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C’mon Baby, Don’t Light My Fire!

By Reid Nehring

I was wracking my brain over the weekend for a topic for this weeks’ blog when it suddenly came to me driving into the city. As I like old classic rock, the station I was listening to was playing a tune by Jim Morrison and The Doors called Light My Fire. The phrase “light my fire” immediately brought to mind the disastrous fires of Ft. McMurray, Alberta and surrounding area; and information released last week now indicates the huge fire, nicknamed by firefighters “The Beast”, was caused by man, which got me thinking. I know a lot of guys pull the spark arrestors out of their bike, ATV and UTV exhaust systems for numerous reasons and I’m hoping that our community and our sport won’t get hung with being the culprits that started and spread the massive fire that it still is to this day! Spark arrestors are just what they say they are and should not be removed from your exhaust system for any reason.

Some guys will tell you that their machines run cooler without them, some guys take them out to make more noise, and some guys will take them out for the performance aspect claiming better horsepower without the restriction of a spark arrestor. The spark arrestor is a device in every exhaust system that traps and pulverizes smokin’ hot exhaust carbon particles to a size well below 0.023 of an inch in diameter as they are belched from an exhaust system. Trap-type spark arrestors in the performance exhaust systems are cone shaped stainless steel sieves that are usually removable so you can clean out the accumulated carbon particles and should be replaced as soon as you have done that bit of maintenance. However, when installing a new performance exhaust the manufacturer usually recommends running the first couple of hours without the spark arrestor so that they don’t get plugged up with all the fibres of the sound silencing muffler packing. Please be careful where you ride during that short break-in period! Stock exhaust systems usually have a built in spark arrestor that is difficult to access and should not be modified or removed for any reason.

The main point of this blog guys and girls is DON’T SCREW WITH YOUR SPARK ARRESTORS!! The last thing we need on our hands right now is another Beast! Now, more than ever, we need to be responsible environmental stewards of the areas we have the privilege of riding in. Yes guys, the privilege!

Ride Safe & Ride Sober!


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