At the Sign of the Wolf

Text: Daniel Neuhauser • Photography: Daniel Neuhauser, Maxmoto

When I started out in motorcycling, my second bike was a BMW 1100 GS. And since it's routine, simply a matter of good form to do so here in Austria, I mounted a Remus Racing exhaust on it. What a sound!

Before the Remus Company began developing and producing high-end vehicular components in the Styrian enclave of Bärnbach, this Austrian village was primarily known as the training ground for another means of transport - the world famous Lipizzaner Stallions. But unlike Mr. Ferrari's rearing-stallion trademark choice, Remus understandably went with the most legendary of mythical wolves. Romulus may have founded Rome, but his inventive twin brother Remus, weaned from the selfsame wolf, made sure that all roads eventually led there.

Starting out with five employees, Angelika and Otto Kresch founded Remus fifteen years ago. One year later, the plant had 40 workers employed in exhaust assembly. By 1996, the company had become the world market leader for sports exhausts. Now, after several expansions, the Remus operation has 600 employees spread over a three-acre site. In addition to the manufacture of great-sounding exhaust systems for cars and motorcycles, Remus is also producing environmentally sound innovations in the field of exhaust gas technology. Their latest invention is a particle filter for diesel cars. Remus, famous for its aftermarket products for cars and motorcycles, also produces a lot of original equipment, too - for Ducati, for instance.

Producing an exhaust system is not just about welding pipes together. It begins with research, testing and finally the production end, where many hands are operating together, somewhat like the smooth synchronized performances of our Lipizzaner horses. The ear is a very complex organ. That's why developing exhaust sounds requires the expertise of the technicians found in the Remus research and testing labs. These engineers clearly understand the correlation between a great sounding bike and successful sales. To get the best results, the materials have to be the best, and Remus only works with the highest grades of stainless steel, aluminium, carbon and titanium in a process that utilizes precision tools (three-dimensional welders and lasers) to manufacture a perfect part: the Remus exhaust system.

Recently I visited the Remus plant and spoke with Angelika Kresch.

RR: Why did you decide to build Remus here?

Kresch: Because we were born and raised here and wanted to stay and do something for the region by offering jobs.

RR: In Europe, we're very aware of environmental problems. How does that compare to the situation in the US?

Kresch: Yes, there are differences between Europe and the US, and we can take some pride that our politicians remain diligent concerning the environment, especially through the enactment of clean air legislation. Hopefully, politicians in the US and the rest of the world will give the air pollution problem - which leads to expansion of the greenhouse effect - the attention it deserves and eventually sign the Kyoto Accords.

RR: One of the worries motorcyclists have about using catalytic converters is the loss of power. What are your thoughts?

Kresch: The loss of power isn't noticed by the normal rider. Honestly, considering the power of modern bikes, who can tell whether their bike has 170 or 168hp?

RR: Yes that's true. Even when comparing new bikes on the Dyno, you have differences because of the series dispersion of about 10 percent horsepower...But on to another topic now, getting back to business, where can our readers purchase Remus and Sebring products.

Kresch: They can find any of our products on the Internet, and we have an excellent dealer in the US in Knut Wagner of MAX Moto.

But what about that glorious sound itself? I couldn't possibly describe it here. All you need to do is click on the sound files stored at the Remus homepage (www.Remus.at.); you'll understand. If that's not music to a rider's ears, I don't know what is.