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Discussion Starter #1
Every year my header gets coated in clay which bakes on, one layer at a time. It's good red clay so it looks like rust.

Every year I take the header off and scrape and wire-brush the baked-on ceramic. Then there are holes in the paint so I paint it again.

Each trip I'll splash some clay-water onto the header and it will bake a thin layer before I get home. By the end of the year it will look rusty again, but there'll be good black paint under the clay.

If it was any color other than rust, I'd probably leave it. But since it looks like rust I am unable to start the year with the clay on there.

Does anyone else have clay baked onto their exhaust header? Would switching to a stainless header make clean-up easier? (Or maybe I should just spray some black glaze on the hot header instead of using paint.)
 

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The bike I just bought actually has the same baked clay exhaust, and I was wondering the same thing... I don't know if it would even be worth it to clean and paint if it'll just happen again. Do they even make a coating that might make it easier to clean or resist the baked on mud look?
 

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Stainless cleans up easy. 08+ cane with stainless, i have one laying around the shop since I went to a bigger header. It is missing the shroud tabs but you could use the ones you have. If someone wants it PM me...
 

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Ha! That is an awesome KLRista way of dealing with the issue, but we all know what happens to the KLR headpipes when wrapped or otherwise prevent the header from breathing.:50:
(wonderful humor as always Jeff!)
 

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Every year my header gets coated in clay which bakes on, one layer at a time. It's good red clay so it looks like rust.

Every year I take the header off and scrape and wire-brush the baked-on ceramic. Then there are holes in the paint so I paint it again.

Each trip I'll splash some clay-water onto the header and it will bake a thin layer before I get home. By the end of the year it will look rusty again, but there'll be good black paint under the clay.

If it was any color other than rust, I'd probably leave it. But since it looks like rust I am unable to start the year with the clay on there.

Does anyone else have clay baked onto their exhaust header? Would switching to a stainless header make clean-up easier? (Or maybe I should just spray some black glaze on the hot header instead of using paint.)

This is the first time hearing about a clay problem on pipes. As for SS pipes, unfortunately most SS pipes have a brushed finish so it would most likely be a bit harder to shed your clay. On the plus side you wouldn't have to worry about hurting the painted finish when scraping off clay.

Ultimately, you'd do best with a smooth high temp finish. So long as your current pipe is fairly smooth a high temp ceramic may work. Beyond that you'll need to move away from red clay, lol.....
 

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Where others see a problem, I see an opportunity. Somebody needs to produce and sell an aftermarket bolt-on "header pipe protector" for the KLR crowd.

Since weight reduction is crucial to any KLR application, I would recommend a lightweight aluminum shield with the same semi-circular, overlapping grind polishing pattern used back in the day on airplane skins:

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks planalp, I've seen the design for it too, in Eagle Plains, Yukon. Two or three Goldwing riders bought new KLRs for their trip to the gravel roads we were on. Each had a 1/2" thick rubber-and-fiber mat zip-tied to the crash bars. Cut a fan belt and you see the same construction, but these were mats. The mats went from the radiator/bottle down and back a bit under the water pump/ balancer shaft. Each bike must have gained 10Lb (22 kg) from that single addition. But they were accustomed to more weight than that.

Aluminum would help. Or titanium. Or how about an ultrasonic resonator that sweeps frequency to keep it optimized for the type of clay being splashed.

I have started to wonder if I can weld a double-layer exhaust like many cruisers -- the outer pipe would remain below the heat required to fire the clay. Half seriously.

I have honestly thought of painting the clay, but even though it is tenactious, it will occasionally flake off. When that happens I'd have mostly black but at different thicknesses. Jeff and Brian seem to know about exhaust issues that I don't. What DOES happen with, for example, I wrapped (insulated) my header? Supposed to keep the exhaust hotter and moving faster and increase flow. No? I don't especially like the look of wrapped exhaust, but the look of rust-colored exhaust isn't all that appealing either.

The only way to clean this up is to take the heat shield off. I hate 6mm bolts in corroding locations. I coated them liberally with anti-sieze last year and one came out while the other twisted off. Both twisted off last year and I can drill accurately enough to preserve the 6mm threads. This year I don't expect to splash as much calcium chloride on the bike.

I appreciate the offer of a stainless head pipe. Just two months ago I joined in a thread about mufflers. The stock setup is going for my early season rides but I may replace it all IF I can find something quiet. Right now I still have a driveway that is 700 feet of ice. I look forward to the day when I can make a 700-foot mud rut down my driveway to repair when I get home. With the temperatures this year I'll have a long mud season.
 

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This is the first time hearing about a clay problem on pipes. As for SS pipes, unfortunately most SS pipes have a brushed finish so it would most likely be a bit harder to shed your clay. On the plus side you wouldn't have to worry about hurting the painted finish when scraping off clay.

Ultimately, you'd do best with a smooth high temp finish. So long as your current pipe is fairly smooth a high temp ceramic may work. Beyond that you'll need to move away from red clay, lol.....
With all due respect CCPcoatings, you are wrong. I have had no issues cleaning baked on mud from my header on either of my stainless head pipes. Although I am a bit anal about it and clean them after every ride.
 

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With all due respect CCPcoatings, you are wrong. I have had no issues cleaning baked on mud from my header on either of my stainless head pipes. Although I am a bit anal about it and clean them after every ride.

LOL, what am I wrong about exactly? I said a textured / brushed pipe is more likely to catch dirt / debri than a pipe with a smooth finish. I made no comment about cleaning them.........
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Drilled the broken bolt to 1/8" and then left PB blaster on it for a day, but the easy-out still wouldn't budge it. Oxy-acetylene then let it cool. Nada. Drilled to 3/16 and I could pull the threads out with a pick. (The minor diameter of a 6mm bolt is 4.6mm to 4.9mm -- 3/16 is 4.76mm.) Cleaned the threads with a tap but it's a dang shallow hole.

But I cannot clean a bit of the clay. It's a small patch on the outside of the curve. Nearby I've wire-brushed down to steel but the clay is holding on.

The ice on my driveway is holding on too. Reinforced by a recent rain/ice/snow mix.
 

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Nice work Grinnin!:sign0173: It's not easy to drill exactly in the center of a broken bolt to remove the threads! As for the clay I'm sticking to my first idea of just painting it!!
jj
 
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