MXstore’s Guide to Bike Preparation
We all get pretty excited when it comes to rolling the bike out of the van, ute or trailer to finally hitting the track or trails, but we've all felt the frustration when we notice a mechanical before we've even fired our dirt bike up.
This can eat into your riding time, or worse, have you sidelined entirely for a weekend - and we can’t think of many things worse!
Why should I check over my motocross bike before I ride?
If you're a racer, you should be familiar with pre-race scrutineering where a track official checks’ over your bike at the beginning of the day to make sure everything is in working order, your machine is race-worthy and not a danger to yourself or fellow riders.
Usually, this is a quick process as there are many bikes to get through and taking the time to thoroughly check over every bike would probably mean half of the riders would never get onto the track. But the whole mentality behind scrutineering is safety, and at MXstore we find that to be paramount!
What parts of my motocross bike should I check before I go for a ride?
Every bike is slightly different, so always check your owners’ manual to make sure you perform all of the necessary checks unique to your manufacturer of dirt bike. We will assume that all of the major servicing has been carried out on as part of your own maintenance schedule including washing your bike, cleaning your air filter and cleaning your chain.
Ideally, the following checks should be made soon after you wash your bike so that if you pick up on something wrong, you have time to fix it before you want to ride again.
- Check tyre pressures - a couple of pounds difference in tube pressure this can have a massive effect on your lap times!
- Bleed air from forks
- Check brake pads and discs for excessive wear
- Check brake action, brakes may require bleeding
- Check wheel bearings for notches or free play
- Check steering head bearings for notches or free play
- Check swing arm bearings for notches or free play
- Check spoke tensions
- Check rim locks
- Inspect rims for buckles, dents or cracks
- Lube and adjust chain
- Lubricate everything which spins, pivots or slides (foot pegs, levers, cables etc)
- If your bike is a carburettor model, remove the drain plug and check for debris
- Check fluids, radiator coolant and oil levels
- Check free play, lubricate and adjust clutch, throttle and any pivoting part
- Check over all major fasteners, anything load-bearing or structural should have a torque wrench used on them to ensure correct tension is placed on all fasteners
Once you have given your bike the once over to ensure it is running mechanically sound, make sure you give your bike a good clean and even prep it with some tyre shine or plastic protector.
It may seem a little pedantic, but a fresh, clean and prepped bike will make you feel confident in your machine and put you in a good mood when you wheel it out for a ride whether it be to race for an Australian title, or simply to get away from work for the day with your buddies and burn through some fuel.
If you have any further questions regarding bike preparation or maintenance of your motocross bike, don’t hesitate to contact the friendly team at MXstore
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