Why do we need spark arrestors?

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#1
Aside from the obvious answer that they are required by law.

I think I read somewhere a while back that the USFS rule requiring the use of spark arrestors was rooted in ancient history, going back to steam locomotive days. Anybody know if there's any truth to that?

I know for sure my two stroke doesn't throw embers like a Great Pacific Iron Horse. Is there even a documented instance of a forest fire ever being started by a dirt bike or quad exhaust?

Just wondering, and though this great collection of technically minded soap boxers might have a thing or two to add.

H
 

Humai

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#2
I know I've had dry vegetation catch fire on my glowing YZ400 header pipe - perhaps we need header wraps too!
 

G. Gearloose

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#3
Seen it.

Hmm, search long enough you can find anything..
Two years ago local kids started a fire with their rat-bikes. Luckily it was contained. I think SA's work as advertised. Threre is a lot at stake.

Smoke a top end at high speed is a sure way to make sparks, also. I think its neglegent to be in the woods without one.
 
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#4
I never thought about the possibility of sticking one at high speed and releasing sparks.....but honestly I doubt that is the intent.

Don't joke about the header wrap- some freind of Mother Earth in a high place gets wind of that idea, they may think it's brilliiant and necessary.

Back to the original two questions, Is SA requirement rooted in antiquity, and is there any documented instance of fires due to exhaust sparks, (not hot pipes)?
 

smb_racing

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#5
my neighbor bought an old KDX that hadn't been run like it should (ie. carboned up bad) and when we took a spin on the bike and twisted on the throttle good it looked like a sprarkler was lit behind the ole right leg. The bike of course had no spark arrestor. After seeing that little display I'm convinced that it can't hurt to have one installed.
 
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#6
you dont need spark arrestors here!

Not many people have them around here. I'll never run one of those stupid things. Spark arresters=more weight, not as loud, and a little power loss. NO law here (Canada )that requirs running one:p
 

WoodsRider

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#7
Did someone say choo-choos?

A spark arrestor is required on any locomotive that operates within the United States boundaries per American Association of Railroads (AAR) specification. Even switcher units that never leave the yard must have a s/a. If I dig out the AAR spec., I can tell you how far back this goes.

I don't know of any documented case where spark from an exhaust created a fire, but it is very possible even on a modern internal combustion engine. I've seen fire balls shoot out of locomotive turbochargers due to internal engine (fuel delivery) problems.

If you want to ride in a National Forest here, you'd better have a USFS approved spark arrestor installed. We've all seen the destruction caused by forest fires this year. I don't think one or two pounds and maybe one horsepower loss is worth causing all that death and destruction.
 
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#8
I have a college buddy that works for the USFS and we have had this conversation for years. He says he has never heard of any documentation that a spark from a motorcycle has caused a forest fire. He did say that if we (USFS) would treat campers/campfires with the same scrutiny as motorcycles we might have a whole lot less forest fires.:)
 

XRpredator

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#9
Re: you dont need spark arrestors here!

Originally posted by cr125_king
I'll never run one of those stupid things. Spark arresters=more weight, not as loud, and a little power loss. NO law here (Canada )that requirs running one:p
Nobody'll accuse cr125king of being a mental giant.:silly:

It's common sense, more than anything.
 
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#10
Re: Re: you dont need spark arrestors here!

If i dont have to run a Spark Arrester than why should i?. Yes i know the bush is dry right now, and thats why I havent ridden in the bush(mountains )in 2 weeks.:)

Originally posted by XRpredator

Nobody'll accuse cr125king of being a mental giant.:silly:

It's common sense, more than anything.
 

XRpredator

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#11
Here is a recent thread about a fire caused by a bike, though the pics are missing now. I think it was the header pipe more than anything, and that may be the next step by the USFS.

And cr125_king, the reason why was stated before--It's just common sense.:think
 

weimedog

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#12
If you have ever seen the aftermath of a forest fire in the dry seasons..( Like now) maybe you would be asking things like " What can we do to minimize the chance of fires?) Instead of " why do we need spark arrestors"

It's dry, really dry; here in Colorado. Also Wyoming is scary dry. One fire in the wrong place can burn thousands of acres.:o
 
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#13
Spark arresters=more weight, not as loud, and a little power loss.
I have obvious issues with that little gem spewed forth by our young friend.
Sit back while and try to learn something okay? It will help you avoid making ignorant statements like that in the future.
 

JWW

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#14
Re: Did someone say choo-choos?

Originally posted by WoodsRider
. I don't think one or two pounds and maybe one horsepower loss is worth causing all that death and destruction.
agreed


If you need more hp get a bigger bike
 
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#15
There are places that they are not required and others (National Parks) that they are. I use one where they are required and don't where they are not.
Of course on the track I do not use one. I rarely ride in the National Parks, but would never do so without a S/A.