How to Remove Bluing From Motorcycle Exhaust Pipes

OIn this article, we’ll be recommending the best ways to remove the unsightly ‘bluing’ effect from your motorcycle’s exhaust. 

But before we discuss how to remove it, we must figure out what causes it in the first place. And for that, we must go down to the microscopic level and see how the exhaust gasses from your motorcycle’s engine react with the metal of the exhaust. 

Furthermore, we’ll be recommending a couple different methods of addressing the ‘bluing’ effect, each to varying levels of effectiveness, cost, and effort required. 

Keep reading if you want to find out how to remove the bluing effect from your motorcycle’s exhaust pipes. 

Why so blue?

If you had noticed your motorcycle exhaust glowing red hot after a long day’s ride, we would recommend getting your engine tuned properly ASAP! However, blue motorcycle exhaust pipes are a lot less concerning and a much more common symptom of regular motorcycle riding. 

So what causes the bluing of motorcycle exhaust pipes? 

It all has to do with complicated metallurgy and chemical reactions inside the engine and exhaust system of your bike, forming an oxidized layer on the surface of the exhaust. In simple terms, the ‘bluing’ of motorcycle exhausts is because of the intensely hot exhaust gasses passing through them, which cause the metal to discolor slightly. 

And while some riders actually prefer this blue exhaust effect and even wear it as a badge of honor, others might not look too kindly on their brand new exhaust pipes becoming discolored!

What we recommend doing

In a word: nothing. 

Blue exhaust pipes on motorcycles are just the cost of doing business. The ‘business’ being those fun Sunday rides you go on, of course. 

In fact, depending on what kind of metal your motorcycle’s exhaust pipes are made of, such as stainless steel, titanium, or chrome, you may see discoloration ranging from blue and green to gold and purple! In most cases, this is completely benign, and you shouldn’t lose any sleep over it. 

Still want to remove the ‘bluing’ from your motorcycle exhaust pipes?

If you still wish to get that pristine look for your motorcycle exhaust pipes, here are some things you can try. 

Method 1: Use a polish

Cost: $

Effectiveness: 4/5

Effort: 4/5

If your pipes are feeling blue, give ’em a Blue-Job! 

We are referring, of course, to the ‘Blue-Job Chrome Polish,’ a quick and effective way to remove ‘bluing’ from your motorcycle exhaust pipes. This cheekily named polish is specifically formulated to remove the oxidized blue layer from the surface of your motorcycle’s exhaust pipes. 

It works pretty well and is pretty easy to use. Just dampen the included microfiber cloth and cover it with the polish, which comes in powder form. Just be sure you don’t overdo it. This chrome polish is a concentrate, so you shouldn’t need that much. 

Next, cover the affected areas liberally with the paste and work it in with back and forth motions. You may need to rub pretty hard, so be prepared to work up a sweat. Finally, once the oxidation has been removed, just use the included Pipe-Wipes to pick up any residue. 

And voila! You’ve got yourself a shiny chrome exhaust pipe again!

We recommend doing small areas at a time and using the polish sparingly. Furthermore, even if you aren’t dealing with ‘bluing,’ this motorcycle exhaust polish works reasonably well on rust, minor scratches, fingerprints, etc. It also avoids scratching the finish on your motorcycle’s exhaust pipes. 

It does have its drawbacks, though. Firstly, it isn’t permanent. So expect to have to redo it when your motorcycle exhaust pipes inevitably become blue again. Moreover, it does require a little more effort to do correctly than your average automotive polish. 

That said, we think the juice is worth the squeeze if you want shiny chrome motorcycle exhaust pipes. 

Method 2: Get an exhaust wrap

Cost: $$

Effectiveness: 3/5 

Effort: 3/5 

Ok, ok. This might seem like cheating, considering it doesn’t actually remove the ‘bluing’ effect from your motorcycle exhaust pipes but rather just covers it up. But don’t knock it till you try it! 

High-quality motorcycle exhaust wraps, like the ones we’ve tested here, are good for more than just covering up the ‘bluing’ effect. They also provide tonnes of heat shielding and abrasion resistance for your motorcycle exhaust pipes. 

These exhaust wraps have a unique look of their own that is a definite step up from blue-ed motorcycle exhaust pipes. 

Furthermore, they may be a bit pricier than a thing of chrome polish, but motorcycle wraps will last you a lot longer. Good motorcycle exhaust wraps use fiberglass and stainless steel, which vastly cut down on heat. They also protect the surface of your exhaust from scratches, road debris, and rust. 

To install an exhaust wrap, just wind it around the header pipes and secure it using the included locking ties. The ties will hold the wrap in place and keep it from becoming loose over time. 

And that’s pretty much it. If you ask us, installing a wrap once and forgetting about it is much easier than spending an hour buffing out the oxidized layer every other month. 

Method 3: Get a new exhaust 

Cost: $$$

Effectiveness: 5/5

Effort: 5/5

Finally, we have the ‘just throw some money at it’ approach. This is the most effective, albeit the most expensive option on this list. 

We don’t know about you, but the first mod we do to any new bike is to get an aftermarket exhaust. So if you’re that bothered by the ‘bluing’ effect of motorcycle exhaust pipes, and want a permanent solution, just get an exhaust that resists ‘bluing’ entirely. 

There are some really stylish, awesome-sounding motorcycle exhausts on the market that either have a ‘bluing-resistant’ surface coating or are made of a material that can withstand higher heat levels and doesn’t turn blue over time. 

You will have to go through the trouble of swapping out exhausts or getting it done professionally. But again, it’s probably your best bet for getting that pristine look.

Hugo Alais

Hi, I'm Hugo, I'm a motorcycle enthusiast who’s been riding for the last 10 years. I'm passionate about all things motorcycles and started Bikes Future to help other riders make the right motorcycle moves. I ride a white Kawasaki Ninja 400. You can find out more about me and my experience with motorcycling here.