Why Do You Wrap Motorcycle Exhaust?

Why Do You Wrap Motorcycle Exhaust?

Motorcycle exhaust wrapping is pretty popular thing to be done among the bike riders community. That brings us, why do you wrap the motorcycle exhaust?

Motorcycle exhaust wrapping is done because the exhaust wrap provides protection to the pipe from overheating, hides the dents, scratches and coloring of the pipe, helps in exhaust scavenging, and also improves the overall look of the bike.

However, there are some disadvantages associated with exhaust wrapping. Once done, removing the exhaust wrap is difficult and costly. Also, if water or moisture enters the wrap, it gets trapped and speeds up the rusting process.

Alternatives for exhaust wrapping are – painting the exhausting pipe or using ceramic coating on the pipe.

Wrapping Motorcycle Exhaust – Why People Do It?

Motorcycle exhaust wrapping is done because the exhaust wrap provides protection to the pipe from overheating, hides the dents, scratches and coloring of the pipe, helps in exhaust scavenging, and also improves the overall look of the bike.

These are the main reasons why people go for wrapping their motorcycle exhaust pipe.

Let us discuss each of these reasons for exhaust wrapping in detail.

First and foremost, exhaust wrap is used to protect the exhaust from overheating. The wrapping acts as an insulating body covering the exhaust pipe. As a result, the heat does not dissipate to the atmosphere through the exhaust pipe, but rather escapes with the gases through the exhaust opening.

Second, wrapping the exhaust will hide the dents, scratches and any bluing or other colouring of the exhaust pipe.

Exhaust wrapping will hide any dents, scratches or bluing and coloring of the pipe that existed earlier. Along with that, any future scratches and dents are also minimized since it adds an additional layer over the exhaust pipe.

Third, exhaust wrap helps in exhaust scavenging. Scavenging refers to removing the exhaust gases from the internal combustion engine so that a fresh air-fuel mixture can enter the engine for combustion.

If the exhaust gases are not removed, the next cycle will result in improper combustion leading to reduced power output.

Wrapping helps the exhaust gases escape faster out of the system.

As soon as the exhaust valve opens up in the engine, the pressure within the combustion chamber is high, whereas the pressure is low in the exhaust pipe since the gases from the previous cycle has escaped faster.

Better the scavenging, lower the exhaust gases remaining in the combustion engine. This, in turn, translates to better combustion during the next combustion cycle.

Lastly, exhaust wrapping improves the overall look of the bike. The motorcycle looks cooler. Exhaust wrapping has its own set of followers in the bike riding community. And rightfully so, since the motorcycle aesthetics improves considerably once to wrap the exhaust.

The Science Behind Exhaust Wrapping

The exhaust wrap is very much like a fire blanket used to cover the exhaust pipe.

The wrap acts as an insulator covering the exhaust wrap, which keeps the heat from exhaust gas inside the exhaust.

Insulating the heat from exhaust gases to escape from the exhaust pipe surface to the atmosphere has its own advantages.

The exhaust gases and the heat in the gases will have only one outlet, that is to flow through the exhaust line and escape out through the exhaust opening.

In other words, a heat wrap insulating the exhaust pipe will speeds up the escape of thee exhaust gases through the exhaust opening since there is no other outlet for heat transfer.

Since exhaust gases are moved faster, there is lower chance of overheating of the exhaust pipe.

In addition, this faster movement of exhaust gases creates pressure difference across the engine and the exhaust system. As soon as the exhaust valve opens up in the engine, the pressure within the combustion chamber is high, whereas the pressure is low in the exhaust pipe since the gases from the previous cycle has escaped faster.

This pressure differential between the combustion chamber and the exhaust, forces out the exhaust gases out of the combustion chamber and to go through the exhaust. This is called exhaust scavenging.

The exhaust gases are removed from the internal combustion engine so that a fresh air-fuel mixture can enter the engine for the next combustion cycle.

This is how exhaust wrapping helps in exhaust scavenging in the motorcycle. By forcing the exhaust gases out faster and creating higher pressure differential between in the combustion chamber and the exhaust, the heat wrap makes the exhaust gases move faster out of the system.

Pros And Cons Of Exhaust Wrap

There are three main advantages of wrapping motorcycle exhaust.

First, exhaust wrap improves the exhaust scavenging and as a result, reduces overheating and helps generating more power in the engine.

While the boost in power might not be considerable in lower cc engines, the exhaust wrap can significantly help in increasing the power output in turbocharged motorcycles.

Second advantage, exhaust wrapping makes the bike look cooler.  The overall aesthetics of the motorcycle is significantly improved.

The exhaust wrapping look especially good on cruiser bikes. If you are contemplating exhaust wrapping for your cruiser motorcycle, I would say you should go for it just because it looks cool.

Third advantage, exhaust wrap protects the exhaust pipe from both overheating and any dents. Any damaging impact on the exhaust pipe is considerably reduced due to the presence of an additional layer of wrap on the exhaust.

However, despite its useful advantages, there are some cons associated with exhaust wrapping that you should consider before going ahead with the wrapping.

The main disadvantage is if the water enters the wrap, it will speed up the rusting of exhaust pipe.

If you live in the region where rains are heavy during its season, then you might have to give it a second thought before going ahead with exhaust wrapping.

The water once enters the wrap, will take a long time to leave or evaporate. The stuck water or moisture will aid in the rusting process of the steel exhaust pipe.

Another disadvantage of exhaust wrapping is you cannot undo the wrapping easily. Once you go ahead with exhaust wrapping for your motorcycle, you are stuck with it. Unless of course, you are ready to spend the money and remove the wrap.

Alternatives To Exhaust Wrap

There are other alternatives for motorcycle exhaust wrapping.

If the objective is to improve the aesthetics and to prevent rust formation, then you can opt for painting the exhaust instead of wrapping.

Painting the exhaust pipe will also enhances heat withstanding capability and protects the exhaust from scratches along with preventing rust formation.

Another alternative for exhaust wrapping if the objective is to protect the exhaust from overheating is to use ceramic coating on the exhaust pipe.

In ceramic coating, you will coat the interior of the exhaust with ceramic. This coated layer will prevent the metal to get oxidized due to the extreme heat in the exhaust system.

Related Questions

What are motorcycle exhaust pipes made of? The most commonly used materials for motorcycle exhaust pipes are – stainless steel, mild steel, titanium and ceramic coated steel. In addition, carbon fiber is sometimes used for exterior and aluminium for the muffler.

Why do motorcycle exhaust keeps popping? In a high flowing exhaust system, the excessive hot air detonates any unburnt fuel coming to the exhaust. The detonation of the unburnt fuel produces a pop-pop sound, more commonly referred as popping.