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How to do an exhaust wrap

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Leather & Lace Tech Tip

Missy "TAZ” Thorpe

I have always liked the look of the older bikes, especially the unique modifications made to make the bike personal.  I am slowly (emphasis on slowly) changing my Sporty to look "old school. With that in mind, I made a few modifications over the winter, one being applying exhaust wrap to the pipes. This was an inexpensive and easy way to give the bike an old school look.  I decided to go with black wrap since the bike is black, but there are manufacturer’s out there that make the wrap in different colors.

Determining the length of wrap needed

: The length of wrap needed will be determined by the diameter of the pipe, how many 90° bends in the pipe, and whether you want to do a half wrap or full wrap.  The pipes on the Sporty are 1.75” (dia.) drag pipes, with two bends in each pipe.  I chose to do a half wrap because that is what I like.  Even though some websites provide a calculator to determine the length necessary to wrap the pipes, I was not sure how accurate it would be, so I decided to order 100 feet wrap.  Each pipe used approximately 25 feet, and I now have wrap left over for future use.

Tools required:

  • Exhaust wrap
  • Scissors (sharp)
  • 2 1/2” hose clamps (4)
  • Flat blade screwdriver
  • Bucket Water

Procedure: Remove the exhaust pipes form the bike, if heat shields are present remove and store them (they will not be going back on).  Clean the pipes, they do not have to be polished, just good and clean. Gather your material and drop the wrap into the bucket of water. If you are doing a half wrap, measure the pipe from the rear towards the header to see where you want to start the wrap Do the same for the second pipe, this way will ensure that both pipes are wrapped from the same starting point for symmetry. Start the wrap at the point you marked on the pipe and wrap towards the header.  Wrap around a few times, overlapping each wrap about ½” then install one of the hose clamps where you started.  Once the clamp is in place, continue to wrap the pipe as tight as possible until you get to approximately 1” from the end (this will leave enough room to reinstall the hardware to remount the pipe at the header).  Cut the wrap, wrap it nice and tight, and install the other hose clamp.  Hang the pipe somewhere in the garage to dry and repeat the process for the second pipe. Once both pipes are wrapped and hung, let them dry out some (overnight), and then reinstall them on the bike. Once wrapped and installed, move the bike outside the garage and close the door (trust me on this).  Start the bike and bring it to operating temperature. The new wrap will smoke and smell (reason for closing garage door).  Let the bike run for a little while (until smoking dissipates), shut off the bike, and let it cool down.  The bike will still smoke a little bit and smell really bad for a good while, so do not be alarmed.  This will eventually stop.  In addition, anytime it rains and the wrap gets wet it will smell. You may want to check you carburetor jetting after the pipes are installed because the wrapped pipes will make the motor run a little leaner.  The wrap allows for the complete combustion of the exhaust gases. If you undertake this project, good luck! 

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Last Modified: May 26, 2017
motorcycle mechanic exhaust wrap

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