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Basic Maintenance for Your Dirt Bike (or Quad) Between Rides:
dirt bike

Washing your bike should be a regular part of your maintenance, here is the routine I go through to keep my bike nice and shiny.
Get yourself an exhaust plug and plug the end of your bike's muffler. Take your seat off and remove your air filter. Clean out the grease from the air filter seal from inside your air box with a clean rag. Then put an air filter cover in place of your air filter, Acerbis and UNI both make a cover for a huge range of bikes, these covers are pretty cheap and are worth their weight in gold because you can give your air box a good spray without getting water and grime in your intake track.


Wash your seat separately, you don't want the foam to get to wet so give it a quick wash and don't soak it when you rinse it off. Give the bike a good spray with a quality detergent, (I like to use Motul Motowash) there are a number of good detergents specifically for washing bikes. Leave the detergent to soak in for a bit and then fire up the pressure washer. If you don't have a pressure washer you can buy a nozzle that attaches to the end of your hose which can greatly increase your water pressure. Take a bottle brush and loosen up the stubborn dirt and mud. While you're washing the bike make sure to be especially careful not to spray water directly into bearings and electrical components (spraying your bearings, pivots, and electrical components can cause very expensive damage to your bike). Don't forget to give it a good wash underneath.



atvIf you've been riding in muddy or dusty conditions it's a good idea to clean between your fork dust seals and the fork oil seals. Get a small screwdriver and pry the dust seals away from the fork seals. Clean out any mud and dirt with a GENTLE spray of water, too much pressure and you'll force the dirt past the fork oil seal. I like to lightly spray this area with water and then wipe it clean with a rag. Once it's all nice and clean there are a couple of preventative measures you can take. Seal savers can extend the life of your seals by removing the trapped dirt particles from your seals. Using seal savers is very easy (just follow the directions in the package). I also pack grease in between the dust seals and the oil seals. Make sure to check your service manual for acceptable grease to use. This process will add life to your fork seals.


Once you're done washing the bike, remove any water that may have worked its way into the carburetor by undoing the nut in the base of the carburetor and draining it (Many bikes have a drain screw at the bottom of the float bowl). Fit a clean and oiled air filter into the air box. Make sure to liberally grease the sealing ring on your air filter (this will help seal the air filter to the air box and prevent dust from getting into your expensive engine). Take WD40 and liberally spray the metal parts of your bike down (avoid getting any WD40 on things like your brake rotors, grips, and anything that your body would be in contact with). WD40 will help prevent dirt and mud front sticking to your bike, as well as displace the water that might have worked its way in between the nooks and crannies of your bike, and it will also prevent parts from corroding and rusting.


Put the seat back on then start the bike. Let the engine run until it is nice and warm, the heat will help evaporate water from around the engine. (If your bike does not start, you probably forgot to remove your exhaust plug) Next, take a good chain cleaner (such as Motul Chain Clean) and a rag and clean your chain. Considering how much a good chain and sprockets cost it is well worth spending some time to get all the dirt and grime out of your chain. After your chain is clean, let the solvents from the chain cleaner evaporate then liberally lube your chain with your favorite chain lube (many riders use a dry wax type chain lube in the dusty conditions and switch to a wet type chain lube in the winter).


Now is when I take a terry cloth towel and wipe all the plastic down. After everything is dry and clean I wipe the plastic down with a silicone spray (I use Motul Shine and Go) this will keep the plastics and graphics looking good for a long time). Now is the time you want to be checking all the nuts and bolts on your bike. Check the chain tension, condition of your tires, condition of your handle bar grips etc. It is always a good idea to have your service manual so you can check torque on important things like wheels, engine mounts, and steering components. The last thing I do is push the bike into the corner of the garage and cover it. If your bike is equipped with an electric starter I highly recommend plugging it into a battery tender (there are many affordable options in our parts department).