Mugen Baja Commander exhaust header

When Al Baker was commercializing his Baja Commander kit for the XR500, he included a nice purpose-built exhaust header that had two particularities to deliver more power: 
  • bigger bore for better breathing out (ID: 29mm I believe)
  • identical lengths for both bends, allegedly helping the harmonics of gas flow
It was also a clear visual statement that the bike had been tricked.

It took me no less than 4 years to finally find one of these original headers. It came, as often, in the form of an eBay miracle, for a handful of dollars.

It looked a little gritty at first.

Mugen Al Baker exhaust header

It ended up looking perfect after derusting and high temperature paint.

Honda XR500 Mugen Al Baker exhaust header

I can confirm that the ID is 28.5mm and the tubes are indeed exactly the same length.

Another owner in Germany is currently working on fabricating duplicates. There might other nutters like me out there who want one of these :)

The original brochure:

Baja Commander brochure
A cool dual sport C&J with the trick exhaust header:

Cool dual sport C&J XR500 with the Mugen exhaust header

A nice Johnny O' replica with the trick exhaust header:

Nice Baja Commander replica bike with the correct exhaust header

This one is in the UK, I missed it on eBay:

This one is now located in the UK. I missed it on eBay...

On a monoshock C&J HPF framed XR500 in Germany:

On a monoshock HPF in Germany

Beautiful sweeping bends:

Beautiful bends

Two bends, a Y piece and springs:

Beautiful work

I had a copy made by a local fabricator, but did not quite cut the mustard:

A reasonable attempt at a replica by a local fabricator

Along my quest for this piece of kit, I also encountered the Protec header and the Supertrapp headers. These are other stories...