How To Replace Your Dirt Bike Tires

If you’re tearing up the tracks or trails regularly, you are going to wear through tires every once in a while. Ideally, like some of the pros, we’d be able to have a new set put on for us after each and every ride, but realistically it’s only when there is noticeable wear that most of us take action. Once you’re noticing that the knobs on your tires are beginning to round, it’s time for new tires, otherwise you are risking both your performance and possibly your safety.

Remove the Tire

Remove the wheel from the bike, and set it on a changing stand, bucket, or other flat surface that you can bring to waist-height, sprocket side down. Remove the valve stem lock nut and valve stem core. Loosen the rim nut but do not remove it, and push the rim lock inward.

Once the tire has deflated, break the bead using a tire spoon or wrench, working your way around the circumference on both sides of the tire. Insert tire spoons under the edge of the tire, a few inches apart, working all the way around the tire. Pull the tube out of the tire by lifting the sidewall away from the rim. Remove the tire from the spokes with your hands.

Inspect the Rims

Even if you’re just changing a tube it’s vital to check the rims, bead lock, and rubber seals for damage, wear, or sharp spots. Run your fingers along the rims to feel for any irregularities. Wash the rims thoroughly with a wire brush, and make sure that everything looks to be in good, working condition.

Putting on New Tires

Start with the sprocket side, and force the new tire onto the rim with your hands, and when that becomes more difficult use your tire spoons. You will want to use some sort of lubricant for the rubber. Fast evaporating household cleaners like Windex or a soap and water mixture should work fine.

Slightly inflate and deflate your new tube to ensure that any kinks are released. Lift the sidewall of the tire and insert the stem, and replace the cap so that it is set in place. Work the tube into the tire making sure that it doesn’t twist or fold.

Work the tire back onto the rim with a tire iron, pushing down on the opposite side of the area where you’re working. Add air until each of the tire beads pop, and once the beads are both secure inflate it to the proper inflation. Replace the wheel making sure that the axle is clean and the rear chain is properly adjusted

Dirt bike riding is a lot more affordable when you are able to do basic maintenance at home. Learning how to do easier work like changing the tires, fluids, and filters will allow you to keep your bike in better shape at a much lower cost.

2 Stroke Vs. 4 Stroke: The Bike For You

When you’re looking to buy a dirt bike either for the first time or just to upgrade, there are dozens of options you need to consider. One of the most fundamental questions you should be asking yourself is: Do I want a 2-stroke or a 4-stroke? This all depends on your riding preference, experience, and the types of terrain you’ll be tackling

What is a 2-stroke?

When we talk about “stroke”, we’re referring to the movements of the pistons in your engine. A 2-stroke engine, as the name implies, has two strokes– compression and explosion of the compressed fuel.

Benefits of a 2-stroke:

  • Simple engine construction making repairs easier
  • Lighter and typically less expensive to make (and to buy)
  • More power strokes per revolution, essentially doubling the power-to-size ratio

What is a 4-stroke?

The 4-stroke engine has a more complex process including exhaust, combustion, compression, and intake. This means that the engine fires every other revolution. The power it produces is much more stable and steady.

Benefits of a 4-stroke:

  • You don’t have to mix gas and oil, a lot more gas efficient, and a lot friendlier to the environment
  • More torque
  • Easier to ride– perfect for beginners or those who have not ridden in a while
  • Often last longer and require less maintenance, although maintenance may be more intricate

Which is right for me?

Much of the choice between a 2-stroke or 4-stroke bike will come down to personal preference. A 2-stroke accelerates faster and typically packs more power at a lighter weight, while a 4-stroke accelerates more gradually but is easier to control. The 4-stroke is also easier to handle and navigate around the course or trails.

Other consideration includes how much time, effort, and money you can invest in the bike. If you can make a higher initial investment but want low maintenance, a 4-stroke may better suit you; while if you want a low initial investment but are able and willing to do more regular maintenance, the 2-stroke is a better option.

The choice between a 2-stroke and 4-stroke is one of the first that you should consider when you are looking to purchase a dirt bike. For an advanced rider looking for classic, raw power, a 2-stroke is the perfect choice. If you are a new rider, have only ridden 4-strokes before, or prefer a higher control over your bike, a 4-stroke may be a better option for you.

