Can dirt bikes cause fires? Learn how they can be fire hazards and what you can do to minimize the risks.
Are dirt bikes a fire hazard? Many new dirt bike owners have this question. Dirt bikes have the potential to cause fires. But with a few tips, you can eliminate such issues. If you want to know more about dirt bikes and how to avoid fires caused by them, read on.
Can Dirt Bikes Cause Fires?
Dirt bikes can overheat if you leave them out in the sun. Can this result in a fire, and are dirt bikes safe on the street? Unfortunately, dirt bikes can cause fires. But if you inspect the bike and keep it well maintained, it will be quite safe for riding.
Fires usually start due to the dirt bike’s engine. The head pipe of the bike can heat up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit! At this temperature, the heat is almost enough to melt steel.
However, this is not the part you can touch, so you are protected from being burnt. Now, the engine can heat up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, which is enough to start a fire.
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Dirt bikes usually cause fires when they are parked on a patch of dry grass. Dry grass catches fire at even 300 degrees Fahrenheit. If the engine heats to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, a fire will be inevitable. But will the grass catch fire if you park your bike?
No, it will only happen if your bike does not stay upright. If you are speeding on your dirt bike, you might fall, or the bike might skid. The engine will come into contact with the dry patch. Due to direct contact with the heat source, a fire will start and spread quickly.
If a bike crashes, there will be fuel spillage. It usually happens when the crash is impactful and damages the gas tank. If the area is too dry, a fire will start even if the engine is too hot. But fuel spillage will result in a severe fire that you cannot put out easily.
When you ride your dirt bike, make sure the trail isn’t in an area that has a burn ban. Arid trails will usually have warning signs, and you should avoid riding your bike on such roads.
Can Dirt Bikes Start Fires In A Forest?
You need to be aware of certain problems when riding a dirt bike. Dirt bikes are usually for rough roads and forest roads. What are the dangers of dirt bikes when riding along forest trails?
Forest areas mean a lot of dry vegetation, especially in the summer or during drought.
If the fuel spills from your bike, the chance of unintentional forest fire will be high. Forest fires are caused due to 3 things: a heat source, oxygen, and fuel. These three conditions result in what is known as the fire triangle.
Now, in a natural wildfire, the fuel is usually dry leaves, twigs, and other such vegetation. However, in wildfires caused by bikers, the fuel is from the dirt bike’s engine. The heat source comes from the engine because if you leave your bike running, the engine will overheat.
While dirt bikes can start forest fires, they are less likely to do so if you follow precautions. Experienced bikers usually know which trails to avoid. If you are an amateur dirt biker, get information about the trails and check if they are safe.
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Fire Safety Tips for Dirt Bikes
Dirt bikes are meant for uneven terrain and off-road riding and can withstand a certain degree of rough use. However, they can become fire hazards if they are not maintained properly.
Is it bad to leave your dirt bike outside?
Yes, and leaving your bike outside causes more maintenance issues than irregular servicing. If you keep your bike outside overnight, the fuel might spill due to excess build-up in the engine. Apart from keeping your bike in a garage and maintaining it, you can follow more tips to ensure fire safety. Check out these tips in the following points.
Use Spark Arrestors
A spark arrestor is a wire mesh that you can fit inside the tailpipe. Once you have attached the spark arrestor, it will stop the sparks coming out of the engine.
If you have an older engine, you should use spark arrestors since many modern engines do not emit sparks. It would be best always to use a spark arrestor, especially when you go for a long ride.
Check Your Bike Thoroughly
Before you start riding, inspect every part of the bike. There might be some loose parts that will cause friction, resulting in sparks. Check if the battery tender is dangling.
The battery tender may hit the exhaust of your dirt bike and cause a small fire. Regular maintenance will help you avoid such issues. If any part is loose or rattling, immediately have it repaired or replaced.
Inspect the Fuel Lines
Wear and tear of fuel lines and engine parts is quite common. Frequent use may wear out the fuel lines of your dirt bike. If you ride your bike often and do not maintain or have it serviced regularly, cracks will appear on the fuel lines.
While you are inspecting the fuel lines, take a look at the fuel cap vent tube. Any cracks on the tube need to be fixed immediately.
Keep an Eye on Fuel Spills
Fuel can spill due to various reasons. You may drop or dump your bike and then notice that a little fuel has spilled out. Fuel spills occur due to a faulty seal or gasket. The carburetor may overflow as well. The fuel can also spill if the carburetor drain screw is broken.
So, check these parts before you start your dirt bike. Do not dump it at the side of the road, as that might increase the damage.
If you take your dirt bike when you go camping, choose areas that are not too dry. Sometimes, you will not be able to find such areas. In such cases, avoid campfires. Your bike might spill some fuel, which, combined with the campfire, can cause an uncontrollable fire.
Check the fire danger of the campground and heed the warnings given by the authorities.
Dirt Bikes Can Start Fires, But You Can Prevent Them With a Few Precautions
That’s all about dirt bikes being fire hazards. You don’t need to worry too much as long as you remember the fire safety tips. Share the information with fellow dirt bike enthusiasts and comment below about your adventures!