Dirt bikes tend to get pretty dirty. For most of us, we tear through anything and everything that is lying around on a track or trail for our dirt bike's tyres to grip onto. As a result, it can be hard to tell when you need service done. However, there are certain things you can look out for. Let’s walk through the signs so that way if they show up again down the line then at least you’ll know what needs your attention!
So, when should you service your bike?
It all depends on how often and where you ride it! You should complete routine maintenance like chain oil, air filter replacements, tyre pressure before every single ride - but only replace parts or do extensive servicing if necessary after a certain number of hours has passed (or in rough conditions).
To figure out the specifics for yours just consult some knowledge about basic maintenance and an understanding of riding habits will affect what's needed.
Are Dirt Bikes High Maintenance?
Dirt bikes are not as complicated to care for as you may have thought. They just take a little more maintenance than street motorbikes because they need oil changed and their chain lubricated after every single ride, right? Wrong! If you can get into the habit of doing these easy service practices at least once per day or week (depending on your riding habits), then maintaining your dirt bike will be quick and painless.
Dirt bikes aren't high-maintenance machines; all that's required is an assembly check before each ride and some basic cleaning afterwards.
Here’s a list of the best ways to care for your dirt bike:
- Check tyre pressure often: Keep an eye on those tyres and make sure they're always at their optimal PSI--especially before taking that first ride in case you need more air added during or after.
- Get regular service from pros every 1,000 miles: Your engine is what makes this baby go so it helps to keep up with maintenance tasks such as checking fluids like oil, coolant levels etc., changing spark plugs when necessary, keeping filters clean.
- Change the air filter once a season: This one might seem obvious but if you take off-roading trips out into nature where there are.
It's important to note that following this checklist will not be enough on its own. However, if you do it after every ride and take care of your bike by taking the necessary steps as outlined, then you'll know what needs fixing first before anything breaks.
How Do You Maintain Your Dirt Bike?
You know, with all the difficulties in getting and maintaining a dirt bike nowadays, it's easy to forget that proper care is what you need most! It will only take one big injury or an expensive repair for your wallet to remind you of this fact. But as mentioned above, servicing your dirt bike frequently is the key to have it perform well and last long enough until we get those days when more thorough maintenance becomes necessary. Let's look at how such procedures should be done.
As mentioned, servicing your dirt bike frequently is the key to having it perform well and last a long time. Our basic checklist is a great starting point for riders but as the bikes get more advanced, a new skillset will be needed. The air filter needs to be changed or cleaned after every ride because sand, mud and other dirt quickly degrade them while most dirt bikes tend to spend plenty of time in those conditions. Ensure that they're adequately lubricated with oil, but don’t overfill them.
When you're riding your bike, it's important to have a few things on hand. One great idea is having an air filter ready for every ride that can be swapped out when the old one gets dirty or clogged with debris from rides past.
This tip may not seem like much but keeping a spare air filter handy means less time spent cleaning filters in-between rides which leaves more time for getting out there and biking up mountain sides.
You know that your bike's brakes should be in good condition? Over time, the brake pads will wear all the way down to their backing plate and as such you'll need to replace them when they have about 1mm (0.04 inches) left on their surface area. It’s really important to do this or else it could lead to a dangerous situation of having zero brakes the next time you’re going downhill.
Some brake pad manufacturers will include indicators for when replacement becomes necessary, but, if your bike doesn’t have that feature we recommend using either a micrometer or ruler with a millimeter.
Operating any vehicle with a motor means you must keep it topped up with engine oil. Two factors to keep in mind are when should it be refilled and replaced? Most dirt bikes have an indicator on the bottom of their case, showing where they need to fill up at about halfway.
Understanding what happens at these different levels depends primarily on who manufactures your bike. Most manufacturers will list recommendations by brand name within the owner’s manual, so definitely keep track of this as often as possible before something goes wrong!
The chain tension is an important part of any bike's maintenance. If it becomes too tight, you could end up with a broken chain which would be expensive to replace and time consuming.
Too loose and it might also cause your chains to slip off the sprockets. If this happens, then replacement is gonna be pretty expensive.
You should always maintain your drive chain, lubricating and rotating the wheel to find out where it is tight. When you measure the distance between top of slider on chain and bottom of same-size chain, if there's more than a few inches difference then that means you need new slack in order for your engine not to be damaged.
Your owner's manual will tell what amount of recommended slack is appropriate for different manufacturers; but as long as they're within 20% either way (for example from 3" - 6") then yu’re all good!
There are two types of sprockets: the large one on your pedal; and a smaller gear that attaches to the rear wheel generally. It's important to maintain both so you don't have problems with either part.
The larger, more visible sprocket is what transfers power from your pedals all the way down through gears until it reaches its final destination: The small chain-ring located at or near ground level attached directly onto (or otherwise connected) into a bicycle's hub(s).
Both parts of this system should be maintained in order for them to function properly.
Tyres are the only part of your dirt bike that makes contact with the ground, so they'll take a lot of strain from every ride you go on. You should check them regularly to see if there's any damage and don't forget about getting the correct tools for tightening the spokes.
Take good care of your wheels by checking for cracks and dents, as well as air pressure. It’s important to also check the roundness of them before every ride because they can suffer from damage that will lead to more wear.
Another key thing you should remember about tyres is that one side wears out faster than the other and that’s normally the rear wheel. This means it's really vital not just in driving but when changing bikes or fixing flats too!
Dirt bikes take a beating, for sure. However, that shouldn't discourage new riders from taking one out! As we discussed earlier, they require constant attention to perform at their best but it doesn't have to take up too much of your time.
If you keep an eye on all of the moving parts in your dirt bike, you'll be able to replace them before they break down. By properly cleaning and maintaining these various pieces as well as replacing any that start making noise or otherwise malfunctioning, then we can spend more time riding instead of worrying if our bikes are going to fall apart during races!