How to Whip a Dirt Bike

Once you are a proficient dirt bike rider, it’s time to begin learning ways to ride better and faster, and look cool while you’re at it. Whipping your dirt bike isn’t only a trick that will look neat, but it can also help keep you lower over jumps and reduce lap time.

Practice the Movements

First you will need to find a good place to practice, with a relatively large jump. Start slowly by practicing turning your wheel when you are in the air. This will help you get comfortable with the fundamental movement. Make sure that you keep your body loose, and that you don’t tense up in the air.

When you whip your dirt bike, you are taking the jump at an angle as opposed to straight on. Practice coming up to the face of the jump at an angle, almost as though you are drawing a crescent with your wheels. You will want to hit the gas and accelerate at a steady pace up the ramp.

Turn the Bike

As you are leaving the face of the jump, push against the side of the bike with the inside of your leg. You will be pushing with the same leg as the direction you are turning (right leg push turns right, left leg push turns left).

Flatten it Out

When you are at the midpoint of the jump in the air, push your handlebars towards the outside, which will point it up towards the sky. This should help to flatten out your bike midair.

Straighten Up

As you descend back down, you will need to straighten your dirt bike back out. To do this, straighten the handlebars, and stop pushing with your leg. Transfer your weight back to your other side, and push the frame of the bike until the body straightens out. Ideally you will land completely straight, but it may take considerable practice to get it down perfectly.

Begin slowly, getting accustomed first to riding, then to jumping, and then to turning your wheel as you jump. The more comfortable you are, the easier it will be when you begin whipping your bike, and you will reduce the chance of wrecking.

It may take you a while to get used to whipping your dirt bike, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t immediately master this trick. The benefit will be evident when you begin to shave off stubborn seconds from your lap time.

Check out the bone cheap, tasty parts at Cannibal Cycle to modify your bike today.

Learn to Wheelie a Dirt Bike (How to Wheelie)

One of the greatest joys of dirt biking is learning the basics of tricking. If you are a new rider, it’s important that you master the basics of riding before you ever attempt any tricks. Once you feel like you’re ready to learn new things, keep your safety as a priority and work slowly towards your goals.

When you are riding around as usual, you will have a different reaction to your front wheel lifting than you will need when you are trying to wheelie. Instead of shifting your weight forward to rest the bike back to the ground, you will need to position yourself at the very back of your seat. This will not only keep the front of your bike light, but it will also help you keep your feet in the proper riding position.

You will need to put thought into what kind of surroundings you want to practice in. Make sure you have enough room to ride without obstructions to worry about, and make sure that you are on a stretch of flat ground. Thick grass can be a good place to practice because it will reduce impact if you fall, or you can practice on pavement.

Here are a few steps to help get you started:

  1. Ride for a few minutes to warm up your bike and get used to riding.
  2. Learn to pop the front wheel. You can do this at a near standstill or as you are riding forward at a moderate pace. Give it a burst of throttle and clutch to get the front wheel up. As you pull the clutch and release the throttle, your front wheel will reach back down to the ground. Practicing popping the wheel just for a moment when you are moving very slowly will teach you how much throttle and clutch you need to get the front wheel up, and will get you accustomed to the feeling without panic.
  3. Learn to use the rear brake as you are practicing popping the front wheel. This will reduce the instinct to drop your feet behind the bike if you pull the wheel up too high.
  4. Find the balance with clutch and throttle to keep the front wheel off the ground as you are moving forward at a slow speed. This will also take a lot of concentration of the balance of your body position as well.
  5. As you practice, you will be able to increase the duration of your wheelie, as well as the speed at which you can comfortably perform it.

When it comes to dirt bike tricks it’s important not to dive into the deep end too quickly. Practice until you are truly comfortable with the movement before you show off at full speed and power. If your in the market for some parts check out the bone cheap, tasty parts at Cannibal Cycle to modify your bike today.

How to Clean a Dirt Bike Air Filter

If you’re a serious dirt biker, then you know that nothing is more vital to the performance of your bike than regular maintenance. There are plenty of things you can do to both extend the life of your dirt bike, and keep it running better than ever. Cleaning your air filter is a small do-at-home maintenance that is simple to do, and vital to your bike’s performance.

How Often Should I Clean My Air Filter?

Your riding conditions and level of riding will determine how often you need to clean your air filter. If you tackle dusty, muddy tracks, you will want to clean your air filter after every ride, even if you’re just riding for leisure. If you’re a professional rider, you will also want your bike to be in immaculate condition, and you will want to clean or change your air filter with every ride.

