2-Stroke & 4-Stroke Dirt Bike Header Pipe Repair
Before you throw away your dented or mangled dirt bike pipe, it might be worth fixing. With performance header pipes costing around $200 new, it can get expensive if you have to replace it every time you hit a rock, tree stump or lay it on the ground.
I don't care if youíre a new rider or a seasoned pro, there's a good chance you'll get a dent in your pipe sooner or later.
We have had our share of falls and encounters with rocks. Over the years, we have sent out two dirt bike pipes for repair. The most recent one was this year for a Suzuki RM250, which sparked the idea to share this performance and money saver tip with other riders.
We first learned about the service eight years ago when we got a Yamaha YZ250 dirt bike. It had a nice FMF Gold Series header pipe, but there were a few dents in it.
We found RPS Motorsports in Vista, California, that did pipe repairs. RPS is a full-service shop for dirt bikes, ATVs and UTVs. Ron, the owner, has been tinkering with off-road bikes for over 20 years. So we decided to give it a shot.
Besides looking bad, a dented header pipe might lose performance due to flow restriction. In theory, the engineers and designers that made them have shaped them for the optimal volume and flow rate to give your dirt bike maximum power gain at low, mid and top end.
FACTORY PIPE REPAIR
We contacted FMF and Pro Circuit, two of the largest performance exhaust manufacturers for dirt bike, ATV and UTV applications. When asked if they provided dent repair on their pipes, we were very surprised that neither did. Pro Circuit told us they only sell new pipes and don't do any repairs. We asked them for a referral and were given a shopís name.
The interesting thing is that both FMF and Pro Circuit recommended Pacific Crest Pipe Repair out of Oregon (http://www.piperepair.com/). We haven't used them before, but will give them a try next time one of our pipes gets bent. The good news is that there is hope for your damaged pipe.
The cost to fix a dented pipe starts at $60 at Pacific Crest Pipe Repair, which is in line with what we paid at RPS Motorsports. Most pipes can be fixed, and even those that are really mangled might be saved. This can be especially important for those of you working on vintage dirt bikes that parts which become difficult to find.
Pacific Crest Pipe Repair will take a look at your pipe and let you know if they can fix it. If they canít, thereís no charge.
HOW TO FIX
Many of you reading this might be saying, "come on already, how is it done?" Well, we're not going to give you the step-by-step process because of liability reasons and because we donít want you to lose an eye. What we will do is give you a general overview of what is needed to fix your dented pipe.
To repair a dented pipe, you will need to remove it from the motor and dirt bike frame. A combination of heat and compressed air is used to get the dents out. Special plugs are placed on both ends of the pipe to allow pressurization.
Using a propane torch, heat is applied to the dented area. The dent will slowly come out as the area is carefully worked on. If the pipe is badly mangled, it may require cutting open to re-shape and then re-weld.
Some of you reading this may have already fixed your own pipes or even thought about trying it. Although we are all for wrenching on your stuff, this is a job best left for the pros.
Working on a pressurized container with a torch can be fatal if it explodes. The Pros that do this all day have the correct tools and technique to safely repair your pipe. Itís worth paying the $60 bucks.
Bottom line is that even though you might be bummed that you dented your prized pipe, it's not a total loss. It can be fixed.
If you need help repairing a dented or mangled header pipe, try these two shops:
Pacific Crest Pipe Repair
Central Point, Oregon