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Polished the header!



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84 replies to this topic
  • lowercasee

    TT Platinum Member

1,951 posts
Location: Pennsylvania

Posted October 08, 2008 - 01:22 PM


Inspired by the other members who have polished their stock headers, I decided to try it for myself today since I had the day off of work. I picked up some 5-packs of 320, 600, and 1500 wet sandpaper, a wire sheel (3", fine), and some metal polish (Noxon 7). I used the wire wheel to strip off the heavy paint. It came off pretty easily and there was dust everywhere. I tried to keep it even, but it was tough. Since the wheel was fine and not coarse, though, it wasn't too bad.

Once the wire wheel cleaning was done, I moved on to the sand paper game. I laid the sheets out horizontally and cut them into strips about 1/2" to 1" wide. Placed the pipe in the vice with a rag around it so as to not scuff it up and began to sand away. I just held the strips by the ends and kinda "flossed" them around the pipe. It took about 3 sheets worth of sandpaper to do everything.

After I was done with the 320 sandpaper, I air cleaned the pipe, then wiped off any excess dust. Next it was on to the 600 sandpaper for the same process. Then after that, the 1500 sandpaper. The 2 mounts for the heat shield were kinda tricky to get around, but since they're hidden, I didn't really do them perfectly.

Once all of the sanding was done, I just used the Noxon and polished it up by hand. A buffing wheel would've probably made it look even nicer, but I'm happy with the results. The whole process took a few hours, and I think the results are worth the work. Check it out.

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  • 97dr650

    TT Silver Member

624 posts
Location: Arizona

Posted October 08, 2008 - 01:31 PM


Nicely done:thumbsup: Now ride it hard,will it get discolored/blued?

  • LukasM

    TT Silver Member

998 posts
Location: Austria

Posted October 08, 2008 - 01:49 PM


Very nice work!!:lame: :bonk:

I was thinking about doing the same thing with my stocker but it was just rusted everywhere. In the end I coughed up the $$ for the FMF pipe which is nice, but definitely not $150 nicer than yours!

Please let us know how it holds up.

  • lowercasee

    TT Platinum Member

1,951 posts
Location: Pennsylvania

Posted October 08, 2008 - 02:18 PM


/\ Will do. I only ride street so it won't get the "full" mud workout, but it will still see plenty of action. I'm sure it will discolor a bit and that's fine with me.

  • LukasM

    TT Silver Member

998 posts
Location: Austria

Posted October 08, 2008 - 02:31 PM


The discoloring is completely normal, my FMF header color has turned from silver into more of a golden shine now.

The weird stick about my stock "stainless" one is that it was rusted all over, not only in the spots that get dirty when you ride offroad.

You might want to consider a high heat clear coat (Duplicolor makes one) that is good for headers. I used it on my side stand that got a similar wire-brush treatment and it is holding up surprisingly well even though the bike get ridden and parked in any weather.

Posted Image

  • lowercasee

    TT Platinum Member

1,951 posts
Location: Pennsylvania

Posted October 08, 2008 - 03:20 PM


I think the Duplicolor high heat clear coats only go up to 600 degrees. They have a few 1200 degree paints, but no clear coats that I've found in the local auto stores. No bother though, I'll see how the pipe holds up as is. Maybe I'll borrow a buffing wheel and make it REALLY shine!

  • LukasM

    TT Silver Member

998 posts
Location: Austria

Posted October 08, 2008 - 03:30 PM


If you can't find Dupli-color, VHT makes one as well:

http://store.summitr...15&autoview=sku

  • lowercasee

    TT Platinum Member

1,951 posts
Location: Pennsylvania

Posted October 08, 2008 - 03:45 PM


Thanks for the link, I'll keep it in mind.

  • Original_Prankster

    TT Bronze Member

436 posts
Location: Michigan

Posted October 08, 2008 - 05:54 PM


That looks awesome, it will look even sexier when it turns that nice gold color. I have a Pro-Circuit Header on my DR250 now i wish i woulda just done that :lame:

  • boatxr

    TT Silver Member

889 posts
Location: Colorado

Posted October 08, 2008 - 06:54 PM


do it right:
http://www.performan...ercoatings.html

I think the Duplicolor high heat clear coats only go up to 600 degrees. They have a few 1200 degree paints, but no clear coats that I've found in the local auto stores. No bother though, I'll see how the pipe holds up as is. Maybe I'll borrow a buffing wheel and make it REALLY shine!



  • ThumptyDumpty

    TT Member

49 posts
Location: New Mexico

Posted October 08, 2008 - 07:07 PM


Nice ...always appreciate the low $, high elbow grease mods...( guess which I have more of ) Good work !

  • lowercasee

    TT Platinum Member

1,951 posts
Location: Pennsylvania

Posted October 09, 2008 - 04:29 AM


Thanks Guys! I rode into work today and the pipe is now starting to get that nice golden hue to it. Looks great! I'll give it a few rides and the post some follow up pics. Seriously, anyone looking for a cheap, easy mod, this is the way to go.

  • plugeye

    TT Gold Member

1,250 posts
Location: Texas
Garage View Garage

Posted October 09, 2008 - 06:03 AM


wd40 often & it'll maybe stay nice & smooth

  • texas-dr

    TT Bronze Member

259 posts
Location: Texas

Posted October 09, 2008 - 08:31 AM


yep, i use wd-40 very often and it does stay nice and smooth........:D

  • macdesign

    TT Newbie

24 posts
Location: Australia

Posted October 09, 2008 - 12:45 PM


OK then, are we still on the pipe?:worthy:

yep, i use wd-40 very often and it does stay nice and smooth........:D



  • BSR-1

    TT Gold Member

1,216 posts
Location: California

Posted October 09, 2008 - 01:53 PM


looks GREAT!

  • 06crf_er

    Get Help Now

6,375 posts
Location: Oregon

Posted October 09, 2008 - 01:56 PM


OK then, are we still on the pipe?:D


Sure, just a different pipe:busted:

  • jmc1583

    TT Bronze Member

153 posts
Location: New York

Posted October 12, 2008 - 01:06 PM


Without a coating on there is it going to rust? You can't really keep polishing it unless you take it off...right? And I think the heat would speed up the rusting process as well. Anyway...I'm just interested to see how it worked out. If its still nice...I might do it too.

  • BSR-1

    TT Gold Member

1,216 posts
Location: California

Posted October 12, 2008 - 02:25 PM


Without a coating on there is it going to rust? You can't really keep polishing it unless you take it off...right? And I think the heat would speed up the rusting process as well. Anyway...I'm just interested to see how it worked out. If its still nice...I might do it too.

it's stainless so it won't rust.

  • LukasM

    TT Silver Member

998 posts
Location: Austria

Posted October 12, 2008 - 04:16 PM


it's stainless so it won't rust.


Yeah, right. Did you see the picture I posted on the first page?

It know it's supposed to be stainless but all the ones that I have seen that get ridden off road are rusty.




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