I love to ride my dirt bikes, and the thing that I would hate the most is to be shut down by some no-fun, party poopin’, selfish brat because they think my bike is too loud. It’s pretty sad considering how quiet most dirt bikes are compared to trains, jets, and, of course, harley’s. This is what has come down to in the sport of motocross though, so if you want to continue riding then you better do something about it! A simple and inexpensive way to do this is by slapping a spark arrestor silencer on your dirt bike. In fact, you need a spark arrestor to ride at most state trails, as well as enduro and harescramble racing.
Even worse…. public tracks, riding parks, and popular trails are being shut down because of noise issues. I’m not a big fan of putting a spark arrestor on my bike just because I don’t think dirt bikes can start fires very easily. That is, unless you literally pour gasoline on a tree and stick the exhaust right up to it. I DO feel more comfortable using one at certain riding places though, because I don’t want to get in trouble because some grouchy neighbor tattled on me. So, I got me an FMF Turbinecore Spark Arrestor to quiet my lovely 2-strokes down.
I used this spark arrestor on my KTM 144SX and, YZ125, and CR125, and the results were all very similar. One of the first things that comes to mind when thinking of a spark arrestor might be that it would take away power from your bike. I thought it would, but I had to use it if I wanted to ride in certain areas.
The first thing I noticed when I put the FMF Turbinecore on was that the bikes idled a lot quieter. I could actually talk to someone next to me with it on instead of having to shut my bike off. I used it for trail riding (a great combination with Bark Buster Handguards), motocross racing, and just for playing around. When I raced with it on my KTM I asked my dad, who was watching the race, how loud my bike was, and he said it was probably the quietest bike on the track. This was surprising to me because KTM’s are usually loud, especially when they have aftermarket exhausts on. FMF states that this silencer lowers the sound output to about 92 decibels. I didn’t have a sound meter, but can definitely say it was close to 90 db.
My YZ125 on the other hand, was a little bit different. It idled quieter, but it still had a little bit of that 125 snarl once it got on the pipe. When I was riding in the woods you would barely be able to hear it. The exhaust had to be directly pointed at you for it to be loud. The result was the same for my Honda 125.
What About Power Loss?
This is the biggest question when deciding whether to buy an aftermarket spark arrestor or not. I was scared that it would take away some needed power from my bikes, especially with what little power these 125’s had. From all the riding I did, I didn’t notice any power loss on the bottom-end. The mid-range still felt the same as before on all of the dirt bikes I tried. For the top-end power, I will say that it felt like I lost a little bit of power up top. It really didn’t feel like much though, and it might just be in my head because the bike was quieter. So all in all the power surprisingly did not really change. You would have to use a dyno to see the actual difference in numbers.
Is It Really Worth The Money?
Well lets look at what you will be able to do with this silencer on your bike… You will be able to ride on state trails because it has a spark arrestor and is USFS Approved, you can race enduro’s and harescrambles, it will make your neighbors happy, and most importantly it will help keep more riding areas open. Plus, the FMF Spark Arrestor is a whole lot cheaper than any four-stroke exhaust. If you are riding in noise-conscience riding areas then this is the part to get if you want to continue riding your dirt bike. Good luck!