V-twins DO need a crossover, even Harley uses one.
Wrong again. Harley only began experimenting with a crossover after 1984. Before that Sports had none and the big twins generally ran a 2 into 1 (I had 4 Harleys, so I "think" I know"). Even most of the 2011 models DO NOT have a crossover, only a few select models do. Also, around '86 or so, Harley began playing with matching pipe lengths to balance by adding a forward loop to the rear pipe.
Most likely more than half the cost of an aftermarket exhaust system is in research and development.
Most likely, the cost goes into the CEO's pockets. There was a guy named Ted from Ted's Cycle Shed in Newburgh (google him, he's famous) thats been building systems since the 60's at 2/3 the cost or less of the "fancy brands". His pipes are much sought after, and although retired now, his designs live on. Im sure in his early days was much trial and error (R and D, lol), but actually, pipe in bulk is cheap, and he had his own warehouse full.
And I dont see where anyone mentioned running straight pipes w/o extensions
. I fully agree that backpressure is necessary, the amount is a varying factor to suit the situation (carb, compression, intake, etc).
Ballancing the 2 pipes is mostly important for performance, but can also be achieved in different ways.
1)Both pipes of equal length and diameter.
2)Varrying lengths with ballancing achieved through a varried diameter.
3)2 into 1 "almost works as well as a crossover.
4)Modifying one baffle over the other, or even making an adjustible baffle on one will do it as well. I did the first on mine so that I could keep the ends at an equal length.
Crossover mods and goats bellies (etc) ie attempts at ballancing were more an effort to combat the low grades of gas that started in the 80's, to reduce ping, and satisfy the EPA bs.
What used to be Sunoco high test (98 octane, with 102 avail), has now become 91 octane with all kinds of junk mixed in. Luckily, companies like Harley arent taking the "easy" way out by just adding a crossover. They balance their OEM exhausts properly. Thats one of the reasons that many stock Harley muffs have either front/rear stamped on them, or left/right.