Know About Your Bike's Health By The Colour of Its Exhaust's Smoke

Know About Your Bike's Health By The Colour of Its Exhaust's Smoke

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), secondhand smoke is linked to 89 illnesses and close to 600 deaths.

In a lot of these cases, this is due to someone not knowing how to clean their own exhaust.

Whenever something goes wrong with your bike, be it flawed combustion or a leaky gasket, observing the color of the smoke coming out of your exhaust is often the fastest way to figure out the problem. Smoke from your exhaust is solid proof of mechanical issues in your bike. 


But before you can claim to be a smoke-color-meaning expert, you first need to learn what the different color means. Bike smokes are usually of three types. White smoke, black smoke, and blue/grey smoke. While white smoke is often acceptable, black, blue, and grey smoke coming out of our exhaust is usually bad news. 

What Does White Smoke Mean? 

When you start your new bike the first time a bit of white smoke usually comes out as it is the water droplets that are turned into vapor. So there’s no need to be alarmed if there is a bit of smoke coming out from the exhaust of your brand new bike. 

But, if the smoke persists for more than 20 or 30 seconds then you might have some serious issues. 

White smoke is usually caused by coolant leaking into the combustion chamber. It usually happens with everyday wear and tear and can also be caused by minor bumps or crashes. 

In this case, you should check your coolant level and the color of the oil. If your bike’s oil is the color of a latte, then you have a confirmed gasket issue and you probably have to get it fixed. This is generally not a job that can be conducted at home, and any checks/repairs should be completed by your local dealer or your trusted mechanic.

Coming To Blue or Grey Smoke

If the smoke coming from your exhaust has a bluish or greyish tint to it you are either riding a 2-stroke engine. In which case you are quite safe actually, as those engines normally emit blue or grey smoke. But for every other biker, this smoke is an indication that your engine is burning too much oil. 

There can be several factors that can cause your engine to burn too much oil including leaking valve seals, a worn cylinder wall, or even a closed PCV valve. 

But whatever causes the problem, the issue becomes of your engine running in a ‘rich fuel’ environment. Which, keeping the jargon aside, means that the fuel to air ratio is way off. 

Additionally, dirt bikes equipped with a clutch that uses separate oil than the engine might have a worn-out crankcase seal. Leading to further complication and a more elaborate repair approach. 

But for the average biker the first thing to check when you see this smoke is your engine oil level. If it is low, then you need to replace your piston rings and inspect the cylinder walls for any damage or blemishes. And you will mostly have to seek the assistance of a professional. 

Here’s A Quick Fix That You Can Try Before That

You should clean your bike’s air filters. These filters protect your engine from microparticles. And just think about the condition your air filters must be in this highly polluted Indian environment. 


The air cleaner may also have worked itself loose, in which case a new one will need to be fitted.

Oh No! Not Black Smoke!

This is never a good sign. Black smoke coming out of your exhausts usually means that something has gone very wrong with your engine. Most people confuse black smoke with burning oil, while in reality, it’s burning ‘fuel’.

Fuel-burning occurs when the ratio of air and fuel in your engine is unbalanced. The good news is that this is often a simple fix. 

This problem is usually caused by a leaking or dripping fuel injector or a stuck carb float that often causes a rich fuel environment. The moment you see pure black smoke coming out of your bike exhausts you should immediately rush to the nearest mechanic and get your bike fixed as soon as possible before the damage turns permanent. 

That’s all the information for this blog. If you have reached this far do check out the rest of our website. At Barrel Exhaust we build the highest quality exhausts making sure that you have the smoothest ride. Every time. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q. What does the color of smoke from my bike mean?
A. The color of the smoke is a fine indicator of your bike’s health.

Q. How often should we clean the bike’s air filter?

A. One should change the bike’s filter every 6000 kilometers.

Q. Can I repair my bike on my own?
A. Unless you are a skilled professional we would advise you not to. We recommend going to a local mechanic as they should be able to give you a much better service.