Exhaust Wrap For Motorcycles, My Experiences.

Now that I have wrapped my TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle and ridden the bike for a while, I wanted to cover some information I learned about exhaust wrap for motorcycles. 

My TaoTao TBR7 Dual-sport motorcycle, with NO exhaust wrap.

I asked questions before thinking about doing an exhaust wrap on my TBR7 motorcycle( Wrap My Motorcycle Exhaust? ), but I only could find the majority of answers from advertisers and product pages. I wanted to know the most about exhaust wraps since it wasn’t my first solution to a problem I was having with my motorcycle. 

Motorcycle Exhaust Wrap For Overheating?

My TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle was having problems with overheating( Overheated Motorcycle Engine Problems). I feel I damaged the bike when I found metal shavings in my motorcycle oil after a previous overheating condition( Metal Shavings In The Motorcycle Oil ). I tried to flush the metal shavings out of the motorcycle with frequent oil changes( How To Flush Metal Shavings From A Motorcycle Engine ) but found when I did a motorcycle clutch change( Hawk 250 & TBR7 Motorcycle Clutch Replacement ), I could still find metal shavings in the engine casing with a magnet.

Metal shavings found in motorcycle casing, after even flushing oil.
Fishing metal shavings out of engine casing, clutch side, after overheating event. 🙁

You can read my adventures there, but here is why I was overheating, based on my deductions:  

My TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle upgrades were getting more and more power from the engine and more power delivered to the rear wheel for increased speeds and longer rides. I was successful and pushed my little motorcycle hard.

So hard, my body felt it with the longer, faster rides I was doing on my motorcycle. I had to do some comfort upgrades to the bike, so I felt better on the longer rides: Grips( Cheap Foam Motorcycle Hand Grips ) and Padded Motorcycle Seat( TBR7 Motorcycle Seat Cover ).

This means more energy is extracted from the fuel, and engine heat is a byproduct. I could control the energy flow and performance upgrades, but I was doing nothing for additional cooling.

I thought the faster you road an air-cooled motorcycle, the more cooling air flowed over the engine. I feel now I was a victim of the law-of-diminishing-returns. I wouldn’t notice the heat on my legs as I rode, but right after slowing down and coming to a stop, I felt the motorcycle engine was on fire. As I sat at a stop, I noticed the smell of overheated oil would start and continue. 

To prevent overheating( Overheated Motorcycle Engine ), I often had to kill the engine immediately coming off the highway and coast down the exit ramp. Good thing my battery holds up(I have the stock battery, and here’s how: Trickle Battery Charger/Tender For My Motorcycle?).

I incorporated behavior changes, like killing the engine at long stops, not revving the engine when stopped, etc. I use high-quality synthetic oil( TBR7 Oil Type ). Also, the significant upgrade was increasing the engine’s cooling capacity by installing an oil cooler( Motorcycle Oil Cooler Installation ).

Even after all those changes to help my motorcycle engine run cooler( FYI: Air-Cooled Engine Overheating Symptoms ) and more reliable, I wanted to do more for my bike. I could feel the heat off the engine, and more so on the right side of the motorcycle. 

What Is On The Right Side Of The Motorcycle?  

Assembled TaoTao TBR7 250 motorcycle, exhaust on the right side.
TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle fully assembled after arrival.

The motorcycle engine exhaust piping.

The motorcycle exhaust piping was a strong heat source transferred back to the engine. The engine pushed hot gases out, and those hot gases were heating the motorcycle exhaust, and that heat was returning to the engine.

I needed to remove this source of heat on the engine and, of course, my leg.

Motorcycle Exhaust Wrap Vs. Heat Shield

The stock engine exhaust of the TaoTao TBR7 came with a heat shield, and it seemed to be positioned right around the catalytic converter. The catalytic converter gets hot from the engine exhaust gases and the internal combustion that occurs inside it, consuming unburnt fuel.  

The stock heat shield wasn’t installed the entire length of the TBR7 exhaust or completely wrapped in the piping. The heat shield minimally prevented heat transfer, not by shielding the heat from my leg but by preventing my leg from coming into direct contact with the catalytic converter.

Photo of Stock TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle exhaust heat shield.
Stock TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle exhaust heat shield.

The stock heat shield did nothing to shield the motorcycle’s engine from the exhaust heat.

