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Cleaning exhaust pipes....


E30TECH

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I'm trying to clean up the exhaust on my RT - mainly the header pipes. I was able to clean them up fairly well, but I'd like it to look better.

 

I have tried, Bon Ami, wenol metal polish, and each of those with 0000 steel wool.

 

Any other suggestions?

 

Its obviously that time of year smirk.gif

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I used that wenol polish and my cotton (?) dremel disk for that area. It came out pretty good as I got it from a brown color to somewhat shiney chrome. I dont mind the blueing, but the mud brown behind the front tire bothered me. I'm doing one pipe at a time, so if you want a pic, I'll post one.

 

I did a little searching, and saw the use of oven cleaner. I dont think this is going to do what I need it to do as I want to remove more staining than baked on rubber from boots.

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I was looking into that this evening.

 

From some of the pics I saw, it looked like the flap hit the bottom tupperware cover.

 

This is a dealer item?

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Scotchbrite (the green variety). This is a nylon mesh with very fine abrasive througout. Bon Ami is utterly useless, because it has no abrasive or polishing properties at all (Bon Ami is just powdered feldspar, a very soft mineral).

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I assume you are talking about stainless headers. In my experience, you can use Semichrome or any of several metal polishes made for alloys, stainless, or aluminum. Any parts store will have a choice, and different users recommend different brands. I don't think it matters much what you use. The secret is LOTS of patience. In fact, it's a pain in the rear. When I clean mine, it takes close to an hour per side. I usually take a long piece of rag, like a shoeshine rag, slather it with cleaner/polish, and wrap that around the pipe. Pull one way, then the other, moving the length of the pipe. When I am finished, they look practically new, but two weeks later, it was all for naught. Is it worth it? Probably not. The longer I own the bike ('05 12RT), the less I fret about the discoloration. Think of it as patina that gives the bike that vintage feel.

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Every 5000km or so, I remove the whole exhaust systems and clean it thoroughly starting with some petroleum based cleaner to remove tar deposits and then moving to metal polish with lots of rubbing.

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The secret is LOTS of patience.

 

I'm out.... smirk.gif

 

I read in the archives someone used Bon Ami to clean their exhaust. They said it made it look like new. Didn't do squat for me, but I will get some of the scothbrite. I have some here at work.

 

As far as rwrapping the rag and pulling it, I know what you mean. I tried that with 2500 grit paper. I have to remove the tupperware in order to get in there.

 

I'm not sure if the headers are chrome or just SS. The clean spots look pretty sparkly. Then again I know you can make SS look like chrome if you polish it enough.

 

Chrome was an option I guess?

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Chrome was an option I guess?

 

Not on the 1150, at least not in the UK. The headers are single-wall stainless and they will blue/brown up with use. Some people have had the headers ceramic coated giving a chrome-like appearance that stays. My bike has the standard mud-brown finish as I am too lazy to polish them.

 

Andy

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So it is somewhat normal for the pipes directly behind the front tire to turn brown (like a header in an old car). I didn't realize that.

 

I thought maybe the PO did something and I would be able to clean them up. It is a very dull, almost mud brown. Not a blue or bronze. If they were blue or bronze some people have mentioned, I'd be happy.

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take a look at the exhaust pipes on this rt then on ebay item no 190072277007 and thats done 28,000 miles plus.Mine hasnt done 1000mls yet and doesnt look that good. I wonder what they used to clean them up cos i want some.

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On my old R1100S with stainless steel header pipes, I would polish them about twice per year. I would use fine steel wool and California Custom Purple Metal Polish. Each header would take about 10 minutes. I would then apply a thin coat of WD40. After a short ride, they would turn a beautiful gold color. I traded in the bike with 55,000 miles and the pipes were like new.

 

Because my new ST has chrome pipes, I can't use steel wool and have to resort to just polishing them. The stainless headers were much nicer.

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take a look at the exhaust pipes on this rt then on ebay item no 190072277007

 

They look new.

 

 

SOS pads, plenty of WD40. So easy it's not even funny.
Great, now I got the SOS song from the commercial going in my head....Its so easy, so easy, so easy.... yeah, yeah, its so easy... dopeslap.gif

 

I'll try it and report back.

 

I would then apply a thin coat of WD40

 

If I can get them to clean up, I'll try that. I assume you spray it on, then heat the pipes?

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SOS pads, plenty of WD40. So easy it's not even funny.

 

Tried it, didn't work for me. I couldn't even tell where I had been working.

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SOS pads, plenty of WD40. So easy it's not even funny.

 

Tried it, didn't work for me. I couldn't even tell where I had been working.

 

I just tried the WD40 and scotchbrite. I got 2 different pads - one 'light duty' and one 'heavy duty'. The heavy duty one started to lightly scratch the metal - nothing that couldn't be polished out though. I followed that up with the light duty pad. It lightened it up quite a bit.

 

Someone beat me to the fender extender in the classifieds bncry.gif

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After a while that baby poop color kinda grows on ya!

I dont have kids for that reason smirk.gif

 

Order #31XXX

 

Fenda Extenda for BMW R85/11/1150 RT $34.98

 

Blue Away - Chrome and Stainless cleaner $10.16

clap.gif

 

Damn OCD

dopeslap.gif

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I used Mothers metal polish with a 3" wide strip of cloth and polished as if I was buffing a shoe. In the tight areas I wrapped the cloth all the way around the pipe and pulled the cloth back and forth which polished all the way around at one time...Looks Awesome!

