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When I got my first dirt bike, I noticed that several places where I wanted to ride dirt bikes listed that they required spark arrestors in the bikes to be able to ride there. The problem was, I wasn’t sure what a spark arrestor is, or if my bike had one. Here’s everything you need to know.
A spark arrestor is a metal screen that goes in the tailpipe of your dirt bike and would keep any sparks from flying out the back of the tailpipe and lighting a wildfire. Most dirt bikes come with a spark arrestor pre-installed, but some do not.
Most people don’t have to worry about checking to see if they have a dirt bike spark arrestor because modern bikes will. However, it’s always worth checking to make sure you’re in compliance. If a previous owner modified the bike, they may have taken it out.
How to Know if Your Dirt Bike Has a Spark Arrestor
Right on the back of the tailpipe you’ll see printed on the tailpipe if it has a spark arrestor from the factory. Many dirt bikes do. In the photo above, you can clearly see the Yahama YMS125A Spark arrestor is installed in the tailpipe. Not only can you see it printed, but you can see the actual spark arrestor inside the hole. This particular spark protector is rated to 17CFM.
The photo below also has a factory-installed spark arrestor. This Honda CRF110 has an HM KYK A1 spark arrestor and is rated to 34CFM.
Are Spark Arrestors Really Necessary?
I have heard from other dirt bike riders that if you follow a 2-stroke dirt bike at night, you’ll occasionally see a spark come out of the exhaust. I haven’t seen this myself, but there’s obviously the potential for that to happen.
The United States is the only country in the entire world that requires a spark arrestor, and some people don’t like it because it can impact the performance of the bike, but I personally don’t mind at all. I’m glad to do whatever I can to prevent forest fires 🙂