Motorcycle Exhaust Wrap Pros and Cons: Is It Right For You?

Motorcycle Exhaust Wrap Pros and Cons Is It Right For You

The majority of motorcyclists want to know about the pros & cons of motorcycle exhaust warps also known as header wrap and what they actually do for the motorcycle. And why one must consider whether wrapping their motorcycle exhaust is a good or bad decision for them.

In this article, we will go through each pro and con in detail, what is the point of wrapping the motorcycle’s exhaust and how it affects the motorcycle in general.

And whether you should wrap your motorcycle’s exhaust or not by taking each pro and con into account.

Here’s a list of the pros and cons of motorcycle exhaust wrap.

Motorcycle Exhaust Wrap ProsMotorcycle Exhaust Wrap Cons
Exhaust Gas Flows Faster Through The Headers & Exhaust SystemSettled Moisture Can Cause Rust/Corrosion To Exhaust System
Reduces Engine Temperature By Keeping The Heat Inside The Exhaust PipesSmoking & Bad Smell From The Exhaust Pipes During The Initial Ride
Increases Engine Efficiency By Drawing out a Higher Amount Of Exhaust Gas From The CylindersThe Motorcycle’s Performance Might Change During Winter Months/Cold Weather
Protect The Legs From Directly Coming In Contact With The Hot Exhaust PipeExhaust Wrap Will Come Loose From The Pipes If Not Wrapped Properly
Prevent The Exhaust System From Cooling Down
Slight Increase In Motorcycle’s Power Delivery
Offers A Certain Visual Look For The Motorcycle

Now let’s get into details of each pro and con of motorcycle exhaust wrap.

Exhaust Wrap Pro No 1: Exhaust Gas Flows Faster Through The Headers & Exhaust System

Compression of the air-fuel mixture takes place inside the combustion chamber, which turns into gas once ignited and pushed out through the exhaust valve from the motorcycle’s cylinder.

The speed at which the exhaust gases leave the exhaust pipes is directly proportional to heat/temperature. 

Meaning a higher (hot) temperature makes the exhaust gas flow/travel faster and a lower (cooling) temperature makes the gas flow slower.

Once you wrap the motorcycle exhaust pipes (muffler/silencer), the heat and high temperature are contained inside the pipes. This makes the gas flows faster through the whole exhaust system. 

This makes the motorcycle much more reactive to the throttle input (power delivery) because of the highly efficient gas flow throughout the exhaust system.

Exhaust Wrap Pro No 2: Reduces Engine Temperature By Keeping The Heat Inside The Exhaust Pipes

Since you are wrapping your exhaust pipes with fiberglass material wrap or even a titanium-based wrap, the heat will be concentrated in the pipes.

As these hot gases leave the cylinder head, go around the exhaust valves and flow through the exhaust pipes, the temperature of these gases is pretty hot. 

Exhaust wrap acts as a thermal insulator for the exhaust pipe, capturing and containing all the heat inside the pipes and not letting the spread toward the engine.

So the engine works efficiently due to reduced (low) temperature.

Exhaust Wrap Pro No 3: Increases Engine Efficiency By Drawing out a Higher Amount Of Exhaust Gas From The Cylinders

Overheating or high engine temperature is not an optimal condition for an engine to work in.

The air-fuel mixture is constantly pressurized and ignited inside the combustion chamber, which is located inside the cylinder.

Once you exhaust wrap your motorcycle, it increases the engine’s efficiency of pumping and drawing out a higher amount of exhaust gases from the cylinder in a quicker and high-pressure mannered.

This happens when the heat dissipates away from the engine and is contained inside the exhaust pipe.

This process of drawing out exhaust gas and replacing it with fresh air/fuel mixture as much as possible from the cylinder is also called exhaust gas scavenging.

Exhaust Wrap Pro No 4: Protect The Legs From Directly Coming In Contact With The Hot Exhaust Pipe

Some motorcycles have exhaust pipes that can come directly in contact with the rider’s legs.

As you ride your motorcycle for a significant amount of time, you will feel the heat rising from the exhaust pipes and engine region.

Exhaust wrap acts as a barrier between the pipes and your legs, the material of these wraps is commonly made up of fiberglass or titanium-based ( which is from pulverized lava rock ) keeps the heat inside the exhaust pipe.

So skin burns or riding shoes getting damaged from metal heat can be easily avoided.

Exhaust Wrap Pro No 5: Prevent The Exhaust System From Cooling Down

For the exhaust gases to flow faster and more efficiently through the exhaust system the pipes needs to be hot.

Exhaust wrap contains and holds high temperatures constantly, which prevents the pipes (exhaust system) from cooling down.

This high temperature is contained only within the exhaust system, which makes the engine pump exhaust gas out of the motorcycle at a rapid pace.

Exhaust Wrap Pro No 6: Slight Increase In Motorcycle’s Power Delivery

By now you know for a motorcycle engine to work efficiently it needs to work at a particular engine temperature (155F / 68C to 220F / 104C) which is not too hot or not too cold.

