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Discussion Starter #1
What gives the FTR exhaust headers that gold-ish color? I know that heat can make stainless change colors, but this seems different- more like a satin finish. I assume that they're stainless, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong... So anyways, do they have some kind of coating?
 

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They are stainless. They have a type of media blasting on them. If you take some polish to them they will turn silver.


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The FTR header pipes are 304 stainless and are media blasted with a glass or similar abrasive to a textured finish. It's the same stainless material we've manufactured tens of thousands of assorted FM/Jackpot exhaust systems with for over a decade. Coloration on 304 stainless starts as low as 500 degrees, since exhaust gas temps commonly reach 1200-1500F discoloration & bluing near the cylinder heads is inevitable. How much and how fast the pipe will discolor depends on a multitude of factors; ambient temp & conditions, the tune, and most importantly the RPM & load range the engine is operated in will each affect this characteristic. We've seen completely stock FTR's with completely blue/brown discolored pipes all the way to the catalyst, and we've also seen some modified bikes that retain a nice gold finish for quite a while. Some have also made reference to EGT's and tuning without a full understanding of the physics & chemistry behind the discoloration (or any relative info on the actual state of tune) a simple fact is normal running EGT at even moderate load is well beyond the temps of coloration on this material, the process is inevitable.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Very cool information!! I've always wondered about this on various bikes, and now I finally know. :cool:

The blue-ing and gold coloring don't bother me, but my FTR header has a splotchy area where it looks like some liquid got on it (oil, or something from the factory/dealer) and it became very dark and splotchy over time as it "cooked". It wasn't very noticeable at first, which is why I didn't think to say anything, but now it's more obvious. Wondering if it's safe to clean it with Bar Keeper's Friend (which contains Oxalic Acid, I believe)? I've used it on my SV650 with success, but the FTR's headers look like a different type of stainless steel, so I wanted to make sure...
 

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Here's a picture of the pipe on our FTR; 2K miles, hundreds of dyno runs, all of our fuel map development was done on this bike, and we also abused it on the dyno for several days when Dynojet was here last month testing/developing new software features. I've found it's easy to maintain the appearance by using a mild stainless cleaner periodically.

Coloration is inevitable on a single wall stainless system, it's not unique to the the FTR. Take a look at virtually any stainless system either exposed or under the shields and you will find discoloration, it's the nature of the material for the reasons noted in my post above. You cannot read the state of tune based on how it discolored a stainless pipe, that would be the same logic as looking in the muffler and saying: its black, it's too rich. These bikes have closed loop fuel control, they have knock sensors, and assorted other engine protection safeguards & limits built into the ECU calibration, running quality and performance are going to tell true story on the state of tune.

 

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May I inquire what stainless steel cleaning product you are using on the header pipes.
I use Bar Keepers Friend mixed with medium polishing compound and a microfiber cloth. For moderate to heavy discoloration you can use this mix with a "very fine" Scotch Brite pad. When finished be sure to fully clean the surface, and I finish up by wiping the pipe down uniformly with a rag and WD40.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here are mine. Like I said- It looks like something spilled on them at the factory/dealership and eventually turned into a splotchy blue mess over time. The blue color doesn't bother me, just looks kind of uneven and messy. I'm going to try Bar Keeper's Friend (Oxalic Acid I think ;)) and a Scotch-Brite pad (Aluminum Oxide abrasive I think ;)) on this section. Thanks again for this helpful thread...

20190905_180345.jpg 20190905_180410.jpg
 

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White scotch bright and auto sol stainless polish will work.

I wouldn’t use any other chemicals on them.


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They are just going to turn yellow within one tank of fuel anyway. I wouldn’t put too much effort into it


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The head pipe/cat is the same on all ftr bikes. So yes.

My S pipes turned yellow before I got home from the dealership when I bought mine.


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The head pipe/cat is the same on all ftr bikes. So yes.

My S pipes turned yellow before I got home from the dealership when I bought mine.


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High temp ceramic coating is the answer... offered in different colors and also helps reduce heat coming off the pipes.
 

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The head pipe/cat is the same on all ftr bikes. So yes.

My S pipes turned yellow before I got home from the dealership when I bought mine.


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That's good to know, like was mentioned earlier mine came with what looks like a chemical stain on front header, I'd like to clean it up but didn't want to loose the gold look. I'll get scrubbing!

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