I thought about putting up more heat shielding between the motorcycle exhaust and engine to help eliminate the radiant heat, but that is where the improvement stopped. The heat shield could shield the engine from heat streaming off the piping but wouldn’t do anything for the amount of heat the exhaust piping gives up due to convection.

When traveling at slow speeds or even stopped, the exhaust system could heat air that could flow over and around the engine cooling fins and reduce their efficiency.

Well, as you can guess, I spend too much time thinking about using heat shielding and way too much time explaining this. It’s common sense. Heat shielding does work, but not as well as I would like it to.

Why I Used An Exhaust Wrap On My TBR7 Motorcycle?

Well, if you made it to this point, you understand I like to work on my TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle, it’s my first and only motorcycle, and I like to push the little bike hard. Through upgrades, I’ve made this little Chinese dual sport motorcycle more of a road bike, in this case, more a highway bike.

Any attempt to reduce the amount of engine heat reaching my leg and back to the engine wouldn’t be solved by installing heat shields, so I thought about completely wrapping my motorcycle exhaust.

What Does Motorcycle Exhaust Wraps Do?

The simple answer, slow down the transfer of heat from inside the exhaust piping to the outside world. This way, heat is contained longer inside the motorcycle exhaust piping.

With the constant flow of hot gases exiting the bike’s engine, the gas is kept hot and moving further and further down the exhaust pipe till it exits. This way, the exhaust gases retain their heat and ultimately leave the motorcycle engine area.  

Simple Put: By minimizing heat exhaust piping transfer, the exhaust gases’ heat is retained in the gas flow and carried away as the exhaust gases exit the muffler.

Use Motorcycle Exhaust Wrap Near Me Help Any?

By wrapping the exhaust piping, the amount of radiant heat and hot air around the exhaust piping will be reduced in areas where I apply the wrap. So putting exhaust wrap near me will help my riding comfort.

The feeling that my right leg is cooking at a stop should disappear. Now, this depends on the quality of the wrap and the quality of the wrap installation. I addressed my engine exhaust wrap as a DIY project, as many other good Chonda owners do.

So my motorcycle exhaust wrap will be a DIY project, and I planned on adding an extra layer of wrap to the front section of the exhaust piping for my right leg cooler riding temps.

Before I moved toward doing the exhaust wrap, I had some big-picture concerns.

Is An Exhaust Wrap Good For A Motorcycle?

This is a typical question; rather than immediately addressing the ‘good’ parts of doing an exhaust wrap, my head went the negative way. So let’s address the negatives my mind jumps to immediately.

Is An Exhaust Wrap Bad For A Motorcycle?

My Concern: Can The Exhaust Heat Wrap Catch Fire?

My motorcycle exhaust piping gets hot, and I mean hot. I accidentally touched the pipe, and my skin immediately made the sound of frying bacon. It hurt, then didn’t hurt. Like I swear it was an instant deep burn killing the nerve endings. Later that skin on my finger got thick and fell off like a callus.

So this is a good question, does the exhaust get hot enough to catch fire to the heat wrap? From what I’ve seen and learned from the materials they make exhaust wrap from, not under normal conditions.

Anything can catch fire if you get it hot enough, but the materials used in the exhaust wrap are so noncombustible; if the temps get that high, I have other problems. My bike is probably totally on fire.

So to answer this, the exhaust wraps are designed to be safe under normal operating conditions and should not catch fire.

My Concern: Does Exhaust Wrap Cause Rust?

Frequently you will find discussions about how motorcycle exhaust wraps caused piping to rust through. A quick web search will find many people complaining of pinholes in their motorcycle exhaust piping after wrapping their motorcycle exhaust piping.

These claims seem sporadic and often open many responses countering their claims that the wrap caused the exhaust rust problems.

What I learned, there seems to be a correlation between how you treat your wrap after it gets wet and exhaust rust problems.

A few people complaining about motorcycle rust said they usually washed their bikes before putting the motorcycle away for storage or admitted to not running their motorcycle after washing.

Motorcycle exhaust wrap is very porous and filled with tiny air voids. This design gives the exhaust wrap its insulation properties. These pores seem to hold moisture against the exhaust piping metal and lead to rust. Combined with any trapped road grim and salt, this could be a bad combination for the metal.

