I was going to say almost the exact same thing. I can't tell you how many guys I've seen spend endless hours and countless dollars chasing a minor increase in HP. In the VStrom forums there are dozens of threads of people doing everything from hacking a chunk off the muffler can to spending $800 - $1000 for a "better sound and more performance." Start with the pipe, then the Power Commander, then start downloading maps, blah blah blah. And several posts from guys lamenting they'd ever messed with the stock exhaust to begin with.I usually keep my stuff stock anyway 'cause I'm not a tinker'r and I am a cheapskate, once you start changing stuff around it tends to snowball and before you know it you're in the bike for a couple of grand and it don't really run any better, just louder and less gas milage. Mods I make are mostly comfort and handling, not engine...usually works better that way.
There was a huge bru-haha brewing in 07 in the HD mags about the EPA shutting down any mods to exhausts, be they "Stage 1" setups from HD or aftermarket. The way the articles read, 1/2 of America would be put out of work.
As for me, I'm saving up for Dr. Richard Balzack's Comfy Cutout Seat. I'm way past giving a crap about what my exhaust sounds like, and the DL has enough torque and hp out of the box to make me grin.