Most people would rather ride than wrench on their bikes, but there are some maintenance tasks that should never be skipped. A dirty and poorly maintained bike will inevitably fail, leaving you stranded in the best-case scenario. Routine maintenance ensures your dirt bike works correctly, which helps you stay safe and retain the value of your investment.
Maintenance tasks may differ depending on the model and whether it is a four- stroke or two-stroke engine. For instance, some four-strokes use the same oil to lubricate both the gearbox and engine, while others use separate oils. On the other hand, two-stroke dirt-bike gear oil is always separate because the engine oil is mixed with the gas.
Read the manual
The first step of any maintenance project should be a review of the owner’s manual. Not only will it tell you the precise year, make and model, which ensures you order the correct parts, but it also lets you know how often to perform each maintenance task and the recommended products to use, including the required lubricant volumes. Let’s walk through some basic dirt-bike maintenance items that should be performed regularly.
Washing your dirt bike after every ride prevents dirt and grime buildup. A simple garden hose, a bucket of hot water with dish soap, a sponge and a bristle brush will work wonders. Put a plastic bag over the exhaust to keep water out. If using a pressure washer, never point it at bearings, linkages, hoses, seals or fluid compartments, including the chain, airbox, spark plugs and oil reservoir. Your engine will thank you for not introducing water to the combustion process. Wash the bike top down, using a sponge or microber cloth on plastic parts and the brush for greasy, grimy, hard-to-reach spots. Dry the bike thoroughly, then inspect it for anything leaking, loose or out of place. And, of course, apply a coat of Mudslinger® to make the cleaning process easier next time.
Bolts and screws can work loose due to vibration while riding. Carefully inspect and tighten bolts using a torque wrench to ensure they are at spec and not under- or over-tightened.
Because dirt bikes are exposed to extreme environmental conditions, the engine oil needs to be changed more frequently than on a street bike. Change engine oil, gear oil and clutch and brake fluid per the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure smooth operation and to extend engine and component life.
Use grease around the air filter, seals, bearings and sprockets to reduce resistance and to help protect them from water, dirt and sand intrusion. Due to heavier use, brake and clutch fluids also require more frequent changes on a dirt bike, and at the very least every two years. Coolant levels should also be routinely checked and topped off as needed.
Check your chain for proper tension, which should be loose enough to compensate for wheel travel, but not so loose that it comes off the rear sprocket. Don’t forget to lubricate the chain so it moves freely and doesn’t rust.
A clean air lter protects your engine from harmful particles and debris and improves your dirt bike’s performance. A simple bath in water is often enough, but you can also use some household detergent or an aerosol air-lter cleaner. After it dries, add a coat of air-lter oil to further protect the air lter. If the air lter is beyond cleaning, go ahead and replace it.
Fuel, oil, brake and clutch fluid, coolant and fork-seal leaks may occur when your dirt bike is subected to rough terrain. Check around ll and drain plug seals and around the engine and tanks after every ride, and don’t forget to look for telltale signs on the ground. Replacing seals and plugs and repairing punctures is a lot easier and more cost effective than waiting for the component to fail outright.
Tire pressure is an integral part of motorcycle safety, and the correct pressure varies with different terrain and styles of riding, generally requiring
lower pressure for softer terrain and higher pressure for single-track and other hard-pack trails.
Also check for wear and damage to tires before every ride.
Throttle, clutch and brake-cable condition is paramount to the safe control of your dirt bike. Check all the cables for smooth operation, adust as necessary and promptly replace worn or damaged cables.
While fluid-change intervals are usually based on the number of hours ridden and the conditions the bike is ridden in, it is a good practice to change the fluids at the end of every riding season to remove any contaminants before putting your dirt bike into storage. However,
you should wash
your dirt bike and lubricate the chain after every ride.
Keep Good Records
The Amsoil MyGarage website can be a game-changer for dirt bike enthusiasts who want to stay on top of their bike’s maintenance. The platform allows users to create a virtual garage where they can store information about their dirt bike, such as its make and model, oil type, and oil filter part number. This makes it easy to keep track of important maintenance tasks, such as oil changes and filter replacements, and ensure that the bike is running at its best. Additionally, the website provides product recommendations based on the user’s specific bike and usage, ensuring that they choose the best Amsoil products for their needs. Overall, the Amsoil MyGarage website is an incredibly useful tool for anyone who wants to keep their dirt bike in top condition.
The best products for your dirt bike include application-specic oil formulated with the right additives for the harsh off-road environments to which your dirt bike is subected. The owner’s manual will provide specications for engine, gearbox and fork oils. Manufacturers often recommend their own brand of parts and lubricants, but they cannot require you to use their products, so you are free to use any brand that meets their specications.
Performing routine cleaning and maintenance according to the owner’s manual will help your dirt bike run better, last longer and maintain its value. For maximum performance and protection, make AMSOIL products part of your regular maintenance routine.
Most article content originally appeared in Amsoil Magazine with updates made by National Synthetics.
Acworth GA 30101