So, I will not be putting my motorcycle away ‘wet.’ If I wash it, and with my TBR7, this doesn’t often happen since it’s a DIRT bike, I will run the engine till all the exhaust wrap is dry. A dry wrap seems to reduce the chances of rusting from my observations.

My Other Concerns: Other Motorcycle Exhaust Wrap Problems?

I addressed the two biggies above, fire and rust, but I found other motorcycle exhaust wrap concerns. Mostly revolving around the longevity of the wrap, and this is what I learned that could be applied to anything. 

How Long Do Exhaust Wraps Last?

The quality of material and installation seems to lend towards a better project outcome and the exhaust wrap’s longevity. Better prep, installation, and care will make your exhaust wraps last.  

Like anything you put on your motorcycle, prep, installation, and care are the most significant steps to making any addition or upgrade last the longest.

Addressing these big concerns in my head satisfied me, and I was moving forward with my TBR7 exhaust wrap project.

Planning Of My Motorcycle Exhaust Wrap Job

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.

Abraham Lincoln

Author’s Notice: This page contains affiliate links, for which I may earn a commission by their use. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying Amazon purchases.

What Exhaust Wrap Material Was I Going To Use?

I opted for the Titanium Exhaust Wrap material. 

New Exhaust wrap in box.
Well, exhaust wrap appears very beige here, but with time it grew paler.

I learned that with regular exhaust wrap material, you must soak the wrap before installation. This way, the wrap loosens and tightens as it dries off.  

With titanium exhaust wrap, you install it dry, and as you use the motorcycle, the heat causes the wrap to tighten and stiffen gradually over time.

Do You Have To Wet Exhaust Wrap?

Well, I mentioned it, so let’s talk about it. Some engine exhaust wraps instructions direct you to soak the wrap before installation, and this wasn’t necessary with the titanium exhaust wrap.

In hind site, soaking your exhaust wrap can keep down dust levels and help with any skin irritation the wrap might cause. I used gloves, but I shredded my gloves using wire tires and wire twisting.

So do you have to wet exhaust wrap, not if the instructions don’t say so? However, it might be in your interest to do so for your comfort.  

Shredded glove after motorcycle exhaust wrap job.
Glove after wrapping exhaust.

What Motorcycle Exhaust Wrap Colors Did I Use?

Here I went with the basic silver/grey color. It matched my TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle’s white/black colors and has a zombie apocalypse junkyard dog look.  

So the basic wrap color looks cool on my TBR7 motorcycle.

Now I’ve seen other colors. My Boom Vader recently had an exhaust upgrade, and I was thinking about doing an exhaust wrap on it too.

The TBR7 motorcycle exhaust upgrade gave my bike a great-looking exhaust system. The piping was originally chrome in color:

Unboxed Exhaust Piping and Muffler Upgrade for my TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle.
Out of box Exhaust Piping and Muffler Upgrade for my TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle.

But after a few rides, the exhaust piping took on gold and blue colors:

Heating action changing colors of upgraded motorcycle exhaust system.
Heating action on new exhaust system metal. TBR7 looks good here.
New motorcycle exhaust wrap completed.
New motorcycle exhaust wrap completed.

My Boom Vader Gen 2 motorcycle exhaust runs under the motorcycle mostly and isn’t too visible. I was looking at the colors it took on, had to hold my head down low to see, and the colors weren’t even as impressive as my TBR7’s exhaust colors.

So I think that with the exhaust piping running under the engine, all that exhaust heat is rising toward the engine. This Boom Vader 125cc engine exhaust design not only reduced the amount of ground clearance but feel it led to possible overheating conditions as well.

Author’s Notice: This page contains affiliate links, for which I may earn a commission by their use. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying Amazon purchases.

Now I’m seriously thinking about doing the exhaust wrap on my Grom Clone motorcycle, but what sealed the deal, blue exhaust wrap:

Click: Blue Motorcycle Exhaust Heat Wrap

I can have exhaust wrap that matches my motorcycle’s color. This option is too fantastic, and I will post about it when I get around to it.

The selection of motorcycle exhaust wraps has increased, and I recommend you do a little shopping around before you do your wrapping project.

Quick Recap: Motorcycle Exhaust Wrap Pros and Cons

Motorcycle Exhaust Wrap Pros:

  • Reduced heat around the engine and your legs.
  • Reduced heat robbing your motorcycle engine of power and life.
  • Pleasant cosmetic customization opportunities.

