What is a Dirt Bike Spark Arrestor? How to Install?

installing dirt bike spark arrestor

A dirt bike, also known as an off-road motorcycle or an enduro bike, is designed specifically for off-road riding. Its lightweight construction, knobby tires, long-travel suspension, and high ground clearance characterize it. Dirt bikes typically have a two- or four-stroke engine, providing the required power for off-road riding. You’re not allowed to ride a dirt bike on a public road without using a spark arrestor. 

What’s a Spark Arrestor?

A spark arrestor is a device to prevent sparks and hot debris, expelled through an engine’s exhaust. Spark arrestors are used in various engines, including gasoline, diesel, and gas turbines. Spark arrestor’s standard sizes are 6 to 40 inches, but larger ones are available. Spark arrestors are designed to arrest 0.023 inches (0.584 mm) sparks or larger.

It’s primarily used outdoors to reduce the risk of igniting fires, particularly in dry or explosive environments. Spark arrestors work by catching sparks that are produced during combustion. 

Why Dirt Bikes Need a Spark Arrestor?

Dirt bikes are a popular form of recreation, but they can also be a fire hazard. When a dirt bike engine is running, it can produce hot sparks. These sparks can land on dry vegetation and start a fire. To prevent wildfires, dirt bikes are required to have a spark arrestor. 

dirt bike spark arrestor

1. Fire Prevention

Fire prevention is one of the primary reasons why spark arrestors are crucial for dirt bikes. When riding in off-road environments, dirt bikes generate hot sparks and debris as a byproduct of the combustion process in their engines. The role of a spark arrestor is to capture and contain these sparks and hot particles within the exhaust system.

2. Environmental Protection

Spark arrestors are an essential part of fire prevention and can help prevent wildfires. If you are riding a dirt bike or operating any other type of internal combustion engine in an area where wildfires are a risk, it is essential to ensure the engine has a spark arrestor.

3. Legal Requirements

There’re legal requirements for spark arrestors in many areas. In the United States, spark arrestors are required on dirt bikes in all national forests and grasslands. Fines for violating spark arrestor laws can range from $50 to $5,000, depending on the jurisdiction. In some cases, violating spark arrestor laws can result in imprisonment.

4. Access to Riding in Public Areas

There’s often a requirement for dirt bikes to have spark arrestors installed to access and ride in public areas. These regulations are in place to ensure the safety of riders, preserve natural resources, and prevent accidental fires caused by sparks emitted from dirt bike exhaust systems. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in penalties, fines, or denying access to certain riding areas.

What Does a Spark Arrestor Do for a Dirt Bike?

A spark arrestor for a dirt bike is crucial in safeguarding both the rider and the environment. The use of spark arrestors is often mandated by law in certain jurisdictions and requires access to designated public riding areas. It also promotes responsible riding practices and preserves natural resources. 

Overall, a spark arrestor is an essential component for a dirt bike, serving as a critical safety measure, an environmental protector, and a means of promoting responsible off-road riding.

Does a Spark Arrestor Reduce Power?

Yes, a spark arrestor can reduce power in a dirt bike. This is because the spark arrestor acts as a restriction in the exhaust system, reducing the amount of airflow that can pass through it. This can lead to a decrease in power. The amount of power loss depends on various factors, including the design and quality of the spark arrestor, the specific dirt bike, and its engine characteristics. However, you can generally expect 5-10% of power loss when installing a spark arrestor on a dirt bike. 

Types of Spark Arrestors for Dirt Bikes

There’re two main types of spark arrestors for dirt bikes. Both types of spark arrestors serve the same purpose of preventing sparks from exiting the exhaust system and reducing the risk of fires. 

