How to Get Rid of Discolored Motorcycle Pipes

by Elton Dunn
motorcycle image by Bionic Media from

A clean ride with a gleaming body and shiny chrome pipes shows you take pride in your ride. Motorcycle exhaust pipes take a beating from the road, the ride and the heat. Daily grime discolors pipes with dirt and grime; stuff that falls onto the pipes can melt, creating a gross residue, and excess heat turns pipes blue. Whatever has your pipes looking funny can come off with enough elbow grease. Use the cleaning method that targets your problem, then get to work restoring your bike once it cools.

Removing Grime

Step 1

Combine 1 tbsp. of motorcycle cleaner with 1 gallon of hot water. Use a special motorcycle cleaner formulated to dissolve grease, bugs and crud on exhaust pipes and the bike body without harming your bike's paint job.

Step 2

Wait until your exhaust pipes have cooled, then hose off your motorcycle to dissolve the initial layer of dirt. Focus on the pipes, hitting them with water to remove grime.

Step 3

Work over the pipes with a tack cloth dipped in your soap solution. Scrub the outside of the pipes with the rag, then rinse off the soap with water.

Continue to work with the motorcycle soap until you've dissolved all grime from your pipes to restore the color.

Removing Buildup and Melted Residue

Step 1

Wait for your exhaust pipes to feel cool to the touch, then soak a rag with a petroleum-based cleanser.

Step 2

Tie the rag to your pipes so they can soak overnight. Use rubber bands or twine to affix the rag. Leave it for at least eight hours.

Step 3

Remove the rag the next day. Scrape off as much of the crud as you can with a fresh tack cloth.

Mix a motorcycle cleansing solution using 1 tbsp. motorcycle cleanser and 1 gallon of hot water. Clean your pipes using this solution and a tack cloth to get rid of remaining discoloration on your bike.

Removing Heat Stains

Step 1

Let your pipes cool before attempting to work on your bike.

Step 2

Dampen a tack cloth with water, then sprinkle cleaning powder on the rag. Use motorcycle cleaning powder designed to remove heat discoloration, or "bluing."

Step 3

Rub the powder into your pipes to create a thick paste. Work the paste into the exhaust pipes gently but firmly.

Rinse off the paste to notice the chrome color coming back. If your pipes still have the blue heat discoloration, continue to apply the powder in this manner until they're fully clean.

Items you will need

  • Bowl
  • Motorcycle cleaner
  • Hose
  • Tack cloths
  • Petroleum cleaner
  • Rubber bands or twine
  • De-bluing cleaning powder

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