MXstore’s Guide to Bike Preparation

MXstore’s Guide to Bike Preparation main image

We all get 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 have even fired our dirt bike up. 

This can eat into your riding time, or worse, have you side-lined entirely for a weekend - and we cannot think of many things worse! 

Why should I check over my motocross bike before I ride?

Whether you are a weekend rider or a full-time racer having faith and confidence in your machine is extremely important. The last thing you want to do is be flying over a tabletop wondering if your front axle is tight or worse, having a failure causing an injury from not checking over your bike.  

Racers 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, making sure 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 mean half of the riders would never get onto the track. 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 owner's manual to make sure you perform all the necessary checks unique to your manufacturer of dirt bike. We will assume that all 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 notice something wrong, you have time to fix it before you want to ride again. Then carried out again out at the track to give you piece of mind there is nothing you’ve missed.

Pre-moto checklist:

  • Check tyre condition for wear and tyre pressures - a couple of pounds difference in pressure can have a massive effect on getting traction and ensuring safety while improving your lap times!

  • Bleed air from forks - handy to have a set of fork bleeders installed to make this a 2 second job

  • Check brake pads and discs for excessive wear

  • Check brake action, brakes may require bleeding

  • Check bearings for notches or free play (wheelsteering headswing arm and linkage bearings)

  • Check spoke tension - spoke spanners are essential

  • 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 (engine, transmission, brake and clutch fluids etc)

  • 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 (axles, pinch bolts, engine mounts etc)

  • Ensure your bike has fuel - might sound silly but running out of fuel 30 mins into a trail ride away from your car or mid moto is never a good feeling

Once you have given your bike the once over to ensure it is running mechanically sound, prep it with some silicone, this will help reduce the chance of dirt sticking and staining next time you ride while protecting the surface inbetween rides.

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 bike, don’t hesitate to contact the friendly team at MXstore.


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