You might have dreamed about buying a motocross bike when you were younger. It fascinated you to watch people fly off ramps and race around a track, so you waited for the day when you could participate. Now that you have a motocross bike of your own, it’s essential to understand your responsibilities.
Whether you’re new to the sport or you’ve been riding for a while, these seven tips will get you up to speed with motocross maintenance. You’ll get the most from your bike and have far more fun on your favorite tracks.
So where should you start?
1. Inspect It for Leaks
Every so often, a motocross bike can spring a leak. Seals loosen all the time, so it’s not unheard of. If your bike gets a leak, don’t panic. A puddle of oil isn’t the end of the world.
First, wipe down your bike to clear off any water and dirt. You’ll need to see every inch of your bike clearly, so make sure it gets the chance to dry. Once you finish, check for the leak around places like the gasket, crankcase and the front sprocket.
The front sprocket will probably be the culprit because it’s the most susceptible to wear and tear. The more the sprocket spins, the more likely the countershaft seal will loosen up over time, so check the area regularly for leaks to catch them early.
2. Wash After Every Use
When you get home from the track, you’ll probably want to shower off and rest. Make sure that after you’ve regained your energy, you spend time washing your bike. Rinsing away grime keeps dirt out of the gears it would otherwise clog.
The best solution is to use a bucket of water and brushes to get the mud off. If you opt for a pressure washer instead, never spray it directly at your bike or you could damage electrical components or the engine.
3. Pay Attention to the Chain
Your bike’s chain must be clean so it can rotate without getting stuck. You might think dried mud will fall right off once you start up the engine, but it cakes easily and could become tough to remove. Use a nylon brush to rid your chain of mud and get between the links, so it looks good as new the next time you want to head out.
4. Change Your Oil
You’re used to changing the oil in your car, but you’ll need to do the same with your bike too. Changing your oil often keeps your bike running smoothly and prolongs its lifespan.
Check your manufacturer’s recommendations according to which model you have. You may need to change your motor oil after every ride or after a certain number of operating hours. Make sure you know which kind of oil you need before putting any in your bike.
5. Consider Your Fuel
Refilling your gas tank might be the last top you make before you pull up to your favorite track. You have confidence that it’s the right gas for your bike, but is it good for your engine?
Regular gas doesn’t have enough additives in it to cleanse your fuel system as it runs through. That’s why many bikers use professionally-formulated fuel additives to maintain their bikes. Additives include things like fuel stabilizers, antifreeze and cleaners for year-round efficiency. Investing in additives is a great preventative maintenance trick that will keep you from paying for expensive engine or fuel line repairs.
6. Monitor Tire Pressure
This might seem like an obvious way to take care of your bike, but many people forget about their tire pressure. It’s easy to assume a filled tire will always be there for you, but they eventually flatten out.
Monitor your tire pressure every couple rides and check it more frequently when the weather drops or spikes.
7. Invest in Grease
You’ve bought oil, gas and fuel additives. Now all you need is grease. Grease is essential for motocross bikes because it seals components against dirt and water.
You’ll want to grease areas like your air filter’s seal, wheel bearings and shock seals. Try to stick with petroleum-based products to get the most out of your purchase.
Stay Up to Date
Even when you think you’ve formed a good maintenance routine for your bike, never stop learning. Stay up to date on proper preventative care by reading about tips like these.
Once you take steps like scrubbing your chain and investing in fuel additives, your bike will perform better on any track you choose.