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What the heck?

Nope new to me, I know a lot of guys wrap their exhausts, I don't understand why. All it does in the long run is ruin your pipes, like you are noticing. Check out Hooker Headers warranty on car headers, it says in big bold letters (so you cannot miss it) that wrapping their headers will void the warranty.

I have a 91 S-10 that I put a small block chevy in. I used Hooker Headers conversion headers and wrapped the first 6 inches of each primary tube to keep them from melting spark plug wires. Well after running the truck for about a week I thought I blew out a collector gasket as the truck got real loud all of a sudden. Nope, the headers cracked all over the place around and under the tape. I sent them back to Hooker (mind you with a b.s. story of no wrap) and they very promptly sent them back saying sorry, you wrapped them, warranty void. $150 later for a new set of headers (not to mention the bottle of gas and spool of wire from the mig to fix the first set) I decided it would be better to buy a new set of $15 spark plug wires every time I drove the darn truck than to change out the headers.

So that being said, header wrap is for RACE applications (and trailer queens and magazine bikes). I don't know why guys insist on wrapping their daily rides with this stuff. It holds in moisture, which I might add is great for bare metal, and all the heat that builds up in the metal. Why do you think they make exhaust pipe so thin? It is so it transfers the heat out of the metal quickly. Think about this, how long after you shut your bike down do your pipes stay hot compared to the jugs and rocker boxes? I can touch my unwrapped heat shielded baffled pipes about 15-20 minutes after riding and they are cooler than the motor is.

If you must insist on the wrapped pipe look, consider wrapping the heat shields instead. They serve no purpose other than cosmetics and leg protection.

I don't know everything about bikes or cars by any means, but when I see a bike with wrapped pipes I think there is a guy who knows nothing about performance or longevity of parts. It makes no sense to me to destroy a functional part for looks. You might like the way the tape looks and lets face it you put the wrap on the pipes for the looks (you aren't drag racing your sporty are you?) but in the long run all you did was end up buying your new pipes earlier than you expected.

So when you go and get your new pipes, if you want black pipes, buy black pipes. In the long run you will be happier as your pipes will last a heck of a lot longer than the ones you have now did. In theory, your stock pipes should last as long as the bike if they aren't exposed to salt, unless of course you wrap them.

Maybe try unwrapping them, making sure they aren't cracked anywhere, putting the heat shields back on and taking them to the dealer on the warranty. If they ask if you wrapped them, do what they do all the time to us. Look right at them and lie. Say something like, "oh they make stuff you can wrap your pipes with?" Act calm and cool about it, like when you used to sneak in and dad would ask you if you were drinking:cheers

:dknowI too am curious to hear about Header wrap horror stories now. I have a riding buddy that keeps talking about wrapping his pipes, and he saw what happened to the headers in my truck but still "loves the wrapped look" I tell him that if he has that kind of money to throw away, why doesn't he go ahead and make my next bike payment for me....:eam

Have been racing for many years, and can tell you that the tape will decrease the life of the pipe it covers, but the increase in exhaust gas velocity is worth it. Don't know why anyone would wrap the pipes of a daily ride, but I can tell you that a significant increase in HP can result with wrapped pipes.
Smitty hit the nail on the head. :bigsmiley40: Today's manufacturers are using more metals that are resistant to corrision and subsequently, product life has increased.

Exhaust life also relates to how one rides. If you start your m-cycle and ride it a short distance, say around the block, and then shut it down, you can expect to replace exhaust system components on a fairly regular basis. Keep in mind however, that those short rides also are bad for orther major components of the motorcycle, or car for that matter.

If the motor, transmission, and exhaust are not given ample time to warm up, condensation forms. This moisture can deposit itself in your oil or metals parts. And we all know that this is not good.
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My 40 mile each way commute takes care of all my moisture. With everything said i am still way more found of a sportster with wrapped exhaust. In my mind thats just the way its supposed to be and im willing to take the chances of buying new pipes once a year.