Exhaust Heat Management

cyrilhuzebobberApplying wrap around your exhaust will increase power and reduce radiated exhaust heat. And it looks very good without having to worry about your pipes turning yellow/blue. I use (like on this Bobber of mine called “Kiss My Wheels“) Accel motorcycle high temperature exhaust wrap, available in black or tan, that can withstand up to 2000 degrees. Don’t forget to order their 14” stainless steel ties. (I prefer to wrap from bottom up to the exhaust port because it’s cleaner looking). For more, visit Accel Products to download their complete catalog and order from your favorite Dealer.


15 Responses to “Exhaust Heat Management”

  1. 1 Ben Aug 31st, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Nice product. One thing though: I heard (put can’t remember the source) that high-temp tape is better for race applications only. The reason being that the medal on the pipes tends to get brittle and break from all that heat not escaping. Of course this might not be relevant to the bar-hopping crowd since few miles are being put on these machines…

    Does anyone care to weigh-in on this?

  2. 2 Steve Carr Sep 1st, 2009 at 5:04 am

    I don’t claim to know everything there is to know about Exhaust wrap, what little I do know is too much, I dont use it myself, but I have in the past. I have never heard anything about it making a set of pipes brittle.

    As with any performance enhancement, we always tend to hear things like this, and we never quite know where the info comes from, it always seems to be from a guy that knows a guy that heard it somewhere.

    As far as I know, in the “regular-everyday use” catagory, the wrap is basicly for looks and maybe heat protection, and it looks cool on certain bikes. As for performance, I am sure it makes a difference, but unless you are making a living or at least are very serious about real track style racing, other than some heat protection, I dont think one would ever be able to tell wheather there is any improvement at all with the performance of your bike, other than heat protection of some sort.

    Steve Carr

  3. 3 just my opinion Sep 1st, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Maybe some one that knows could explain the performance side. I am not sure how it could work, because I have always been told cool air expands more than hot air and if you wrap the pipes or insulate them in other words that would create hotter air inside the exhaust, which should cause more heat in the cylinders and heads as well causing the expandable air to be hotter. I would think it would not improve the performance rather do the opposite. But it could be that the heat radiating off the exposed pipes cause more heat due to there location and wrapping them stops that radiated heat there by eliminating more heat than it would cause there by giving a cooler air to the cylinders for that expansion. Or possible the wrap itself causes the pipes to be cooler because of the tape being heat exsorbing and thereby allowing the heat off the pipes to escape faster but if that were the case you should feel more heat coming off. But I am not an expert in heat wrapping so as I said maybe some one that knows how it works could explain it so we all know and understand. Now all that being said I do think on some bikes it does ad to the overall look.

  4. 4 Dave Blevins Sep 1st, 2009 at 11:33 am

    My experiences with it have been simply to provide insulation from heat exposure to things I wanted to keep cool, like the carb or fuel lines, most importanly my foot or leg. As a performance enhancement, not so much on a bike but certainly under the hood of car where heat can build up and cause performance issues.
    I think it is an unattractive feature, and do not use it on anything other than a true performance machine. Using it to make something look performance oriented is fakery, like pop-riviting a supercharger snorkel onto the hood of a Ford Pinto.
    As to the brittleness factor, never heard of it before… but perhaps damage may occur to chrome finish if wrapping a chrome pipe.

  5. 5 Jeff Nicklus Sep 1st, 2009 at 11:33 am

    OK here we go ….

    Wrapping of exhaust headers helps to maintain exhaust gas heat within the headers which helps in the exhaust flow out of the engine. Simply stated …. The hotter the exhaust gas in the header the less dense the gas becomes and the faster the gas will exit the headers thereby helping to produce more horsepower. Whether this is beneficial in a street application or not is subject to some debate. I have used the wrap on street bikes on occasion for many years …. more for the look I want to achieve and the lack of burns on my leg rather than for performance benefits.

    Just my two cents worth. School is now out!

