Removing Chain Lube from Exhaust

Polish motorcycle exhaustMaybe I’ve been living under a rock, but I just discovered an amazingly simple way to remove chain lube or oil from a chrome motorcycle exhaust. I haven’t had to do this in a while. I’ve mostly been riding motorcycles with shaft or belt drive, so I haven’t needed to lube a chain or clean up chain lube from an exhaust.

Despite using chain lube that claims not to “fling off,” I still get chain lube all over my Triumph Bonneville T100 chrome exhaust pipe. Even worst, it then bakes onto the exhaust. Up until now, I’ve been cleaning the exhaust with chrome polish and a lot of “muscle grease.” It seemed to take forever. Most of the time if felt like I was just moving the chain lube around, and not actually removing it.

I’ve even searched the internet for recommendations on how to remove chain lube from chrome exhausts. Most recommendations involve some form of chrome cleaner and a lot of arm work. Some people even suggested using a fine steel wool. They promised it won’t scratch your exhaust to badly. That seems a little extreme to me. The other day I decided to do what I should have done in the first place. I visited my local Triumph expert.

Giving credit where it is due, the following method is from Arlie Ray Blackshear at California Triumph in Mountain View, CA. I showed up at Arlie Ray’s doorstep having spent considerable time trying to polish the exhaust myself. It didn’t look too bad from a distance, but when you got close, you could see the chain lube simply smeared around, not removed. He just laughed and gave me the normal abuse for not going to him first. Yes, Arlie Ray has told my endlessly that if I ever have any questions to just ask him. He walked to his desk, grabbed a cloth and a can of Tri-Flow Lubricant, and headed for my bike. In about 30 seconds he had removed all of the chain lube from the exhaust. And just to rub it in, he cleaned the other side exhaust and part of my chrome wheel rims. He said to then polish the chrome with Wizards Mist-N-Shine, and it would look great.

He then sent me to the parts department to buy some Tri-Flow and Wizards Mist-N-Shine, and go home to finished the job. Well, I did finish the job, and the exhaust and rims look amazing. In a matter of minutes the exhaust, chrome wheels and spokes, and even the chain cover, looked amazing. So, if you need to remove chain lube from a chrome exhaust, just go see Arlie Ray. Just kidding, although I’m sure he would help. If you are in the Mountain View, CA area, you can get Tri-Flow Lubricant and Wizards Mist-N-Shine at California Triumph ( Otherwise, you can find them online. Tri-Flow Lubricant is available at and Wizards Mist-N-Shine Detailer for Motorcycles is available at


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