Author Topic: Chrome vs Stainless Headers  (Read 3940 times)

Offline ctk111

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Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« on: January 27, 2018, 08:53:48 AM »
I need some new head pipes for my '73 Eldorado and I'd like some opinions on the pros and cons of either steel or chrome.  Thanks.
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oldbike54

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2018, 09:07:36 AM »
 Always go stainless , always always always .

 Dusty

Offline Tusayan

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2018, 09:08:16 AM »
Stainless steel is not stainless in an exhaust system application and requires some polishing to retain its visual luster.  However that is only a esthetic  issue and the pipes will likely never corrode seriously, in a way that affects function. 

Chrome plating does not stain so readily but only protects the outside, in the end the exhaust is susceptible to rust through from inside, caused by heat and water from the engine exhaust.

The ultimate is (or would be) chrome plated stainless steel, but I've never seen it.

Offline LowRyter

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2018, 10:12:08 AM »
many of the "chrome" headers, particularly on Harleys, are actually covers over a steel header.

Some of us like the "stainless look" that gets that brown patina. 
John L 
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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2018, 10:12:08 AM »

Offline Sheepdog

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2018, 10:30:28 AM »
Polished stainless is a wonderful material for exhaust pipes and fenders...probably the parts of a bike that are most prone to oxidation. Like LowRyter, I like the visual characteristics, too.
"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." John C. Maxwell

Offline Francois25

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2018, 10:35:23 AM »
Always go stainless , always always always .

 Dusty
always always always

Online dxhall

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2018, 11:02:13 AM »
I've had a set of Mistral stainless pipes and mufflers on my Eldo for five years or so.  They've turned a nice golden color and give the bike a sort of "restored, but ridden" look.  I'd definitely buy them again.  Stainless is the way to go.

Offline ctk111

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2018, 01:54:00 PM »
Thanks for everyone's input.  My bike has a mix of old and new parts and hasn't been painted in a while.  I'm gonna go with stainless.  Sounds like they are more durable and will match the overall patina of the bike. 
Now
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'77 T3
Then
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oldbike54

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2018, 01:58:33 PM »
  :thumb:

 Dusty

Offline guzziownr

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2018, 03:20:05 PM »
Stainless headers with stainless Mistral exhaust:



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Offline malik

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2018, 03:26:45 PM »
The chrome on the headers of both my modern V7s didn't last very long, rusted, corroded & messily disfigured (although other people don't seem to have as severe a problem - might be something to do with distances travelled). The stainless Agostini headers now on the V7C started going golden almost immediately. 8,000km later the front sections were black, then running out to brown, tan & gold. Polishing gets rid of some of the black, but will likely need concentrated attention with a powered tool.

Consider ceramic coating - easily applied to steel - better thermal properties - now in a range of colours, I believe there is even a clear (I should have investigated that option for the stainless). One big advantage in practice is they cool very quickly, so plastic is less likely to melt on. Another advantage is they don't need polish - a wipe down only. If it's easier or cheaper to start with plain steel headers, that's the way I'd go.

Mal
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Lcarlson

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2018, 03:58:03 PM »
many of the "chrome" headers, particularly on Harleys, are actually covers over a steel header.

Some of us like the "stainless look" that gets that brown patina.

The chrome on the Cali 14 headers are also covers over plain steel pipes. Same appears to be the case on the V7iii, and maybe other models as well. I also like the look of stainless ó as on my Beemer.

Offline Arizona Wayne

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2018, 04:00:16 PM »
My MuZ 660 single came with a stainless exhaust system.  Now the header pipes are black and the muffler is a bright gold.  The header isn't really noticeable on this bike w/radiator and I like the look of the gold muffler.

Offline Sheepdog

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2018, 04:17:22 PM »
I sorta wish SS wheels were more widely available for tubed wheelsets. Itís tough to keep up with cleaning wheels, so the chromed ones start pitting pretty quick. Maybe Iíll send my hubs off to Woodyís and have him lace me up a set...
"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." John C. Maxwell

twowings

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2018, 04:27:27 PM »
I think Dusty uses a pink powdercoat... :shocked:

Offline Bill Owens

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2018, 04:44:58 PM »

oldbike54

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2018, 05:22:03 PM »
I think Dusty uses a pink powdercoat... :shocked:

 How could you tell from so far behind me ?

