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Discussion Starter #1
Was wondering if anyone has experience/advice on exhaust wraps.

A lot of my riding is done commuting to work in the city, which means sitting in traffic. The exhaust on my bike (2007 Softail) gets pretty hot and I usually do a one-leg stop to keep my right leg above the exhaust.

I've seen wraps, where you actually wrap material around most of the exhaust (like this: http://www.jpcycles.com/product/308-150?source=mybuys&green=7F16DE51-8359-58FA-A3AC-1FEDB4AD0F33), and smaller sections that just snap over one area of the exhaust presumably where your leg/foot may hit the exhaust (like this: http://www.jpcycles.com/search/search?Ntt=onyx+heat+shield&N=28012733&Ntk=All.

I've looked on-line and while I'm not thrilled how exhaust wraps look I've got to try something to cut down on the heat.
 

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Driftless Rider
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From most of what I have heard, wrapping the exhaust is not a good idea as it keeps the heat inside the header which is not good either. They also tend to trap moisture and cause corrosion.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Eye has his pipes wrapped. He will probably chime in sometime today or tomorrow
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've checked other forums (yes, there ARE other forums) and I read a lot of first hand experiences saying "I put them on my bike with no problem" but no one giving first hand experiences of problems.

A lot of people say there is no performance difference but that's not what I'm after. I just want heat management (as in keeping it off my leg).
 

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A person might as well hit their bike with an ugly stick if they put that hideous exhaust wrap on the thing!:(

Actually, wrapping of the exhaust headers supposedly makes the exhaust more efficient according to what I've read in the car mag's.

Harley sell lots of different 'Heat shields,' that can work on lots of bikes.' Various lengths, widths and sizes are available and they work well to keep the feet and ankles away from hot parts.

Sam:coffeescreen:
 

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Nightfly
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This subject has come up numerous times on the forum, and usually people do what they want to do, most are looking for validation concerning their decision.. As advertised the wraps do keep the majority of heat within the pipe. The downside is it will prohibit the pipe from cooling properly.

Reducing the ability of the pipe to cool properly "can" result in premature failure of the metal. Yes there is a benefit to wrapping the pipe as it may scavenge the exhaust gases a little faster out the back of the pipe. But long term it most likely will have a detrimental effect on the exhaust pipe. I have a friend who has attached a couple small pieces of the wrap together and then used Velcro to attach to the most appropriate part of his inseam. Works for him, may not for anyone else.. Plus they can be quickly removed when necessary.
 

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Wrapping a single-tube header does keep the gasses hotter, so they scavenge more quickly. Most (if not all) motorcycle headers are dual-tube, at least, metrics, so wrapping doesn't have as much, if any, effect on gas temperature. Unwrap a header that has been covered for many years, and you may find Swiss cheese for a pipe, depending on how the bike is maintained.
 

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Wintersol and TR described what the wraps do and what they're good for, so I'll just add that they don't cut down on perceived heat felt against your leg. In fact, they seem hotter to me. Since you're not trying to eke out better performance I'd suggest a bolt on heat shield that stands off from the pipe a little bit.

Also, check your plugs and see if it's not running a little lean. Are they OEM pipes or did you replace them? Enrichening the mixture will cool the heads down a little bit.
 

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header wraps do in fact help the engine better disperse the heat better down the manifold tubes. not sure how. the difference is negligible but it is very very very slightly better so if it keeps your legs from burning go for it. if done right can look awesome. if done wrong. really bad.
 

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Nightfly
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Wintersol and TR described what the wraps do and what they're good for, so I'll just add that they don't cut down on perceived heat felt against your leg. In fact, they seem hotter to me. Since you're not trying to eke out better performance I'd suggest a bolt on heat shield that stands off from the pipe a little bit.

Also, check your plugs and see if it's not running a little lean. Are they OEM pipes or did you replace them? Enrichening the mixture will cool the heads down a little bit.
Totally agree Eye....
 

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The bikes come running slightly lean from the factory, and when they're running lean that causes them to run slightly hot. If the pipes are OEM then it depends on exactly what they did when they tuned it up, and why, as to whether or not she's still running lean-ish. If it was mine I'd still pull the plugs and take a look, in addition to adding some kind of heat shield.
 

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maybe there was some practical reason WHY guys originally did the exhaust wraps. Like Eye-M said, I doubt it was to offer protection to your leg.

If you've got burn marks on your right leg - that is nature's way of telling you to move your leg outwards by 1-2 inches. so your skin doesn't hit the pipes. you won't make that mistake too many times! ... none of us do!!

The "wrapped exhaust" thing is mostly a fashion statement, these days. If you get the right image for your bike, it can look very good. BUT ONLY if you design the complete image. It's what they call the RAT BIKE image. And it comes across great, if you get all the styling exactly right.

But if you don't get the image right ... your "rat bike" will look like a piece of rat poop. So give it some thought - before you wrap those pipes.

dT
 

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If your pants are brushing against the pipes and getting burned, then you've got some sort of problem that needs to be addressed, Amigo.

Stock pipes on a Softail come with heat shields, so if you have the OEM set-up you have heat shields. Now, in a hot environment while sitting in traffic, the factory set-up can get warm, and maybe even a little uncomfortable, but it's not going to burn your leg.
 

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Buy a pair of leather boots that cover your calves and the problem ends.

Buy some HD heat shields and install them.

Position your feet out a tad for more comfort.

Drive the cage with the A/C on:biggrin:

Sam:coffeescreen:
 

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"I'm 5'6". I don't have 1-2 inches to spare. Even if I did my pants still touch the pipes and end up burned.


maybe consider buying leather chaps and some MC boots with thick heels. Increase your height and get those legs off the pipes.

the chaps are pretty easy to pull on.
they will give you SOME protection against an accidental swipe against the hot exhaust. you can't keep your legs against the exhaust forever, though.

dT
 
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