Polishing a 2 Stroke Exhaust to look like new!

One of the main attractions of a two-stroke bike is that large exhaust chamber that always seems to have a bright shine, especially on new motorcycles.

Over time, these can get dented, scratched and pick up dirt even when you wash the bike regularly and keep it clean. The only way to keep it looking brand new would be to remove it and give it a good scrub and polish.

If you’re buying a used bike, you might find that the previous owner didn’t take steps to keep it clean and polish it from time to time, which is what we’re looking at in this article. Below, we take the steps to making an old rusty two-stroke exhaust look like new. It’s going to take some time and effort, but in the end, it would be well worth it.

Removing the Exhaust

Whether you have the standard exhaust or a performance pipe such as the FMF Gnarly, the fittings are all about the same, making it easy to remove. Firstly, you’ll find the exhaust is attached to the engine with either two powerful springs or bolts. On dirt bikes, the springs are the most common. Use a spring puller or a hook of some sort and pull them off the exhaust. Next, remove the clamp between the chamber and the tailpipe and finally take off the two bolts holding the exhaust to the bike’s frame.

Sanding Paper

Depending on how deep the scratches are, you might want to start a rough sanding paper such as a 400. With your hand, start to sand down the scratches and get the entire surface as even as possible. Don’t sand it too much as these exhausts aren’t very thick.

Next, move onto a finner paper such as an 800, then 1000, 1500, 2000 and finally 4000. Ensure all the sanding is one in one direction for the best possible finish. Also, ensure you don’t move onto the finner paper too quick as this would make the entire process a lot longer.


From just the paper, you’ll find an excellent finish and wouldn’t need to use any other scratch removal products. However, if you want that high gloss mirror finish, it’s recommended to use a buffing wheel with a power tool.

These tend to be quite cheap, making them an excellent choice for keeping the exhaust looking new for many months to come.

Start with a reasonably hard buffing disc and move your way to the finest. However, unlike the sanding paper, you don’t need to use so many different types. We recommend using a wheel with rubbing compound and then a very soft wool buffing disc, which is sure to give you that incredible shine. Finally, if you want it looking even better, give it a polish, which will keep it free from excellent marks.

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