Igor Akrapovič (above, left), the man who established Akrapovič back in 1990. And (above, right) the Akrapovič R&D team today, outside the company's factory in Slovenia. Below: An exhibition of various racebikes fitted with Akrapovič exhaust systems, at the Technical Museum of Slovenia, in Bistra
Readers of the German motorcycle magazine, Motorrad, recently voted Akrapovič as ‘best brand’ in the motorcycle exhaust systems category. Akrapovič (pronounced ‘Ack-rap'-o-vich’) was set up in Slovenia in 1990 by Igor Akrapovič, an ex-racer himself and someone who had spent more than a decade racing in motorcycle F1 and World Superbikes series. Igor says that back then, high-quality performance exhaust systems for motorcycles simply weren’t available, which is why he decided to set up a company that would manufacture high-performance exhaust systems for bikes.
Made under the ‘Skorpion’ brand back then, the exhausts established new concepts in construction, tube diameters and materials. Igor used high-quality stainless steel for the exhausts made by his company, and also started using more exotic materials like titanium and carbonfibre. By early- to mid-1990s, manufacturers like Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, Ducati and Honda had already started using Skorpion/Akrapovič exhaust systems on their racing bikes in the Pro Superbike Championship series.
In 1997, the company changed the name of its exhaust systems from Skorpion to Akrapovič and after its successes in Pro Superbike, made a move in World Superbikes. They also started working on exhaust systems for off-road bikes, working with manufacturers like KTM and Husqvarna. By 1999, all Japanese teams were using Akrapovič systems on their WSBK machines and by 2002, the company had also moved into the MotoGP class. In 2011, Akrapovič celebrated their 20th Anniversary and sponsored an exhibition featuring some of their key championship winning race bikes at the Technical Museum of Slovenia, in Bistra.