Dirt bikes have moving parts that eventually wear out through normal use, making it important to perform regular maintenance on your bike. Most importantly, keep it free of the dirt and mud which speed corrosion. If you want to get more performance out of your dirt bike, pay attention to two key areas -- your tires and suspension. The right tires improve acceleration, traction and overall handling while well tweaking your suspension alters the responsiveness of your bike over terrain.
Make note of what kind of surface you will ride your bike over the most. Will you ride in hard and dry terrain, soft or muddy, sand or some combination?
Select tires that match the terrain you use your bike in. Bike tires are sold in four main categories -- hard terrain, which use softer rubber to provide extra grip; soft terrain, which employ wider spaces between tire threads; mixed terrain and sand-only terrain.
Adjust the compression adjuster screw, typically found on the top of the suspension fork. Markings above the screw read "S" for soft and "H" for hard. Turning the screw toward "H" makes the downward force of the suspension stiffer while turning the screw toward "S" makes it less so.
Take the bike for a short ride, paying close attention to how the suspension responds based on your adjustments.
Tweak the compression adjuster screw again, this time turning it in the opposite direction than you did the first time. For example, if you made the suspension harder (turned the screw toward "H"), this time make it softer.
Test your new adjustments on the same terrain and note if the bike responds better or worse. Stick with the adjustment that feels and handles best.
Alter the rebound adjuster -- the screw found near the bottom of the suspension fork -- based on your terrain. As the name suggests, this setting changes how quickly the suspension bounces back when it lands. Turning the screw toward "S" (softer, slower rebound) makes the bike perform better on terrains with small rough bumps. Turning the rebound adjuster toward "H" (Harder, quicker rebound) makes the bike handle better on large, rolling terrain or bumps.
Tips & Warnings
- Keep your bike free of dirt and mud to prevent corrosion and spot problem areas easier.
- Replace parts according to the maintenance schedule provided with your dirt bike manual.
- Regularly check for loose nuts and bolts, spokes and plastics.
- Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images