Ultimate Guide To Dirt Bike Hour Meters

Ultimate Guide To Dirt Bike Hour Meters main image

Most riders are familiar with hour meters particularly on four-stroke dirt bikes, as the high-performance engines require closer attention, more frequent servicing and maintenance than their more primitive two-stroke counterparts.

What is a hour meter?

Basically, a motocross or enduro race machine is built to be simple, light and fast, so parts that aren’t a necessity are simply not included. However adding a dirt bike hour meter is a great way to keep track of servicing and maintenance, and once installed, every moment the motor is running the counter ticks over and stores the total running hours on its display.

Hour meters help you keep track of maintenance

This is perfect for four-stroke machines as regular dirt bike oil and oil filter changes, replacing piston rings, top end bearings, pistons and checking valve clearances should all be a part of your maintenance schedule. Depending on your budget and how serious you take your racing, there are riders who replace piston rings every 20 hours and complete top ends every 40.

Learn more about when to rebuild your dirt bike engine.

How to install a hour meter

Step 1: Find a suitable mounting location - most riders will mount the meter on the frame of the bike up near the steering head of the bike where it is clearly visible and out of the way. Another common place to mount your off-road hour meter is on the frame above the fuel tank facing back at the rider - there are hour meter mounting kits available for some bikes which make it easier.

Alternatively, you can use a sticky adhesive like a 3M tape, silicone glue or even the less popular method of drilling into the actual motorcycle frame itself and fasten the hour meter with screws.

Step 2: Start from the spark plug end and check there is enough cable to reach the intended location of the display screen, begin by wrapping the end of the meter pick-up wire around the spark plug cable at least five times tightly to ensure a solid connection is formed so the meter works properly.

Some bikes don’t have a spark plug wire, but you can wrap the pick-up wire around the dust boot of the spark plug to achieve the same result. Once neatly wrapped, zip tie the loose end to the pick-up wire leading to the meter and seal the end of the wire with a drop of silicone to prevent moisture entering the wire.

Step 3: Run the cable to the desired location of the meter using cable ties to secure any excess wire along the way, install the wire to the MX hour meter by pressing the wire into the entire length of the hour meter slot with a flat screwdriver.

Step 4: Attach the hour meter to your bike in whichever method you have decided on, allow any silicone to dry and you are ready to go!

Please note: OEM settings on most carburetted machines is 1.0ppr (pulse per revolution) but some fuel-injected models are now 0.5ppr, consult your owners’ manual to check what ppr your bike is to ensure your hour meter displays an accurate reading.

Check out the range of hour meters at MXstore:

If you have any questions regarding hour meter installation or servicing of your motorcycle, don’t hesitate to contact the friendly team at MXstore


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