MXA PRODUCT TEST: CV4 HEAT SHIELD MATS
WHAT IS IT? Something that is never found on a local racer.s bike, but is used on every factory bike in the pits.
WHAT'S IT COST? $26.99 a foot (Gold), $25 a foot (Silver) – (800) 874-1223.
WHAT'S IT DO? Do you remember back in the 1980s when silencers melted through side panels? After melting a couple of sets of side panels, riders started looking for a solution to the bubbling plastic under their numbers. The answer came from the aerospace industry and was first marketed by Drew Lien at 100% Products. It was basically a foam sticker with a reflective (tinfoil looking) outer layer. You could cut it into the shape you needed and stick it inside your number plate. Problem solved.
In time, manufacturers started putting rubber bumpers inside the side panels and heat shields disappeared. But they're back! Only they aren't for side panels this time around. They are for the underside of your gas tank. It turns out that four-stroke engines produce so much heat that the gas gets so warm that it loses its combustibility (and in some cases has reached boiling temperature inside the float bowl).
CV4, like 100% before them, has come up with an aerospace solution.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here's a list of things that stand out with CV4's Heat Shield Mats.
(1) Materials. CV4 offers two different heat shield mats. The Gold version, aptly named for its gold color, reflects up to 650 degrees and provides a 70-degree drop in temperature. The Silver version reflects up to 950 degrees and provides a 150-degree temperature drop.
(2) Shape. CV's heat shield mats come in a rectangular sheet. One sheet is enough to cover the bottom of your gas tank, but you'll be responsible for cutting the sheet into shapes that will allow good coverage.
(3) Installation. Installation is a free-for-all, but we have some tips: (1) Clean the gas tank thoroughly, otherwise the heat shield won't stick. (2) Don't use pieces that are too large. We had the best luck cutting the heat shield into smaller sheets. (3) Don't be afraid to overlap pieces of Heat Shield Mat. In our experience, lots of little pieces work better than a few big pieces.
(4) Performance. The CV4 heat shield works as advertised. It does drop the temperature of your gas. Does that mean you'll notice any difference in the performance of your bike? Probably not, unless you're headed for the AMA Nationals. Local motos are always under 15 minutes in length, so just about the time the fuel is starting to get too hot, the race is over.
WHAT'S THE SQUAWK? The Heat Shield is only one step. The factory teams also make aluminum heat deflecting shields to get exhaust pipe heat away from the carb.