In the 70’s Giorgio Giannelli is a young man with a passion for motorbikes and especially for off-road. These were the days of the first races, taking part to Italian Championships.
These were also the days when Giorgio began interesting to mechanics, the start of the passion that is still alive and great nowadays.
Arrow Special Parts was born in 1985 when Giorgio Giannelli (a very good motocross rider) makes his idea come true, to establish a Company committed to the production of high-performance exhaust systems. The first products are those designed for off-road bikes and very soon the success of these parts led to the start of the production of a growing number of exhaust systems and other “special parts” for various off-road bikes, accessories designed and developed also together with the very important address of Michele Rinaldi, then 125-Class MX World Champion.
After a couple of seasons, the first World Title arrived, when the Belgian rider Jobè won the 500-Class MX World Championship.
Very soon, alongside with the range of exhausts and accessories for 2-strokes bikes a new line of systems for 4-strokes bikes was designed and developed: tested in the demanding Paris-Dakar rally, these exhausts were on the race-winning Edi Orioli’s Honda, in 1988.
In the 90’s Arrow gets its final acknoledgment as one of the most important Companies and Brands in motorcycling. A vast series of successes in races is the background for the growth in export markets. These are the years of Puzar, Parker, Schmidt, Schwantz, Moore, Biaggi, Doohan, Criville, BArtolini, Chambon, all crowned World Champions and using Arrow exhausts: there’s no area in motorcycling without an Arrow exhaust at the top.
This line-up of riders was a big boost in creating the Arrow brand and also was fundamental to reach the level of quality, performance and reliability of Arrow products.
In the 90’s, also, new investments are made in research and development, creating the R&D department and the Race-Lab to give direct on-track support to the teams. Arrow fixes its role as one of the main actors in motorcycling industry and market and new product lines are created with the new exhausts for scooters and street bikes.
In these years the first experiments are made with carbon fibre and titanium. With these new materials Arrow products will reach in the following years new heights of quality and style.
To better match the markets’ needs and to keep the highest levels, in the 90’s all production and logistic processes are reworked and renewed. This push for a new, modern Company was complementary and not a replacement of the craftsmanship of Arrow production team (above all, in the welding processes).
2000’s and beyond
Arrow’s commitment to racing and motorsports gave enthusiastic results in the last years: more than 40 World Titles in many different classes, to which we can add all the victories Arrow got in local and National races.
The quest for higher performance, better materials and unique style had an unquestionable effect on production. Nowadays Arrow is capable in design, development, testing and production of exhaust systems for sportbikes, streetbikes, off-road bikes, tourer / cruisers, scooters and maxi-scooters. A very big share of the products is available in a street legal version, following European standards, in close connection with the most important certifications agencies in Europe.
In the last time period, Technical Office sees the introduction of 3D CAD modeling, a step too much important to keep design capabilities matching the needs of the present and future technology. Production processes are improved introducing laser-trimming state-of-the-art machines, automated stores for components, last generation bending machines: investments made to target high production efficiency and effectiveness and the operational flexibility needed to compete in the fast-changing market of motorsports and to match the ever-changing global market.
A big part of the investment has been used to improve the tooling departments, with new machinery and softwares.
High quality of processes and products is fundamental to many of bikes manufacturers asking Arrow to design, develop and produce OES and OEM exhaust systems. Arrow parters with Companies like Aprilia, Betamotor, Husqvarna, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, KMSB (Kawasaki Malaysia), Piaggio and Triumph.
In the recent past, a merge between Giannelli Silencers and Arrow has been completed and Arrow Special Parts got the task to design, develop, produce and distribute both Arrow and Giannelli brands.
All Design, Development, Testing and Production processes are completed in Arrow’s facilities in Italy, San Giustino (PG).
At the present time Arrow products are being distributed in more than 60 Countries in the World. The Company has a strong foothold in Europe, North America and Australia and Arrow is fast-growing in South America and Far-East, a situation that is changing for the better as the Company invests in international and local Shows and Exhibitions.
With the strength given by a 30-years-long background, experience and knowledge, Arrow is facing today markets’ challenges trying to take all the opportunities that these challenges offer. The Company looks beyond, a young Company marching to the future, with enthusiasm and energy. This makes Arrow a market leader and a benchmark.
And the story goes…
The building-up of a prototype
When a new bike is introduced in the market, Arrow normally decides to design an after-market exhaust for that bike. Also, Arrow can also decide to fit a new product (new materials, new shape and the like) to an existing bike or to improve a range with the exhaust fitting an older vehicle.
In either case, the after-market exhaust system is normally designed directly on the bike/scooter/moped. The bike (in most cases completely original) is placed on a stand in one of the working stations available in the R&D and they start thinking (discussing?) on the best layout of the exhaust. The design is then transferred to a physical sample, thanks to the experience and knowledge of R&D technicians and engineers: the prototype is made piece after piece, using common parts, off-the-shelf parts and new parts made to fit that vehicle.
When ready, the prototype exhaust system is then tested and checked looking for power output, noise, emissions and also checking fitment to be OK. Sometimes it is needed to do some changes to have the perfect mix (i.e. between power, noise and emissions): after every change the prototype exhaust is then checked again to arrive to the final prototype, to be put in production and sent to the market as soon as possible.
The heart of R&D Department is the testing room. There a set of tools put Arrow in a condition to check power and torque, emissions levels, fueling, ECU and engine settings.
Inside the testing room we find 4 testing rigs (1 static, 3 dynamic) also capable to interact with the gas analyzer, looking for emissions levels of the exhaust and making it possible to design emission-controlling devices like catalytic converters.
The very high share of Arrow’s exhaust systems is street legal. Arrow works since many years together with the most important certifications agencies in Europe to be able to put in the market exhaust systems matching applicable standards, both in Europe and Worldwide.
The standards in Europe are defined in European Directive 97/24/EC, a Directive amended many times in the past years. In particular, Arrow applies the following standards:
97/24/EC chapter 5: emissions
97/24/EC chapter 9: noise and power levels
CARB: U.S. “California Air Resources Board”
The standards are improved continuously to keep track of technological advances in vehicles design and to match the ever changing needs to keep noise, power and emissions under severe control.
Techical office staff work in close connection with both the R&D and Production, following product development, testing, desing and, in particular, all activities to produce a product from the prototype with highly efficient processes. The team in the techical office is the link between Arrow’s “race soul” and the “working body”, supplying all the Company with the relevant information on the products (drawings, tech. specs., spare parts lists, bill of materials, processes involved, pictures, catalogues, information sheets) needed to correctly produce and distribute Arrow exhausts. The team also gives to Sales Office the technical support when dealing with customers.