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Kid_entropy posted this sweet pic of his Nighthawk 750 in the Flickr Pool.  His ‘Hawk’s got some exhaust pipe issues that need fixing — most notably the lower pipe assembly which has a bit of a rust problem.  We tossed out a few solutions in the Tool Talk Podcast #19, but if any Toolmongers out there know of cheap solutions for rust covered pipes — speak out in comments!

Also note the sweet-ass blacked-out windshield.  I love the fact that he hasn’t done anything to the Hawk’ that impairs normal driving while still adding a kick to the overall vibe.  A tip-o-the-hat to you, sir.

Toolmonger’s Photo Pool [Flickr]


7 Responses to Reader Question: How To Fix Rusted NightHawk Pipes On The Cheap?

  1. TMIB_Seattle says:

    Some options, in no particular order:

    1)Exhaust wrap to cover the rusting.

    2) Derust them (electrolitic, sanding, etc.) then paint them with black barbecue paint. It should handle the heat and will be flat black.

    3) Same as #2, only use actual header paint. That will give your more color options, possibly even gloss black or silver.

    4) Heat shields: chrome or stainless half-tubes held on with hose clamps on their backs. You’d probably have to make something yourself though, as most heat shields are short and not designed to match the curve of the exhaust where yours is rusted.

    5) Hit a motorcycle scrapyard and find new exhaust pipes that will fit. (some amount of luck is involved here.)

    With the exception of #5, these solutions assume that the pipes have not rusted through to the point of having leaks. If they are, you’ll need to weld the holes up first to fix any exhaust leaks.

  2. Alex says:

    If you wrap them in header tape, they’ll continue to deteriorate. It’s probably not the best plan for the long term. I’ve had good luck derusting stuff with electrolysis – you fill a kiddie pool a baking soda / water solution, hook up a chunk of scrap steel to the positive terminal of a 12V battery charger, and then hook your pipes up to the negative terminal. Dunk it in the pool, and let it stew in there for a while.

    However, if your pipes are chromed, you’re probably going to want to grind the chrome off before painting it, otherwise you might not get new paint to stick. My solution was to remove the rust from my pipes, then wrap the cleaned pipes up in header wrap.

  3. Blind says:

    Why do my comments keep getting eaten? It makes me sad.

    My post was just that the only other option I can think of is after market headers, which can get pricey for premade ones, but if you are friends with someone who can bend pipe you might be able to fabricate your own with out too much effort.

    Or you can just embrace the rat bike style and take a different approach with your bike (I would linke to ratbike dot org, but i think that’s what eats my posts)

  4. John B says:

    I have the same problem with some used D&D pipes I picked up cheap off evilbay for my Triumph. Since I’m going old school with the look of the bike, I got a quote from Jet-Hot to strip and ceramic-coat the muffler bodies (without the chrome heat shields and cast aluminum reverse-cone tips) for $130, not including shipping to them. Not super cheap but they’ll never peel. I’m going to drill and rechrome the heat shields and polish the tips. That sort of look would also look awesome on that NightHawk.

  5. Ryan says:

    I have a 1977 Triumph Bonneville T-100 750 and have had great luck w/ The Shop Products (http://theshopproducts.com/) check them out.

  6. ~eriC says:

    hey guys

    Thanks for the advice and the suggestions. I’m not sure what i am going to do with the exhaust. I’ve though about something like Blind said, custom fabed or recycled headers into one muffler. I have a thing for symmetry so I’d like to hang it right under the bike like Buell does.(might be some ground clearance issues) I think the megaphones look dorky as they are now.

    also thanks for the compliment on the windscreen. It came with the bike when I bought it and had gotten pretty scratched up so i just hit it with some krylon ultra-flat black and thought it looked better. i’ve never seen a motorcycle that wouldn’t look better painted flat black 🙂

    Sean, I’m a pragmatist and more chrome just means more polishing though i believe chrome makes nice accents on a bike…..as long as it’s flat black.

  7. rg says:

    What I did with my ’84 900 Ninja a few years ago was to remove the headers and have them sandblasted. Then I just painted them with high-temp header paint. They originally only had a paint finish, so I didn’t have to deal with removing chrome. You’ll need to take your pipes to a plating shop, where they can remove the chrome with (I think) a type of acid bath. Chrome is too hard to sandblast. You can then either paint them, or re-chrome them. How about a black chrome plating?

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