How Hot Do Motorcycle Exhaust Pipes Get?

If bare skin touches motorcycle exhaust pipes, they can leave a nasty mark, but how hot do they actually get?

It depends on the type of motorcycle and the design of the exhaust pipe how hot the motorcycle exhaust pipes can get. Some motorcycles’ exhaust pipes can reach temperatures of 14-1600 degrees Fahrenheit or ​​871 Celius due to recirculated exhaust gas.

How hot do exhaust pipes get celsius?

There are a few factors that affect the temperature of your motorcycle exhaust.

  • The more engine revs, the more burned gasses are sent to the header at higher temperatures.
  • The weight of your motorcycle and the weight of the rider. Again, the more weight the motorcycle carries, the greater requirement on the engine.
  • Type of engine, four-cylinder, two-stroke, V configuration. V motorcycles can see higher temperatures through the exhaust.
  • Temperature and speed of the air passing over the headers. The cooler the air and the velocity will cause more excellent heat dissipation and affect the temperature gradient across the entire exhaust system.

You can expect the temperature gradient to differ from the header to the muffler. The header will be the hottest part of the exhaust and can be as high as 750 degrees Celsius and 8 degrees or higher on the heat shield.

As the exhaust gasses travel the length of the exhaust, they will become cooler and exit the exhaust at approximately 150-200 degrees celsius.

Of course, if you are pushing your motorcycle to its limits, the exhaust temperatures could exceed the figures given.

How hot does a dirt bike exhaust pipe get?

If you have a four-stroke engine, the operating temperature should be approximately 100 degrees celsius. Hotter temperatures than this may mean your engine is running too hot, and you may cause damage.

However, the temperature in the combustion chamber is around 800 degrees celsius, and the exhaust gasses are entering the header at a very high temperature. This is why headers are not made from mild steel. They would melt. 

So, great care needs to be taken not to touch the headers until the engine is cool.

How hot does Harley Davidson exhaust get?

You all know that exhaust pipes get damn hot, hot enough to give you a severe burn even after a second of contact.

Harley exhausts (depending on the engine) tend to run at about 420 degrees Celsius. The heat shield should see about half of that temperature depending on the temperature and speed of the airflow over the shield.

V engines run a little hotter at the headers, close to 760 degrees celsius.

Gasoline ignites at approximately 870 degrees Celsius in the combustion chamber, so you will find a temperature gradient along the exhaust pipes depending on where you measure the temperature.

Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security with your heat shield. There is no thermal break where the shield connects. It is just a mechanical fixing, so the temperature will be transferred, giving a blistering burn if touched.