Exhaust is the most crucial part of a motorcycle and many riders take care of it. In this article, I am going to talk about wrapping the exhaust. As there is a lot of confusion regarding wrapping the motorcycle exhaust that I will try to clear in this post. I will also clear some myths regarding wrapping the pipes with pros and cons. Here is what you first need to know.
So, Should you wrap your motorcycle exhaust? Wrapping the motorcycle exhaust increases the airflow from your exhaust and enhances the aesthetics of the motorcycle. Also, it saves you from getting burns from accidental touch. Thus, if you are looking to enhance horsepower and cosmetics then you should wrap your motorcycle exhaust.
Although, wrapping the exhaust pipes is not a hideous task it can be done in an hour. But, if not done right it will look awful.
What does wrapping your motorcycle exhaust do?
Wrapping the motorcycle exhaust can result in reduced engine temperature that enhances the engine. The exhaust pipe wrap keeps the heat of the exhaust gases at just the right temperature to make them move quickly and efficiently. As, the gas inside the exhaust becomes hotter, the hotter the gas the greater the average kinetic energy of gas molecules. Thus, the gas molecules exit the exhaust faster.
This can result in a slight increase in horsepower due to the cooler engine that can function more efficiently.
According to heatshieldproducts.com, “Exhaust wrapping can reduce up the heat up to 50% radiated by exhaust pipes. While at the same time the flow of exhaust gas becomes faster because of the increased gas temperature. This can lead to more efficient combustion and increased performance.”
Wrapping the motorcycle exhaust will save you from the burning of the body parts if you accidentally touch it. The exhaust wrap was readily used in cruiser motorcycles because the footpeg of the rider is very near to close to the exhaust. So, the chance of accidental burns was there.
There is one more thing that exhaust wrap is responsible for. It can make the exhaust rust if the moisture gets trapped under the wrap. This situation can be totally avoided if you ride your motorcycle often. Also, this issue won’t arise if you wrap your motorcycle exhaust right.
Pros and Cons of wrapping the Motorcycle exhaust
Here are the benefits (Pros) of wrapping or insulating the exhaust:-
So, coming to the important topic where we are going to discuss the pros and cons of wrapping the motorcycle exhaust.
Lower engine Temperature
Wrapping a motorcycle exhaust can help you in multiple different ways. The first benefit that you have Wrapping the motorcycle exhaust can result in reduced engine temperature that enhances the engine performance.
Wrap insulates the exhaust pipe, therefore, keeping the exhaust gas at a higher temperature for more efficient burning that also increases the scavenging effect for more performance. The colder the engine the more efficiently it works.
The exhaust wrap creates pressure because of the increased heat inside it that in result makes the gas flow faster. Thus, the engine remains cooler for functioning properly. Thus this result provides a slight increase in horsepower of the motorcycle. This was the second benefit from wrapping the motorcycle exhaust.
Enhanced looks of motorcycle
Now the third benefit you get with wrapping your motorcycle exhaust is its looks.
The wrap makes the exhaust looks cosmetically good and it can also help you to hide blemishes, discoloration, etc. Wrapping your exhaust also gives you that custom looks and aesthetics that enhance the overall look of the motorcycle.
Although, it’s a personal preference for everybody. As it’s not going to add any increase in motorcycle performance.
Protection from heat
Wrapping your motorcycle exhaust saves you and your legs from accidental burns. Because while riding a motorcycle exhaust temperature gets higher and without the wrap, the flow of gases remains at its pace. That results in the increasing temperature of the exhaust and it will conduct the heat in an environment where your body can also feel it without touching. So, the wrap protects you from the heat of the exhaust.
Here are the drawbacks (Cons) of wrapping or insulating the exhaust:-
Water Damage (Preventable)
If water seeps into the wrapped motorcycle exhaust then it can speed up the rusting. But, this situation is totally avoidable if you ride your motorcycle often. As you ride your motorcycle it will heat up the exhaust pipe and in last the water will get vaporized. Thus, as I said it is preventable but if a motorcycle sits in your garage for a long time then your exhaust may get rust.
