How to Wrap Exhaust Pipes on a Motorcycle

Whether you’re a biking pro or just recently purchase your very first motorcycle, this probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard about the importance of wrapping the exhaust pipes on your bike. Many bikers adhere to the train of thought that wrapping a bike’s exhaust pipes is a surefire way to enjoy an added boost of power.

If you want to learn how to wrap exhaust pipes on a motorcycle, it’s vital to understand the pros and cons of bike pipe wrapping and the best way to achieve successful results when you install the wrap.

Keep scrolling for your definitive guide to the key factors to consider before wrapping your motorcycle’s exhaust pipes, plus a step-by-step guide to turn you into a pipe wrapping pro.

The Pros and Cons of Exhaust Wrap

Whether you own a 3 wheel motorcycle or a 2-wheeler, learning how to wrap exhaust pipes on a  motorcycle will accomplish more than giving you impressive headers. You should see lowered temperatures near your exhaust along with a noticeable increase in horsepower efficiency.

How is this possible? A jump in engine operations. Riders will enjoy a bonus of heightened horsepower because the exhaust wrap insulates the heat in the bike’s headers rather than dispersing it throughout the engine.

Besides an increase in efficiency, wrapping the exhaust pipes on your motorcycle can also mean considerably improved performance. When the wrap insulates the heat in your bike’s exhaust system, this will also enhance the circulation of exhaust gasses filtering through the whole machine. The quicker these gasses circulate, the better your bike’s power will be.

However, there are a few cons to consider as well if you want to learn how to wrap exhaust pipes on a motorcycle. For one, there is the potential for damage to your pipe and header if high levels of heat continue to build up. Sometimes, the exhausts can crack or split.

The best way to avoid this issue is to switch out your old exhaust wrap for new every so often. By changing the wrap from time to time, you can reduce excess heat buildup and also keep an eye on the state of the pipe to make sure it hasn’t cracked or warped.

Also, whether you have a new bike or prefer used motorcycles, you have to understand that wrapping the exhaust pipes will alter the overall appearance of your motorcycle. Those new finishes like chrome and metallic paint could start to fade and peel once you wrap the exhaust system.

With that said, if you feel that wrapping your bike’s exhaust pipes is the right move for you, it’s key to get the job done right to avoid potential damage to the system down the line.

Now, it’s time to jump right into your step-by-step guide to wrapping exhaust pipes on a motorcycle.

Gather Your Supplies

The first thing you want to do before you wrap your exhaust pipes is to gather all the necessary supplies. If you want professional results, you’ll need professional equipment to get the job done. Purchasing the exhaust wrap for your bike won’t be a costly investment, as you can find quality wrap in the ballpark of anywhere from $15 to $30.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Exhaust wrap
  • Exhaust gaskets
  • A bucket
  • Wire brush
  • Hose clams, wire, or another anchor

Disassemble Your Motorcycle’s Exhaust System

You have to take out the exhaust before you can wrap the system. Most bikes secure the pipes in place with some light hardware. Once you’ve taken out the pipes, be sure to do a visual check for any damage.

Remember, wrapping your exhaust pipe will increase the heat levels in the entire system. If you note any signs of damage before you wrap the pipe, small cracks could become a significant problem in no time. If you observe any signs of damage such as cracks or holes, repair the pipes or purchase new ones before you wrap them.

Otherwise, if everything looks good, do a quick clean of your pipes using a wire brush before you start to wrap. 

Soak the Wrap for a Tight Fit

You’re going to want to wrap your motorcycle’s exhaust pipes nice and snug. To achieve that tight fit, you never want to use a dry wrap. So, before you wrap your exhaust pipes, take the time to soak the wrap in a bucket filled with water.

Soaking the wrap accomplishes a couple of different things. First, the wrap will be easier to work with so you can achieve the right fit around the pipes. Second, soaking the wrap before you wrap it around your exhaust system will stop any fiberglass particles from escaping into your lungs and potentially causing damage. 

Wrap Away

Once the wrap is completely soaked, it’s time to get started with the actual wrapping. Start by securing once side of the wrap to the pipes on your motorcycle. You can use wire or anchors explicitly designed for pip wrapping.

Next, wrap tightly around the pipe, working your way down. Don’t allow any gaps to remain, which would let the heat get out. If possible, overlap each wrapped section by approximately a half-inch.

When wrapping the exhaust pipes, you want to make sure that the fit is such that the wrap won’t come apart once you start riding. Always wrap the exhaust pipes starting at the front and working towards the back.

You will probably encounter a bolt or bracket while you wrap the exhaust pipes. When this happens, continue to wrap, but so in an X shape so that any hardware is well shielded.

Whether this is your first time wrapping your bike’s exhaust pipes or note, chances are the wrap will get a bit dirty or messy as you work your way down the pipe. That’s perfectly fine and normal.

Just be sure to wrap any messy areas inward, so only the clean areas face outward and are visible once you reassemble and install your bike’s exhaust system.

Clamp the Wrap

Once you’ve completed the wrap, you’re almost home free! As soon as you wrap to the end of the exhaust pipes, you can use clamps, anchors, or a wire to secure it in place. If you opt for a wire rather than anchors or clamps, be sure to insert the wire ends inside the wrap.

You’ll not only protect your fingers from any nasty pokes if you need to reaccess the exhaust pipe but tucking the ends inside your final wrap will provide a much more aesthetically pleasing look. 

Reassemble Your Bike’s Exhaust System

Before you rev up your engine to enjoy your heightened boost of horsepower, there’s one final step. Once you’ve totally finished wrapping the exhaust pipes on your motorcycle, don’t forget to reassemble and install the exhaust system.

You can accomplish this step with ease by just bolting the pipes securely back into position. Final Considerations

Choosing a quality wrap for your exhaust pipes is critical to ensure that it insulates the heat properly and boosts your motorcycle’s performance without wearing out too fast, leaving your bike vulnerable to damage. Wraps featuring materials such as silica yarns, basalt, high tech E glass, and fiberglass woven tape are all quality components to look for when selecting your wrap.

It’s also important to have realistic expectations regarding the effects of wrapping your exhaust pipes so you don’t feel disappointed when you hit rubber to the road. While pipe wrap can increase the horsepower of your bike, you won’t notice an insane boost in performance. If crazy power is your goal, pipe wrapping is not the one-stop-shop solution.

Wrapping exhaust pipes on a motorcycle can also be tough on your bike’s hardware in the long run. If the wrap retains too much moisture, it could significantly reduce the lifespan of your motorcycle’s exhaust system. Depending on the manufacturer, the company you purchase your bike from may not honor their warranty for issues that occur after you’ve wrapped the exhausts.

The most important thing to remember is that if you plan on wrapping your bike’s exhaust pipes, you must re-wrap them periodically. The wrap will start to look tattered and unsightly after a while, so you’ll want to freshen up the system with a new wrap to avoid an ugly mess. If you’re concerned about motorcycle values, it’s crucial to focus on the state of your exhaust system and not just the potential increase in horsepower you’ll enjoy on the road.

Before you hit rubber to the road though, always remember to make sure you stay safe and protected by purchasing motorcycle insurance for your bike. Wrapping the exhaust pipes on your motorcycle is a relatively fast and straightforward process. If you get the job done the right way and change out the wrap periodically for a new one, you’ll not only notice further efficiency and performance but can prevent potential damage to your pipes and protect your exhaust system.