Should You Clean Your Motorcycle Exhaust Pipes?

Should You Clean Your Motorcycle Exhaust Pipes?

I remember when dad gave a 1-hour lecture on motorbike exhaust and why I should clean my motorbike exhaust. Now, I thought I should spread his knowledge about why should you clean your motorcycle exhaust pipes through this post. 

Experts always recommend cleaning motorbike exhaust pipes every month. As lack of motorbike exhaust maintenance will clog your motorbike exhaust that will cause ignition of unburnt fuel in the motorbike exhaust, also called backfiring, which is dangerous. In easier words, you should clean your motorbike exhaust pipes. 

Let’s look at what it means for you and what you can do about it.

While writing this post, I leave no stone unturned so you can get a crucial knowledge of motorbike exhaust pipes maintenance. 

Should You Clean Your Motorcycle Exhaust Pipes?

Indeed your motorbike exhaust is a crucial motorbike part which you can’t ignore. 

Your motorbike exhaust helps to release gas which is released when gasoline in your motorbike burns. And to promote good or complete combustion, you should always clean your motorbike exhaust pipes. 

You may not know, your motorbike exhaust also changes color because of pollutants and heat cycles. 

For example, the chrome finishes exhaust pipes turn blue while stainless steel turns to gold because of pollutants and heat cycles. 

Although the discoloration of motorbike exhaust due to pollutants and heat cycles are natural which you can’t stop ever. 

However, with the proper maintenance cycle, you can prevent your motorbike exhaust from discoloration and backfiring as well. 

In the later section of this post, I’ve mentioned some ways through which you can protect your motorbike exhaust from discoloration and backfiring. 

Why Should You Clean Your Motorbike Exhaust Pipes? 

So far, you’ve got an idea to clean your motorbike exhaust every month, but have you wondered why you should clean your motorbike exhaust pipes?

Experts always recommend cleaning motorbike exhaust because unclean motorbike exhaust may cause clogging that will cause ignition of unburnt fuel in the motorbike exhaust, also called backfiring. The ignition of unburnt fuel may also overheat your motorbike engine and exhaust. 

I know many riders still consider backfiring a motorbike as a showoff machine to impress peers. But in the longer run, they’re killing their motorbike unknowingly. 

Clogged exhaust may also cause low fuel economy, which isn’t suitable for long journeys.

Also, read my previous post where I’ve discussed some reasons behind your motorbike engine overheating, click here to read.  

What if You Don’t Clean Your Motorbike Exhaust Pipes? 

So far, you have learned why you must clean your motorbike exhaust pipes. Now let’s take a glance at what if you don’t clean your motorbike exhaust pipes. 

If you don’t clean your motorbike exhaust pipes, then your motorbike will start to backfire. The backfiring will cause your motorbike to provide you with poor fuel economy; the backfiring light causes the engine and exhaust to overheat. Additionally, without maintenance, your motorbike chrome finish exhaust will discolor to blue. 

And that’s why experts always recommend giving your motorbike proper maintenance so your motorbike won’t suffer from poor fuel economy ever. 

In the section, I’ve mentioned how you can clean your stainless steel and chrome finish motorbike exhaust. 

How to Clean Your Motorbike Exhaust Pipes? 

So far, you have learned why you should always clean your motorbike exhaust; now it’s time to learn how you can clean your motorbike exhaust. 

I divided this section into two; first for chrome finish motorbike exhaust and second for stainless steel motorbike exhaust.

Steps to Cleaning Chrome Finish Motorbike Exhaust: 

The chrome finish on the exhaust is malleable and thin, which means you can’t scratch or polish the exhaust with a chrome finish. 

Experts wildly recommend the below ways through which you can clean your chrome finish exhaust without any single scratch. 

Steps:Details: 
The preparation. Clean exhaust with a pre-soaked rig or scrub. 
Remove stubborn stains. Use soap and glass cleaner along with water to remove stubborn stains. 
Get rid of more stubborn build-up. Use a copper brush or penny manufactured before 1982 to clean stubborn buildup. 

Step 1: The preparation: 

As mentioned above, you can’t scratch your motorbike exhaust as the chrome is malleable and thin. 

