There’s nothing quite like the thrill of hitting untamed terrain on your dirt like. Lighter weight and more agile than street motorcycles, dirt bikes can take you places that bigger bikes will never go. Dirt bikes are designed to handle uneven ground and take tight turns. While technically still a motorcycle, dirt bikes are the nimble version that fulfills the desire for off-road adventures.
To keep the fun of off-road dirt biking going, you’ll need to perform occasional maintenance. Here are a few top areas to focus on when inspecting the condition of your dirt bike. Making sure these parts are in good working order will ensure the fun of kicking up some dirt on the trail never stops.
5 essential dirt bike parts and systems
1) Bearings and Seals: You’ll find bearings and seals in several places on your dirt bike, including the crankshaft, suspension, wheels and steering. Properly running bearings ensure smooth and quiet performance. When bearings start to wear out, you’ll notice sounds or sloppy performance from your bike. There is no set timeline on how long bearings will last. It varies a lot depending on the type and frequency of riding that you do. If you start hearing or feeling the telltale signs of worn bearings, inspect your bike immediately. Otherwise, inspect your bike periodically to make sure everything looks good.
2) Cooling System: Like all vehicles, dirt bike engines run hot. It’s essential that you keep your cooling system in good condition to prevent overheating on the trail. An overheated engine could leave you stranded in a remote location far away from help. The component most likely to fail in the cooling system is the water pump. If your bike is running hot, the water pump is a likely suspect. Repairs could range from entirely replacing the water pump to refurbishing it with a water pump rebuild kit.
3) Gaskets: Seemingly simple, gaskets play a significant role in the operation of a dirt bike. Gaskets provide the seal to maintain optimal pressure, block residue from entering and prevent leakage. Depending on placement, gaskets are often subject to extreme pressure and heat. Over time, gaskets will degrade and lose their effectiveness. If you spot fluid leakages, it’s a good time to inspect the condition of gaskets.
4) Pistons and cylinders: When you’re feeling the power of heading down the trail, think of your pistons and cylinders. These essential engine components are what move your dirt bike forward. When pistons and cylinders go bad, you’ll start to experience sluggish performance. Two additional signs of failing cylinder and piston performance include dark colored exhaust and unusually high oil consumption.
5) Brakes: Go, go, go is the fun part of riding a dirt bike, but it’s just as important that riders can stop when necessary. If brakes seem to be soft or slip, a rebuild of the brakes is recommended. You don’t want to chance brake failure because that is a huge safety risk. Brake rebuild kits generally contain all seals, O-rings pads, pins and washers you’ll need to complete the repair of a specific dirt bike model.
Good dirt bike maintenance keeps fun times going
The fun should never stop because your bike is not working; but with periodic inspections and routine maintenance, you can ensure the fun never stops. Because the next time the dirt trails are calling, you want to make sure you can answer the call. Here’s to good times in kicking up some dust and gravel!