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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
ok - so a self professed "cycle tuning professional" (he was also a harley guy) at a blues festival I rode to, said that the reason triumph pipes blue so bad is because we're using sparks that fire too hot and that if we would simply switch to cooler burning sparks the blueing would go away.

I know exactly #$%& about tuning a bike - I know just enough to know to let the dealer do it - but just thought I'd throw that out there for comment - is he full of it or is he right.
 

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Heat is involved - but it's from the air injection system, which feeds fresh air into the exhaust port. This is done to burn unburned fuel to reduce emissions. Consequently, the exhaust headers get really hot and oxidise - and hence turn blue.

This is why a lot of people remove the AI system. That and for performance upgrades! :D
 

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Blue

The pipes blue because they are NOT stainless steel! They are crap chrome plated steel
& not coated inside. Even if they were stainless, they would blue a little @ the top from the heat, but not all the way! Why taking the AI off keeps the bluing from passing the bend..- heat. The old Bonne's were (I think stainless?) or a better grade of chrome plated steel? Mine have a rainbow effect- blue- purple-gold. It fits the bike & doesnt go much past the 1st bend. Rubbing them down w/ "never dull" will mellow the color - but not remove it. It will return fast. Don't like it- get SS headers! Otherwise - live w/ it & enjoy the vintage look. If your blue all the way down- something may be wrong mixture wise or you still got the AI? The HD guy doesnt know what he's talking about. G-mates HD under the chrome covers are as blus as the Bonne!
 

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They also blue because they are single wall pipes. My now sold and much-missed W650 had chromed double wall pipes that looked like this (see link) when I sold the bike with 52k on the odometer. However, I have seen a few W's for sale that are slightly blued, probably because they were adjusted too lean from the factory. I didn't mess with the mains on this bike, and only drilled the plugs and adjusted the pilot needles after the bike had several thousand miles on it.

http://s115.photobucket.com/albums/n284/bcgilligan/My W650 Motorcycle/?action=view&current=W650EngineShowingCamDrive.jpg

Bob
 

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Heat is involved - but it's from the air injection system, which feeds fresh air into the exhaust port. This is done to burn unburned fuel to reduce emissions. Consequently, the exhaust headers get really hot and oxidise - and hence turn blue.

This is why a lot of people remove the AI system. That and for performance upgrades! :D
Problem with that is my 2007 T100 totally stock WITH AI system has NOT blued its pipes at 5700 miles, well, only very slightly and most certainly not as bad as Bonnies that have had their AI removed. And until someone posts before and after dyno results proving there's any substantial benefit to removing AI its gonna stay on my bike.
 

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Older Triumphs did not have SS or double wall down pipes, but they did have a lot thicker copper and nickel flash under the chrome layer. The newer bikes are tuned pretty lean from the factory to meet emission regulations in most countries. Eliminating the air injection and either rejetting or re-mapping will help immensely. My 2009 EFI Bonnie has only a hint of yellow straw temper color near the cylinder head - no blue.

Ohio Bob is absolutely right about the little Kwak - my 2001 W650's exhaust looked just like the day I bought it when I sold it earlier this year.

Dick
 

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I thought that the stock headers are stainless steel. Does anyone know for sure? :confused:
 

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I thought that the stock headers are stainless steel. Does anyone know for sure? :confused:
Take a pocket magnet to the pipes - they are strongly magnetic and therefore not 300 or 400 series SS.

Dick
 

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Stock headers are not stainless. All the previous answers are correct and contribute to the blue pipes. Your "professional" probably lets the Harley mechanic tune his bike. I have never heard of a spark that is "too hot". The spark can only ignite the gas. It has nothing to do with how hot or how cold the exhausted air gets.
The heat has to do with the air/gas ratio, and as previously stated, these bikes run lean for emissions. Blue pipes are a Bonnie trademark. They are cosmetic and do not mean your bike running too hot. Most people comment to me "Wow, it looks just like the original Bonnies, even the blue pipes."
 

