My Failing Honda Rebel Exhaust System

When I bought my bike a couple years ago I had to replace my left exhaust pipe almost immediately. Both of the pipes were split in the headers, right about where the footpegs are, but even after replacement with a non-split pipe, it soon suffered the same fate. I’m not sure if it’s bad geometry on an old bike, an excess of vibrations, or more likely, a combination of both, but when that “new” pipe from the Yale boneyard went and split, later separating, I knew that I’d have to find a different solution to my exhaust problems.

Honda Rebel 250 exhaust patch

Even with these problems on the 250 Rebel, I’ve kept up on keeping the pipes closed at least. With large holes in the exhaust, the measly amount of horsepower available in the Honda Rebel is slashed, and I can’t travel at expressway speeds anymore.

In the past year, though, my pipes seem to have started to deteriorate faster than I had expected them to ever do. I’ve got patches up and down the body of my headers, and I’ve decided they’ll be needing replacement.

In the video, you can see that the cross bar also has a hole in it. I didn’t know about that hole till just then, when I’d taken the pipes off of the bike. It explains the amount of air escaping the pipes when it was running and the loudness that wouldn’t seem to go away, even after a few more patches.

Split pipe fix with pipe couplers

One of the best things that I was able to do in order to keep my pipes functioning was to use the metal parts of pipe couplers from Home Depot after tossing the rubber inserts out. They’re adjustable with pipe clamps on each end that I could keep the two sides together with minimal air leakage, I suppose. The picture shows one of the pipes with the fix, but a lot of it is hiding behind the brake lever.

These splits were basically the worst problems that I had dealt with, until lately, which I’ve developed holes in the headers. The right pipe has a hole that’s about three inches long in the underside, and the left one is afflicted by a dime sized hole.

Originally, most of my fixes were the pipe couplers with some insulation to hold it still. I then moved to using high temp aluminum tape, and pipe clamps over that, but I blew holes through those fixes. So I’ve been cutting up soda cans to put under the high temp metal tape, and then add pipe clamps over those.

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