To make your motorcycle shoot flames from the exhaust, you need to control the throttle in a specific way when the motorcycle is stationary or moving. You will also need an aftermarket exhaust as most stock pipes don’t work well. Another factor is the type of engine your motorcycle has. Engines with high power output are more capable of doing this.
In this article, I explain how to make your motorcycle shoot flames from the exhaust when it’s stationary and when you are on the move. I also explain how most people try doing this and how it can shorten the lifetime of your engine.
We will discuss the following:
- Requirements for your motorcycle to shoot flames
- How to shoot flames when the motorcycle is stationary
- How to shoot flames when the motorcycle is moving
- The method you should avoid using
Requirements for your motorcycle to shoot flames
It’s not to say that if your motorcycle doesn’t match with these requirements that it can’t shoot flames but these requirements deliver the best results.
These are the factors that play a huge role:
- Your motorcycle should have a high power output engine. This doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with displacement but it can be a good indicator.
- You should have an aftermarket exhaust. Generally speaking, the regulations that the US and the European Union have on motorcycles makes it difficult to shoot flames as they try to reduce noise and emissions.
How to shoot flames when the motorcycle is stationary
These are the steps that you need to follow to make your motorcycle shoot flames while it is stationary (when the bike is standing still):
When the engine has warmed up to operating temperature (see my other article: How long you should let your motorcycle warm up), increase the throttle to about 50% of what it’s able to turn. Your engine speed will be much higher because there is no load.
When the engine speed stops increasing, quickly release the throttle.
As soon as you have left the throttle, increase again to about 20% and keep it there. You should already have increased the throttle again before the engine speed drops to the new throttle setting.
The result is some flames coming out of the exhaust. Below is a graph I set up for what it should look like more or less. The throttle is indicated in percentages, the engine speed in rpm x100 and the flames are indicated in new followers on Instagram.
How to shoot flames when the motorcycle is moving
It is much easier to shoot flames when your motorcycle is moving and you will notice that the sound of the engine changes (it sounds amazing on a CBR1000RR). The idea is and the steps are exactly the same but you have more time to get it right and you will be shooting flames for longer.
This is because your clutch is always engaged and your engine speed is controlled by the momentum of the bike. This means that you will not be blipping the throttle at all. Everything is done as if you are riding normally except for how you control the throttle.
These are the steps you should take to shoot flames when the motorcycle is moving:
You can select any gear from 2nd and up to make it easy. Stay in the gear and bring the engine speed (rpm) up to around 60% of what it would do before it redlines. But also at a comfortable speed.
Release the throttle completely without pulling in the clutch. Your motorcycle’s momentum is letting you move forward and working against the engine which, as you already know, is called engine braking.
Open the throttle around 10% to 20% and keep it there. You will hear that the sound of your motorcycle changes. It will sound deeper as if you pressed the “bass boost” button on an audio player.
Those deep sounds are what you want to hear. It’s telling you that the flames are coming. It’s as simple as that. You just control the throttle. Below is another graph I set up to give you a visual of what happens when you follow these steps. The last part of the graph is just where you start accelerating again.
The method you should avoid using
There are many videos on YouTube that show people limiting their motorcycles to get it spitting flames. I’m not going to say that you shouldn’t do it because I don’t want to be a hypocrite. But it just isn’t good for your engine in the long term.
Yes, you can get your engine to shoot flames in this way. But consider using the method I use. Besides, when you shoot flames while you are moving, the bike just sounds ridiculously awesome.
I always do this as I’m slowing down for an intersection and people love the way it looks at night. And it sounds good any time of the day. I hope this article was helpful and that you can show off a few cool pics. Believe me, there are very few good ones.
Featured image by jamiemorris19 on Instagram.
I always try to keep my articles interesting and informative. And I’m always thankful when they are shared on social media platforms or Pinterest.