13 tips to maintain and prepare your dirt bike
When it comes time to prepare your dirt bike for a race session, you need to do it the right way-you don't want a broken bike on a race day. Even if motocross maintenance is mostly common sense, ACD Racing Parts USA brings you a complete check list of each step you must pay attention to to get your off-road motorcycle in the best possible shape.
1. Clean your motorcycle
Seems obvious, but bears repeating: Never store your bike after a race session without a complete and careful cleaning . A clean bike will last longer and it will be easier to maintain and repair. Remove all the plastic to better access to all components.
If using a high pressure cleaner, always pay attention to the bearings and carburetor to avoid over flooding them. In all cases, remove moisture from the bike before storing it.
2. Oil and filter
You do not want to risk engine seizure. Oil should be changed every 2 races or every 5 to 10 hours after an intense race session. The oil filter should be replaced every 2 oil replacements. Also keep in mind that the seizing of the engine is not an exclusive risk of two-stroke engine dirt bikes; four-stroke engines also need proper oil maintenance even if they can run low on oil.
3. Air filter
Your enduro motorcycle needs to breathe fresh air as you do. The air filter should be cleaned after every ride , and every 3 to 5 hours during a race session. Do not hesitate to replace the air filter if it appears to be very dirty or very hard to clean. Air filter maintenance is so easy there’s no reason to reduce the life expectancy of your engine for some dirt.
Getting power is a good thing. Getting power to the track is better. We recommend you clean, tighten and lubricate the chain, linkage and the tensioner the day before the race to save time. Also search your chain for cracks and signs of extreme fatigue and do not hesitate to change it before it breaks.
5. Tires & wheels
Check your tires for cracks and wear . If you detect any fault or sign of extreme use, change the tire. Pump your tires to 15 psi the day before the race. Be really careful with tires since a good grip can make difference during a race and helps you get this additional bite on starting a race.
Also check wheels for loose or damaged spokes. Tighten them or replace them if necessary.
6. Fluids and fluid lines
Check all the fluid levels of your dirt bike. That includes gas, coolant, brake fluid, and clutch fluid if you have a hydraulic clutch. Refill if necessary. Also check fluid lines for cracks and leaks. Change them if necessary and drain the whole fluid circuit and replace the fluid. Avoid loose fluid lines, tighten them if necessary before they get pinched or caught on something.
7. Brakes and brake pads
Once again it is common sense, but check your off-road motorcycle brakes before each race. Brake discs shouldn't be damaged, oxidized or dirty and brake pads should be in good shape. Lubricate if necessary. Refill brake fluid as needed.
Take a close look at the throttle and clutch cables for any wear. Lube the cables every few races to avoid them from seizing. Also attach any loose cables before they get caught on something.
9. Spark plugs
Two-stroke enduro and motocross motorcycles have very delicate spark plugs. Pay particular attention to the spark plugs the day before the race and do not hesitate to change it during an intense race session. Always go racing with one or two replacement spark plugs. If you ride a four-stroke off-road motorcycle, also check the state of the spark plugs before each race.
Always use fresh gas for your bike, especially on 2-stroke motorcycles. Premix won't stay stable over time, so if you stored your bike for a long time, drain your tank and fill it with fresh mix . Do the same with your 4-stroke MX so you do not get any impurities damaging the carburetor or injectors.
11. Adjust your bike
As you know, an adjusted bike can win some precious seconds during a race. You want everything to be in place and to react as it should. This is why you should adjust your motorcycle's throttle play, brake pedal play, clutch play and lever play. Also check for motor bolts and tighten any loose bolts.
12. Bleed the fork
You should bleed the fork every few races so you considerably reduce arm pump. Check for any fluid leakage and clean the fork after every race.
13. Protect your off-road motorcycle
Now that your dirt bike is ready to race, you do not want to damage it.
We all know that radiators are the most delicate parts of any motocross because they receive all the shocks when you crash your bike. This is vital for your bike to protect this component with after-market Radiator Guards or Radiator Braces. You want them light and strong. Aluminum Radiator Guards are a very good option for radiator protection since they won’t weigh you down.
Then you come to frame, motor and vital components protection. After all this work, you want to be protected from crashes, stones and shocks. You should definitively opt for a skid plate for this. ACD Racing Parts reminds you that it is better to install the skid-plate when the frame tubes are still straight and in good shape. Once again, aluminum skid plates are a reasonable option since they are less likely to fail than plastic protectors.
In any case, choose skid plates that can easily be removed for motor maintenance and cleaning.