Prevent Motorcycle Exhaust Burns

Prevent Motorcycle Exhaust Burns

One of the most common motorcycle-related injuries is an exhaust burn. There are several ways to reduce the chances of burning yourself on a motorcycle exhaust can or pipe, so observe the methods to reduce that risk. Many motorcycles are strategically designed to stave off exhaust heat but sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands.


1. Never wear shorts on a motorcycle, no matter how many of your friends are doing it or how “cool” it may seem. It is not cool to wear shorts on a motorcycle and never will be. An exposed leg and hot exhaust pipe is a recipe for a burn. Long pants with adequate protection are the way to go.

2. Mount your bike from the kickstand side. Stand on the left side of the motorcycle and swing your right leg over the seat. Since the bike is leaned toward you, there is less of a risk of having your leg come in contact with the pipe.

3. Wrap the headers with heat tape. This will reduce the temperature of the pipes and lessen the severity of a burn. If your headers are located in an area where they are in close proximity to the leg, then heat tape is a very good option.

4. Install a heat shield. Most dirt bikes have an adhesive panel of heat-repellent material along the inside of the side panel. However, most street bikes have their pipes and cans out in the open.

5. In the event of a crash, do not lift the bike from the side that is facing the sky. Reaching over a hot exhaust could lead to a burn.