How hot does a motorcycle exhaust get?

We know that combustion-based bikes release fumes and gases via the exhaust. And these gases are hot. But how hot are they? Can it light a cigar? Or maybe a match? Or perhaps it can warm up my lunch?

Let us find out the answer to this ever-present but always forgotten question.

How hot does a motorcycle exhaust get?

There is no correct answer to this question. The temperature differs for all bikes, and hence, there is no threshold to compare it with. Still, on average, the temperatures can range anywhere from 800 degrees F to upwards of 1000 degrees F. 

To get a better idea about the exact temperature, we need to look at the various parts of the exhaust system.


Now, combustion, as the word implies, refers to the burning of fuel. As such, the temperature reaches around 1400 – 1600 degrees F. Impurities in the fuel can sometimes cause the actual temperature to go beyond these numbers. This might increase the performance of your bike but would be detrimental to its health in the long run.

The temperature range is quite ambiguous when it comes to representing a large number of bikes. Generally speaking, newer and more efficient bikes usually have a combustion temperature of around 1400 degrees F, while older models tend to run at higher temperatures.


On the other hand, the exhaust temperature will be around 700 degrees F. (Mostly around the head). This is not a number that is set in stone. The actual temperature depends upon the efficiency of your exhaust. An inefficient exhaust will be way hotter than the average benchmark, while a brand new one will barely warm your morning tea.

Additionally, dirt and other blockers can cause the temperature to skyrocket. So always make sure that your pipes are unclogged and clean. 


While running, the motorcycle will push the waste gases through the exhaust system, which will eject the gases after traveling through the series of tell-tale exhaust tubes. The volume of the gases expelled is quite large. So, you can pretty much guess how ”hot” the exhaust might get.

The fumes are filtered through the exhaust system, finally leaving the bike through the very end. The whole exhaust gets hot and hence dissipates the heat. So the maximum amount of heat is experienced somewhere in the beginning to the middle part of the exhaust. By the time it leaves the bike, the gases have lost some of their heat to the atmosphere through the aluminum body.


Now we know how hot the exhausts of a bike get. But there are some things you should keep in mind. 

  • The exhaust of the bike is comparatively cooler than the motor or the engine.
  • The body of the exhaust dissipates heat, so the released gases aren’t as hot.
  • The temperature is different for different bikes, but the positions of the highest temperature are usually similar.
  • The actual temperature will depend on the efficiency of your bike and the various external factors.
  • All of the temperatures have been noted using IR sensors in controlled environments. Do not try to test these conclusions at your home physically.
  • Dirt and other impurities in the system also affect thermal conduction.

There isn’t really a lot to say. The exhaust does get hot but isn’t the hottest external part of the system by a long shot. So the next time you try to make those quick sunny side-ups, remember, the engine might be more efficient for that than the exhaust.

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