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I hate to burst the bubble of all those that think there headers are not stainless steel. I have an 07 and the headers are SS. I have blasted all the blued chrome off them and polished them. The mufflers/silencers are carbon steel (magnet sticks) the magnet does not stick to the headers, plus carbon steel would never polish up the way stainless does. I inserted a picture of the headers polished without chrome. They stay a nice color and only takes 5 minutes to polish any blueing by the heads.
 

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A magnet sticks like crazy to the headpipes of my '09 EFI bike

????
 

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Some stainless steel is magnetic, and stainless can rust and/or corrode, depending on the type of stainless steel and the circumstances.

I'm not sure that the magnet test or the presence of some corrosion proves or disproves anything, other than it's obviously not high-grade stainless, but then we wouldn't expect it to be.
 

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Derby boy, I'm not quite sure what you mean by "carbon steel would never polish up the way stainless does". I have polished forged, carbon steel blades to a mirror finish, can't get much better than that. In fact, some colleagues didn't believe they were plain steel, they were sure it was chrome plating.

Just my 2c worth.
 

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dikman,
your right, carbon steel can be polished to a mirror finish. When I said carbon steel I ment cold rolled extruded pipe that was 1018,1020mild steel.
My point was that if Triumph used cheap steel headers that they wouldn't polish as easy as the stainless did. I just bead blasted the chrome off, then used metal polish with a rag by hand.
As for the magnet test???, I know my headers are stainless. I don't know if Triumph switched around on some years and models.
 

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Most (maybe 'all' I'm not sure) of the 400 series stainless steels are magnetic. Some stainlesses WILL rust but at a slower rate than plain carbon steel. It depends on the chromium and nickle content. Most (if not all, again I'm not 100% sure) of the 300 series of stainlesses are non-magnetic. All steels are non-magnetic when heated enough (bright red), but the ingredients in the 300 series of steels causes it to maintain the non-magnetic crystal lattice structure when it cools off. 400 serieses are not like that.
I believe my stock headers are stainless but the chrome plating is extremely thin. While polishing off the bluing I polished off the chrome plating too. Its been 8000 miles since my A/I was removed and I polished off that blue. My pipes have since blued about two inches from the head... and its not really all that blue. Not like before when the bluing was a bright color extended well beyond the curve and it happened a LOT faster.
I am quite sure that the A/I heats the headers considerably more and causes more bluing. BUT, having said that, it seems that definitive statements about how these machines are set up and how they run and the A/F mixture, cold starting etc cannot be taken as facts to be applied generally across the board. There seems to be considerable variance in how they are set up even with everything in stock condition. Will SOME Bonnies run for a long time without bluing while still having the A/I installed??? Probably they would. In some of the bluing threads I read last year, some of the folks were saying that the bluing extended all the way to the cross-over pipe. That's a LOT of blue in my opinion. Mine never got that bad... no-where close.
Plain carbon steel can be buffed to a high degree of shine, but plain carbon steel headers without any form of plating or paint or other coating will begin to show red rust very quickly, (in days, or at the most a few weeks). The heat makes the process more rapid.
My old 750 Bonnie (1977 T140V) also 'blued' the pipes too but just about to the same extent as my new one with A/I removed.
Whats been said above about the double wall pipes seems to be true too. There is probably as much oxidation going on with the double wall pipes underneath. Its just hidden behind the outer pipe
Anyway... all this for what it is worth :)
 

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I don't know stainless from ......

But I had my dealer remove the AI and install the NARK and rejet the carbs and coat the inside of my pipes with this so called "Blue Sheild" product from Kreem. This all took place before the bike was even fired up once at the dealership/showroom/shop.
Results: Pipes still blued. Anyone who's pipes don't blue up or just turn that gold/straw color, you gotta let on how this can be? I had my dealer do all of the above work to my new 2008 to match my 2007 (RIP the bike) after a friend (he's ok) totalled it. I beleived the Kreem product description and everyone elses belief of removing the AI slowing down the blueing. But Nada.
Heres my bluing after about 1700 miles:
 
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