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Tecnigas is a well established, reputable and affordable brand of scooter exhausts manufactured from start to finish in house at the Spanish Tecnigas factory north of Barcelona.
Whilst the brand itself is very well known there is sometimes confusion over the differences between the range of different Tecnigas exhausts available for each scooter model.
This article is intended to help address this and clarify which Tecnigas exhaust selection is best suited to different levels of scooter/ moped tuning from standard 50cc to high-end race setup.
How We Tested
In order to do this we fitted all the different Tecnigas exhausts from the entry level Silent Pro to the mid-race Tecnigas Triops in turn to a single scooter and measured the power graph/ powerband for each exhaust using our Dyno.
The scooter/ moped used was a Piaggio Zip which uses the same air cooled version of the very popular 2-stroke Piaggio engine as fitted to all popular 50cc Piaggio and Gilera mopeds.
The Piaggio Zip was initially completely standard apart from the brass restricting plate having been removed from the carb inlet mouth.
In order to add a control and to compare to some popular exhausts people are already comfortably familiar with we also repeated the tests with a Stage6 Pro Rep exhaust, Yasuni Z and Yazuni R exhausts, the standard genuine Piaggio exhaust and a Leo Vince ZX exhaust. These exhausts are widely in use and their expected power graphs are already well documented in previous blogs.
Because an exhaust which works well on a standard 50cc cylinder kit may not be well suited to a more highly tuned 70cc cylinder kit (and vice versa) we then repeated all the dyno runs several times with various different cylinder kits to show how each exhaust performs at different levels of tune.
The cylinder kits selected for testing were...
Again, these cylinder kits were selected because they are very popular and their expected performances are already well known and documented in previous blogs.
The Polini Sports 70cc kit is a basic low revving and "un-adventurous" kit but is bulletproof and still has substantial increase in power over the standard 50cc cylinder kit. The Stage6 Sport Pro MKII 70cc kit is higher revving with the potential to make quite significant power and is at the highest end of sports cylinder kits.
We did not test any higher levels of tune as this is the level of tune and market the Tecnigas pipes are firmly aimed at and where they are most competitive. Although Tecnigas do produce a high-end race pipe it isn't branded as Tecnigas and is fairly specialist high-end race use.
For every dyno run the carb was re-jetted using a Lambda air-fuel meter to accomodate the requirements of the fitted exhaust and cylinder kit and ensure an accurate powergraph comparison and the dyno was programmed to replicate the loads of normal road use/ resistance.
Additionally the Piaggio Zip variator system was replaced with a fixed gear locked drive system. This is necessary to get meaningful power graphs on variator driven scooters as it prevents the variator from dynamically adjusting the gearing which would otherwise make it impossible to get valid comparison data.
Results- Standard Piaggio 50cc Cylinder Kit
The graphs above show the Tecnigas exhausts running on a standard 50cc cylinder kit.
All of the Tecnigas exhaust show a substantial improvement in power over the original genuine Piaggio exhaust.
The Tecnigas Silent-Pro and Tecnigas Silent Sport exhausts are 'standard look' exhausts.
Although a standard look exhaust is discrete, cheap and quiet the disadvantage compared to a (full cone shaped) expansion exhaust such as the other Tecnigas pipes is that it cannot make the same power as a true expansion pipes. These standard look pipes also tend to make their power at lower revs which is good for reliability but not good for ultimate top speed. Higher revs equals higher top speed at this level of tuning (explained in more detail below).
The above graph shows where each pipe makes its peak power. The purpose of the variator is to hold the scooter revs the same as the scooter accelerates. The rpm that the variator holds at is dictated by the roller weights which means that by adjusting the roller weights you can adjust what rpm the scooter sits at when you mash the throttle.
It's important to note that although a variator will try to hold the revs steady at a set rpm it can only do this until the variator has moved all the way out. Once the variator has moved all the way out the gearing can no longer change and at this point the moped becomes 'fixed gear' like a manual car or conventional geared motorbike. From this point on the road speed can only increase if the engine revs also increase which is why 'over-revs' or how high the engine will rev is important to the ultimate top speed achieved.
This blog here explains more about this.
For instance, in the above graph the Tecnigas Silent Pro makes most power (4.5hp) at between 7,500 and 8,500rpm so you would adjust your rollers until the moped sat around these revs when accelerating when fitting a Silent Pro to this moped. This is quite a wide power band so the bike would be quite easy to setup, the bike would run just as well at 7,500rpm as it would 8,500rpm so there is room for error and allowance for perhaps a worn or standard variator which might not hold the revs very steady and perhaps tend to fluctuate.
The Silent-Sport however would be a little trickier than the Silent-Pro to setup to get the best out of with this standard cylinder. It makes the same 4.5hp peak power as the Silent Pro but only makes it for a narrow powerband between 7,300rpm and 7,600rpm - the transmission would have to be set up fairly precisely as the power drops below 4.5hp quite quickly if the revs go any higher or lower than this boundary. Additionally because the Silent Pro is still making over 4hp at 8,700rpm (the Silent Sport drops to 4hp at 8,000rpm) the Silent Sport would not make quite the same top speed as the Silent Pro.
The Silent Sport as its name suggests is of course of 'sports' version of the Silent Pro. On a standard cylinder kit however the Silent Pro is looking the better all round pipe, however we will probably find that the sports version will start to out perform it on the more highly tuned 70cc cylinder kits. Things like this need to be taken into account if there is the intent to later upgrade the cylinder kit and need to select an exhaust suitable for both setups.
Above are the same pipes again but with some other brand exhausts thrown in as a comparison.