 Dusty

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2018, 05:41:04 PM »
There are other factors to take into consideration before you make a final decision between chrome and stainless.

What mufflers do you plan to use? Some of the stainless headpipes are made of 38 mm pipe and are "necked down" to 37 mm where the mufflers slip on. The necked down area isn't quite long enough for some mufflers (Lafranconi "Frankfurters" being one and IIRC MACs are another) unless the inlet is somehow opened up (which ruins the chrome). If you can afford a full Mistral or Armours stainless system, then you'll be okay.

https://www.armoursltd.co.uk/product/pipe-moto-guzzi-v7/
https://www.armoursltd.co.uk/product/silencer-moto-guzzi-v7-with-balance/

Because they are 38 mm in diameter, some of the stainless pipes also interfere slightly with the "box" sidestand mount on the "police" left crashbar. I've had to do some grinding to make clearance more than once... 
Charlie

Offline guzziownr

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2018, 06:08:41 PM »
MG Cycle sells both 37mm and 38mm inlet Mistrals for this reason.  I bought my mufflers years ago and had the nice man at Midas expand them a bit to fit.
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Offline earemike

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2018, 04:19:07 AM »
Had my V7Sport exhausts rechromed locally - havenít finished it but the chrome has gone to shit, bastards. The stainless exhaust on my Daytona developed a nice colour, maintained the golden sheen with brasso of all things...  :1: stainless
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Offline JeromyKon

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2018, 09:17:21 AM »
Had my Best Penis Extenders and exhausts rechromed locally - havenít finished it but the chrome has gone to shit, bastards. The stainless exhaust on my Daytona developed a nice colour, maintained the golden sheen with brasso of all things...  :1: stainless

I have to jump on the stainless bandwagon too. I've had both over the years and stainless looks so much better after a while.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2021, 08:08:49 AM by JeromyKon »

Online Huzo

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2018, 10:50:40 AM »
I have to jump on the stainless bandwagon too. I've had both over the years and stainless looks so much better after a while.
Hi Jeremy.
What is your current ride ?

kidneb

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2018, 10:51:57 AM »
Always go stainless , always always always .

 Dusty

I have to jump on the stainless bandwagon too. I've had both over the years and stainless looks so much better after a while.


And here I've been living with the black chromed steel headers for so many years, even thinking that they're looking good.  :embarrassed:

But now I'm told otherwise, and that the best thing I can do is to start looking for some stainless ones.  :undecided:

You WG members are for sure a merciless lot ,as I'm getting to understand now that most of my choices and most of what I'm doing to the bike is bad or wrong.
Its not without a certain pain that I must confess that I made my luggage-rack without any use of vise grips, and I don't want to talk about the dreadfully uncomfortable stock seat today.

What`s important to me now is to try and save the humble remains of my self-esteem.  :sad:




               
 


         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 :cool:  :boozing:

Offline huub

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2018, 10:53:18 AM »
There are other factors to take into consideration before you make a final decision between chrome and stainless.

What mufflers do you plan to use? Some of the stainless headpipes are made of 38 mm pipe and are "necked down" to 37 mm where the mufflers slip on. The necked down area isn't quite long enough for some mufflers (Lafranconi "Frankfurters" being one and IIRC MACs are another) unless the inlet is somehow opened up (which ruins the chrome). If you can afford a full Mistral or Armours stainless system, then you'll be okay.

https://www.armoursltd.co.uk/product/pipe-moto-guzzi-v7/
https://www.armoursltd.co.uk/product/silencer-moto-guzzi-v7-with-balance/

Because they are 38 mm in diameter, some of the stainless pipes also interfere slightly with the "box" sidestand mount on the "police" left crashbar. I've had to do some grinding to make clearance more than once...

it is pretty easy to neck the 38 mm pipes to 37 mm,
just take a big pipe cutter( the ones with a cutting wheel) remove the cutting wheel and fit some sort of bush instead.
clamp it on the pipe , turn a couple of times , and you will see the diameter decrease.
i was fed up with rusting V7sport headers, now i buy  these

https://www.ebay.de/itm/MOTO-GUZZI-Krummer-links-V7-Spezial-850-GT-VA/162305023403?hash=item25ca221dab:g:n0QAAOSw3ZtaKPxq,

 cut them to size, and reduce the diameter where needed.

