Rain, I don’t think there is a rider out there that likes riding it. We do our best to avoid it but sometimes you can’t. That was the case when we took an 11 day trip to ride The Blue Ridge Parkway.
Scott and I spent months planning our trip to The Blue Ridge Parkway so when rain started showing up in the upcoming forecast we decided to take our chances and go with it. The one thing that Scott has been telling me to buy since buying my motorcycle is rain gear. Did I listen? No! Finally about two weeks before the trip I began looking for some.
We went to several shops over a two week period and couldn’t find any sets in my size. I noticed at one motorcycle shop they sold Frogg Toggs and it was fairly inexpensive, just not in a ladies small. I looked it up online and found out that Cabala’s carried the pants. We drove out and found it in stock for less than $25. I noticed it didn’t have a heat shield but neither did the set at the cycle shop so I assumed it would be fine. I was never able to find a jacket that fit well so I went with a runners rain jacket that had Velcro over the zipper area and at the wrist.
As you may have guessed by the title of this post and first image things din’t exactly work out with the pants. Frogg Toggs pants are slightly loose to make it easier to get them on over your pants, that also means they stick out when you sit down. My exhaust pipe comes out at just the right angle that when I put my feet down at a stop the pants hit right against the pipe.
I noticed my right leg was getting wet but I wasn’t sure why and since it was raining I didn’t want to take my attention off the road to figure out why. When we stopped at our hotel and I took my pants off I saw the large hole in my pants. It didn’t take long for me to see why that heat shield is so important regardless of what cycle shops carry.
There wasn’t really much I could do. Scott suggested duct tape until we could find a place to buy another pair but I decided not to worry about it. I figured it was on the inside of my leg and surely it wasn’t going to rain much more. I really wasn’t upset about it until we got ready to leave for dinner and I saw my bike. That hole you see, well the missing fabric was burnt onto my muffler. I wanted to cry. All I could imagine was having to ride my bike around with black goo stuck to it FOREVER!
We went ahead and grabbed some dinner and while we were in there the bikes cooled down. When we came out I decided to see if I could get it off. Much to my surprise a large portion of it lifted up in a solid piece. There was still a lot of little smears all over the pipe but at least it wasn’t as noticeable or as smelly when the bike heated up.
We got home from our trip and I thought I would be able to get it off with a good wash but no such luck. We tried goo off, chrome cleaner and a few other non abrasive products. I Googled cleaning it off online and found lots of people with the same complaint but not many answers. Most just scrubbed and then left it. A few talked about steel wool but I was worried about scratching my chrome. I finally decided that I would just have to deal with it and hope that over time it would burn off.
Then last week while I was cleaning my iron I got the idea to try it on my pipes. Dritz Iron Off Hot Iron Cleaner is made for cleaning residue off of a hot iron. Since I knew it would remove synthetic fabric from an iron why not my muffler? Dritz Iron Off Hot Iron Cleaner is formulated to be used on a hot iron so the first thing I had to do was heat up my pipes. I turned the bike on and let it idle for a few minutes and then shut it down.
I applied a small amount of the cleaner to a clean dry towel and rubbed it in an area that couldn’t really be seen to make sure it wasn’t going to discolor the pipe or cause pitting. Since the muffler is hot you have to be careful! It wiped off and didn’t cause any issues in that spot so I began applying it to the blackened area. At first I didn’t think it was working but then I noticed small amounts of black residue on the towel. I reapplied it several times in each area, rubbing it with a small amount of pressure and after about 5 minutes it was clean!
For around $5.00 I got all the residue off, my pipes look great and I won’t have to smell the black goo residue burning any more!
I have done some rain gear research since this happened and found out the Frogg Toggs does offer a Frogg Toggs Smokin Toad Heat Kit that you can apply to the gear to hopefully avoid this problem. Frogg Toggs does not offer rain gear with it already applied regardless of where you buy it. The other option is to purchase Motorcycle Rain Gear. It is made from fabric that is able to tolerate the heat from the exhaust pipe and most will have a heat shield on the inner thigh area.