT E-TEC 800R demo sled is ceramic-coated and built with the company’s Era 2007 technology that reduces weight and sound while letting a snowmobile “sound like a snowmobile should,” according to the company’s catalog. At 8 pounds, 14 ounces, according to a digital shipping scale, the SLP part shaved 9 pounds, 4 ounces off of our Ski-Doo – that’s a significant savings.
We enjoyed using this silencer because it has pleasant sound that’s richer and fuller than stock while having a little more growl at idle and, technically, being slightly louder at speeds we measured with a sound meter, but to a level that’s hardly noticeable to a human.
Other snowmobilers who rode or were otherwise exposed to our MX Z 800 said they couldn’t tell it was equipped with an aftermarket exhaust. When riding at trail speeds, sound intensity and frequency sounded stock, but when trolling at about 10 mph there was a lower, slightly raspier rumble. Aggressive throttle inputs from low speeds had more snarl, but hard acceleration volume at trail speeds was comparable to stock.
Silencers are usually easy to install and they provide instant gratification when a person steps back to admire — especially if they have a shiny finish like SLP’s Lightweight Silencer. Installation instructions were right-on regarding where to install the SLP-provided spring tab on the chassis, and all of the other spring hooks were welded in the right places so the pipe and silencer pulled together for a tight seal. Orange-colored rubber bumpers on the back of the SLP silencer gave it a sturdy mount against the chaincase, and fortunately that didn’t transmit vibration through the chassis. Instructions also explained how to care for the ceramic-coated finish, which helped preserve the like-new appearance of our tester.
At the end of the season we removed the silencer, and with 1,300 miles on the part its finish looked like new without chips, cracks or discoloration. The foam donut that went under the silencer at the outlet hole in the chassis had torn under the weight and pressure of the silencer. Perhaps making this cushion from the same material as the rubber bumpers would make it more durable.
We wholeheartedly recommend SLP’s silencers if you’re considering lighter aftermarket exhaust components that sound “different.” Not only is SLP’s Lightweight Silencer a quality, sturdy piece that looks great, fits well and weighs virtually half as much as the stock one, it sounds cool and quiet so riders won’t disturb landowners and non-snowmobilers.
Starting Line Products
Idaho Falls, Idaho