1. Screen Spark Arrestor

It’s made of a wire mesh that catches sparks. The screen is typically made of stainless steel or other heat-resistant material. Screen spark arrestors are the most common type of spark arrestor. They are relatively easy to install. However, they can be less effective at preventing sparks than other spark arrestors. Due to their design, screen spark arrestors generally have a lesser power impact than different types of spark arrestors. A screen spark arrestor may be a good option if you’re looking for an inexpensive and easy-to-install spark arrestor.

2. Super Trap Spark Arrestors

A SuperTrapp spark arrestor is a type of spark arrestor that is designed to trap hot exhaust particles that could ignite dry vegetation. It is made up of a series of discs that are stacked together to form a series of annular openings. The precise spacing between the discs provides a barrier against noise and sparks without restricting the exhaust flow.

SuperTrapp spark arrestors are known for their effectiveness in preventing wildfires. They are also relatively quiet, making them a good choice for off-road vehicles. SuperTrapp spark arrestors are also available in various sizes to fit different engines.

Universal Spark Arrestors For Dirt Bike

Here are some universal spark arrestors for dirt bikes.

1. Fisch Moto Spark Arrestor USFS

This popular option is made of stainless steel and has a fine mesh screen. It is available in a variety of sizes to fit most dirt bikes. It’s easy to install. 

2. FMF Power Bomb Spark Arrestor

This is another popular option made of stainless steel with a fine mesh screen. It is designed to be more efficient than some other spark arrestors, which can help to reduce power loss.

3. Pro Circuit Spark Arrestor

This is a good option if you want a spark arrestor made of high-quality material. It is made of titanium and has a fine mesh screen.

pro circuit spark arrestor

4. Yoshimura Spark Arrestor

This is a good option if you are looking for a spark arrestor that a well-known brand makes. It is made of stainless steel and has a fine mesh screen.

When choosing a universal spark arrestor for your dirt bike, it is essential to consider the size of your exhaust pipe, the material of the spark arrestor, and the price. 

yoshimura spark arrestos

How to Install a Spark Arrestor?

Installing a spark arrestor is crucial in promoting fire safety and preventing potential hazards. Its installation involves careful planning, accurate measurements, and careful implementation. If you need help installing a spark arrestor, consult your owner’s manual or contact a qualified mechanic. However, the basic steps involved in establishing a spark arrestor are as follows

1. Gather the Necessary Tools

The specific tools you will need vary depending on the type of spark arrestor you’re installing. However, some common tools include a wrench, screwdriver, and socket set. You may also need a wire brush and a vacuum cleaner to clean the spark arrestor before installing it. Using the correct tools is essential to ensure that the spark arrestor is seated properly.  

2. Locate the Exhaust Outlet

The exhaust outlet is the part of the exhaust system where the exhaust gasses exit the vehicle. The muffler is the part of the exhaust system located at the engine’s end. Look for a pipe that is coming out of the muffler. This is the exhaust outlet.

3. Remove the Existing Muffler

Removing the existing muffler is a critical first step in installing a spark arrestor. The muffler is part of the exhaust system located at the end of the engine, and it is responsible for reducing the noise emitted by the engine. Once the muffler is removed and is damaged, then replace it before installing the spark arrestor. Once the spark arrestor is in place, you can reinstall the muffler.

4. Check for Proper Fit and Alignment

Check the spark arrestor is seated correctly, and if it’s not properly installed, it can’t properly catch the spark. If it is leaking, it could allow sparks to escape and start a fire. Finally, visually inspect the spark arrestor for any damage. If the spark arrestor is damaged, it should be replaced. 

5. Test the Spark Arrestor

You must notice a few things when testing a spark arrestor after installing it. Look for any sparks coming from the exhaust pipe. If you see any sparks, the spark arrestor is not working correctly, and you will need to clean or replace it. Listen for any unusual noises coming from the exhaust system. If you hear any unusual noises, the spark arrestor may be damaged, and you must replace it. 

What Causes Spark Arrestors to Clog?

