Investing in a dirt bike is like adding a high maintenance and needy friend into your life. But the reward of giving all that love and attention to this seemingly impoverished piece of machinery is unequaled.
Unlike today’s modern cars, where you can ride for thousands of miles (sometimes 10,000 miles without changing even the oil!) and do little in the way of maintenance, 4-stroke dirt bikes require constant maintenance. Those thinking of taking on the joy of this sport should first know that after every ride some type of maintenance is required to ensure the longevity of the bike.
Maintenance, over time, becomes as much of the dirt bike owning experience as the ride. Many riders embrace this aspect of ownership others find the detail work a hassle. Regardless, we can all agree we’d much rather be out riding then stuck in a garage fixing a broken down machine. The best way to ensure your dirt bike operates effectively and starts every time is to take the time and conduct routine maintenance.
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[accordion_item title=”Cleaning and Lubing Cables” open=”yes” bg_color=”#333333″]
Cables represent the lifeline to most of the controls on your dirt bike. Throttle and clutch cables and the front brake line all need to be cleaned after a ride and routinely lubricated.
Carefully disconnect the cables from the perch and lever (for throttle cables disconnect the carburetor end) to clean any build-up around the connections. Add some lubrication, reconnect and tighten the connections. The lubrication not only protects the cables from wear and tear but acts as a barrier to dust and debris.
[accordion_item title=”Chain and Sprocket Care” open=”no” bg_color=”#333333″]
Never ride with dry chains and sprockets. A lubricated chain is a happy chain that rewards you with long life. Always clean the chains and sprockets after a ride and then follow that with good dousing of lubrication. In the event you see significant wear and tear on your chain OR sprockets, replace the whole drive train.
An important aspect to chain care is ensuring your chain is at the correct adjustment. Too loose? Too tight? Best case you bust your chain. Worst case the chain snaps, whips off and breaks your engine case or gives you a permanent chain tattoo. An easy way to determine correct chain length is to stick two fingers between the chain and chain guide – if the chain presses against your fingers its tightened enough.
Keeping the chain adjusted correctly helps extend the life of the chain and sprockets, transmission seals and bearings, wheel bearings, hubs and even the wheels to some extent.
[accordion_item title=”Air Filter Maintenance” open=”no” bg_color=”#333333″]
A dirty air filter sucks the life out of your engine so it’s crucial to ensure the air filter and properly cleaned and maintained. It’s a dirty job for sure but imagine if all that dirt got inside the engine! Clean your air filter thoroughly with cleaner, dry it well and then soak it with air filter oil. Let it get real tacky before you install it and ride again.
[accordion_item title=”Pipe Maintenance” open=”no” bg_color=”#333333″]
The obvious here is to clean the outside of your pipe to prevent rust and corrosion. While you’re back there, check out the muffler packing. In a 4-stroke the muffler packing can get compressed and once it gets to this point, it is for the most part, ineffective. Replace the packing once it gets to this stage though the product is not all that expensive so it’s not a bad idea to replace it, if budget allows, routinely.
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[bullet icon=”fa-check” icon_color=”#FFC700″]Change Oil[/bullet]
[bullet icon=”fa-check” icon_color=”#FFC700″]Change Tyres[/bullet]
[bullet icon=”fa-check” icon_color=”#FFC700″]Wheel Alignment[/bullet]
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