Advice needed on stainless headers

After renting XR600's four times in the Baja, I finally bought a low-use 1997. The only problem is that the header pipes are rusty and dented. I could just buy another Honda header, but the aftermarket companies seem hot on stainless four about the same money. Any opinions? One guy here said that he'd just ceramic coat a new stock header rather than deal with the problems of aftermarket items, others say that the stainless are sturdier. Performance increases are NOT a priority for me...the bike has all kinds of torque right now.

It looks like White Bros. seem to be the most widely advertised.

FMF is out there too. I've already decided not to deal with XR's

only after reading all the negative opinions on them. I don't think

Staintune even makes one for a stock 1997 (but I may be wrong).

If I could find the right part no. for a Staintune, I'd probably order

that one.

I'd be interested to hear people's experience with the aftermarket

stainless headers with specific reference to:

1. Fitting accurately to the bike without a lot of tweaking. (Can the black

stock pipe guard be bolted directly on?)

2. Durability

3. Appearance

4. Performance DECREASES (I've heard that some large pipe

headers take away from low-end power, which is most important

to me in this bike).

Thanks!

Dave

most people buy the pipe and header, you only want the header? I think you are better off sending your stock header to get coated. this will save you plenty of money... :)

My header is trashed. A new stock header is $224 plus coating, aftermarket White Bros. is about the same. I'm looking for feedback on durability. appearance, fitting, and compatibility.

I run FMF, no complants, would recomend it. :)

I'm not 100% sure, but my understanding is that the XR600 got a stainless header (again?) with the 1998 model. Have you priced the stainless Honda header? If performance improvement is not the goal, then the 1998 header may be the way to go?

Personally, the black steel header on my 600 is ugly but works great so I can't justify an upgrade. But I'm secretly jealous of the slick stainless headers on the 1996/97 XR400's.

I have a 95'XR-650L and i put the White Bro's E-Series header and exhaust on it, and it made a new bike. It has more power on the low end and very responsive. The header doesn't have the holes for the heat guard, but I imagine someone could weld them in place for you. It bolted on with a little persuasion(but not much of a fight) and seems to be doing fine. Oh yeah, it made it sound awsome!!!!!! :)

I'm not 100% sure, but my understanding is that the XR600 got a stainless header (again?) with the 1998 model. Have you priced the stainless Honda header? If performance improvement is not the goal, then the 1998 header may be the way to go?

To clarify this for others, Honda does not and never has made a stainless exhaust for either the XR400 or the XR600. If they did, you can be sure that is exactly what I would have bought.

Personally, the black steel header on my 600 is ugly but works great so I can't justify an upgrade. But I'm secretly jealous of the slick stainless headers on the 1996/97 XR400's.

My 1999 XR400 has a bronze finish to the steel, but I can tell you for a fact that if you leave it wet, it will rust.

Thanks to all for the responses on the stainless header issue. Last week I ordered a White Bros. stainless header, and just to assure a proper fit, I ordered their muffler too. Just my luck: they send the muffler but the header is on back order! :) I canceled the whole order and did what I should have done in the first place: ordered Honda OEM. At least this header will accept the heat shield and actually be in stock. It would seem like a no-brainer for the aftermarket companies to offer their headers with a heat shield or at least the mounting holes, but no... :D

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