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If you look at this thread HERE you will see my home made belly plate. I made it to try and keep the exhaust and motor clean. The bike has done 19,000 miles and is on it's 2nd UK winter. Over here we use Solvol Autosol US LINK it is slightly abrasive, but if you look at the pics of my pipes, they do not look too bad thumbsup.gifthumbsup.gif

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Try using a quality alloy wheel cleaner on your pipes. In the UK we have a brand called Wonder Wheels which you simply brush on to the area to be cleaned and leave for a few minutes before washing off. It brings stainless steel pipes back to new appearance with very little effort..

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I think there is so much crap burned on, I need to use some felt polishing tips. I have used Wenol, Noxon, steel wool with WD40, Scothbrite with WD40, scotchbrite with metal polish, etc. It looks a lot better than it did, but now I want it to look like a mirror.

 

So what should I use for my OCD?

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So what should I use for my OCD?

 

Prozac??? blush.gif (sorry, I couldn't resist)

 

To hijack my own thread....I was put on that as a teenager when I found out how bad relationships could turn.

 

Several years later, they find that Prozac could have depression as a side affect. I could have told them that years before that - as I ended up in the hospital dopeslap.gif

 

So Prozac is no good for me smirk.gif

 

Oh and yes - I'm 'normal' now, well except for the OCD part grin.gif

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I can't see my header pipes when I'm riding, so I don't usually give much thought to what they look like! thumbsup.gif The only time I've ever purposefully cleaned the headers on the GS was after riding about ten miles through rain-wet slime magnesium chloride mud. That crap baked on like porcelain and I had to use a toilet brush to get it off. I thought the pipes were SUPPOSED to be baby-poop brown???

 

85582258-M.jpg

 

85600499-M.jpg

 

That schmuck was packed up under the tank, baked into the fins on the heads, baked onto the catalytic converter slimed literally EVERYWHERE and was a greasy nightmare to remove.

 

Seriously, my RT's chromed pipes don't get the abuse the GS pipes do, but they are blue and nothing I've ever tried got them cleaned up, so I quit worrying about it.

 

Pray for Spring so you can quit this silliness and go riding!

 

Doug

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The pipes on your GS look better than the pipes on my RT - well looks better than one of my pipes as I polished the one side.

 

Your bike is clean compared to my ATV - that only gets cleaned when I go thru water crossings grin.gif

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AdventurePoser
I'm trying to clean up the exhaust on my RT - mainly the header pipes. I was able to clean them up fairly well, but I'd like it to look better.

 

I have tried, Bon Ami, wenol metal polish, and each of those with 0000 steel wool.

 

Any other suggestions?

 

Its obviously that time of year smirk.gif

 

You can always tell when it's winter around here... grin.gif

 

Did your pipes turn blue, or that nasty mud brown? On my R1150RT, the pipes turned muddy brown within the first thousand miles of wear. No amount of polishing would clean them. I thought they looked so bad I almost condsidered having them Jett-Coated...

 

Now my R1200RT has about 3500 miles on them and the headers have turned a lusterous blue. Very nice, IMHO.

 

I think they look sharp...

 

Steve in So Cal

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Did your pipes turn blue, or that nasty mud brown?

 

In my experience, chrome almost always turns blue and nothing will remove it. It just goes with the material. Think of it as patina. The only exception I have encountered was some really badly tarnished R69S headers that I threw in with a batch of other parts for a cheapo replating, thinking, they are shot, what can I lose. The new chrome looked much better than I had a right to expect, considering how little I paid, and they never turned blue again. They've been on the bike now (it's the one you see in my avatar) for over ten years.

 

Stainless, in my experience, nearly always turns brown, from a nice straw color (on my RT muffler and the Epcos on my /2) to a deep, ugly, mottled and splotchy color (on my RT headers). Unlike the blue on chrome, it can be polished out, and it's just a matter of how much you care, because it's a PITA whatever technique you use.

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deep, ugly, mottled and splotchy color (on my RT headers)

 

You must have seen mine wink.gif

 

They are coming along though. It is more work than I thought it would be.

 

Someone mentioned spraying WD40 on them to make them turn a nice bronze. Anyone else do that?

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My fenda extenda just came in the mail yesterday.

 

I got mine from CaSportTouring.com.

 

took 2.5 days from the time I ordered until it was on my doorstep - 3K miles away clap.gif

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Do you have to remove the front wheel to mount the extension?

 

No. Installation is a less than 10 minute affair. You simply clean the underside of the existing fender and drill 4 tiny pilot holes. Then you take the extenda and press it in place. It has some adhesive tape on the backside. Finally, you screw in the 4 included small self-tapping screws, which go through the existing fender, and then through the fenda extenda. No, the screws do not hit anything or get too close to the tire. It's a 1 on the scale of 1-10 difficulty - a no brainer, and it's pretty effective too.

 

-MKL

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It looks a lot better than it did, but now I want it to look like a mirror

 

You know there are easier places to shave your face grin.gif

 

Its not my face that I'm shaving (my face doesn't hang that low) smirk.gif

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All this talk about polishing your pipes ......Sheesh , It'll make you go blind man.

 

I need stronger glasses to see the hair on my palms eek.gif

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