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Removing that brown nasty stuff on the front of the header pipes


Paul De

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I have a '99 RT and as most of you know over time the header pipes right behind the front tire will acquire a baked on brown film of road dust & dirt. It doesn't wash off with soap and water either. This spring I was mounting a long rear fender accessory but felt it was sort of like closing the corral door long after that horse had run off.

 

What I found was to take some medium steel wool used for smoothing between finish layers and soak it with mineral spirits and give it a scrub. You don't need a lot of elbow grease either. Soapy water, methanol, ethanol (not my 20 yr old scotch of course) or even acetone did not work as well as the mineral spirits.

 

Even though brief exposure to mineral spirits likely won't hurt the body panel finish, I highly recommend doing this when you have the Tupperware off and out of the way.....just in case. Besides it makes for easy access to the header pipes. thumbsup.gif

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Paul,

 

Not familiar with the way your models pipes snake to the rear of the bike..are they exposed. If only partially exposed and not an appearance finish, how about cleaning them and then painting them with high temp exhaust system enamel? It works well and may hold up longer than the present finish.....just a thought......how's the weather up there in Motor Company Land? Did you go the RA bike races a week ago? I missed it.......darn!

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The header pipes on this iteration of the RT come together at the base of the engine cases just below the alternator belt cover and behind the belly pan panel. They then curve around the right side of the bike behind the right side body panel. These pipes are mostly covered by Tupperware except in the front of the bike where cooling air is let in. The finish is fine now as the pipes are single wall stainless. They now have a nice golden patina and show no signs of being scratches by the steel wool. To paint them sounds like an added maintenance item as the paint will inevitably fade and burn off as this area is pretty darn hot.

 

The weather is great for riding in June, warm without being too hot. No I didn't go to RA this year as I am up to my chin in a back yard patio project. I guess with the track being so close I'm kind of spoiled.

 

A couple of years back I took a few co-workers to the June MC races at RA. Their biking world was limited HDs and the whole custom bike thing, but were curious about the world of high performance bikes. I lead them to the bottom of the Hurry Downs section of the track going into the 90 degree left hand turn 8. They were oblivious to what they were about to see as I walked them over to the breaking markers. They about pooped their pants when they realized the racers were screaming into the turn with their rear tire about 6 to 8 inches off the ground in a braking stoppy. They finally closed their mouths after a few minutes and marveled at what a skilled rider could do on a capable machine. They left the race that day with a new found respect for folks with different strokes!!!

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Paul,

 

I use "Luster Lace" meant for wire spoke wheels. It does not remove the blue from the headers but it does shine it up a bit. I also use LL on my stainless steel header of R1200ST and that shines all the discoloring away to a nice chrome like appearance. After this last washing I took an old t shirt and buffed the pipes up, now they are a nice shiny gold color.

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