Carbon fiber composites get brittle and faded from oxidation caused by the sun's UV rays. The UV discoloration is a combination of both the carbon and the resin color changes, so in order for carbon fiber to retain its appearance, it has to be clear-coated by either the manufacturer, or you, prior to installation. If it's shiny direct from the manufacturer, it's probably been clear coated. But check first before buying.
Since exhaust cans operate at elevated temperatures, this will accelerate this oxidation and also quickly drive off any wax, oil or silicone coatings you apply to try to keep them shiny. Automotive paint clear coats are very resistant to UV discoloration and oxidation, so the best solution, even for carbon exhaust cans, is to spray them before installation.
To restore carbon fiber that has started to fade, wash it with soap and water, rinse it with paint thinner, and let dry. Apply three or four coats of clear acrylic enamel or lacquer, the first coat just misted on. Lightly sand with 600 wet between coats. The black won't be as deep in any faded areas, but pretty-close.
Clear-coating carbon fiber can be time consuming because of the pinholes in the material. To keep it lightweight, it shouldn't contain any more resin than necessary. Nevertheless, some manufacturers focus more on the cosmetic aspect, so their products are dense with resin and very shiny.
So, unless your carbon fiber has been clear-coated, keep Windex or harsh oxygenated cleaners like 409 or S-100 or Oxyclean away from it. They turn raw carbon fiber mottled white and milky-looking. In some instances this milky stain can be removed with denatured alcohol before clear-coating.
Tahnks for your comprehensive post. It is all DP CF and would appear to be clear coated. I do not plan to put the S100 directly on the CF I have just found it works on the engine really well, so without having to take off the belly pan and air scoops, I'd like to be able to use it on the engine, the rest of the bike will get regular car wash and a follow-up with Plexus or Pro Honda. From you post it sounds like I may be okay?
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