How to Stop Bluing on Motorcycle Exhaust Pipes

by Teri Olcott

Excessive heat from exhaust gases can cause a motorcycle's shiny chrome exhaust pipes to quickly discolor and turn blue. Bluing is a common problem with Motorcycles old and new. There are many products that will remove the unsightly color from the chrome, but unless you find the cause of the overheating, the blue will return.

Ways to stop or cover up bluing

Make sure your engine is tuned. Just like an automobile engine, motorcycle engines require tune-ups. If the air-fuel mixture or timing is not right, unburned gas can ignite in the exhaust pipe, causing bluing.

Air leaks can cause an excessive heat buildup. Check for any damage to the intake manifold, muffler and exhaust pipes that might allow air to enter. Also check that connections are tight and seals are not damaged or leaking. An exhaust valve not sealing can cause sudden bluing.

New motorcycle engines go through a break-in period. For the first several hundred miles, you may see bluing on the header pipe. Remove the bluing with polishes specifically designed to remove discoloration from chrome. If the bluing returns, you should have your engine and exhaust system checked by a licensed motorcycle mechanic.

Painting the inside of the exhaust pipes with a ceramic based liquid like DYNO-KOTE™ or Blue Shield can insulate the pipes from intense heat and bluing. Heat-resistant paint designed for wood stoves, engines and barbecues is another option, but the exhaust from a poorly tuned, high performance engine can exceed 1,000 degrees.

Although not a way to prevent bluing, many motorcycle owners simply choose to cover up the problem. Exhaust and heat shields come in a number of shapes and sizes and can be used to add decoration to the motorcycle or just to protect the exhaust system. Even though you can no longer see the blue, you should still have your engine and exhaust system checked on a regular basis to make sure they are operating properly.


  • Avoid excessive idling or revving. High temperatures generated from a wide-open-throttle can cause bluing.

Items you will need

About the Author

Residing in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania, Teri Olcott began her writing career in 1992 as a small-town newspaper reporter. In 1998, Olcott entered the technical writing field. Her articles have appeared in “Radiant Press” magazine and “Epoch” magazine. Olcott holds an Associate of Science in radiologic technology from SUNY Binghamton.

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