Stainless vs. Chrome Exhaust Pipes with Steel Mufflers

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Location: Kirkwood, MO

Stainless vs. Chrome Exhaust Pipes with Steel Mufflers

Post by jimmiejag »

My 1971 R75/5 has one rusty muffler so I bought a pair of chrome steel mufflers but now see that the existing head and crossover pipes should also be replaced. Is there any issue with SS head/crossover pipes connected to chrome steel mufflers? Or should I simply get chrome head/crossover pipes? What are the advantages of ss over chrome?
Jim, 1971 R75/5, Kirkwood, MO

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Re: Stainless vs. Chrome Exhaust Pipes with Steel Mufflers

Post by srankin »

Jim, I see no one seems to be answering. The only thing I can add, and this may not be true is, Mac exhaust pipes may not fit as well as they should.

The last set of header pipes I installed on my RT after the cross over pipes rotted out (not the middle pipe which is replaceable but the nubs on the main header pipes), were the factory pipes. The mufflers are Kiehein and everything seems to be playing well together five years down the line. St.
Owner of a 84, R80RT and 78, R100RS

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Re: Stainless vs. Chrome Exhaust Pipes with Steel Mufflers

Post by Flx48 »

Hi Jim-
The basic advantage of stainless over chrome is rust resistance.
The ss alloy is made of iron/chromium/nickel and forms a surface of chromium oxide, which protects the iron from oxidation.

I chose ss over chrome plated steel back in the day because my bikes lived outdoors in New England 24/7/365, and both the chrome plated steel pipes and mufflers seemed to have a lifespan of 1-2 years.
The bikes now live indoors when not being ridden, and they're still using the same ss exhausts acquired back then; the oldest set (pipes/mufflers) has been in use over 40 years and still going strong.

Some folks object to the straw color the ss pipes develop when subjected to the heat of the exhaust, preferring the blue color the heat forms on chrome plated steel; either is fine with me, with the long lifespan of ss being the easy decider, but many folks know they won't hang onto a bike long enough to justify the investment.

So your choice is subjective; your environment/goals/intentions/pocketbook being the factors in choosing.

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