Offline redrider90

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2018, 11:07:50 AM »
Had my V7Sport exhausts rechromed locally - haven�t finished it but the chrome has gone to shit, bastards. The stainless exhaust on my Daytona developed a nice colour, maintained the golden sheen with brasso of all things...  :1: stainless

I had the same issue on my 750 Ducati. re-chromed did not stick.
Red 90 Mille GT

Offline Arizona Wayne

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2018, 02:33:36 PM »


You WG members are for sure a merciless lot ,as I'm getting to understand now that most of my choices and most of what I'm doing to the bike is bad or wrong.
Its not without a certain pain that I must confess that I made my luggage-rack without any use of vise grips, and I don't want to talk about the dreadfully uncomfortable stock seat today.

What`s important to me now is to try and save the humble remains of my self-esteem.  :sad:




               
 


         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 :cool:  :boozing:
[/quote]



Nothing wrong with black pipes either, IMHO, like on my CX100.  In fact I prefer less chrome on a bike.  :wink:  What you prefer is what you should have.  Screw what others think.  They don't ride your bike nor paid for it.

kidneb

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2018, 03:37:35 PM »
Thank you Wayne,- you saved my day.
I'm afraid I may have moved a little off the proper line of conversation, but really,- no offend was intended.   :bike-037:


 

Offline Tusayan

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2018, 04:08:16 PM »
My MuZ 660 single came with a stainless exhaust system.  Now the header pipes are black and the muffler is a bright gold.  The header isn't really noticeable on this bike w/radiator and I like the look of the gold muffler.

People with a different circumstance, having either visible header or persnickety eyes, need to polish a stainless header fairly regularly.  Otherwise it will eventually be pitted and dull brown.  The good news is that heavily oxidized stainless headers can very often be rescued with machine polishing, usually off the bike, and so they can be a good used buy (Guzzi Content)

Stain Magic is reasonably good for hand polishing, but not the miracle they would have you believe.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TNuecgpQOAk
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 09:51:24 PM by Tusayan »

Offline Arizona Wayne

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2018, 01:40:34 AM »
People with a different circumstance, having either visible header or persnickety eyes, need to polish a stainless header fairly regularly.  Otherwise it will eventually be pitted and dull brown.  The good news is that heavily oxidized stainless headers can very often be rescued with machine polishing, usually off the bike, and so they can be a good used buy (Guzzi Content)

Stain Magic is reasonably good for hand polishing, but not the miracle they would have you believe.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TNuecgpQOAk

Like I said prior, what others think of my bikes appearance is not important to me.  Only what I think of my bikes is important to me.  I won't lose sleep over the resale value of my bikes.  That's the least of my considerations of their values.  I keep my bikes a long time.  They will probably be sold after I'm gone.   :smiley:

Offline earemike

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Re: Chrome vs Stainless Headers
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2018, 02:55:18 AM »
And here I've been living with the black chromed steel headers for so many years, even thinking that they're looking good.  :embarrassed:

But now I'm told otherwise, and that the best thing I can do is to start looking for some stainless ones.  :undecided:

You WG members are for sure a merciless lot ,as I'm getting to understand now that most of my choices and most of what I'm doing to the bike is bad or wrong.
Its not without a certain pain that I must confess that I made my luggage-rack without any use of vise grips, and I don't want to talk about the dreadfully uncomfortable stock seat today.

What`s important to me now is to try and save the humble remains of my self-esteem.  :sad:




               
 

Looks good mate, you must be doing something right  :thumb:
         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 :cool:  :boozing:
850 T3
850 LeMans killer goose or somesutch Iím told
850 LeMans
850 LeMans II (I've butchered it by fitting a round headlight & removing the front faring.)
SP1000 Stucchi
V11 Ballabio
V7 Sport (needs a little work)

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