Akrapovič is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2021. The beginnings of the world-famous manufacturer of high-performance exhaust systems go back to even before its formal incorporation in the spring of 1991, when operations started in a workshop just over a kilometre away from its current headquarters at Ivančna Gorica.
Igor Akrapovič was a motorcycle racer who already tuned motorcycles during his racing career to make them even faster. At first, he worked on his own machines, but later he also started tuning those of others, even his rivals. It was this passion for technology and constant improvement of motorcycle components that made him decide to start his own business and dedicate his future to developing high-performance exhaust systems. Exhaust systems were where Igor Akrapovič saw his greatest opportunity because at that time there was little competition on the market, but substantial room for improvement. He initially focused on racing motorcycle exhaust systems, building a rich tradition of state-of-the-art products, from which he soon expanded into the mainstream motorcycle market, as well as the car market later on.
Three decades after its inception, the company is operating at two state-of-the-art production sites in Slovenia, with over 1,300 employees. The facilities at the company’s headquarters in Ivančna Gorica comprise an in-house titanium foundry, a durability dyno on which a robot rides the motorcycle, a metallurgical lab, an R&D department, and a racing department. The entire production, from tube making to final assembly, takes places in a large production hall at Črnomelj.
The company continued to develop, and the increasing demand for its products forced it to expand its premises, which it continually furnished with state-of-the-art equipment required to develop and manufacture its products. Throughout, a special culture has been built inside the company rooted in the employees’ desire to offer customers exhaust systems and other products of the highest quality.
This commitment to constantly invest in the development of products and the technology required to manufacture them has been inseparably connected with racing, which provides the perfect laboratory for testing technical and technological solutions and materials. The first victory at a world championship race on an Akrapovič-outfitted motorcycle was secured by Akira Yanagawa (Kawasaki) in WorldSBK in 1997, and the first world championship title won on a motorcycle featuring the Slovenian manufacturer’s exhaust system was recorded in 2000, when Akrapovič brand ambassador Colin Edwards triumphed in the WorldSBK on his Honda.
“Back in the beginning, I was tuning complete motorcycles and using the money I earned to compete in races. Tuning was almost as interesting to me as racing itself, and so it was kind of natural for me to buy a tube bending machine. That’s how it all started. I look back at the company’s three decades of development, especially its racing history, with great pride because races are the toughest testing ground for a product.” – Igor Akrapovič
To date, the company has secured 140 world championship titles with its partner racing teams in various racing disciplines, along with numerous victories in FIM MotoGP, FIM WorldSBK, FIM MXGP, FIA WEC, and DTM, famous races like the Isle of Man TT, 24 Hours Nürburgring, 24 Hours of Le Mans, 24 Hours of Daytona, and Dakar Rally, and more.
Alongside the company’s high profile, which goes hand in hand with its presence at races, it has been its attention to detail and desire to also create the best products for ordinary customers that have brought the company numerous honours and awards. Very important among them are the fourteen Red Dot awards won over the past eight years, including the Red Dot: Best of the Best award in the Product Design category for the Evolution Line (Titanium) exhaust system for the Ducati 1199 Panigale in 2014.
“From the very beginning, the company’s vision and culture have stayed the same: we continue to focus on developing the perfect product, placing innovation, research, and application of top-notch technology and state-of-the-art materials at the forefront. Development and curiosity drive us forward to keep looking for solutions how to improve and upgrade our products and make them even more attractive for our customers. Development has no limits because technology can always be improved.” – Igor Akrapovič
To mark the 30th anniversary, Akrapovič engineers used the company’s long years of experience and know-how to design two special Evolution Line (Titanium) 30th Anniversary* exhaust systems for the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR / ZX-10R and the Ferrari F8 Tributo, with a limited edition of only 30 pieces each. Details about the two products will be presented in press releases during the coming weeks.
You can follow all the information on the company’s 30th anniversary on its official social media channels under the hashtag #30YearsAkrapovic or visit Akrapovič 30 Years, a special website dedicated to the company’s 30th anniversary, where new content will be posted throughout the year, including a special issue of Akrapovič Lifestyle Magazine in digital format. The 30th issue of the magazine will feature selected articles from the previous issues, alongside new material looking back at the company’s development over the past thirty years.