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Old 06-08-2007, 04:18 PM   #1
Mountain Bob OP
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USFS APPROVED Spark Arrestors / Mufflers

Let me show my ignorance (it's a Gift of mine !) :

I've heard that USFS cops carry a list of "legal" spark-arrestor bikes/mufflers. I have not found a copy of that list.

Most every KLR review I've read mentions "approved spark arrestor." Most other brands don't even mention whether their mufflers qualify or not.

Which do, which don't? As has been noted elsewhere, equipment-inspection enforcement varies considerably, but once there's a fire ... well, if they think you caused it, your life is over.

SO:
Which dual-sport models have "approved" arrestors?

What a about aftermarket:
Do some replacement mufflers qualify?
Is there an add-on modification that qualifies as "approved"??
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Old 06-08-2007, 05:49 PM   #2
dgunther
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My IDS2 has a USFS Approved mark stamped into it. As I understand it, other approved arrestors have this as well.

I can't imagine a ranger/cop/whatever carrying around a huge list of approved bikes and aftermarket pipes and trying to match up part numbers and bike models.
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:54 PM   #3
Luke
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In general, dual sport and "trail bikes" have spark arrestors, motocross and street bikes don't. Approved bikes have a stamp on the muffler that says it's approved, and includes the manufacturer's name and approval number. There has been a case where people got in trouble because the mfg name didn't match the approval number, but the mfgs should be on top of that now.

There are approved aftermarket spark arrestors. I've got one on my KTM. They are stamped just like stock exhausts. The only bike-specific requirement is that the surface area of the screen be twice the surface area of the smallest section of the exaust. There's no requirement that the arrestor be approved with a particular bike.
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Old 06-09-2007, 09:50 AM   #4
Pelon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke
The only bike-specific requirement is that the surface area of the screen be twice the surface area of the smallest section of the exaust. There's no requirement that the arrestor be approved with a particular bike.
+1 I have seen guys get by with clearly home made contraptions.
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Old 06-11-2007, 11:32 AM   #5
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Yep. Several years ago we would clamp metal screen over the back of the silencer on two-stroke mx bikes to ride in the natl forrests.

Every dual sport bike I've seen up close has had a spark arrestor stock. Aftermarket exhausts will say if they have spark arrestors and be stamped USFS Approved. The FMF PowerCore Q on my DR350 and FMF Q on my CR250R are both stamped as such.
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Old 06-11-2007, 11:49 AM   #6
Mountain Bob OP
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... and to all a "Good Night" !

Thanks, folks. Good info.
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Old 06-11-2007, 11:54 AM   #7
Sniper X
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I hear all kinds of horror stories about what cops know, or will do as a test on the pipe....whatever, never in my 40 years of riding have had a cop even LOOK at my pipe. But, that said, I have a USFS approved one on my Supermotorad XR600R plated fun bike. It is a type 496. Nice sound good power, and way Way lighter than the stock one.
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Old 06-11-2007, 11:45 PM   #8
Mountain Bob OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper X
I hear all kinds of horror stories about what cops know, or will do as a test on the pipe....whatever, never in my 40 years of riding have had a cop even LOOK at my pipe. . .
Yeah, me too. I hear the stories, I run full-legal hardware, I've had no problems. You too? Good for you !!

Even though I definitely live and ride in "fire country," I have never been stopped or questioned about exhaust systems on my bikes or ATV's. Then again, I am willing to leave a bit of "power potential" untapped in favor of being able to ride up on the big critters that live in these mountains. With my super-quiet "Stealth" brand muffler on my Honda ATV, I have ridden up on deer (duh), elk, moose (yikes!), black bears, and one very surprised cougar. That's worth several untapped hp to me, and no doubt the fat stock mufflers (or the over-fat "Stealth") are a pretty big deterrent to law enforcement harassment.

Still, I do know that IF a cause can be established for a forest fire, and IF that cause is established as your intentional or negligent fire-starting activity, between the fines and the lawsuits to recoup fire-fighting costs you can pretty much kiss your future goodbye.

