Quick look: Rutherford Racing two-stroke exhaust flange guards
Enduro21 takes a quick look at Rutherford Racing’s Exhaust Flange Guard, the simple and cheap part designed to prevent a broken exhaust port and the expensive of a new cylinder barrel.
Do you need one or not? That’s the question. Exhaust flange guards are one of those hard parts which some people swear by, while others say aren’t needed.
If you’ve ever hit your exhaust pipe while riding hard enduro (or at the right/wrong angle), cracking the exhaust flange where the pipe exits the engine resulting in a broken flange, you’ll likely never not fit one again.
One thing’s for sure, around £17/€20 for this one from Rutherford Racing – European distributors of the Two Stroke Performance TPI kits and parts – is an easy buy compared to the price of a new barrel.
Rutherford call it a “must buy” if you fit the carbon-type guards which are common because they do such a good job of deflecting impacts they can transfer the energy to the flange.
The remit is a simple one: literally it clamps around the exhaust port flange at the front of your engine. It adds extra strength around the outside of the flange lip which the header pipe sits.
Why do some people say there’s no need? Because the school of thought is a pipe guard with solid mounting points to the bike (not the exhaust), does the job of protecting and deflecting or absorbing impact.
Not everyone likes the large, metal, often cage-type exhaust guards though and prefer to fit a light and easily removeable pipe guard and fit one of these clamps.
Which is exactly what we have done for one of our test bikes with the Rutherford Racing clamp. Like many on the market, it is super-simple to fit and comes with three bolts – one to tweak the clamp and two longer mount bolts into the barrel – and takes five minutes to install.
After removing the exhaust via two side and bottom mounting points, plus the springs at the front of the engine either side of the flange, the clamp basically sits in place around the flange.
We fitted it finger tight, ensuring the little tab to loop the spring was in the correct position on the left side, before tightening – without overtightening. Refit the exhaust and you’re done.
This guard is fitted to our Husqvarna TE 250 two-stroke test mule which we’re using for basically all types of enduro, testing parts and more.
KTM 250/300 EXC/XC/SX/XCW/XC-W Six Days/XC-W TPI 2017-2022
Husqvarna 250/300 TE/TC/TX 2017-2022
GASGAS EX / EC / MC 250/300 2021-2022
More information: www.rutherfordracing.co.uk