|Type||Public limited company|
|Headquarters||Ivančna Gorica, Slovenia|
|Key people||Igor Akrapovič|
|Products||Car and Motorcycle exhausts|
|Revenue||€23 million (2006)|
|Operating income||€5 million (2006)|
Akrapovič (Slovene pronunciation: [aˈkrapovitʃ]) is a Slovenian manufacturer of exhaust systems primarily for motorcycles, but more recently also for automobiles. A global exhaust supplier in motorcycle sport, Akrapovič exhausts are used on motorcycles in Moto GP, superbike, supersport, supermoto, motocross, enduro and rally raid. As of May 2010[update], Akrapovič systems have been used in a total of 38 world championships all across motorsport.
Akrapovič was established in 1990 as "Skorpion in Scorpion" by Slovenian racer Igor Akrapovič who had found that during his racing career there was a distinct lack of high-quality exhaust systems on the market to the public. He believed that the pipe walls were either excessively thick or that the technically superior exhaust systems were too expensive and difficult for the average customer to obtain. He designed his own exhaust system, which was sufficient to his requirements, based on the experience gained in the field of motorcycle tuning. Steel was replaced with materials such as carbon fibre and titanium.
In 1993, Kawasaki in Germany tested the exhaust systems and in 1994, Akrapovič exhausts were first used in international competition, in the ESBK and WSBK. The company soon attracted numerous teams in the Pro Superbike championship, not only Kawasaki, but Yamaha, Suzuki, Ducati and Honda etc.
In 1997, the company changed its name from Skorpion in Scorpion to Akrapovič and that year Akira Yanagawa became the first racer to win a race using an Akrapovič exhaust on a Kawasaki bike. After a strong growth in sales, particularly from Germany, with a growth as high as 70% per annum, production capacity was expanded in 1999, moving location from a 450 m2 (4,800 sq ft) workshop to a then 3,000 m2 (32,000 sq ft) factory in Ivančna Gorica. This factory has since more than quadrupled in size to 13,000 m2 (140,000 sq ft) as of 2010[update].
In 2000, the first world championship title using an Akrapovič exhaust was won in the WSBK when Colin Edwards won the world championship title on his Castrol Honda SP-01. That year, the 600 SS class with Yamaha and Joerg Teuchert also won using an Akrapovič exhaust. Modifications made to the design saw the company enter into the American AMA Superbike and the Japanese All Japan Superbike Championship and then in 2002, the MotoGP class, forming an alliance with the Honda, Kawasaki and Aprilia factory teams.
As income increased, the company invested in new technology and modernization, upgrading computers in 3-D planning of configurations, programming of tools and computer-aided manufacture. In 2004, the company made its first contact with automobile industry and in 2007 developed and equipped an exhaust system for a Formula 1 race car. In 2007, the company changed its logo. Akrapovič is now active as a supplier in the Porsche Sport Cup, where Porsche cars compete at six fully licensed and unlicensed series. In April 2007, the company was awarded the Best Exhaust Pipe Manufacturer Award from German Motorrad magazine, winning 42% of the votes. The company has since won the Best Brand award in every subsequent year with 2011 by its highest ever margin of votes.
The company partners with motorcycle manufacturers such as Yamaha, who offer Akrapovič cans as optional factory- or dealer-fit equipment on the R1, and MT-01; and BMW Motorrad who offer an Akrapovič can as standard on the F800R, HP2 Megamoto, and as an option on most other bikes in their range. The exhausts are also fitted on many Kawasaki racing bikes, notably the Z1000 exhaust model as well as Honda, Aprilia and Suzuki. Akrapovič supplies the exhaust systems for Audi's LMP cars since 2009 and is an official Audi Sport partner for the first time in the 2012 season, Audi R18 and Audi A5 DTM. Many of the leading motorcyclists in the Supersport series are known to ride with Akrapovič fitted exhausts including Roger Lee Hayden who has one fitted to his Kawasaki.
Exhausts are constructed from materials such as carbon fibre and titanium in the company's factory which has its own titanium foundry and hydroforming machines. The titanium foundry is located in a 800 m2 (8,600 sq ft) building at the company's main location in Ivancna Gorica. The casting process involves wax injection, X-ray radioscopy, and various chemical analyses, aided by CAD/CAM/CEA tools. The company also manufactures a titanium range called the Akrapovič Evolution.
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