Doesn't happen often. Once is too much. Very unlikely to happen. Pretty hard to prove (I'm thinking that fining you after the fire for non-spec mufflers is one thing, but that establishing actual cause as being your non-spec mufflers is quite another thing.) Still, If I'm going to spend a few bucks for a "better" exhaust system (and "better" means lots of different things to different people), I'd rather be in full compliance than to have the hassles of non-compliance.

And really -- a sharp "brrrrrrraaaaaaapppp!!!" is one thing in an ORV park or your friend's back forty; it's another thing entirely, deep in the backwoods. I love to ride, I love the deep-woods, and I have no wish to bring Raceway Acoustics to the backcountry. Two different settings, two different things.

I also don't want to be the reason that my favorite mountainside is all charcoal and smoking stubs, for maybe 30 years or so. But maybe that's just me . . . ??
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:54 AM   #9
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I have a modified stock pipe. A member on another forum modified his stock pipe it and decided he wanted a better farkle, so he sold it to me. It came with the original USFS tag with all the detials, and is very quiet. The only way I can see that anyone would know is if there was another stock pipe next to mine.

The point is, the pipe still has the cat converter in it. The performance is fine with me, and the noise level is still a bit below a stock factory off road pipe. Comments on a cat converter working as a spark arrestor? On one hand it is much hotter in the converter than a normal exhaust, but it would seem to serve much the same function as the screens and baffles that pass for spark arrestors.

I'm sure I am likely ignorant of the subject, I always assumed that the spark arrestor thing was BS. Is this really a thing of the past with old two smokes and old oil technology? Are there modern cases of fires from exhaust emissions? Are we talking about a likelihood in the same league as a cell phone blowing up a gas pump? Educate me.
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adaycj
. . . I'm sure I am likely ignorant of the subject, I always assumed that the spark arrestor thing was BS. Is this really a thing of the past with old two smokes and old oil technology? Are there modern cases of fires from exhaust emissions? Are we talking about a likelihood in the same league as a cell phone blowing up a gas pump? Educate me.
Hopefully some ThumperPerson will know the actual tachnology, history, and risks.

I do know that when I was growing up in the southeastern U.S., there was enough moisture coming off the Gulf of Mexico to keep the forests wet and pretty much fire free. Though I had vacationed in the western U.S. and seen areas that had been burned badly, it was only after I moved to the Inland Northwest that I became acutely aware of the fire risks in the timber country.

Fire risk factors are posted daily in timber country, there are periods when campfires (even camp stoves) are forbidden, and a carelessly discarded cigarette can get you some jail time, fines, and lawsuits if they can prove that your cig started a wildfire. The cost of fighting those fires is astronomical, the wildfire-related dollar losses in both property and trees are higher yet, and every couple of summers there are firefighter deaths.

Do motorcycle and ATV exhausts cause many fires? I have no idea. Is there really much of a risk? Dunno. But I sure don't want to set myself up for arguing the point with a risk-sensitive timber cop, or a judge with a bee in his bonnet about wildfire etiquitte and losses.

So who knows the "real facts" about actual exhaust/fire risks ?
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:22 AM   #11
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Years ago I had a DR350 bored out to a white Btothers (pipe) 445
I'm guessing it had no sparky cause I was riding a field and it backfired causing a long line of fire on the dry grass. I got off the bike and put it out - luckily I noticed before it got big. The bike blew up (again) shortly thereafter so I don't know if this was a one-time fluke.
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:21 AM   #12
Mountain Bob OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlitzBike
...I was riding a field and it backfired causing a long line of fire on the dry grass. I got off the bike and put it out - luckily I noticed before it got big. The bike blew up (again) shortly thereafter so I don't know if this was a one-time fluke.
Get caught upstream of that "long line of fire" in our late-summer mountains, and some angry Smoke Jumper will blow up you bike for you !"
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