Dirt bike care: step-by-step

As would be expected, dirt bikes accumulate dirt and debris faster than other motorcycles.

With summer here, many outdoor enthusiasts will want to ride into the woods on their vehicle of choice.  For dirt bikers, keeping bikes running smoothly is a matter of following a few simple steps, which ThunderHawk reporter Mason Horsting suggests here.

Cleaning

  • Step 1

Clean the dirt bike regularly with car wash soap and water to prevent rusting and overheating problems. Keeping the dirt bike clean will help it to run cooler, especially if it is an air-cooled bike. On liquid-cooled dirt bikes, hose out the radiator fins after every muddy ride to prevent buildup of dirt in the fins, which blocks air flow and allows the engine to overheat.

  • Step 2

Scrub dirt, dust and grease out of the engine components with a nylon-bristled detailing brush, and then use a car wash sponge to clean dirt, bugs and dust off the fenders, headlamp and fuel tank.

  • Step 3

Clean the rims and spokes with the sponge after every ride to maintain the chrome finish of the rims and prevent pitting due to corrosion. This helps the dirt bike retain its resale value.

I usually wash after every other ride.

Oil Changes

  • Step 1

Read the dirt bike’s owner’s manual to determine not only what type of engine oil you should be using, either two-stroke or four-stroke, but also how often you should change the oil.

  • Step 2

Replace the engine oil filter when you perform the oil change service on the dirt bike. Dirt bikes, by their very nature, are prone to accumulate more dirt and debris than other motorcycles.

  • Step 3

Check the spark plugs during every oil change service to make sure they are not clogged with carbon deposits. If they are, use a wire brush to clean them off.

 Air Filter

  • Step 1

Change or clean the air filter whenever you perform the oil change service. Typically, the air filter for dirt bikes is located under the seat. Just take the plastics off and the air filter is easily accessible.

  • Step 2

Remove the air filter cover using a screwdriver or socket wrench, and then pull the filter out of the filter housing, being careful to not allow any dirt or dust from the filter to enter the clean side of the air filter.

  • Step 3

Clean or replace the filter as needed. Some aftermarket performance air filters can be cleaned, while paper filters cannot be cleaned and have to be replaced. You can tell the difference by the color of the clean side of the filter. Washable filters are colored, while paper filters are white.

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