Proper maintenance of your dirt bikes starts with knowing how to clean it the right way. The buildup of dirt, mud, sand, and other unknown things you probably picked up while riding could result in premature corrosion of sprockets, chains, axle joints, suspension parts, lever cables, and seals.
To avoid this, you should ideally clean your bike after every ride. Here’s how to do it:
- Begin by spraying your bike with water to get most of the gunk off. Avoid spraying too close to the graphics’ edges to avoid peeling, and plug the exhaust to prevent the muffler from being damaged.
- Consider using a truck wash solution to loosen the gunk. Use a sponge for cleaning plastic parts and a brush for scrubbing hard to reach spaces.
- Hose down every inch of your bike and take extra care around the radiator to prevent the fins from bending, advises an experienced mechanic from Southpaw Motorsports in Salt Lake City that specializes in dirt bikes, other types or motorcycles and ATVs. He adds that you should avoid putting direct pressure around axles, seals, swing arm linkages, and the steering hub.
- After particularly dirty rides or every two to five relatively dirty rides, detach the magneto cover and spray water dispersant inside to avoid corrosion. Doing this too often might damage the gasket so keep a close eye it and replace as needed.
- Clean your bike’s chain using a stiff-bristled brush, but never use a wire brush on O or X ring chains to avoid damaging the rubber inside. Make sure to scrub all the gunk from the links to prolong the service life of the sprockets and chains, and then apply lube.
- If you want to give your bike some oomph, apply a lick silicone after cleaning. This would also help protect it from the elements. Be warned though, unless you want to hold on for dear life while riding, keep the silicone away from the seat cover and radiator shrouds.
Proper dirt bike maintenance is all about prevention—from cleaning to making repairs and replacement as needed. It’s also important to note that you should check your bike for loose plastics, spokes, and nuts and bolts when cleaning. Nuts are particularly prone to loosening due to vibrations and could be a hassle to replace.
Check the foot pegs and frames for fractures and cracks as well. Other than that, keeping your bike clean would go a long towards saving it from premature repairs and wear and tear.