Why do we need spark arrestors?

Hman

Member
Apr 11, 2000
42
0
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
 

G. Gearloose

Pigment of ur imagination
Jul 24, 2000
709
0
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.
 

Hman

Member
Apr 11, 2000
42
0
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

Master of None
LIFETIME SPONSOR
Jul 31, 2000
2,085
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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.
 

cr125_king

Member
Apr 2, 2001
343
0
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

Sponsoring Member<BR>Club Moderator
Damn Yankees
Oct 13, 1999
2,812
0
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.
 

IBWFO

Member
Aug 5, 2001
367
0
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

AssClown SuperPowers
Damn Yankees
Aug 2, 2000
13,510
19
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.
 

cr125_king

Member
Apr 2, 2001
343
0
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

AssClown SuperPowers
Damn Yankees
Aug 2, 2000
13,510
19
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

~SPONSOR~
Damn Yankees
Nov 21, 2000
959
2
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
 

Okiewan

Admin
Dec 31, 1969
29,531
2,215
Texas
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

LIFETIME SPONSOR
Apr 13, 2000
2,528
1
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
 

IBWFO

Member
Aug 5, 2001
367
0
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.
 

Treejumper

2 wheeled idiot
Damn Yankees
LIFETIME SPONSOR
Sep 9, 2000
2,987
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RE: Header pipe wraps!

Maybe they should put them on Lawn mowers too. I was out cutting the grass around my parents pond and caught the grass and lawn mower on fire. The old, dry grass in the field got caught under the front end and started piling up. I couldnt see it because of the hood, but when it hit the exhaust is sure did. Smoke and flames instantly. I melted the plastic hood on the tractor and burnt about 20' diameter area of grass. Good thing the pond was there and a 55 gallon trash can. Otherwise the fire department would of had to come help me. :(

So i can see why a SA would be required and how a header pipe could start a fire. It wouldnt be pretty.
 

IBWFO

Member
Aug 5, 2001
367
0
I have a generator that I use at the races and didn't want to take any chances so I put a S/A on it. It was just a screen wire cover they sold as an after-market part, but sure wouldn't want to catch the campsite on fire
 

Suprbrd

Member
Jun 28, 2001
1
0
The first thing I did with my Honda bonus bucks after buying my cr250 was order a Pro-Circuit s/a. The chances of starting a fire may be slim but I will do everthing I can to make sure it is not me. You can still have fun riding with a s/a and you will be a more responsible rider.
 

IM12RSPCT

Member
Aug 21, 2001
42
0
I can understand s/a in a wooded area or in some desert places, but required in Glamis? (Glamis is pure sand for thoses who dont know) I never heard of any sand dune burning down.:eek:
 

rames90

Member
Sep 7, 2000
94
0
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

In Alberta they are required by law, no SA = ticket and possible bike confiscation. The negligable weight added by an SA is not going to effect my riding or prevent me from picking up my bike after a crash either. You'd think with all the forest fires currently (and everyother summer) burning out of control in BC that an SA would be required.

My 0.02
 

HiG4s

~SPONSOR~
Mar 7, 2001
1,308
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Just as a bit of information, this year at the Olsteen Hare Scrambles in Florida a bike without a spark arrestor caused a fire. It was put out quickly but FTR (Florid Trail Riders) has decided that all bikes in FTR sponsored HS races now will be required to have spark arrestors.
 

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