How do I get the brown/blue discoloration off a Gen II header pipe? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-01-2015, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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How do I get the brown/blue discoloration off a Gen II header pipe?

Again, my question is in the title.

How do I get the brown/blue discoloration off a Gen II header pipe? This discoloration is deep dark black-to-brown with a little bit of blue, er, undertone. Likely a combination of road tar and heat discoloration, but baked on for a good many miles. It almost makes the pipe look like a 5K mile Gen I pipe except it's shiny smooth, not flat faded black.
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-02-2015, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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I think I'm going to try some barkeeper's friend and maybe 1000 grit sandpaper.
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-02-2015, 09:18 AM
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Became curious about your question so did some searching. It seems to be an issue that bugs Harley riders a lot. Consensus seems to be you can buy some kind of product advertised to polish up discolored chrome, but they're all just mild abrasives and the venerable Barkeeper's Friend was mentioned more than once as being just as effective.

Like they also all say, tho: you can polish it off but it's just gonna come right back.

Good luck in your polishing endeavour. I, for one, would be curious to see if the BKF works or not.



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post #4 of 8 Old 02-02-2015, 09:48 AM
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its a property of stainless steel when it gets hot.
you just have to live with it
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-02-2015, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback, folks!

Turns out I only had 600 grit on board, so I used a green scotch-brite pad and the BKF. I only had time to run a test patch (about 5 minutes), and my camera skills are slightly below average, but see the attachment... ...good enough for me.
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-02-2015, 11:37 PM
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If the brown appears more to the rear on side panels and muffler, Depends might be the answer. (Running for cover)
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-03-2015, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Normk View Post
If the brown appears more to the rear on side panels and muffler, Depends might be the answer. (Running for cover)
Always happy to hear the voice of experience, Norm.

Had a tussle getting the hex round head screws off the heat shield. They seem to be pretty soft. I have a full set of metric hex keys and one broke loose with some effort. Pb Blaster didn't have much effect on the second and the key rounded off the hex in the screw. I cut a slot down the center with a dremel and a pretty big flat blade screw driver just wound the metal out of the slot. I finally cut two parallel flats on the sides of the head and wound it out with vise-grips.

The one that came out relatively easy is in the middle. The surgically mangled screw is to the left. I'm replacing them with hex head screws like the one on the right.
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-03-2015, 12:32 AM
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Watch out for stainless in exhausts and other hot locations. Stainless turns harder than the ex-wife's heart when heated.


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Originally Posted by bsklr View Post
Always happy to hear the voice of experience, Norm.

Had a tussle getting the hex round head screws off the heat shield. They seem to be pretty soft. I have a full set of metric hex keys and one broke loose with some effort. Pb Blaster didn't have much effect on the second and the key rounded off the hex in the screw. I cut a slot down the center with a dremel and a pretty big flat blade screw driver just wound the metal out of the slot. I finally cut two parallel flats on the sides of the head and wound it out with vise-grips.

The one that came out relatively easy is in the middle. The surgically mangled screw is to the left. I'm replacing them with hex head screws like the one on the right.
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