Changing Your Dirtbike Oil

Your dirtbike needs clean oil to run properly. Overtime, your bike’s oil will become dirty and thick. So, you need to change it regularly in order to prolong the life of your bike’s engine. Typically, the engine oil in a dirtbike should be changed every 3-5 races. Why? Well, racing puts a great deal of strain on your machine’s engine. This puts stress on the oil. If you don’t race your bike, you should change the oil every few weeks or so.

5 Benefits of Oil Changes

There are a few benefits to changing your dirtbike oil regularly. Here are five:

  1. Coats your engine components with a protective film.
  2. Keeps engine’s moving parts lubricated so they move freely.
  3. Protects components of your engine from corrosion.
  4. Traps oil and debris, keeping them from building up in your engine.
  5. Stops engine from running hot by carrying heat away from hot areas so parts won’t overheat.

How to Change Dirtbike Oil

Every dirtbike is a bit different from the next. But, the general process is the same for each bike:

  • Run your bike’s engine for a few minutes. This helps to loosen up the old oil and get it to cycle through the machine’s system.
  • Place a bucket underneath the bolt of the drain pan.
  • Use a socket wrench to remove the nuts from the oil drain. (Typically 13mm or 14mm)
  • Allow the old oil to drain out of the dirtbike engine and into the bucket.
  • Replace the drain bolt.
  • Remove the dirtbike oil cover.
  • Pour in the new bike motor oil.

Re-draining Dirtbike Oil

Ever heard of bikers or mechanics draining the oil once more after they’ve filled the dirtbike up with new, clean oil? Well, they do this to remove more of the old, dirty oil that may have been left behind during the first draining.

If you decide to re-drain your bike’s oil, use a strainer to put it back into the engine. This will ensure that no old gook is pour back into the bike. Or, you can simply refill the bike with a brand new batch of oil.

Changing Dirtbike Oil Filters

You also need to remove your oil, dirty, clogged up oil filter. It needs to be replaced with a new one to ensure that it does its job. The purpose of the oil filter is to strain dirt and debris before it reaches your dirtbike engine. Here’s how to change your oil filter:

  • Remove the oil cover.
  • Pull the old filter off slowly using a pair of pliers.
  • Clean any remaining dirty oil from inside the cover.
  • Refill the new filter with a little new oil.
  • Put the new filter on.

How Much Oil to Use

There are three ways to check the amount of oil in your bike:

  1. Your dirtbike may have an oil gauge on it. This tells you when the bike’s oil pan is full.
  2. It may have a window instead. If so, you can see the level of the oil through this window.
  3. Use a dipstick or gauge, which can be purchased from bike parts stores.

When you change your dirtbike oil, the goal is to remove all of its old oil. While you ride, some of the oil ends up staying inside the engine. So, there’s trick to being accurate about the amount of oil in your bike. Fill the engine up with oil and replace the oil cap. Let the bike run for a few minutes. Then, check your oil level and fill it until it’s at the right level.

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How to Wash Your Dirtbike

Everybody knows how to wash a dirtbike? Right? Well, maybe you do. But, washing your bike the wrong way can literally damage it more than racing. It must be done properly to maximize the life of your dirtbike components. So, here are some tips for washing your dirtbike… the right way.

What You Need to Wash Your Dirtbike

  • Wash bucket
  • Pressure washer
  • Soft brush
  • Bike stand
  • Duct tape
  • Exhaust pipe plugs
  • Spray bottle
  • Rubber mallet
  • S.O.S. pads
  • Scotch-Brite pads
  • Compressed air
  • WD-40 (or other lube)
  • Airbox cover
  • Dielectric grease
  • Wire brush
  • Microfiber towels
  • Clean towels
  • Spray polish
  • Contact cleaner
  • Bike wash soap (or dishwashing liquid)

Steps to Wash Your Dirtbike the Right Way

  1. Remove the Mud – You may feel the sudden urge to just grab the power washer and have at it. Don’t!!! Instead, be gentle when removing mud. Use stiff brushes, a sponge and a bucket of hot water. To begin, scrape off any big clods of mud within your around the engine, inside the fenders and stuck on the tires. Keep in mind:
    1. Try not to get detergent and water on your seat. They’ll break down its foam.
    2. Don’t point the want of the pressure washer directly at the bike’s rubber seals.
    3. Do NOT spray soap on your brake disc or pads. It will bond itself onto the disc and glaze when you use the brakes again for the first time. Your brake pads will become completely useless.
  2. Remove the Bike Seat – Use a brush to clean your seat. Remember, you don’t want it to get soaked with water. If it does, the seat’s structure will break down. Then, the cushion will lose its effect.
  3. Take Off the Air Filter – Install an air box cover or stuff a towel into the air boot intake.
  4. Put a Cap on the Silencer – Do NIT let water get into your exhaust pipe! To avoid this, cap it off with a rubber plug.
  5. Gently Wash Your Bike – You can actually use the brushes for this job. But, if you simply must use your pressure washer, make it a point to deflect the dirt away from the dirtbike.
  6. Time to Spray – Now, you need to spray the appropriate chemicals onto the various parts of the dirtbike:
    1. Take of the magneto cover. Then, spray the coils and flywheel with brake cleaner. Make sure it’s non-chlorinated
    2. Remove dirt and water from your rotors by spraying them with brake cleaner.
    3. Get rid of leftover water on the bike’s steel parts by spraying them with WD-40.
    4. Use silicone to spray your plastic parts and tires. This protects them from cracking and dryness. It also fills in scratches, giving your plastic parts a renewed look.
  7. Clean Your Dirtbike Chain – Immerse the chain into a very mild solvent. Remove the dirt by scrubbing it with a chain cleansing brush. Allow it to drip dry. Then, use chain wax or chain lube to lubricate it.

