The Dennis Kirk Blog
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Some of you wear it like a badge of honor, a shiny blue sign that this isn’t your first ride. But, for a lot of motorcycle riders on the road today, exhaust bluing is not the look you were going for. It appeared on your pipes out of nowhere; like a magic trick conjured out of thin air. But, don’t worry. We are here to unravel the mystery and show you how this trick was done. We will even show you another trick: how to make the blue on your exhaust… disappear.
The first thing that you are probably wondering is why this happened in the first place. You walked out to your garage after a long ride and noticed some discoloration on your pipes. If your pipes are chrome, they are probably blue, and if they are stainless steel, they might be gold. Regardless, they aren’t the same color as the day you bought them. The culprit? It’s the heat! Your engine gets cooking, and when that exhaust flows through your pipes, they get hot too. This is not a rarity on motorcycles, and it happens often as riders break in their new bikes. But, it can also be a sign that your bike might be running lean, is off in its timing, or have a leak in the exhaust system. If you’re not breaking in a new bike, these issues are worth considering. The blue pipes can be a symptom of a larger problem.
For those of you that don’t want blue pipes, there is a solution. There are a variety of products on the market that will wipe away the blue hue with nothing more than a bottle of cleaner, a cloth, and a heavy dose of elbow grease. Bluing Remover can help you bring your blue pipes back to their original shine. It’s important to note that while these cleaners work well, they can also be hard on the chrome of your exhaust. So, while there is nothing wrong with using it occasionally, we wouldn’t recommend using it every week.
So, you know why your pipes turned blue, and you polished them until they look like new. But, who’s to say that the blue won’t come back? It appeared once, it can do it again. Well, when it comes to avoiding the blues, there are a couple different things you can do. The first thing to do would be to make sure your bike is running in peak condition. If your bike is producing extra heat because it is running lean or the timing is off, you have bigger problems. But, assuming that these things aren’t the problem, we’ll move onto some other solutions.
One thing you could try is painting the inside of your exhaust with a ceramic coating. There are products made for exactly this purpose and they will help prevent future bluing in any well-tuned bike. There are a couple pitfalls to this tactic, however. For one, it can be difficult to paint the inside of your pipes, and if your pipes are not perfectly clean, it won’t work. Furthermore, this stuff is only intended for your header pipes, not your slip-on. If none of these points will be an issue for you, this would be a great way to go.
If you want to stray away from painting the inside of your pipes, you can always just cover the outside. Exhaust wraps and heat shields look great and you will never have to worry about whether or not they’ll work. They are easily installed and easy to maintain. It’s worth pointing out that just because you won’t be able to see your blue pipes, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have your engine checked routinely for the causes of bluing.
Well, there you have it. We’ve taken exhaust bluing and stripped it down, taking away the magic and showing you the method behind the madness. You now know why it’s happening, how to get rid of it, and how to make sure it is never a problem again. If you have any more information to share with your fellow riders or any questions for us, you can leave it in the comments below.
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