How to Remove Nylon Burned Into Chrome Motorcycle Exhaust

Written by kurt schanaman
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Motorcycles have become a well-loved, oftentimes money-saving way of recreation and travel. Although a bike makes for a "cool" ride, the tailpipes of your bike can become hot enough to melt rubber and nylon from your leg cuffs and your footwear. For the ladies, nylon gear can also pose a difficult cleaning nightmare when attempting to remove it, but all hope is not lost!

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Shop rags
  • Chrome polish
  • Spray-on oven cleaner (cold-cleaning spray only)
  • Fine-stranded steel wool (optional)

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  1. 1

    Remove as much of the melted nylon from the tailpipe as possible, on the same day, while the tailpipe is still hot, by applying a small amount of your favourite chrome polish to a shop rag and rubbing gently across the nylon, being careful not to smear it any further. It is best to use small, circular motion patterns. If necessary, press the rag firmly against the melted material until the rag sticks to it then pull the rag away from the pipe slowly to remove as much of the material as possible. Repeat this step several times to get as much off as you can.

  2. 2

    Place a piece of cardboard between the motorcycle and the affected area of the tailpipe to protect the motorcycle from over-spray. Spray a generous coat of oven cleaner (cold-clean type only) onto the nylon deposit and allow it to work on the material for about 10 to 15 minutes. Wipe off as much of the remaining material from the pipe as possible with a damp shop towel. Repeat with one or two more applications of the oven cleaner, if necessary, then wipe. Continue until all of the material has been removed from the tailpipe.

  3. 3

    Wash, wax and polish your motorcycle, then polish the tailpipe with a good quality chrome polish from your local motorcycle dealer or auto parts store. Do a thorough detailing of your bike to ensure no accidental or unnoticed chemical over-spray is left on the motorcycle which could oxidise or damage the finish.

Tips and warnings

  • Light steel wool may be used when scrubbing on the melted material for a more rapid result but use extreme caution so you don't cause small scratches in your chrome tailpipe. Only scrub the melted material and not on the chrome surface itself.
  • Never use oven cleaner designed to be used in a hot oven as this variety will strip off chrome. Double-check to ensure the oven cleaner you purchase is designed for cleaning the oven when it is cold as this is the only oven cleaner which is safe for chrome surfaces. Read the label carefully for usage instructions and be sure it is designed for use on a cold oven!
  • Do not use any form of oven cleaner on aluminium tailpipes as this will discolour and possibly strip aluminium off the tailpipe, and may also damage any other aluminium surfaces on the bike.

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