JET-HOT Coatings - Product Evaluation

A high-tech way to make high-temp things new again.

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JET-HOT Coatings started out doing high-temperature coatings for the defense industry—your jet planes and submarine parts—so coating things like motorcycle exhausts is no big deal. We’re talking nanotechnology, particles of paint a billionth of a meter in size that create stronger bonds to substrate metals than do larger bits of paint. JET-HOT says its coatings achieve lower radiant-heat temperatures, brighter finishes, better corrosion protection, better performance (since the coating is applied inside your exhaust pipes, too) and much greater durability than conventional paint or powdercoating.

Further, JET-HOT claims it can take your rusty old header and make it new again. Well, sort of. Before and after photos on the company’s website show mangy-looking survivors of rust and corrosion camp transformed into shiny, like-new items. Follow the bouncing asterisk to the bottom of the page, though, and read, “JET-HOT’s coatings do not fill in pits or blemishes from rust or corrosion.” The problem here is that since JET-HOT takes care of the prep work, too (thermal degreasing and media blasting), you won’t really know how pitted or blemished your item is unless they contact you once it gets there.

The perfect test mule presented itself in the form of a pitted, corroded and decidedly second-hand stock steel exhaust header from a 1996 Kawasaki ZX-9R. We boxed up the pipe and shipped it to North Carolina (you can drop off your item at a JET-HOT dealer if there’s one near you, and they will ship it). We got a call from JET-HOT a week later saying that our header, due to its advanced state of decay, would look better in black than the requested Extreme Silver. In addition to black, Jet-Hot offers a bunch of color options, as well as all sorts of high-tech, low-friction piston coatings and other applications.

Whereas the very tasty chrome-like Extreme Silver would’ve been $200, the flat-black coating runs $235—not exactly cheap, but if you’re looking to keep a vehicle original, not so bad. The black coating on the pipe we got back three weeks later doesn’t do much at all to hide the pits and blemishes, but apart from that, it does look more like a brand-new item and a lot better than before. We’ve only ridden the bike around a couple of months in nice, arid SoCal weather, but the coating is supposed to stay on there up to 1600 degrees (God forbid), and it carries a three-year guarantee.

As for JET-HOT’s power claim, we regret that we failed to dyno the bike before and after. But when you look good, you always feel faster. And for way less than the cost of an aftermarket exhaust, the ZX-9R looks much better while retaining its stealth (stock) exhaust note and low-rpm-rich powerband.

Contact|JET-HOT Coatings 7237 Pace Dr. Whitsett, NC 27377 800/432-3379 www.jet-hot.comPrice...$235
Ups|• Recycling beats throwing stuff away • Cheaper than a new exhaust • Better to look good than to feel good
Downs|• 5-7 days turned into three weeks for our part • Not exactly inexpensive • Heightened contrast of crusty parts around it