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Have you ever purchased a dirt bike? You must have noticed that several places where you want to ride dirt bikes required spark arrestors to be installed to be able to ride there. Even in many parts of the world, ATV or all-terrain vehicles are required to be fitted with spark arrestors as per the order by law or local regulations.
But what is spark arrestor? What does it do? Does it have any disadvantages? Does a spark arrester reduce noise? Is it necessary? Let’s roll out to know more about spark arrestors.
A spark arrestor is a screen that goes in the tailpipe of the dirt bike that keeps any sparks flying outback of the tailpipe and lighting a wildfire. Sparks are the common cause of fires in the dust collectors. If it is not stopped, then they can ignite the dust or dusty filters present in the ductwork.
To prevent these sparks, sparks arrestors are used. Most of the time, spark arrestors are pre-installed in the dirt bikes while other times, you have to take the initiative.
Are Spark Arrestors Necessary?
It has been said from the dirt bike riders that if you have not installed the spark arrestors in the exhaust piping system, then you may see sparks coming out from it. The smaller particles from the engine will exit from the exhaust like a red glowing spark.
However, with the advancement in technologies, the production of these particles from the engine is not a problem anymore. But you must ensure that no carbon deposits are built inside the engine.
In the United States, it is compulsory to have a certified and undamaged spark arrestor installed in the bikes as per the law.
How Does It Work?
The spark arrestor is designed in a way to stop the smaller particles of dust coming out from the tailpipe. Thus, acting as a filter. On the spark arrestor screen, the mesh creates the tiny holes required by the exhaust to flow through.
Any particles larger than the holes in the mesh will be stopped by. This is how a spark arrestor is designed and made to work.
Pros and Cons of Using a Spark Arrestor
Many of the people choose to remove the spark arrestors from the dirt bike due to potential power gains. While it is somehow true that the power reduces with the installed spark arrestors as airflow is restricted through the chimney.
But removing it will not be equivalent to the more horsepower, as it may lead to serious damages. The effect of removing the spark arrestors will depend entirely on the variables such as intake, size, elevation, jetting, etc.
However, if the end goal is higher performance, then it is always recommended to keep the spark arrestor installed in the exhaust system until you can afford a high-quality engine with an arrestor and a remapping of the engine.
Many people have doubts in mind, does a spark arrester reduces noise? Yes, installing a spark arrestor in the bikes will lead to a reduction in noise by a couple of DBS. Some bike riders love deep and loud noise while they are driving, and that is another reason that wants spark arrestors to be removed.
But in today’s scenario, engine noise is the most common reason for people complaining about any off-road riding. And with complaints come restrictions for the use of tracks and trails. So be aware while you ride. It may risk you as well as common people.
Most of the time, people may think that the clamp on the spark arrestor within the exhaust may look ugly, and they want it to be removed from their bikes.
It totally depends upon the rider that he wants to pick the design as his first priority or safety. Because frankly speaking, it does not look good. But it may keep you safe from any dangerous or risky situations. This is more important.
How to Know if the Bike is Fitted with a Spark Arrestor?
Not all the ATVs are fitted with spark arrestors. To check if your bike has a spark arrestor screen in the chimney cum exhaust system, you need to look into the rear end of it. Because this is where the spark arrestor screen is located.
On many mufflers, it is already written whether you have installed a spark arrestor or not. While in many, you have to see if there is one. If you can’t find the arrestor, then use a flashlight. There must be a screen covering the diameter of the exhaust opening. It could be shaped like a tube or a plane screen. Spark arrestors are usually small in size, so it can be located easily.
However, if the screen is shaped like a tube, then it could be harder to see from outside. Use a screwdriver and gently feel if the is a screen there. Apart from spark arrestors, some mufflers are also fitted with a disc in the exhaust system. These are usually found at the end of every muffle.
How to Clean a clogged spark arrestor?
After you have ridden for some time, carbon particles will build upon the spark arrestor, so your bike must be cleaned to be performing as it should. A clogged-up arrestor usually decreases the horsepower because of blocking of the exhaust flow. It is always recommended that the arrestor should be routinely cleaned after it has been ridden for some miles.
The arrestor can be easily cleaned manually. Besides, the muffler is also equipped with some kind of cleanout plug to make it clean easily and conveniently.
One way to clean the clamp on the spark arrestor and like other parts, is to take some fuel and a copper brush off any debris. Rinse in fuel and wipe it over the spark arrestor. Let all the parts air dry before you assemble the parts into the muffler again. Always ensure enough safety while cleaning the parts.
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