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How Hot Does A Motorcycle Exhaust Get?

If you are worried that your motorcycle exhaust is getting too hot, then knowing normal operating temperatures can help put your mind at ease. Most modern bikes have exhaust temperature warning lights that will come on if things get too heated, but it's still good to know what is considered "normal" so you can gauge whether or not there might be a problem. Let's take a look at some average motorcycle exhaust temperatures below.

On average, an idling motorcycle exhaust will operate at 600-800 degrees Fahrenheit. When you rev the engine, the temperature will usually jump to around 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it's not uncommon for things to get much hotter than this when opening up the throttle and reaching high speeds.

If your motorcycle exhaust is getting hotter than it should, there are a few things that could be causing the problem. In this article, we will discuss the normal operating temperatures of motorcycle exhaust and when you should worry. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about motorcycle warning signs, so read on!

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How Hot Can A Motorcycle Exhaust Get?

Without an exhaust system, your motorcycle engine would overheat very quickly. The job of the exhaust is to take the hot gases from the engine and expel them out into the air. This process helps to keep your engine cool and running at optimal temperatures.

In addition, an exhaust provides a smoother ride by reducing engine noise. Motorcycle exhausts can get very hot, but sometimes too hot can be a cause for concern.

Here are some average exhaust temperatures to help you gauge whether or not your motorcycle is running at a normal temperature.

A motorcycle exhaust system photographed up close, How Hot Does A Motorcycle Exhaust Get?

During idle, your motorcycle isn't working hard and is just ticking over. However, the average motorcycle exhaust temperature during idle is still 600-800 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, when you rev the engine, the temperature will usually jump to around 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is still within the normal range and is nothing to worry about. If you're opening up the throttle and reaching high speeds, it's not uncommon for things to get much hotter.

At times, your motorcycle muffler can get red hot, and this isn't a good sign. Typically, this could be due to a bad air/fuel mixture, which is running too lean. Nonetheless, there are other reasons why this is happening.

Let's take a look at them below:

Poor Air/Fuel Ratio

As we mentioned earlier, a bad air-to-fuel mixture is one of the leading causes of a red-hot muffler. When an engine runs too lean, it means that there's not enough fuel in the mixture.

When this happens, your bike will become sluggish and may start to backfire. In addition, you'll notice that your fuel economy starts to decrease. If you're having these issues, it's best to take your motorcycle to a mechanic to get it checked out.

A motorcycle mechanic will be able to use a tool to check the air-to-fuel mixture and make any necessary adjustments.

Low Oil Level

Pouring new and clean motorcycle oil

An overheating exhaust starts at the engine. If your motorcycle doesn't have enough oil, it can cause big problems.

Not only will it overheat faster but it can also lead to long-term engine damage. Checking your oil level regularly is important to ensure that your motorcycle is running smoothly. If you're unsure of how to check the oil or top it up, it's best to consult your motorcycle's owner's manual.

If you are buying a pre-owned motorcycle, be sure to get a maintenance record. This will help you keep track of when the motorcycle was last serviced.

In addition, the maintenance record will show that the oil was changed on schedule.

Low Coolant Levels

Low coolant level

Another issue that can cause your motorcycle exhaust to run hot is low coolant levels. The coolant helps to keep the engine at a consistent temperature. If there isn't enough coolant, it can cause the engine to overheat. Checking the coolant level is easy to do and only takes a few minutes.

Check your motorcycle's owner's manual to see where the coolant reservoir is located. Once you've found it, open the cap and check to see if the coolant is at the proper level.

If it's low, add more until it reaches the fill line. It's best to use the type of coolant that was originally put in the motorcycle. If you're unsure, consult a motorcycle mechanic.

Faulty Cooling Fan

The cooling fan helps to keep the engine cool by circulating air around it. If the cooling fan isn't working properly, it can cause the engine to overheat.

In addition, the cooling fan may not turn on until the engine is already too hot. This can cause further damage to the engine.

If you think that the cooling fan may be faulty, it's best to take your motorcycle to a mechanic to have it checked out.

Failing Radiator

Like anything with an engine, parts will eventually start to wear out and fail. One part that can fail is the radiator. If the radiator starts to leak, it can cause the engine to overheat. In addition, a failing radiator may not be able to circulate coolant properly.

This can also lead to engine damage. If you think that your motorcycle's radiator may be failing, it's best to take it to a mechanic.

Exhaust System Leaks

Another issue that can cause a red-hot muffler is an exhaust system leak. If there's a hole or crack in the exhaust pipe, it can cause the exhaust gases to escape. This can lead to a loss of power and decreased fuel economy. In addition, it can make the engine run hotter than normal.

Typically, an exhaust leak will make your motorcycle sound louder. This usually isn't an enjoyable sound for most people. In addition, it could make a popping or hissing noise during acceleration.

In any of these situations, it's important to let your motorcycle cool. Turn off the engine and allow it to cool for at least 30 minutes.

Once it's cooled, start again and check for temperatures. If it is still overheating, not only should you take it to a mechanic, but getting it towed may be the best option.

How Can I Keep My Motorcycle Exhaust Cool?

For many motorcycle owners, an overheating exhaust is a cause for concern. But there are ways that you can keep your motorcycle exhaust cool and avoid any potential problems.

Exhaust Wrap

A carbon fiber coated motorcycle exhaust sytem

Investing in an exhaust wrap is one way to keep your motorcycle exhaust cool. The wrap helps to insulate the pipe and prevent heat from escaping.

This can help to keep the engine cooler and running more efficiently. You can find exhaust wraps made from different materials, such as fiberglass or ceramic.

Exhaust wraps are available in a variety of sizes and can be cut to fit any exhaust pipe. They're relatively easy to install; the process will only take a few minutes.

If you're not comfortable installing the wrap yourself, you can take it to a mechanic. If you do decide to install it yourself, be sure to read the instructions carefully.

Upgraded Cooling System

Another way to keep your motorcycle exhaust cool is by investing in a cooling system. A cooling system helps to circulate coolant through the engine and prevents it from overheating.

There are a few different types of cooling systems available. Water-cooled systems are the most common, but there are also oil-cooled and air-cooled systems.

The type of cooling system that you need will depend on the make and model of your motorcycle. Consult your motorcycle mechanic to see which system is best for you.

Upgraded Radiator Cap

An inexpensive way to keep your motorcycle exhaust cool is by upgrading the radiator cap. A performance radiator cap will increase the boiling point of the coolant.

This means that the coolant will be able to withstand higher temperatures before it starts to boil. This can help to prevent your engine from overheating.

You can find performance radiator caps at most auto parts stores. They're usually not too expensive and are easy to install.

Upgraded Water Pump And Impeller

Mechanic working on his clients motorcycle

To increase coolant flow and prevent your engine from overheating, you may also want to upgrade the water pump and impeller.

The water pump helps to circulate coolant through the engine, and the impeller helps to move the coolant through the radiator.

If either of these parts is not working properly, it can cause the engine to overheat. You can find pump and impeller kits at most auto parts stores.

Final Thoughts

A motorcycle exhaust system photographed up close

If your motorcycle exhaust is running hotter than normal, then it is a sign that something is wrong. By following these tips and speaking with your mechanic, you can prevent your engine from overheating.

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