Wrapping your exhaust header

Has anyone wrapped their WR header with exhaust tape? I've heard it can improve performance via better cooling and increased exhaust scavaging. Any thoughts? Here is a site that sells the tape for cheap:


Many times in the past I'v wrapped Exhaust headers and the complete pipe(s) back to the muffler. The performance gains are there but minimal vs the hassel of the wrapping and rewrapping process as damage occures.

My primary reason was for self protection on some of my previous bikes you tended to hit the header and a wrapped header was a hell of a lot cooler. It does not sear skin, melt leathers and boots. I would only wrap headers for self protection not for performance.

My thoughts


There is another possible downside.... this is from a friend with an Aprilia 250 V-twin 2-stroke..... his wrapped (and brand new) Jollimoto pipes retained moisture all the time without him realizing it and led to severe corrosion, they almost rusted through over the course of 1 year .... now those were regular painted carbon steel pipes, but I bet it wouldn't make stainless or plated pipes look too good either..... .02c

I just got my new Power Bomb this week and had it wrapped it. Did it for protection. It looks real ugly, kind of a sewage brown but did it for protection (from burning me).

One thing, for the first 10 to 20 minutes the wrap smokes and smells. Thats ok but kind of strange.


I wrapped my PC T4 header with header wrap mainly to keep from melting my pants. I bought a roll of it which is, I assume, enough to do a set of V-8 automobile headers.

It was simple, it only took me five or ten minutes. I eyeballed the wrap angle for a single layer and cut the end of the wrap at that angle and started at the exhaust port end. I did not overlap any wraps, leaving only one smooth layer of wrap over entire length of header to make sure I left plenty of clearance for radiator and frame. Then I used a piece of safety wire about every inch or so.

It was ugly.

So I painted it with Pep Boy’s black exhaust paint (silver was only other choice). It was less ugly, it obscured the safety wire, but smoked a lot for the first few minutes. The paint helps prevent fraying and I also noticed it prevents the wrap from soaking up a ton of moisture when you wash it or ride in the wet.

Collisions with brush and rocks have ripped most of the wrap off the front of the bent portion of the header but all the safety wire kept the rest of the wrap intact.

And I don’t have any melt marks on my pants.

If you’re going to do this I recommend the safety wire and exhaust paint but you may want to do the straight portion of the header only since it won’t last long on the bend.

Sounds like a hassel. I haven't had a problem melting my pants as of yet. I'm going to take my chances. Thanks!

There was an article in "Hot Rod" magazine that said header life is drastically reduced when you wrap it.


The proceeding nonsense brought to you by MotoGreg

On two wheels (or 3) since 1970

'92 GSXR 7/11 (Until I get a shwangy 916)

'99 WR/YZ400F 'Cause thumpers rule and two strokes drool!

Visit my photo album for the bargain price of $75 - ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK - EVIL LURKS WITHIN!

Originally posted by MotoGreg:

There was an article in "Hot Rod" magazine that said header life is drastically reduced when you wrap it.

Probably due to corrosion from wrap holding moisture. I don’t think my PC header is coated or treated but when I re-wrapped it it looked fine, but my bike rarely gets wet. If you ride in the mud maybe header wrap is a bad idea, unless you have a stainless header.


I don’t know how you have avoided melting your pants but IMO that is the only good reason to bother with the header wrap. In one race and, at most, four rides I melted part of my right boot and BOTH pant legs (not sure how I melted left leg…) so bad that my sweet Thor vented pants were forced into early retirement. Ruining $150 in pants is what prompted me to spend the twenty bucks or so to wrap and paint my header.

It is also good piece of mind if you’re worried about burning yourself. Picture a bad wreck and the bike laying across your legs, header side down. Yuck.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now