What Causes a Motorcycle to Backfire?

Fed up with annoying motorcycle backfires? No problem, you are in the right place. Motorcycles backfire a loud bang sound that comes from motorcycles exhaust pipers while riding the bike. A motorcycle backfire is pretty annoying and also a potential danger to the rider. Most of the riders know the adrenaline rush when they hear the backfire sounds. The sound is so loud that it can damage the rider’s ears and can even emit flames. If you want to know the reason behind backfires, you need to know what causes a motorcycle to backfire:

What is a Motorcycle Backfire?

Before knowing what causes a backfire, you should know what a motorcycle backfire is. The explosion occurs in the combustion chamber caused by interruption inside the engine’s operation. It is something that happens when the engine gets a lot of air or fuel. 

A motorcycle backfires due to these six main reasons:

  • Too much fuel
  • Loose exhaust pipe
  • Incorrect timing
  • Too little fuel
  • Intermittent spark
  • Short exhaust

Let me describe each possible scenario that troubleshoots your motorcycle engine and try to resolve the problem:

Too Much Fuel:

The combustion process inside the cylinder needs a certain amount of fuel and air to start up the motorcycle. Too much fuel inside the engine weakens the combustion and leads to potential engine damage. 

Loose exhaust pipe:

A motorcycle exhaust pipe is a metal pipe that is connected to the engine directly. If the exhaust pipe gets loose or unbolted, the loose header causes a huge problem, and the hot fumes cause the engine to backfire.

Incorrect Timing:

When it comes to the motorcycle engine backfire, the main problem can be due to the incorrect timing. It is caused due to the voltage signal reaching the compression stroke at the wrong time.

Too little fuel:

Sometimes the reason for backfire is due to not getting enough amounts of fuel. When the motor gets too much air and little fuel the cylinder internals get terrible, resulting in backfire. 

Short Exhaust:

Short exhaust pipes come with the tendency of being troublesome. Short pipers usually 12 inches (ca. 30 cm) intend to give the motor louder exhaust because the pipes are too short.

Intermittent spark:

An intermittent spark can be the most annoying problem and can be hazardous too. If the climate is too cold or too hot or its raining, you might get a problem with the intermittent spark, which causes backfire. 


Whenever you keep hearing the loud sounds of exhaust, you might keep worrying about What causes a motorcycle to backfire. If you can find the exact reason for the backfire, you can quickly fix the problem.

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