Carbon buildup is one of the most common causes of spark arrestor clogging. It occurs when fuel and oil vapors are not entirely burned and condense on the spark arrestor screen. Over time, this can build up a layer of carbon that blocks the airflow. Using old or poor-quality fuel can also contribute to spark arrestor clogging. Clogging of the spark arrestor can cause the engine to overheat.      

spark arrestor

Tips for Choosing a Spark Arrestor

Choosing the proper spark arrestor is crucial for ensuring safety and preventing potential fire hazards. With various options available, it’s essential to consider the specific purpose for which you need the spark arrestor. Regarding materials, durability, corrosion, and heat resistance are important factors. 

Stainless steel is a popular choice for spark arrestors due to its longevity and ability to withstand high temperatures. Galvanized steel is another option, offering good durability and corrosion resistance at a more affordable price. Carefully evaluate the material options and choose the one that best suits your needs.                  

What’s the Difference Between Silencers and Spark Arrestors?

A silencer is designed to reduce the noise emitted by an engine, while a spark arrestor is designed to prevent the emission of flammable debris from an internal combustion engine.

Silencer Spark Arrestor
Reduces noise Prevents the emission of flammable debris
Uses baffles or other noise-reducing materials to absorb sound waves Uses a screen or mesh to catch hot particles before they can escape the exhaust system
Can reduce noise levels by up to 90% Can prevent the emission of sparks by up to 90% to 95%
Not required in most areas Required in some areas, especially in areas prone to wildfires
Silencer can be used on any type of engine Spark arrestors are typically only used on engines that are used in areas where there is a risk of wildfires.
Silencer can reduce engine performance slightly Spark arrestors do not have any significant impact on engine performance.
Silencer should be inspected and cleaned regularly Spark arrestor should also be inspected and cleaned regularly

Removing Spark Arrestor from Dirt Bike

Removing the spark arrestor from a dirt bike can have various effects on the bike’s performance and safety. Removing the spark arrestor leads to multiple changes in dirt bike:

  • Increased Noise
  • Potential Legal Issues
  • Increased Fire Hazard
  • Engine Damage
  • Loss of Low-End Power

How to Make a Spark Arrestor for Dirt Bike?

You will need a piece of stainless steel mesh with a 16- to 20-mesh count, a part of the pipe that is the same diameter as the exhaust pipe on your dirt bike, a few screws or pins, a socket box, and a pair of gloves. Cut the mesh to size, bend the mesh into a cylinder, secure the mesh into place, and install the spark arrestor in the exhaust in the pipe. 


Spark arrestors are an essential safety device that can help to prevent wildfires. They come in a variety of designs and are effective in a variety of settings. While they can reduce engine performance, the reduction is usually slight and is not a significant concern for most people. Spark arrestors are a relatively inexpensive way to help prevent wildfires and are a simple and effective way to keep your family, friends, and community safe. I hope this article is helpful to you in understanding what spark arrestor is, where it is located, and why they’re essential and beneficial. 


Do dirt bikes come with spark arrestors?

Not all dirt bikes come with spark arrestors. Motocross bikes, designed for closed-course competition, do not come with spark arrestors. However, most trail dirt and enduro bikes have a factory-installed spark arrestor.

Does a spark arrestor reduce noise?

A spark arrestor can slightly reduce noise but is not designed primarily for that purpose. The amount of noise reduction that a spark arrestor provides depends on the design of the spark arrestor and the type of engine it is used on.

What is a Spark Arrestor on a Chimney?

A spark arrestor on a chimney is a device that is installed on the top of a chimney to prevent a small piece of burning wood or sparks from escaping the chimney and igniting nearby flammable materials. Spark arrestors are typically made of metal mesh but are also available in other materials, such as ceramic or stainless steel.

Can a Spark Arrestor Prevent the Engine from Starting?

Yes, a spark arrestor can prevent an engine from starting if it is clogged or damaged. If the spark arrestor is clogged or damaged, exhaust gasses can be restricted, preventing the engine from starting. 

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