    Over & Out,


  6. 6 Black Shadow Sep 1st, 2009 at 11:48 am

    I had a Force products 2 into 1 system on a Buell that I wrapped and it broke at one of the bends. The metal looked like it had deteriorated and had lots of small cracks like checkering. Force told me the heat caused it. It might have been because they were made from stainless steel. I have wrapped lots of other steel (raw and chromed) exhaust and never had a problem. I see lots of supertrapp stainless pipes with wrap that haven’t broken. (just check out the pictures from bonneville) I did put 15,000 miles on the Buell pipe before it broke.

  7. 7 just my opinion Sep 1st, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Jeff; Thanks for the explanation. I would have never guessed that one but as I said I am no expert in exhaust wrapping. But what you say does make some sense. I do understand that hot air is thinner than cool air that is the very reason cool air expands more on fire than hot air. Anyone that has been in a hot area of our country such as southern Texas in the summer knows it can feel like it is harder to breath, due to that hot air being thinner than say up north in a cooler area such as michigan. I am sure there has been some testing done on that some where or you just would not see it being done in racing applications. So if that is the case I wonder if making the exhaust pipes thicker would also work the same? Wonder if those companies making a pipe within a pipe have tested it for added performance?

  8. 8 A 1 cycles Sep 1st, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    jeff is the closest…as air (ex. gasses) cool they lose velocity so as you rexhuast is shooting out of your bike in pulses (valve events) it cools rapidly becuase of the exhuast pipe wall is like a radiator cooling it from convection..when it cools it loses energy and velocity slowing down, so we try to keep it moving fast so it can help scavenge the cylinder of old (burnt) gasses to allow a fresh dense fuel charge in…and wrapping your pipes doesnt make them weak. now exhuast length and cam timing start to come into play also to scavenge your old (burnt) exhuast out and allow fresh in..but thats a whole new chapter on primary header length and cam timing to catch that ever elusive pressure wave at the right time to help seal the cylinder…and wrapping pipes works for power, no question about it. dyno doesnt lie

  9. 9 Dee Dee Presley Sep 1st, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Many good points about performance are stated and seem to lean toward improvement. I think one of the points mentioned was the bluing. Which was the reason I considered wrapping pipes on my previous bike. Since brittle pipes or decreased performance seem to be eliminated by most , I wouldn’t hesitate to wrap pipes if they were bluing noticibly.

  10. 10 Jeff Nicklus Sep 1st, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    In going back to something that JMO alluded to earlier …. Cylinder temperatures …. This is where a Dyno really comes in handy for testing …. It is important to keep the wrap away from the heads far enough that heat is not transferred back into the heads yet close enough not to have a “cold spot” in the headers …. That is strictly test and retest each motor combination for the best results. Note: I have also used a heat gun with some limited success toward this end.

    Over & Out,


  11. 11 Lyle Sep 1st, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    They are a good way to hide crappy welds, bluing due to running to lean, and keeping the moisture in every time it rains. They won’t do anything noticable for performance on short drag pipes running on pump gasoline.

  12. 12 Scot Sep 1st, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Just had a bike in where the wrap worked exactly opposite. With a heat gun the wrapped pipes were about 100 degrees hotter than they cylinders and heads. It was so hot you just about couldn’t ride the bike in traffic. We took the wrap off and the pipes were much better. The pipes weren’t blue from running lean either…

    Maybe we got some retarded wrap???

  13. 13 just my opinion Sep 1st, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Jeff; if I am understanding what your saying correctly, then the bike in the photo has been wrapped all the way up the pipes and now should run hotter? Or at a minimun have hotter air inside the cylinders as they fire costing performance and not adding to the performance? If what you are saying is correct then this should only be done by someone that has access to a dino and the knowlage of heat distibution and how it effects performance. There may be a magic formula some where that would be very helpful for those wanting to use this wrap. EXAMPLE no closer than 1/2 inch but no farther away from the head than 3 inches. Something to that effect, I don’t have the answers but I bet someone reading this does hopefully they will share it with the class>

  14. 14 Jeff Nicklus Sep 1st, 2009 at 5:29 pm


    I usually stay back from the heads 11/2″ – 2″ ….. seems to work on the street OK.

    Over & Out,


  15. 15 madpuppy Sep 2nd, 2009 at 7:11 am

    Steve Carr , I know a guy that knows a guy, whose cousin has a friend that found a box car full of 1945 `45`s, still in the crates from H-D, cant wait to get my hands on one ! LOL

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