Despite repeatedly telling your pillion not to put their boots on your nice, clean, chrome pipes, do they listen? No!
The resulting mark burns in and looks disgusting, spoiling your beautiful bike which you spent ages cleaning.
And then there’s that errant plastic bag that is floating around on the highway.
You try to dodge it safely and you seem to be out of harm’s way, but at the last second, it blows straight into your bike and hits the headers where it melts into a gooey mess. However, it’s not the end of the world.
There are several methods for removing gunk from pipes.
First, try oven cleaner. It works on baked-on grime in your oven, so it will also work on baked-on grime your pipes.
The pipes need to be warm to hot, so leave it about 15 minutes after a ride.
Spray on, leave about five minutes and wipe off with a rag, careful not to burn your hand.
Alfoil and steel wool
If that doesn’t remove it all, you can then use scrunched-up Alfoil or a fine-grade steel wool with a bit of WD40.
You can pick up steel wool from any hardware store. Get the super fine grade.
In Australia, New Zealand and Europe, steel wool is graded by number up to coarse grades of 6. Try to get the finest grade which is 0000, but anything close will be ok.
I’ve also tried fine-grain sandpaper, but it doesn’t seem to be as effective, probably because you can’t get a grain as fine as steel wool.
Obviously, let the pipe cool first and give it a wash to remove any other easily removable grime.
If you’re worried about it scratching your pipe, try an area underneath where no one can see.
This will only work on genuine chrome pipes.
You will notice it leaves no scratches and, in fact, shines the chrome nicely.
Simply start rubbing on the marked area and keep rubbing until it’s gone.
It will also remove normal road grime, bugs, etc.
You should find it so effective, it will be the final stage of your bike-cleaning program as it will also remove water marks and give the chrome a lustrous shine.
Be aware tat it can leave some residue, so wipe it off or use Purple chrome polish to finish the job.
It will also work on other chromed areas of your bike, but be careful as some chrome is simply painted over plastic.
Remember, it will only work on genuine chrome.
I’ve also used it with some reasonable results on some steel and aluminium, but be very careful as it can leave rub marks. Always test an unseen area first.