Smoke and Smell after the Installation
After the installation of the motorcycle exhaust wrap, it produces an unpleasant smell and smoking for some time. Because as you start to ride the motorcycle exhaust temperature will rise which will burn the starches. It is a required process to cure the fiberglass exhaust wrap in place and forms a strong bond.
Rust from heat fluctuation
The last but not the least cons of wrapping the motorcycle exhaust is this. As with the constant fluctuation in temperature the exhaust can get to rust (vary with the material used in the exhaust). So, if the exhaust is not made of stainless steel then you will not be able to stop corrosion once it starts. It will become a mess for removing the wrap again which is another time-consuming and messy task.
Motorcycle exhaust wrap Pros and Cons in comparison table
Here is the list of pros and cons of wrapping a motorcycle exhaust.
|It decreases the engine temperature which can result in a slight increase in horsepower.||If the water gets into the pipe, then it can make the pipes rust. If you don’t ride it often.|
|Wrapping the exhaust can save you from accidental burns.||Once you wrap the exhaust pipe, you can’t go back.|
|It helps to enhance the looks of your motorcycle.||It produces smell and smoke for some duration after installation.|
|Motorcycle exhaust wrap is cost-effective.|
|Installation is also quite easy|
|Wrapping the exhaust also helps to reduce vibrations.|
Motorcycle exhaust wrap problems
The most common problem majority of the people face is the foul-smelling that comes off the exhaust after installing it.
But, riders you don’t have to worry about it because it’s a is a good thing. Because as you start to ride the motorcycle exhaust temperature will rise which will burn the starches. It is a required process to cure the fiberglass exhaust wrap in place and forms a strong bond. And, once the exhaust wrap is cured it should last for years or more give you performance, looks, as well as saving money.
Generally, It take 30 min to 60 min with hot exhaust to solve the problem of smoking and smelling disapper. While it can take it takes between 1 to 5 days of normal motorcycle use to solve the problem of smoking and smelling to disapper.
The key component in this process is the heat of the exhaust system. Because the cooler exhaust system will vaporize the wrap starches slowly compared to the hot exhaust system. Thus with a cooler exhaust system, it can take upto 1 to 5 days while with a hot exhaust system it will take only 30 minutes to burn the wrap starches and the smell and smoking will totally disappear.
How much exhaust wrap I need to cover the exhaust?
The amount of exhaust wrap you need to cover will totally depend on the dimension of the exhaust pipe.
With having the right measure of the exhaust wrap you can save your money. Here is the Exhaust wrap calculator by heatshieldproduct.com. It will help you to calculate the wrap you need for your motorcycle.
The basic measurement detail you need to put is “Pipe Diameter in inches” and “Pipe length in feet”. Apart from this, you can also provide extra details like the number of bends, etc which is an optional field.
Exhaust wrap has its benefits and drawback. But, one thing I have seen that most people use the exhaust wrap just for the style statement. If we talk about the increase in horsepower then it is an unnoticeable change. There are some benefits you will have is the faster gas gets out from the exhaust and enhanced looks. And, your motorcycle will have an enhanced look.
Does exhaust wrap ruin the motorcycle pipes?
Exhaust wrap can cause cosmetic damage as the exhaust wrap remains the exhaust for a long time that leaves checker marks on the pipes that come from the fiber. Thus, the exhaust pipes will certainly ruin the motorcycle pipes.
What is the cost of the Motorcycle Exhaust Wrap?
You can find the motorcycle exhaust wrap between the $12 to $60 price range. Although, the price depends on various factors like the quality of wrap, length of the wrap, etc. Apart from the wrap, you will also need some stainless steel zip to ties the wrap. You can get a bundle from an auto parts store for under $5.
If you want then you can complete the whole project in just $20 to $30. Wrapping the motorcycle exhaust is cheap.