over for a closer look. One of the riders
saw me and shouted over to me, ‘Hey, what
do you think of those pipes? They’re
Bassanis.’ He was more proud of the mufflers than the motorcycle itself.”
For off-road and racing motorcycles,
the criteria are different. It’s less
about appearance and more about weight
and performance. Still, Woodsage’s
process is beneficial for these applications.
The one-piece design eliminates the
filler metal for the welding process that
the old method relied on. Also, the
improved durability is even more important for withstanding off-road riding
Building this sort of mousetrap takes
a little extra care, but it’s easier than
building the rolled-and-welded types.
“The raw parts are handled gently.
Each is lifted individually by straps. The
tubes don’t have contact with other tubes
or with any other hard surfaces that
could ding them up or scratch them,”
The company’s process for changing
the tube’s shape is different from the one
it uses for making tapered conveyor
rollers; it’s so much different that it’s
actually patented. Understandably
tight-lipped about it, Cannaley mentioned
just a few details.
“We have the longest die-swaging
machines in the world. They can swage 24
inches of taper in one pass. The machines
are our design, and they were custom-built
for us,” he said.
After they are swaged, they are packed
and shipped to the OEMs. They benefit
from no longer having to procure the raw
material, form the canister, weld it, and
grind down the weld.
“We eliminated part numbers, welds, and
inventories,” said Cannaley. “The OEM
removes the part from the box, puts it into a
fixture, and stuffs in the contents.”
Not that the change has been simple.
“The original type has an inlet pipe that
leads into the canister,” Miller said. “The
OEMs used to attach one of the internal components to that pipe. Eliminating that internal
pipe meant that they had to change their
process.” Still, they saw the overall benefits
and changed the internal design to reflect the
loss of this anchoring point.
Another drawback is that swaging
isn’t too forgiving of material variations, so
Woodsage has had to learn more
about manufacturing to make this process a