Alternatively, if you’re a leisure rider and you take your bike out for a quick 20 minute spin, you probably won’t need to clean the air filter until after a few more rides. If you are unsure whether or not the filter needs to be cleaned, simply take a look at it. If it’s dirty, clean it!

How Do I Clean My Air Filter?

Cleaning your air filter is incredibly easy, even if you’re mechanically challenged. It can be done in 4 basic steps: clean, rinse, dry, and oil.

When you remove your filter, be sure not to let any mud or dirt fall into the air intake. Rinse the filter in either a mineral turpentine or a biodegradable filter cleaner. Rinse the filter with warm, soapy water, and then rinse again with clean water. You may have to repeat the cleaning and rinsing steps depending on the condition of your filter. Once the filter is clean, squeeze excess liquid out and allow it to dry by hanging it or setting it on a paper towel.

The final step is to re-oil your filter. Soak the filter and make sure that it is completely saturated and evenly coated with fresh oil. Squeeze excess oil out, and reinstall it. You may also want to clean the air filter cage and bolt, and the sealing ring using contact cleaner.

If you allow build up on your filter, you are limiting the air getting to your carburetor, and ultimately hurting your performance and your dirt bike. The process of cleaning and oiling your air filter is so easy, you owe it to yourself and your bike to keep your air filter in good condition.

If you’re in the market for some used parts take a look at Cannibal Cycle’s selection of used dirt bike parts.

Dirt Bike Review KTM 125 SX


Nowadays manufacturers are beginning to spend less and less attention and effort on two stroke dirt bikes, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find new two strokes. KTM is an exception to this, continuing to develop and release new two stroke motocross bikes. Riders are finding a renewed interest in this engine type, putting the KTM 125 SX ahead of the game.

A close relative of the newer KTM 250 SX-F, the KTM 125 SX it has similar specs but runs on a smaller, two-stroke engine as opposed to a four-stroke, and has slightly better rear wheel travel among other things. This bike weighs in right at 200lbs, making it the perfect lightweight racing bike.

The KTM 125 SX has a contactless controlled fully electronic ignition with digital ignition adjustment. The frame is made of chrome molybdenum steel tubing, allowing for such a light overall weight.


The KTM 125 SX provides a different type of power than a bigger, four stroke dirt bike. At such a light weight its 124cc engine and 6 gear transmission give it more than enough speed to handle any track or off-road trail. With more than enough torque for its size and a great weight-to-power ratio, this dirt bike will keep up with most rivaling 250cc bikes.

Test Ride

A 124cc engine may seem small, but the KTM 125 SX definitely has unmatched power in its class. It is zippy and easy to direct, and is perfect for junior riders or anyone who is looking to have fun at the tracks. As a two stroke it requires slightly more skill to ride, but in the proper gear it will tackle steep hills and easily make every jump, and plenty of wheel travel means no bottoming out.

With a slightly higher seat than usual at 39.1”, our test riders found this bike comfortable and easy to handle. The KTM 125 SX will go anywhere you direct it, and takes turns like a true champ. The combination of the ultra light weight and sensitivity of new breaks gives it incredible stopping power, so you won’t have to worry about braking late.

Final Thoughts

This bike is killer for a small, lightweight two stroke. It may take a while to get used to if you are accustomed to the more popular four stroke style, but two strokes are beginning to regain popularity and this bike is in the forefront. Beating out the 250 SX-F in most consumer reviews and quality rankings, this bike performs just as well on the track and is just more fun to ride.

If you’re in the market for some used KTM 125 SX parts take a look at Cannibal Cycle’s selection of used dirt bike parts.

What Dirt Bike Protective Gear to Buy First

As a new dirt bike rider, the task of buying gear can seem overwhelming. It’s important to be well-protected, especially when you are not very familiar with your bike, so there is a variety of gear you will want to look into.

Helmet and Goggles

A helmet is the single most important piece of protective gear for dirt bike riders. You will not want to skimp on your helmet, so budget for something high quality and new. You can purchase a lot of equipment used, but you can’t always tell if a helmet is damaged from traumas like accidents and being dropped. Make sure that the helmet is SNELL approved, and DOT approved if you are planning on riding on roads as well.

Goggles are also important as they will keep your eyes safe, as well as protect from the irritation of dust. It is important to get well-fitted goggles, and certain goggles will even allow for riders to wear prescription glasses underneath. If you are riding in muddy or rainy conditions, you will want tear-off or roll-off goggles so that you can quickly clear your vision.


