How To Wrap A Motorcycle Exhaust? Proper Solution


Wrapping a motorcycle exhaust is a popular ritual that every motorcycle owner has considered at some point in their biking life.

The story goes that the wraps stop the exhaust headers from cooling down, thus increasing the performance as the exhaust gases flow through your bike engine faster. The result is significant reduction in engine temperatures.

If you have made up your mind to wrap your exhaust headers, the following guide will take you through the whole process of doing so correctly.

Should You Wrap Your Motorcycle Exhaust?

FIRST things first…you’ll need to decide whether you really need to wrap your motorcycle exhaust. Whether to do it or not is a decision that we leave to you entirely.


But before you decide anything, it’s worth getting to understand the benefits and drawbacks that come with wrapping your motorcycle exhaust.

Let’s start with the benefits of wrapping your motorcycle exhaust:

  • Significantly reduces radiant heat: one of the top benefits you’ll enjoy from covering your headers and tailpipes with the wrap is reduction in massive reductions in radiant heat. This, in turn, helps reduce discomforts, especially when riding your motorcycle on hot summer weather.
  • Stylish looks: if your motorcycle pipe has become aged and looks unsightly, wrapping it with the best aftermarket motorcycle exhaust can help give it a new life and make your bike look more stylish. This will help you save tons of money instead of investing in a new exhaust system.
  • Increased performance: another reason why motorcyclists are crazy about wrapping their pipes is that it helps improve their engine performance. In theory, the act of these wraps keeping the engine operating at lower temperatures translates to improved performance. However, there are varied opinions on the efficiency of these wraps on increasing engine horsepower.

Drawbacks of motorcycle exhaust wrapping:

  • Causes pipes to overheat: you heard it right, these wrappings cause excessive heat which can cause overheating of your pipes, with titanium pipes being highly vulnerable. This can shorten the lifespan of your motorcycle exhaust system and force you to spend a lot of cash in replacements.
  • Looks might deteriorate with time: the wraps tend to wear out and look crappy faster with time, especially for riders who keep to rough terrains. This means you’ll need to do regular re-wrapping to keep them looking fresh.
  • Installation is time-consuming: you also need to understand that this isn’t a quick DIY project. You’ll need to tear your bike apart, remove the exhaust pipes for wrapping, and put them right back. And when the wraps wear out, you’ll need to do the wrapping all over again.

If you’re reading this line, it means you have already come to terms with the pros and cons of using motorcycle exhaust wraps, and you have decided you’ll still wrap your pipes. In the next section, we get into the details of how to do it like a pro!

Things You’ll Need:

  • Pipe wrap (make sure you have enough wrap for your pipes. A 4-cylinder system will consume more wrap than a twin model)
  • Aftermarket wrap anchors (alternatives include a safety wire, stainless steel clamps, or hose clamps)
  • Wire brush
  • A pair of latex or rubber gloves
  • Exhaust gasket
  • Bucket

How To Wrap Your Motorcycle Exhaust?

Once you have gathered your list of supplies, you’re ready to wrap your motorcycle exhaust pipes.

Follow these steps to achieve professional results…

Step 1. Take down your bike exhaust system

You’ll first need to remove the exhaust system of your motorcycle to facilitate easy wrapping as you can’t wrap it when still connected to your bike.

Removing the exhaust system on most motorcycles is as easy as unbolting it.

Once you have taken down the pipes, thoroughly inspect them for any signs of damage—such as cracks, pinholes, broken welds, etc. This step is crucial as these little flaws can turn out to be huge problems, keeping in mind the wraps work to increase heat.

Afterward, use a wire brush to remove any heavy rust or scales on your exhaust system and to clean them thoroughly.

Step 2. Soak the pipe wrap

Next, you’d want to grab your motorcycle exhaust heat wrap and thoroughly soak it in a bucket of water before you can use it to wrap your exhaust heads.

BUT…why the soaking?

The soaking is crucial for your health and better results.

For your health: since the wraps are made of fiberglass, the material’s particles can easily fly from the wrap when it’s in dry state and head right into your lungs.

For better results: wet wraps display some degree of stretchability compared to the dry one. This enables the soaked one to wrap tighter and produce more professional-looking wrap results.

Have you soaked your wrap already? If yes, you’re ready to begin the most important part of the job—wrapping your pipes!

Step 3. Begin the wrap job

For a smooth wrapping experience, you should first secure one end of the wrap to your bike pipe. To do this, you can use an aftermarket anchor specially designed for the job or use safety wires, hose clamps, or stainless steel clamps.

With the wrap secure to one end of the pipe, start working your way down the pipe, making sure you make tight wraps and leave NO gaps as these can allow heat to escape easily. For the best results, consider overwrapping each revolution by approx. ½-inch.

Still at it, consider wrapping your pipe from front to back (i.e., from outlet to inlet). This is for aerodynamic reasons; the overlaps will be facing backward, letting air smoothly pass over them when riding without forcing them to separate and expose your pipe.

In case you come across a bolt or bracket on the way, wrap it in X-pattern. This helps ensure the area surrounding the hardware gets sufficiently covered/protected. You can then overlap the X and continue with your pattern…and ensure you wok the untidy parts of the pattern inside to ensure a good looking finished product at the end of the job.

Step 4. Complete the wrapping job

With continued winding, you’ll eventually reach the end of your exhaust pipe. Again, you’ll need to use anchors or clamps to securely hold the end of the wrap into place.

If you’re using safety wire for the job, make sure you tuck it ends into the wrap for the sake of a clean look.

Step 5. Put back the exhaust pipes

Finally, you have successfully wrapped your motorcycle exhaust!

The only thing remaining is to bolt the pipe right back on your bike. Remember to use the new exhaust gaskets when re-installing your pipe back into place.

When done, power on your bike and give it a really hot and good drive.

NOTE: You’ll witness a bunch of bad smells and smoke. This is part of the curing process for the wraps. It’s completely normal and will fade away with time.

Wrapping it up!

See, wrapping your motorcycle exhaust is quite an easy process. The process isn’t complicated, and everyone can achieve professional results by following our simple steps above.

Just remember to arm yourself with the right list of equipment so that everything flows when you get down to wrapping your bike pipes.

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