The Yasuni R and Stage6 Pro Rep are pipes which love to rev which can been seen by their tendency to make their power at higher revs than the other pipes and to keep on revving. Pipes like this still perform well on standard kits but really come into their own when fitted with a high revving cylinder kit. The Tecnigas Triops which is the most expensive of the Tecnigas pipes makes very good peak power with a wide powerband and the ability to rev fairly high with useable power.
In this graph again and in the later graphs we see the Tecnigas Next-R (currently £93.95) consistently matched or exceeded in performance by the far cheaper Tecnigas Q-tre exhaust (currently £72.95) or £82.95 in chrome.
Additional the Next-R is consistently and significantly outperformed by the newer and better made (but identically priced at £93.95) Tecnigas Trek exhaust.
For this reason we will disregard the Next-R from this point on.
The Leo-Vince ZX and ZX-R pipes (identical performance) have now been discontinued following the recent Leo Vince fincancial troubles. Interestingly the Tecnigas Trek would seem to offer an excellent replacement for it as it considerably outperforms the ZX on all the cylinder setups in this blog from standard to high revving sports with a much wider powerband and a significantly higher peak power. Besides the £93.95 lacquered version there is also a chromed version(currently £109.95) which is firmly in line with the previous Leo Vince ZX/ ZX-R pricing.
Polini Sport 70cc Cylinder Kit
Above shows the Tecnigas pipes again only this time with a Polini 70cc Sport cylinder kit fitted.
Here we see the Silent Sport starting to outperform the Silent Pro in terms of peak power as anticipated. It's interesting to note that the Silent Sport exhaust makes almost 7hp here at less than 8000rpms which is impressive for a standard look quiet exhaust and would make for a very lively 'sleeper' scooter.
The Triops and Trek top the list again with wide powerbands, decent peak powers and the ability to continue to rev fairly high with useable power. The Tecnigas Triops pips the Trek again but at £128.95 it is a fair bit more expensive.
There still isn't a huge performance difference between the two of them at this stage although probably this will be more pronounced later with a high state of tune.
Above we again see some other brand exhausts for comparison. The Leo Vince ZX which is really best suited to 50cc cylinder kits is far outperformed by the identically priced Trek now. The Stage6 Rep is starting to work now also but due to the Polini Sport porting (it is not designed to rev high!) the Stage6 Pro Rep pipe power drops off very quickly after it peaks dropping from 8.4hp to 5hp within 1000rpm.
We can see something very interesting with the Yasuni R pipe here which is a little off-topic but worth mentioning because the graph demonstrates it well.
The more highly you tune a moped engine the powerband tends to get narrower (pointier) and occur at higher revs. To combat this larger 2-stroke engines may use exhaust valves which open and close to change the cylinder exhaust port height thus changing the powerband as the revs increase to effectively make one wide powerband out of 2 peaky powerbands.
If you cut open a Yasuni R exhaust you can see they've done something really clever to mimic this effect and get both high peak power and a wider over-run powerband.
In the front section there is an additional cone welded inside with holes drilled into it.
At a certain rpm/ exhaust velocity the gases no longer pass through the holes which effectively means the cone has changed size and the exhaust now starts to move into a different powerband at higher revs.
The advantage of this is that you get a much wider powerband which continues to make useable power at high revs. The disadvantage is that you lose a little bit of peak power (the peak is flattened off).
This can be seen perfectly in the graph above. The Stage6 Pro Rep and Tecnigas Triops pipes make identical narrow peaks whereas the Yasuni R peaks approx 0.3hp lower but has a much wider powerband which out revs all the other pipes as was its intention.
Stage6 Sport Pro MKII Cylinder Kit
The above graph now shows the Tecnigas pipes fitted to a Stage6 Sport Pro MKII 70cc cylinder kit.
This cylinder kit is at the highest end of what could be described as a 'Sports' cylinder kit and likes to rev high to make its power compared to the Polini Sport cylinder kit.
At this level of higher tune the Tecnigas Trek and Triops pipes are starting to clearly outclass the other Tecnigas pipes as would be expected. But how do they hold up against competitor brand exhausts?
The graph above shows the Stage6 Sport Pro cylinder kit with some other branded exhausts for comparison.
The Tecnigas Triops and Stage6 Pro Replica work exceptionally well here both making very similar peak power. The Stage6 pipe however is specifically designed to work well with this cylinder kit so is expected to excel here as it does.
It's important to note that the Stage6 pipe is making it's power close to 12,000rpms compared to 10,500rpms for the Tecnigas pipe. If you were racing you would select the Stage6 pipe for its slightly wider powerband and higher revs (equals higher ultimate top speed).
But things start to wear much more quickly as engine speed is increased. The Triops makes the same peak power at just 10,500rpm which, whilst still having over-rev available should make for a longer lasting low maintenance identical performance engine albeit with a slight loss of ulimate top speed.
The graphs speak for themselves here, at £72.95 the budget Tecnigas Q-tre is a very capable budget pipe best suited to standard cylinder kits and mild sports 70cc kits, and for those looking to keep to the standard low-attention seeking look the Tecnigas Silent-Pro offers wide useable powerbands which are a substantially improvement over the genuine original Piaggio exhaust. The 'Silent Sport' performs a little more erratically which is inevitable with trying to squeeze a lot of power out of a non-expansion 'standard' pipe, although it can give good results if set up carefully.
The Next-R is probably not worth considering for common setups as the identically priced Trek consistently outperforms it on all setups.
The Tecnigas Trek is a true sports pipe and excels as a £93.95 exhaust working extremely well with everything from the standard cylinder kit to more highly tuned high revving sports cylinder kits.
The Triops does slightly outperform the Trek across the board (more so the more highly tuned the moped is) but is £35 more than the Trek.