Having good dirt bike riding boots is also imperative for safe riding. Your boots will provide support and protection for your ankles and feet, will help prevent a variety of injuries, and ensure that you always have complete control over your bike. Riding boots should be rigid and relatively tight, however they shouldn’t be uncomfortable or crush your feet.

Riding Pants and Jersey

For maximum protection, it is a good idea to get dirt bike pants and a jersey. Riding-specific clothes are designed to be functional and enhance safety including preventing cuts and burns, and to a small extent protecting from impacts. Riding clothes are available in men’s and women’s styles, and it is important to get gear that is properly fitted.

Extra Protection Gear

There is all sorts of extra protection available for dirt bike riders, and especially if you are a novice rider it may be a good idea to bundle up as safe as possible until you are familiar with your bike and a variety of terrains. Chest protectors, knee pads, elbow pads, and knee braces are all ways to make sure that you are riding safe.

Chest protectors can help not only against the impact of a crash, but they can also protect you from flying rocks stirred up by your bike. Knee braces are also exceptionally practical and will help prevent breaks and damage to your knees.

It is vital that you wear the proper gear as you begin riding dirt bikes. If you look at professionals and experienced riders, you’ll see that they too are covered from head to toe in protective gear. Make sure that there is room in your budget for everything you need to ride safely so that you can enjoy dirt bike riding long into the future without injury.

If you’re in the market for more then protection gear, take a look at used parts at Cannibal Cycle..

Dirt Bike Review Yamaha YZ125


Originally released in 1974, the Yamaha YZ125 is well known as being one of the best bikes around. With a liquid-cooled two stroke engine and light aluminum frame, this dirt bike has a great power-to-weight ratio.

Models from ‘74-’80 were air-cooled, but changing over to a liquid-cooled engine makes this bike longer-lasting. Former models were also made with a steel frame, which was replaced by an aluminum frame to save substantial weight. The reduction in weight allows for faster speeds, but it takes more skill to ride than the heavier model. Changes to the gearbox were also made throughout the years to maximize efficiency and performance.


The Yamaha YZ125 has plenty of power provided by a two stroke 124cc. It is a substantial step up from 85cc class, and with substantial mid-range power it’s the perfect little racing bike. Since it is a two-stroke, the engine starts at the first kick assuming you open up the throttle. You’ve got to rev this bike up to make the most of this engine, so make sure that you stay in the proper gear. Once you find the sweet spot, you won’t be able to get enough of this dirt bike.

Test Ride

The Yamaha YX125 provides all the traditional thrills of a two stroke dirt bike. Most manufacturers are beginning to steer towards four stroke models, but there is nothing quite like the rawness of a two stroke. The perfect size for the average rider, each of our test riders could reach the ground comfortably on the YX125.

Because the Yamaha YX125 is so lightweight it is easy to toss around, although it is a big change from a heavier ride. The front wheel lifts easily, but if you keep it on the ground you will have no problem handling it. As a result of the super light weight, it handled well even taking sharp turns.

The Yamaha YX125 even lands jumps like a true champion. With fully-adjustable, speed sensitive shocks, the YX125 has front wheel travel of 11.8in and rear wheel travel of 12.4in. Our test riders never hit the bottom landing jumps.

Final Thoughts

The Yamaha YX125 is the perfect bike for hardcore two-stroke fans. It provides plenty of power at its light weight, and rides well on the tracks as well as trails. Perfect for intermediate and advanced adult riders, this dirt bike is definitely one of the best in its price range.

If you’re in the market for some used Yamaha YZ125 parts take a look at Cannibal Cycle’s selection of used dirt bike parts.


When To Replace Your Dirt Bike Tires

Determining when to change your dirt bike tires isn’t always as simple as it is for a standard street bike or car. Having good quality, fresh tires is paramount for maximum performance. Good tires don’t just improve traction and acceleration, they also improve braking, cornering, and overall handling of your dirt bike. So how do you know when your old tires need to go?

Ideally we would all be able to replace our tires after each ride, so that we have fresh tires for every excursion. This would ensure that we always have the maximum traction possible, and that we would be able to maximize our performance. However this is not realistic, even for some professional riders.

When to change your tires is largely dependant on how much wear you are comfortable with, and what your budget allows. As the tires wear down more and more, traction is reduced, and you begin to see an impact on performance.