Motorcycle Exhaust Wrap Cons:

  • Possible irritant if installed incorrectly.
  • Possible short life if installed incorrectly.
  • Possible exhaust rust issues if wrap left wet on exhaust piping.

Lessons Learned After Wrapping My Motorcycle Exhaust Pipes:

Does Exhaust Wrap Reduce The Noise Of Motorcycles?

Yes, it does. The exhaust wrap does reduce the noise of my motorcycle. The higher pitched, ‘tinny’ sounds are mostly all gone. Like the metal vibrations, sounds are gone.

Does Exhaust Wrap Change Sounds?

The exhaust wrap material seems to dampen the higher pitched sounds, leading toward lower frequency sounds being noticed. This condition gives the exhaust a deeper bass sound. 

This is impressive since my TBR7 motorcycle is a tiny 229cc engine, which at best sounds like a high-pitched angry lawn mower. But after the exhaust wrap, it seems deeper and richer in its sound.

So, Is It Worth Wrapping An Exhaust?

I had to think about avoiding the knee-jerk reaction to the question.

TaoTao TBR7 dual sport Chinese Motorcycle.
My TaoTao TBR7 Motorcycle Pre Exhaust Wrap.

The exhaust wrap I did on the TBR7 could have gone better. I left the piping in place, which made the DIY job take longer. I was able to add an extra layer of wrap to a portion of the exhaust system, so I did do what I planned( Motorcycle Exhaust Wrap Installation (TBR7 / Hawk 250 / etc) ).

Motorcycle Exhaust Wrap installed.
With Motorcycle Wrap Installed, shiny exhaust isn’t visible.

As a result, I feel less heat on my right leg from the motorcycle, and I seem to have fewer overheating symptoms( Overheated Motorcycle Engine Problem(s) ) after the wrap job. 

I lost the good looks of the motorcycle exhaust upgrade I did( Completed TaoTao TBR7 Exhaust Upgrade ), but the final look of the engine exhaust wrap looks great.  

The sound of the motorcycle seems to have improved, with less high-frequency sounds, leading toward a richer, deeper exhaust sound. It appears that metal sounds, like vibrations, are almost all gone. The pops I hear after riding and shutting off the engine I can live with.

So, in hindsight, was it worth wrapping an exhaust? Yes.

Yes, it was. 

My Motorcycle Exhaust Wrap Recommendations:

  • Pick a quality exhaust wrap product.
  • Use gloves ( How (Not) To Install Motorcycle Exhaust Wrap, But It Worked )
  • Use stainless steel wire instead of the wire ties.
  • Take your time.
  • Remove the exhaust piping from the motorcycle when wrapping.
  • It’s OK to use more than one layer of wrap on your exhaust piping.
  • Wrap layers so they don’t allow dirt to get under the wraps.
  • Dry your exhaust wrap before leaving your bike to sit.

Wanting Engine Exhaust Wrap Feedback. 

I look forward to having comments and feedback about your engine exhaust wrap adventures and experiences. I plan on going ahead with doing the exhaust wrap on my Boom Vader Gen 2 motorcycle and want it to look its best. 

So if you need advice, I want to hear about it. In the meantime…

Ride Safe, Ride Fun!

Click To See My Recommended
TBR7 Upgrades

Click To See My Recommended

Boom Vader Gen 2 Upgrades

FYI, how I shouldn’t wrap my motorcycle exhaust:
How (Not) To Install Motorcycle Exhaust Wrap, But It Worked.

Picture of me, as a New Motorcyclist.
Just Me…Newly Licensed.

Hi I’m Tom, A New Motorcycle Rider and Blog Author.

I am a new rider(Pa Learners Permit at the end of 2020, and I received a Pa Motorcycle License in 2021 after passing a Motorcycle Safety Course).

I bought my first motorcycle, a TaoTao TBR7, at the beginning of 2021 and have been doing upgrades on that motorcycle since.

I added to my motorcycle collection by buying a Boom Vader Gen 2 in 2022, and that Grom-Clone motorcycle has been upgraded by me as well.

I continue to ride my Boom Vader Gen 2 motorcycle as well as my TaoTao TBR7 dual-sport bike.

Read more on my About Me page.

Fun Fact: I’ve only been on one group ride.

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