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Backfires generally happen when you rev the engine into the higher RPMs then quickly close the throttle. It's not hurtful, but is more common when the engine is running lean, which can be hurtful, as a a leaner running engine will run hotter.
 

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There is a lot of confusion when it comes to exhaust backfires or pops. Basically if you have fire coming out of your exhaust your exhaust system is "malfunctioning" . Your running it too lean and it can have harmful effects on the bike because it is not intended to have that much back pressure. YOU can make the Yamaha r3 spit fire with a company called devil exhausts. If you get the full d5C exhaust system, roughly 600 bucks, you can achieve this At high rpms. Hope this helped
 
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