How to Properly Maintain a Dirt Bike

by Lacy Nichols

While everyday maintenance might not be the most fun part of owning a dirt bike, it is important. Whether your dirt bike is for competition or fun, maintaining it saves both time and money in the future. Keeping a bike clean and properly maintained is a simple way to potentially prevent thousands of dollars in repairs and countless hours of your time. By addressing the little problems now, you will avoid the big ones later.

Items you will need

  • Rags
  • Detergent
  • Hose
  • Dirt bike air filters
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Step 1

Wash your bike after every use, even if it isn't especially dirty. Remove the seat and air filter before spraying the bike down down with a strong hose. A pressure washer can also be used, if available. Wash the seat gently, as it is usually filled with foam. Do not spray water directly into any electrical components. Wash and spray beneath the bike.

Step 2

Check the chain tension before each ride, or every few days. Check both the chain and the sprocket bolts, as both go through a lot of wear and tear during a typical ride. By checking the chain tension, you are ensuring that the chain doesn't get stuck. A stuck chain can cause many problems, especially if it is stuck for a long period of time. When checking the sprocket bolts, make sure the bolts are taught, otherwise, they may come loose. If the sprocket bolts are loose, immediately tighten. Chains and sprockets are the most likely components to require repair.

Step 3

Change the air filter when needed. The air filter is located beneath the bike's seat. Remove the air filter and clean it gently with a damp cloth or rag if it doesn't need replacing. You should clean the air filter whether it appears dirty or not, but if the filter does appear more dirty than normal, that is an indication it needs changing. If the air filter's dust and filth does not easily come off, the air filter needs changing.

Step 4

Look for any loose bolts, spokes or screws and tighten as necessary. Give the bike a good look over both before and after riding to check for any loose parts.

Step 5

Inspect brake pads and cables before riding. Make sure there aren't any frayed cables, as damaged cables can be expensive to repair. When inspecting the brake pads, check for any thinning. If the brake pads are looking thinner than the original, you should have them replaced. Another sign that your brake pads need changing is the presence of scratches, or scores, on the pad. Essentially, if the pad looks beat down or worn, and is especially thin, change immediately.

About the Author

Lacy Nichols is a graduate of Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., where she earned a Bachelor of Science in communication and English. She has written and produced several radio advertisements and commercials, with publications in several literary magazines as well.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images