Competitive Racing

If you race or compete in any way, you will want to replace your tires as soon as you see or feel signs of significant wear. Again, some professionals replace their tires after every race, but really what you should be looking for is the wearing of the knobs. You will begin to see a difference in performance once the knobs lose the sharpness of their edges.

Leisure Riding

Alternatively, if you ride for leisure or you only ride a few times a season, you can push the life of your tires. It is not vital to change your tires until you see noticeable wear of the knobs, dry rot, or any other form of damage. In drier weather you may be able to extend the life of your tires further, however when it is wet, it is safest to have new tires.

Make Your Tires Last

You can make the most out of your tires by making sure that you have the right type of tires, tubes, and that they are properly inflated. Replacing both tires at once is also a good idea so that you will have maximal control of your ride, and so that there is no uneven wear.

You should always strive to make the most out of your dirt bike performance, and having fresh tires will allow you to handle that much more. If you race professionally you will want to change your tires extremely frequently, whereas if you just ride on occasion for fun, you can sometimes last a whole season on the same tires. Make sure to inspect your tires before each ride for anything visible, but unless there is substantial wear or physical damage you should be safe to ride.

10 Reasons Motocross is Better than Soccer

Motocross VS Soccer. Which is better? Well, there are some die-hard soccer fans who will tell you that soccer is so much better. But, most of them have no idea about the great benefits of motocross. So, let’s examine 10 reasons why motocross is better than soccer, and see how you feel then.

10 Reasons to Put Down the Soccer Ball for a Motorcycle

  1. Weather Not an Issue – Rain can bring a soccer game to a halt. However, motocross events go on come rain or shine. As a matter of fact, they’re even more exciting when the dust turns to mud.
  2. Builds Better Street Cred – You get far less pretty girls pining over you in your soccer gear than you do riding your motorcycle. From Steve McQueen to Travis Pastrana and Mike Metzger, motocross racing has always been considered a cool sport.
  3. Promotional Ladies – Where there’s motorcycle racing, there are gorgeous women around to promote the sport. Does soccer have that?
  4. Big Whips and Jumps – Yes, there are some great kicks in the game of soccer. But, they’re nowhere near as exciting as the big whips and amazing jumps of motocross. From the days of Evel Knievel, up to today, motorcycle jumps have captured crowds.
  5. No Annoying Referees – Soccer refs, just like any other ref-regulated sport, tend to make some pretty goofball calls. Motocross fans don’t have to deal with such annoying calls that take away from the fairness and excitement of the sport.
  6. More Impressive Scars – After a soccer game, players come out with a few skinned elbows and scratches here and there. Riding a motorcycle, however, can mean some awesome falls and serious scars. Girls go wild over these macho-looking scars, which are quite impressive to the boys.
  7. Not a Seasonal Sport – That’s right. There’s no specific season set-aside for the sport of motocross. You can ride your motorcycle all year long. And, you can always find a motocross event going on any time of the year. Can’t say the same about soccer, can you?
  8. Equipment Much More Awesome – Ever seem an awesome soccer jersey? Yea, there are some amazing colors, even pretty cool customized graphics. But, can you put a custom pain job on your soccer cleats or your uniform? Motocross sports, on the other hand, have some truly artistic folks who lend their skills to the sport. Troy Lee and Tagger are just two of the resourceful characters who create killer graphics, eye candy and customized helmets that capture the attention of everyone involved in motocross.
  9. No Fake Diving – Why do soccer players feel the need to dive all the time? There are even die-hard soccer fans who ask this question. Many soccer players get out on the field, diving to the ground pretending to be hurt. They even do it in order to get fouled so they can get a call. There are no fake dives in motocross. If you fall off your motorcycle, it’s definitely not on purpose.
  10. The “Need for Speed” Satisfied – The top speed recorded for professional soccer pitches is what… maybe 20 mph? Well, motorcycles moves as much faster speeds than that. You can click 5th as you courageously lean from the back of your bike. What an exhilarating feeling!

Although soccer is a cool sport, it simply doesn’t cut it when you’re looking for speed, tricks and thrills. Soccer can’t compare to the excitement of the motocross sport. And, you can modify your motorcycle to be even faster, stronger and louder, something you can’t do with a soccer ball. Check out the bone cheap, tasty parts at Cannibal Cycle to modify your bike today.