Maintenance is Key to the Life of Your Dirtbike

It’s very important that you clean your dirtbike regularly. This may seem like a vain thing to do. Well, in a way, it is. Why wouldn’t you want your machine looking its best? But, there’s more to it than that. Keeping the components of your bike free of dirt, mud and debris actually extends the life of the parts. This maximizes the life of the bike itself.

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How to Buy a Used Dirt Bike

A used dirt bike is a great choice whether it is your first bike or you are just trying to get more bang for your buck. Before you ever go to a dealership or look at a bike from an independent seller, you should have a very good idea of what type and condition of bike you want.

cannibalcyclebannerKnow What You’re Looking For

There are a variety of types of dirt bikes you may be interested– from different brands, to whether it’s a two- or four-stroke. When buying a used bike it’s typically best to purchase a race bike as opposed to a bike that has been used on trails. Race bikes are immaculately maintained, whereas trail bikes are used in harsher conditions, and maintenance isn’t usually as regular.

You also need to set a budget. Especially if you are buying from an independent seller, you may or may not be able to haggle the price. Do not allow the seller to push your budget. If you find something you like but the price isn’t right, keep looking.

Know the Condition of the Bike

When you are buying used, you will need to do a thorough inspection of the dirt bike to make sure that it is in good, running order, and that it has been well-maintained. If at first glance it does not look clean, it’s probably best to walk away. Check to make sure the brake system, oil, and air filters look clean as well. The tires should be in good condition with minimal wear.

Make sure that the bike is cold when you get there. Unless you are planning on doing substantial maintenance, it should start within the first few kicks. Once running, you should not hear any wheezing, knocking, or abnormal rumbling sounds. The brakes should feel sensitive to the touch, and you should check the brake rotors for thickness. Be sure to check the condition of the underside of the bike as well as the frame may be dented or show wear.

Other Questions to Ask the Seller:

  • Why are you selling it?
  • What sort of oil has been used?
  • Are you the only owner?
  • Has it been rebuilt?
  • What kind of major maintenance has been done? (ask for receipts for maintenance or parts)
  • Maintenance/tune-up schedule

It is smart to write down a list of questions before visiting a seller, and writing down the different mechanical aspects you want to check so you don’t forget anyhting important. Buying a dirt bike used is a great way to save money, and going in with a plan will help you get a high-quality bike that will last you for years with minimal maintenance.

Want to Start Riding a Dirt Bike?

Getting started with dirt bike riding can seem like an overwhelming task if you don’t know where to start. You need to be prepared as you purchase and learn to ride your first bike.

cannibalcyclebannerLearn All You Can

If you want to start riding dirt bikes, chances are you already have friends who do so. Friends can provide a wealth of information, so ask as many questions as you can. They can tell you about the overall experience, recommend dealers and mechanics, and help teach you the basics.

You can also find tons of information online to help answer any questions you might have. Before you ever buy a bike you should have some idea of what type you are looking for, what a reasonable price range is, and what to look for to indicate its quality.

Finding the Right Bike

Buying your first dirt bike is a big investment, so take your time. You have the option of buying new or used, and you can purchase from a dealership or an independent seller. Websites like Craigslist can help you find used bikes if you want to buy it from an individual, and you can get a great price.

It can be risky to buy a used dirt bike, especially if you do not know the seller, and if you do not know a lot about bike mechanics. If you can, take an experienced friend or mechanic with you, or ask if you can take the dirt bike to your mechanic before making the purchase.

Learn to Ride

Friends that are experienced riders can be a great resource to learn how to ride a dirt bike, or you can take a riding course. A riding course will be more thorough and is typically the best option for an absolute beginner, but if you already have a knowledge of dirt bikes or motorcycles, you many not need quite as much help.

Before you ever get on the dirt bike, you will want to make sure that you have the proper safety gear. You will want at a minimum a helmet, boots, and gloves, and you may also want a padded jacket and riding pants. You will want to get used to the feeling of accelerating and braking in a controlled area before ever heading out.

Meet Other Riders

The more people you know who ride dirt bikes, the better. You not only can learn from other riders, but becoming a part of the dirt biking community will help fuel your passion and make it a lifelong hobby.

Your local motocross track is a great place to meet other riders, or you can find a local AMA-sanctioned event. Forums and online communities can also help you network locally or nationally.

Whether you want to ride motocross or open trails, you need to get started somewhere. The more you know about dirt bikes, the more prepared you will be to purchase your first bike and learn to ride, so ask questions and always keep an eye out for more resources.