12 Routine Maintenance Tips for Dirt Bikes
Wash your bike after every ride.
- Be gentle. We recommend simply using a bucket of water and a selection of brushes to knock off mud. Be careful to not force water and dirt into areas where it can damage engine or electrical components. Consider using an airbox cover to seal off the carburetor from water and debris.
Dry it before you inspect it.
- Make sure your bike is clean and dry before you inspect it for maintenance issues.
Check for leaks.
- Once your dirt bike is clean and dry, look for oil drips on the ground and underneath the motor. Also, inspect for coolant and brake fluid.
Inspect and clean your chain.
- If your dirt bike's drive chain is particularly muddy, allow the mud to dry overnight, so it can be more easily removed. Once the chain is clean, lubricate it with a high-quality chain lube.
Check your chain tension.
- Remember, the chain should never be taut—there should be some slack to compensate for suspension movement. On the other hand, if you are able to remove the chain from the rear sprocket, it has become too loose and should be replaced.
Inspect and tighten bolts.
- Check your hardware to make sure bolts haven’t loosened.
Check out your controls and control cables.
- Inspect your throttle and clutch cables and replace them if they are frayed or kinked. Then, test the throttle control for the proper amount of free play. An easy way to test for free play is to place the bike on a work stand, start it up, and let it idle. Then, rotate the handlbars through their full range of travel and listen for any increase in engine rpm. If an increase occurs, you need to add free play to your throttle cable.
Check and clean your air filter.
- By maintaining a clean air filter, you’ll not only improve performance, you’ll protect your engine from costly damage.
Check your tire pressure in between each ride.
- Use a tire pressure gauge to set the proper pressure based on the terrain conditions.
Change your oil.
- If you spend most of your time in the dirt or mud you need to change your motor oil often - the more often you change your oil, the longer your engine will likely live.
Check your fluids.
- You should replace your brake fluid periodically, because it is prone to absorb moisture. Also, check your coolant level and top off as needed. Plan to flush and change your cooling system once per year.
Grease it up.
Grease seals out water and dirt and provides lubrication for important components. Inspect your air filter’s sealing area, swingarm and hardware, wheel bearings and seals, shock seals and forks, and steering head bearings.