You need to soak an old cloth in the water for at least five minutes in this step. Now soak the clumps and dust on the motorbike exhaust and wipe it with a rag until all dust and clumps are removed.

Wet rags will cause clumps and dust to soften, helping you to remove dust easily. 

Step 2: Remove Stubborn Stains: 

Removing stubborn stains on the chrome finish exhaust is challenging with water. 

In this case, you can use soap and glass cleaner along with water. This is one of the effective ways through which you can easily remove stubborn stains, including burned insects.

If this isn’t working, then you can use a tar remover and carburetor cleaner.

Additionally, with the above steps, you can’t remove blue stains caused by no heat shield on the exhaust.

You can use an anti-blue agent if you want to remove all blue stains from your motorbike exhaust.  

Step 3: Get Rid of Stubborn Build-up: 

Sometimes the ways mentioned above can’t remove extra stubborn carbon build-up, which you need to scrap from the exhaust. 

You can use a copper brush or, interestingly, you can use a penny manufactured before 1982. 

It’s because the copper brush and penny both are softer than the chrome finish on the exhaust. Don’t clean stubborn build-up rigorously even if your motorbike exhaust coating is tougher than the penny.

Steps of Cleaning Stainless Steel Motorbike Exhaust: 

Fortunately enough, cleaning stainless steel motorbike exhaust is more straightforward than cleaning chrome finish exhaust. 

Here’re the steps which you need to follow.

Steps:Details: 
Use an acid. Use a mild acid to clean the carbon buildup. 
Polishing time. Use the finest wool scrub to minimize any damage. 

Step 1: Use an Acid:  

Experts always recommend cleaning gunk on stainless steel exhaust with a mild acid. The mild acid because harsh acid may degrade the uppermost layer of the exhaust. 

Interestingly, you can even use toilet cleaner and vinegar for cleaning purposes. Keep in mind, the milder the acid, the more repetitions or later you need to apply on the exhaust. 

For better cleaning, you can also soak the exhaust in the mild acid one night before. 

After exhaust soaking, you can use soaked scrub to remove the build-up on the exhaust. Don’t rub rig or scrub too rigorously. 

Rub the scrub on the exhaust until all build-up is removed. If the toilet cleaner contains string acid ( more than 9% HCl in V/V), it’s better to add some water. 

Rub with an exhaust microfiber towel after cleaning because even slight acid residue can corrode your motorbike exhaust. And microfiber towels have excellent absorbent properties, which can prevent corrosion. 

Step 2: Polishing Time:  

After rubbing exhaust with the microfiber towel, now it’s time for polishing. 

You can use any polish but always remember to use the finest wool scrub to minimize any damage. 

It may take longer to polish the exhaust if the cleaning step peels off the upper layer of the exhaust. Scrub the exhaust until the exhaust is well polished.

Frequently Asked Questions:  

Why do motorbike exhaust color changes?

According to experts, your motorbike exhaust color changes because of heating and pollution. Although the discoloration of motorbike exhaust due to pollutants and heat cycles are natural which you can’t stop ever. 

Why should you clean your motorbike exhaust?

Experts always recommend cleaning motorbike exhaust because unclean motorbike exhaust may cause clogging that will cause ignition of unburnt fuel in the motorbike exhaust, also called backfiring.

Why backfiring isn’t good for your motorbike?

The backfiring will cause your motorbike to provide you with poor fuel economy; the backfiring light causes the engine and exhaust to overheat.

Why you should always mild acid when cleaning motorbike exhaust?

You should always use mild acid when cleaning the motorbike exhaust because harsh acid may degrade the uppermost layer of the exhaust.

How can you remove stubborn stains on motorbike exhaust?

In this case, you can use soap and glass cleaner along with water. This is one of the effective ways through which you can easily remove stubborn stains, including burned insects.

Final Verdict: 

Should you clean your motorcycle exhaust pipes? Experts always recommend cleaning motorbike exhaust pipes every month. 

As lack of motorbike exhaust maintenance will clog your motorbike exhaust that will cause ignition of unburnt fuel in the motorbike exhaust, also called backfiring, which is dangerous. 

In easier words, you should clean your motorbike exhaust pipes. I’ve mentioned above some ways through which you can clean both types of exhaust easily. 

Always remember to never use any harsh acid on the motorbike exhaust.