You can enhance the appearance of your motorcycle by refinishing the exhaust with the appropriate paint. Unfortunately, whether they are metal or chrome-plated, motorcycle exhausts are ill-suited for adhesion and will reject new paint unless they are properly conditioned. You must pretreat the exhaust with a special type of acidic primer before you paint, or the finish will flake. In addition, because motorcycle exhausts get hot, you must choose a special type of paint, or the finish will ultimately blister and peel.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Water-based degreaser
- Steel wool
- Water hose
- Dust sheets
- Masking paper
- Professional painter's tape
- Galvanised metal etching spray primer
- High-temperature flat oil-based enamel
Ensure that the motorcycle exhaust is cool.
Wash the motorcycle exhaust with a water-based degreasing cleanser, using steel wool. Rinse the exhaust, using a water hose. Wait 2 to 4 hours for the exhaust to dry.
Roll the motorcycle onto dust sheets.
Cover portions of the motorcycle adjacent to the exhaust with masking paper and professional painter's tape.
Coat the clean motorcycle exhaust with galvanised metal etching spray primer. Maintain an 8-inch distance between the exhaust and the spray nozzle as you apply. Wait 6 hours for the etching primer to dry.
Coat the primed motorcycle exhaust with a high-temperature flat oil-based enamel. Maintain an 8-inch distance between the exhaust and the spray nozzle as you apply. Wait 6 hours before operating the motorcycle.
Tips and warnings
- Do not paint an unprimed motorcycle exhaust, or flaking will ensue.
- Do not use an ordinary base primer on a metallic motorcycle exhaust, or the finish will peel.
- Do not use ordinary paint on a motorcycle exhaust, as the high temperatures will lead to blistering.