LML’s geared 4-stroke Star 200 has probably not been the massive seller that the Indian firm hoped for their Vespa PX look-a-like. As a result parts and upgrades for the engine are fairly thin on the ground.
Here SLUK reader Matt Tipper from the LML Owner’s Club fills us in on his impressions of GPR’s dedicated exhaust for this model.
Martin Cook from Chiselspeed has been good enough to supply us with some dyno data to back up Matt’s findings.
I’d wanted a GPR exhaust for my LML since I saw the pipe the Italian company released for the 125/150cc version of the LML 4 stroke scooter a few years back. The quality looked superb, the sound (from what I could make out from a video) was spot on, you could still carry a spare tyre and it had a dyno graph to back up the claimed extra horse power. It could be the perfect exhaust!
I had tried a couple of other aftermarket exhausts but they were a little too loud for my liking so I emailed GPR to ask them if they had any plans to develop an exhaust for the 200cc LML.
They told me that they would love to if I could find them a scooter to work on when designing the exhaust. I considered riding to Italy to let them use my scooter but it’s a 2000 mile round trip from my home in Somerset, England so I waited to see if anyone else stepped up to the plate.
Eventually I saw a video on the Italian LML owners club facebook of a LML 200 with a GPR exhaust fitted and emailed GPR straight away to see how I could get hold of one.
I received a reply straight away and so the story begins:
In my opinion how a company deals with its customers is just as important as the products they sell. Both Arthur at GPR UK and Mauro at GPR Italy responded to my emails quickly and I even managed to wrangle a discount for LML Owners Club UK members if I could secure 10 orders (think we have ordered around 15 exhausts now in total). Tracking numbers were sent as soon as the exhausts left Italy and the whole ordering experience was top notch.
The only issue I had was some of the hardware was missing from my package. I emailed GPR and it was sent out via DHL the next day. Also the bolt that goes through the swing arm that came with the exhaust was too short. I am not sure how this happened but I was not the only one to have this problem. GPR did offer to send out replacement bolts but most members opted for sourcing their own 65mm M10 bolts instead. A slight hiccup but rectified quickly.
The exhaust comes well packaged. The box contains two branded cloth bags with the various parts in, separated to stop them banging against each other in transit. The smaller parts (nuts, bolts etc) are also in a sealed bag, along with a couple of GPR stickers. The down pipe as well as all the fixings are stainless steel and the box section is aluminium, the whole system weighs 3kg less than the standard pipe. There is also a removable db killer for those people who like to bother their neighbours.
The tig welds are clean and solid and the exhaust comes with a certificate to show that it meets European standards. It comes in a Cat and non-Cat version but unsurprisingly nobody from the club ordered one with a Cat fitted.
Anyone who has fitted a mass produced aftermarket scooter exhaust before will know that they don’t always fit without a bit of gentle persuasion from a rubber mallet. Luckily fitting the GPR was fairly straight forward. The instructions that come with the exhaust are pretty basic but there is a video on YouTube which shows you step by step how to fit the exhaust. The instructions say the exhaust doesn’t need a crush washer in the exhaust manifold but I left mine in place to give a better seal. Other members fitted their exhausts without a washer and haven’t had any problems.
I found that using a cable tie to hold the hanger that goes round the box section tight while I
torqued up the bolt made things easier. The fact that everything is so precise and well made meant that fitting the exhaust was relatively easy compared to others I have fitted in the past, both 2 stroke and 4 stroke, no rubber mallet was needed.
The pipe fits with enough of a gap between it and the scooter’s frame to ease any worries about heat transfer and the stubby end can means there is still enough room to carry a spare wheel, although it did seem that some of the owner’s exhausts were closer to the spare than others. I did feel a slight leak between the downpipe and the box section but this was cured by repositioning and re-tightening the clamp slightly. My scooter was jetted with a 94 main jet which seems to work well; more on this later.
After fitting the exhaust my scooter fired up straight away. The exhaust has a nice deep rumble when idling without being offensively loud. When rolling up to traffic lights with the clutch pulled in, the pipe is barely louder than a standard one but has a much nicer tone.
Out on the open road the exhaust purrs along nicely, loud enough so that the traffic around you can hear you coming but not so loud that it drives you mad on a long journey. The more I ride with this exhaust the more I fall in love with the sound of it, they have got the balance just right.
This is always hard to judge using the ‘bum dyno’ sometimes the sound of an exhaust can make you feel like you are going faster, other times the fact that you have just forked out a load of money can convince you that there is an improvement. Just bolting on an exhaust to a 4 stroke scooter is never going to make a huge difference in performance.
However, myself and other members of the club certainly noticed an improvement in acceleration with possibly a couple of mph top speed. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and after getting the jetting setup to suit the exhaust on a dyno I ended up with an 80 main jet.
The exhaust definitely allows you to rev higher in 3rd gear. I can now rev up to 60mph on the speedo before changing up to 4th, where as before I would have to shift up around 40mph. My top speed has also increased, I now regularly reach 70mph on the speedo, an improvement of just under 10mph !
The most noticeable difference is how smooth the scooter seems to run with the GPR. I don’t know how or why this is but I like it. The other exhausts I had fitted to my 4 stroke in the past didn’t give the same feeling of totally loosening up the engine.
The GPR costs £229.00 for the non cat version which means it isn’t the cheapest exhaust on the market but it also isn’t the most expensive. It is however, in my opinion the best quality pipe available at the moment and each one comes with a 2-year warranty to back that up. The exhaust fits pretty much perfectly, the sound is awesome and there is definitely a noticeable performance improvement. The only negative I can think of is that there were some bits missing from my package but as I mentioned before this was quickly put right.
If you are looking for an aftermarket exhaust for your LML 125,150,151 or 200 4 stroke then I definitely recommend the GPR.
I will end this review with the words of Rich Bennett another member of the LML Owners Club of Great Britain UK –
Well just around 300 miles since fitting and got to say it’s the best exhaust I’ve had. Good performance increase. Great mid range response and acceleration. Lovely tone. Best of all the 200 feels so much smoother through the gear range and there’s also a little increase in fuel range. It’s the dogs b*llocks.
Thank you to Howard Jones for the photos.
On the Dyno
Dyno comparison from Martin at Chiselspeed of a standard LML 200 (red), LML 200 with GPR pipe (green) and a fully-Polini kitted LML complete with GPR pipe (blue). The exhaust alone adds around 1hp (over 10%) more power and importantly lets the engine rev on much further.
One of the common problems of the geared LML 200 is fuel starvation when riding at open throttle for significant distances. Matt cured this with a vacuum fuel pump (hopefully we can cover this in the future on SLUK). Martin from Chiselspeed confirms that this is the best fix for standard carburettor LML 200s but said that it doesn’t seem to crop up on those fitted with the Polini carb kit.