The process where the maximum amount of old exhaust gas is drawn out of the cylinder and replaced with a fresh air-fuel mixture which converts into gas once pressurized inside the combustion chamber is called exhaust gas scavenging.

If the exhaust gas scavenging rate is higher motorcycle’s power delivery increases which you can feel while accelerating.

Exhaust Wrap Pro No 7: Offers A Certain Visual Look For The Motorcycle

If you want that old-school rugged look for your motorcycle, exhaust wrap definitely offers that.

Apart from its multiple benefits ( pros ), it does offer a particular look to your motorcycle once you exhaust wrap it.

Fiberglass Exhaust Wraps are available in multiple color options ( black, red, blue, green, etc).

Whereas, Titanium Exhaust Wraps are only available in single color which is yellowish golden color.

Now we have covered all the major pros/advantages of exhaust wrap, and how it affects your riding quality/performance and your motorcycle.

So let’s get into the cons/disadvantages of exhaust wrap in detail.

Exhaust Wrap Con No 1: Settled Moisture Can Cause Rust/Corrosion To Exhaust System

Corrosion or rust is a major concern for most motorcyclists when they want to exhaust wrap their motorcycle.

So the accumulation of moisture underneath the exhaust wrap will be a common occurrence. 

It can happen because of various causes like leaving or riding the motorcycle in the rain, washing/ cleaning it with a water jet/hose, and occasionally dipping in the small water puddles while riding. 

You can ride the motorcycle after these activities to let the water get evaporated from the exhaust pipes heat.

But letting the motorcycle sit in that wet moisture and letting it dry on its own will cause rust/corrosion build up on the exhaust system over time.

Exhaust Wrap Con No 2: Smoking & Bad Smell From The Exhaust Pipes During The Initial Ride

All who decide to wrap their motorcycle’s exhaust with either fiberglass or titanium wraps will experience smoking and foul/bad smell.

The wraps are made up of either glass fiber or basalt or pulverized lava rock which is then fabricated into woven strips.

So during the initial break-in period, you will experience smoking and a bad smell coming from the exhaust, but it will only last for a couple of days.

Exhaust Wrap Con No 3: The Motorcycle’s Performance Might Change During Winter Months/Cold Weather

As we discussed earlier, the motorcycle engine operates effectively only in a particular engine temperature range (155F / 68C to 220F / 104C).

But during winter months the engine is susceptible to the harsh cooling temperature and an adequate amount of heat is needed for the motorcycle engine to work efficiently.

So when you exhaust wrap your motorcycle it contains heat inside the exhaust pipe and does not let it spread back toward the engine. 

This is good during the summer months but can cause a negative effect on a motorcycle’s performance during the cold winter months.

Exhaust Wrap Con No 4: Exhaust Wrap Will Come Loose From The Pipes If Not Wrapped Properly

This one is plain and simple, you will need to wrap your exhaust system/pipe properly.

Not rolling the exhaust wrap properly around the pipes with the proper amount of overlap and tightness will cause the wrap to come off loose after some time.

Stainless steel zip ties will hold and keep the exhaust wrap in its place.

How To Exhaust Wrap Your Motorcycle

Follow this step-by-step process to exhaust wrap your motorcycle.

  1. Disassemble the exhaust pipe from the motorcycle and place it on a clean workstation/table.
  2. Clean the exhaust pipe with a clean soft cloth.
  3. Now put the fiberglass-based exhaust wrap into the bucket of water, and let it soak in for a few minutes (3-4 minutes).
  4. Some exhaust wrap doesn’t need to be soaked in water, so read the product details before wrapping it on the motorcycle.
  5. Before rolling the exhaust wrap wear gloves to avoid coming in contact with the chemical compounds of the wrap.
  6. Now start rolling the exhaust wrap around the pipe from the header section with a slight fold-in at the beginning to have a tighter grip and to hide the loose end ( Fray ) of the exhaust wrap and secure it firmly in its place with stainless steel zip ties.
  7. Overlap the exhaust wrap about halfway of the previous fold.
  8. Make your way to the end section of the exhaust pipe and again fold in the end part of the exhaust wrap and place stainless steel zip tie around it.
  9. Now assemble the exhaust pipe back onto the motorcycle, and you have completed wrapping the exhaust.

What Kind Of Exhaust Wrap You Should Buy?

You can opt for titanium exhaust wraps which are tougher and more durable in hot temperatures compared to fiberglass exhaust wraps.

Design Engineering titanium exhaust heat wrap comes with LR technology which can withstand 1800°F direct/2500°F intermittent heat. 

Its price can be around 40$-50$ for a 2inch wide 50 Footlong roll,  and choosing a quality product for your motorcycle is always hands down a better and safer option.

For fiberglass exhaust wrap you can choose any reputed brand with a good global rating ( 4 out of 5 stars with above 1000 people rating it) product on amazon.

The price of fiberglass-based exhaust wrap typically falls between 15$- 30$ for a 50-footlong roll.


Motorcycle exhaust wraps are proven to reduce engine temperature while maintaining high heat within the exhaust system which improves exhaust gas flow exit rate. Proper maintenance and elimination of wet moisture buildup in the exhaust wrap will improve its lifespan and efficiency.

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