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I have a question about header pipes. Last night, I was late leaving work and it was pretty dark when I got out to my bike to go home. I was warming up the engine with the cold start lever about 30-40% of the way out. The engine had been on for maybe 2 minutes and I noticed the front header glowing red hot. I closed the cold start lever and let it idle down from about 2500 rpm to normal idle and the header cooled off enough to go back to normal color.

Is it normal to be this red hot? I hadn't noticed this before, mainly since I there's usually enough light to obscure the redness of the headers.

Anyhow, it got me thinking about ceramic coating the headers. This lowers the temperature and I've heard can even improve performance (a wee bit). Plus, it can look pretty nice. My headers are a few shades of ugly brown. What do you think?
 

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To be honest wiht you, no I don't think that's normal. I've gotten headers on other bikes to turn red while doing rear wheel destroying burnouts, but nothing like what you describe under normal operating circumstances. I'e seen pipes on dirtbikes turn red from running very, very lean. Maybe that's the problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I suspect it's running a little bit lean but not _that_ lean. But 2 minutes @ 2500 rpm in 50F degree weather from a cold start seemed crazy to me to be red hot.

Mind you, the M695 runs very hot. I'm fitting an oil cooler on it this weekend for that very reason.
 

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That sounds like some pretty extreme EGT's I'd have it looked at by someone that knows what their looking at. As mentioned before could be very lean. I'm unsure about how the ignition system works on your bike, but severely retarded timing can cause the same symptoms, but that'd be on both pipes.
 

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Duke Dave said:
isn't that the idea of the choke? to make the bike run lean? To warm up the bike to normal operating temps faster?
Fast idle adjustment will open air to increase rpms and thus could lean things a bit but the fuel injection system should automatically compensate to run a proper mixture.

Traditionally a "choke" cuts off air and causes a rich running condition. Usually a "choke" is only found on a carburated system.
 

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Ive noticed my old 620 do the same thing when i have been warming it up during winter storage. My 250 ninja will do the same thing if i keep the rpms up for a half a minute or so.

I thinks its normal, too much heat with no air to cool it. There bikes are designed to be cooled with air. With no air moving across, they get warm real quick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
brad black said:
normal.

which doesn't mean there's nothing wrong with your bike, but i'd expect it to do that.
Ok. I wasn't worried too much about it. Mostly, I was wondering what other people experienced as typical behavior. The M695 runs very hot already. But, if this is normal I'll leave well enough alone.
 

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It is normal. Not every bike will do it, but some will. It seems to happen more during warm ups because the choke or fuel enrichment mechanism ups the fuel/air ratio enough that some unburned fuel gets past the exhaust valve where the afterburn in the header raises the EGT enough to make the pipe glow.

BMW specifically states in most owners manuals ( if not all late models) to avoid warmups and just start the bike and ride off. Apparently they had some warranty issues a while back with a few that got hot enough to ignite bodywork while being warmed up for "just a minute or two".
 

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Well, despite the fact that some have said it's normal, you should not be warming the engine up that high. You should fast idle it to about 1800rpm and let it sit for maybe a couple mins. Then ride off and take it easy until you get an egine temp reading (121 degrees)
 

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NAKID said:
Well, despite the fact that some have said it's normal, you should not be warming the engine up that high. You should fast idle it to about 1800rpm and let it sit for maybe a couple mins. Then ride off and take it easy until you get an egine temp reading (121 degrees)
Good point. Just because it is a normal behavior from some bikes doesn't mean its OK to do it. Like NAKID says, you shouldn't. Give the motor about 30-60 seconds for establishing oil flow throughout the heads and ride off gently for a few more minutes until it gets up to temp.
 

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ducatizzy said:
To my knowledge, no Ducati has ever had a "choke", only enrichment circuits. The Dellorto PHF/PHM carbs had no choke, and I am pretty sure the Mikunis are the same way.

There is a chance the Weber DCNF carbed bikes might have had a choke, but I am not certain.

Choke = air restrictor, which causes enrichment vs. enrichment circuit which dumps more fuel into the mix.

Most of the car carbs had an actual extra butterfly in the throat which would obstruct the air flow, thus a "choke"...
You are correct about the true definition of choke, but as is often the case, when a word gets misused enough it becomes correct. The cold start enrichment on your old car with SUs or Strombergs was often wrongly called a choke in the owner's manual and towards the end of the era Jaguars had a "choke" warning light.
 

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Mark1305 said:
Good point. Just because it is a normal behavior from some bikes doesn't mean its OK to do it. Like NAKID says, you shouldn't. Give the motor about 30-60 seconds for establishing oil flow throughout the heads and ride off gently for a few more minutes until it gets up to temp.
+1. Two minute warm up is excessive IMO.
 
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I can't answer your question as to if it's normal or not but Id noticed that on my 800 one morning warming it up. Only my dumb a$$ touched it! Don't ever touch it.

R.
 

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ducatizzy said:
No, I mean choking -- as in you are drinking and are mid-swallow and Tip O'Neill struts in wearing a leather bikini and a feather boa.

Choke.
That would make his mother choke.
 
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