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Old 05-30-2013, 10:16 AM   #1
The Spaceman
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Default Compulsion...by Calvin Klien

"It's NEVER clean enough!" (SNL 1987)

The CB has four nifty polished "stainless" steel header pipes. They get a nasty stain or corrosion every time I ride on wet roads. The display bike they had at Daytona was really bad; I assumed it was just dirty, but no, the pipes get marred and it's a ***** to get them clean again. Simichrome will remove the stains with a lot of elbow grease, but that's turning out to be a PITA to keep up with. About an hour of polishing to get them back to snuff.

I've considered:

1. Exhaust wrap. Did that on the HD, the excess heat actually caused the NOS header pipes I'd sourced at great expense to break at a seam. This is a possible option, but it really wouldn't fit the look of the bike.

2. VHS High-Temp paint. Did this on the VStrom. It looked pretty good; sort of a flat black. And it lasted a fairly long time; I think I touched it up a few times over the years. Again though, unless I did the entire system including the collector and slip-on, it wouldn't look right. Not a prefered option.

3. Ignore it and let it go to hell. No F'ing way. It would bug me every time I looked at it.

Has anyone else had a similar problem? Got any ideas, or know of any products that will help?
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:12 PM   #2
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Default Ignore it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Spaceman View Post
"It's NEVER clean enough!" (SNL 1987)

The CB has four nifty polished "stainless" steel header pipes. They get a nasty stain or corrosion every time I ride on wet roads. The display bike they had at Daytona was really bad; I assumed it was just dirty, but no, the pipes get marred and it's a ***** to get them clean again. Simichrome will remove the stains with a lot of elbow grease, but that's turning out to be a PITA to keep up with. About an hour of polishing to get them back to snuff.

I've considered:

1. Exhaust wrap. Did that on the HD, the excess heat actually caused the NOS header pipes I'd sourced at great expense to break at a seam. This is a possible option, but it really wouldn't fit the look of the bike.

2. VHS High-Temp paint. Did this on the VStrom. It looked pretty good; sort of a flat black. And it lasted a fairly long time; I think I touched it up a few times over the years. Again though, unless I did the entire system including the collector and slip-on, it wouldn't look right. Not a prefered option.

3. Ignore it and let it go to hell. No F'ing way. It would bug me every time I looked at it.

Has anyone else had a similar problem? Got any ideas, or know of any products that will help?
My roadster's pipes are the same. Let the natural discoloration accumulate. It is the patina of use. You are not ridling a show bike. If you must, wrap them
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:47 PM   #3
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The only way to keep a bike show room shiny is to keep it in the show room. Just ride the sum'b*tch and stop worrying about it, it's inevitable that you'll get tar spots and road grime on it, it just show that you're not a Nancy-Boy poser and actually ride the thing.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:40 PM   #4
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I see a steel pipe and I want it painted black.
No colors any more I want them to turn black.
I see the rubbies cruise by dressed in their leather clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes.

I wanna see it painted black, painted black
Black as night, black as coal
I wanna see the sun, blotted out from the sky
I wanna see it painted, painted, painted, painted black
Yeah
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:47 PM   #5
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Now my bitter hands shake beneath the clouds...


Pearl Jam - Black - YouTube
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarnali2 View Post
The only way to keep a bike show room shiny is to keep it in the show room. Just ride the sum'b*tch and stop worrying about it, it's inevitable that you'll get tar spots and road grime on it, it just show that you're not a Nancy-Boy poser and actually ride the thing.
I average about 1k miles a month on the bike year in, year out. Not "monster" mileage, but my bikes have never been garage queens

Having said that; I like having one thing in my life that's as close to perfect as I can make it, and the bike fills that space. Even the ugly old VStrom still looked almost like new after 50k miles. The header pipes are really prominent on the CB, and if they're corroded and stained it'll bug me.

Last night I took some 000 steel wool to them. It took most of the corrosion off, and the simichrome got the rest. It wasn't too time consuming.

BTW: Cycle World has a write-up on the CB this month, but the MO story is more comprehensive with the dyno charts etc.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:40 AM   #7
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I wash my bike in the spring to get the winter crud off and maybe once or twice in the summer. The rest of the time I don't worry about it too much. In fact my Explorer is usually cleaner than the bike and it spends most of the summer on the driveway.
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:47 PM   #8
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If it is truly stainless header-pipes, you have probably made a mistake with the steel wool - microscopic bits of the steel are now embedded in the surface of the pipe, and will start to "weep" rust in the rain.

Only stainless wool (it's out there, teh googliez it) or 3M scotchbrite pads should be used on them - the scotchbrite gives a nice, fine "brushed" finish if you use a shoeshine-typee motion on it. Then the heat makes the surface this rich golden-brown.

Beautiful.
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_AirHawk View Post
If it is truly stainless header-pipes, you have probably made a mistake with the steel wool - microscopic bits of the steel are now embedded in the surface of the pipe, and will start to "weep" rust in the rain.

Only stainless wool (it's out there, teh googliez it) or 3M scotchbrite pads should be used on them - the scotchbrite gives a nice, fine "brushed" finish if you use a shoeshine-typee motion on it. Then the heat makes the surface this rich golden-brown.

Beautiful.
My Termi pipes on my GT had that nice "goldish" look.
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_AirHawk View Post
If it is truly stainless header-pipes, you have probably made a mistake with the steel wool - microscopic bits of the steel are now embedded in the surface of the pipe, and will start to "weep" rust in the rain.

Only stainless wool (it's out there, teh googliez it) or 3M scotchbrite pads should be used on them - the scotchbrite gives a nice, fine "brushed" finish if you use a shoeshine-typee motion on it. Then the heat makes the surface this rich golden-brown.

Beautiful.
I believe they are stainless, but there's a lot of grades of and finishes for "stain-less" steel. Hopefully the wool won't make it worse, but it's hard to imagine how it could. Even spray from a wet road is enough to leave a stain. I used copper wool on one pipe remove some melted plastic on it, but it didn't help with the staining problem.

By "shoeshine" do you mean back and forth buffing in line vs. circular?
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