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Thread: Blue Exhaust pipes

  1. #1
    Impulse FrankFlorio's Avatar
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    Blue Exhaust pipes

    My '08 R1200RT exhaust pipes developed a blue color. Is this normal? I was wondering if perhaps too much gas vs air? Thanks..............
    '14 K1600 GTLE
    had '08 R1200RT
    had '08 F800ST
    had '05 R1200RT

  2. #2
    Registered User perobins's Avatar
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    welcome to the boxer blue pipe look. Bmw does not charge extra for this and it is normal and a BMW trait.

  3. #3
    Registered User johnpeter's Avatar
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    Things I "think" I know.
    Do not clean the bluing off as these cleaning products will kill the luster.
    Ride your new BMW and have fun.

    In the olden days chrome was triple plated but because of cost and the very toxic acids used in striking nickel this center plate is History for most chroming done now.
    So, we have the parent steel that is polished then a strike of copper, polished again then a strike of chrome, then a final polish. Chrome IS porous and w/o the copper would be lifted by rust(iron oxide) pretty quickly.
    It is my belief that the bluing comes from some elements of the copper bleeding through the chrome at high temps. I believe this because pipes that have a center strike of nickel do not seem to blue very easily if at all.

    Note: There are two head pipes hanging from my garage rafters from a '77 900SS Ducati that was ridden very hard "back-in-the-day" that have almost no bluing on them at all. Very slight if any. They were truely triple plated.
    When the only tool one has is a hammer...Everthing looks like a nail.
    -------------------------

    Red '91 K75S, 'tis set-up well.

  4. #4
    Republic of Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnpeter View Post
    Note: There are two head pipes hanging from my garage rafters from a '77 900SS Ducati that was ridden very hard "back-in-the-day" that have almost no bluing on them at all. Very slight if any. They were truely triple plated.
    I thought the "blueing" was the result of single-wall (do blue) vs. double-wall (do NOT blue) exhaust headers. Do I just have a faulty memory?
    Mike White
    MOA Life Time Member #57882
    '95 R1100RS, '88 K75S, '75 R90S, '97 Ducati 916, '95 Ducati 900SS CR, '09 Aprilia SR50 Factory

  5. #5
    BUDDINGGEEZER
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeemerMike View Post
    I thought the "blueing" was the result of single-wall (do blue) vs. double-wall (do NOT blue) exhaust headers. Do I just have a faulty memory?
    Correct. Bluing is cause by heat. The bluer the header the hotter the exhaust gas temp. The leaner the mixture the hotter the exhaust. Single wall pipe bluing is normal, however the bluing should not extend to the mufflers (too hot).

    Motorcycle exhaust builders use double wall pipe, so that chrome look the cruiser crowd loves is not marred.

    Ralph Sims

  6. #6
    Republic of Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuddingGeezer View Post
    Correct. Bluing is cause by heat. The bluer the header the hotter the exhaust gas temp. The leaner the mixture the hotter the exhaust. Single wall pipe bluing is normal, however the bluing should not extend to the mufflers (too hot).
    Thanks. I seem to remember back in the '80's that airhead owners were looking for some magic "snake oil" they could put on their new headers to try to get an "artistic" blueing pattern to form on the headers. And also, airheads that had an intricate and colorful blueing pattern were admired.
    Mike White
    MOA Life Time Member #57882
    '95 R1100RS, '88 K75S, '75 R90S, '97 Ducati 916, '95 Ducati 900SS CR, '09 Aprilia SR50 Factory

  7. #7
    Registered User johnpeter's Avatar
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    Double wall pipes of the olden days were most likely triple plated.
    They are very heavy, they contained the noise that radiates from the pipe surface very well and they had a much cooler surface temperature than single wall pipes.

    Talk to a plating shop about why pipes blue.
    When the only tool one has is a hammer...Everthing looks like a nail.
    -------------------------

    Red '91 K75S, 'tis set-up well.

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