I was going for a balance between the black and chrome on my bike. But when I first installed the pipes it was way too much on the chrome side for my taste. So I black wrapped the pipes to tone it down a bit. I've since wrapped some other pipes for friends and here's some things I've learned.
Some say the wrap will eventually rot your pipes but I've found there are mitigating factors. First off you should completely ignore the instructions that come with the wrap. It's water getting in between the wrap and the pipe that causes the problems so you want to do everything you can to prevent that. First off remember this wrap wasn't originally intended for motorcycles. It's for the header pipes on cage motors or more-so hot rods. But the header pipes on automobile engines are much thicker than the thin walled pipes on our bikes so with cars, especially if the wrap in under a hood, water corrosion isnít much of an issue.
The instructions that comes with the wrap for motorcycles usually says to wet (or soak) the wrap in water prior to installation. Donít do that! Why introduce water into a situation where water is the biggest problem? Also, the instructions will say to wrap from the header down toward the exhaust end. Donít do that either! Doing that leaves the leading edge of the wrap exposed to the relative wind (the wind you ride through at speed) and this may eventually cause the leading edge of the wrap to begin unraveling. So wrap from the exhaust end up toward the header. Now the exposed leading edge becomes a protected trailing edge.
No matter which wrap you buy they all discolor over time. The blacks wraps will lighten and the grey, white, and tan wraps will darken. They do sell high temperature wrap paint but itís spendy. However, your local hardware store sells Rust-Olium high temperature barbecue paint that works just as well at half the cost. The paint also provides some measure of water intrusion protection. I re-shoot my pipes once a year for looks and protection. And this wrap can soak up lots of paint so a half dozen coats isn't too many.
The way to really get a tight dry wrap is to remove the pipes and secure them down on a workbench (itís tempting to wrap the pipes installed, but youíll never get an even all around wrap.) Next donít use the wire ties that come with some wraps. Use regular size hose clamps. If you paint them to match the wrap and hide the screw mechanism behind the pipes they look fine.
Lastly consider the climate you live in. If you ride where itís dry pipe corrosion isnít much of an issue. But if itís very humid and/or it rains a lot then the under the wrap corrosion issues are much greater and you must take stronger measures to keep the water out.
Well, that about wraps it up, lol.