With an unmistakable sound and a world-beating partnership with BMW, Akrapovic exhausts were the only choice for a film about a landmark race in which performance is everything.
When a BMW S 1000 RR rider and BMW M3 driver make a high-stakes bet over which machine is faster in new film The Chase, both machines are custom-fitted with Akrapovic exhausts at the brand’s Slovenian headquarters. The kitting out of the two dream machines is a key part of the short film directed by award-winning filmmaker Ryan McManus, and the pre-race excitement is built in the scene showing the fittings.
The partnership between Akrapovic and BMW is well established, with the exhaust manufacturer the official partner of BMW Motorrad Motorsport. The two brands offer the option of an Akrapovic exhaust on a range of BMW models, and Akrapovic has worked closely with the BMW Motorrad Motorsport factory team to develop, equip and configure exhaust systems specifically for the RR.
Ever since BMW Motorrad decided to build a dedicated sports machine and contest the Superbike World Championship, the partnership between the two brands has been devoted to developing the best possible race exhaust for the RR. Akrapovic is also permanently involved in many aspects of engine development at BMW. Both racing bikes and commercially available street-legal models can be fitted with Akrapovic exhaust systems.
“Akrapovic became involved in The Chase because we have been cooperating with BMW on a number of projects, so the idea emerged we should do something as partners from a marketing point of view,” says Primoz Jurman, head of PR at Akrapovic. “This is the first time we have been involved in a project like this, and we felt very proud to be part of it.”
The Akrapovic brand has been a key name in the motorsport industry since it began manufacturing high-performance exhaust systems for motorcycles and sports cars back in 1990 under the name ‘Skorpion in Scorpion’. The company was founded by former F1 and SBK champion Igor Akrapovic, of Slovenia, who drew on his own experience on the track to develop high quality exhaust systems, after realising there were none available to the public which could meet extreme technical demands.
Initially, Akrapovic produced completely custom-made exhaust systems for private racing teams, made in a small workshop in Germany. But the products quickly gained kudos in the racing world, grabbing the attention of many professional Superbike teams. In 1993 Kawasaki Deutschland accepted an invitation from Akrapovic to test their exhausts. This breakthrough eventually led to the manufacturer working with many high-profile teams, including Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, Ducati and Honda, and earning a series of championship titles over the years.
The name changed from Skorpion in Scorpion to simply Akrapovic in 1997, as it was felt the original moniker had become outdated. Just two years later, in 1999, the company saw another big change with the move from its former workshop in Germany to a brand new 3,000m² factory in Ivančna Gorica, Slovenia.
The move proved wise, with more successes following the upgrade; in 2000 all Japanese WSBK teams used Akrapovic exhausts and in 2002 Akrapovic kit was used in the MotoGP class for the first time. The company took another huge step in 2004, developing and equipping a Formula 1 car with an exhaust for the first time.
In 2007 another image overhaul took place and the company underwent a restructure, updating its symbols and logos to incorporate a highly stylised and modern scorpion image. The creature is used because ‘akrap’ is the Turkish word for scorpion.
Since then, the company has expanded even further, opening a state-of-the-art foundry in 2009 – a year which also saw teams using Akrapovic exhausts take 12 motor racing world championships, the Nürburgring 24 hour and the German Porsche Sports Cup.
Last year, the company decided to move into the US. Akrapovic America LLC was the first facility to begin operation last summer in Irvine, California. The years have also seen the exhaust manufacturer win many awards, from ‘best brand’ accolades to being voted best exhaust pipe manufacturer by German Motorrad Magazine.
Being selected to co-star in The Chase – a film which pits two of the world’s best machines against each other – is yet another sign that Akrapovic is an industry byword for performance and quality.
The Chase will be available online at BMW TV shortly.
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