Dirt bikes have gained a whole lot of popularity over the last decade. Once they were an expensive and high maintenance means of pleasure for the rich and famous, now they have become more common, and you can see everyone on their own dirt bike, navigating the different types of terrains like pros. You must have heard that a dirt bike is worth more than a car and in the old days, that would have been true, but not anymore. Now it is a golden opportunity for people who want to invest their money in something that will benefit them physically, mentally and spiritually for a long time to come. But buying a dirt bike is just the first step of the process. If you want your dirt bike to last a lifetime, then you need to maintain it like a pro. It doesn’t mean that you have to become a regular bike mechanic, but you should know the basics to dirt bike maintenance as well as a good knowledge of dirt bike parts, their specifications, prices, among other things.
Here are the 8 major maintenance hacks that you can do by yourself without the need for a high-end mechanic and ensure that your dirt bike lasts a long time and increases the quality of your life:
1. Keep Your Bicycle Clean
This one is so obvious that you must be wondering why we have included it here in the first place. Well, it may sound obvious and simple, but it is not. If you keep your dirt bike clean and oil, you won’t need to do half the maintenance that you would normally need. It will help your bike ride better, and you can enjoy it longer. All you need is an old toothbrush and some water. If you want to go a little bit further, you could also get a chain scrubber, bike cleaning brush, degreasing solutions, chain lubricant, sponges and a bunch of rags.
2. Check your tire pressure
If you have been biking a lot, you must have experienced a flat tire. Well if you check your tire pressure every time you take out your bike, you won’t have as many flat tires as you do now. You can get the old school hand pump and gauge, or you can get a digital gauge. Also, check your tires for any wear and tear and other damages. This can save you a lot of trouble and a lot of cash that you would otherwise have to spend on new tires.
3. Check and maintain your brakes
What is the major thing to have by your side if you are a speed freak? Good breaks. You do not want to be going down a hill or any other platform, only to find out that your brakes are not working. Every time you go out, make a test run first to see if your brakes are pumping and working fine. Check your pads and see if they are not worn, check the brake lines and make sure that there isn’t any leak. You don’t necessarily have to do it every time, but if you make it a habit, it will benefit you in the long run.
4. Check and maintain your shifting
As we told you above, you should always take a test drive before taking your dirt bike out for some serious off-roading experience. When you are testing your dirt bike, make sure that you go through all the gears. You have to check and see if they are working fine and don’t feel a little off. If they feel kind of funny, try adjusting the barrel adjuster on your shifter. If you don’t know what a shifter is or where it is, then let an expert handle it. You might make the situation worse. Also, check and lube your chain if you find out that it is skipping.
5. Check your pedals
One of the most neglected parts of your dirt bike is your pedals. Check the pedals and clean all the grime, rocks, roots, debris, and dirt from them. You have to make sure that they are clean if you want to get in and out of your pedals easily.
6. Check the fit
A lot of the time, we don’t have to see something or hear a funny sound to know that something is wrong. We can feel it in our gut. That is because every time we get on our bikes, we tend to compare it with the last time we were on it. So, again, we will point out what must be obvious by now. Take your dirt bike on a test run. Take it around for a spin and feel the ride, especially if you haven’t ridden it in a long time. Adjust your saddle or anything else that you think might be a little off. Unless everything is perfect, you won’t get to enjoy the ride as much as you expect and your mind will constantly be thinking about what is wrong with your bike.
7. Fix Your Own Flat Tires
If you are a beginner, then you might not have experienced it yet, but anyone who has been on a dirt bike for some time will tell you that they have faced more than a few flat tires. Don’t worry; you will have your own flat tire soon. Just make sure that you have a tire replacement kit in your pack. Your kit should have:
- A hand pump
- One or two tire levers
- One or two brand new tire tubes
Forget about changing the tire when you are out in the wilderness. Just change the tube and check the tire to make sure that there isn’t anything that is stuck to it that might damage the new tube.
If, on the other hand, you are at home, you can easily fix your damaged tire tube. Just remove the wheel from your bike. Completely deflate it. Then take the tire lever from your pack and stick it firmly between the tire and the rim. This way you can easily pry off the tire from the rim. Take out the tube and check it for the puncture wound. If it is visible, then patch it up. If it isn’t visible, pump air into the tire and stick it into a tub of water. The bubbles that come out of the tire will tell you about the puncture. If the puncture is visible, still dunk the tire underwater to make sure that there isn’t more than one.
8. Replace Your Chain
Replacing the chain is not as difficult as it seems. If you have a chain breaker and a new chain, you are good to go. Remove the old chain by pushing out the pin from one of the links. Make sure you have the proper new chain according to the gears. It has to be the right length. Now attach the new chain with the help of the chain breaker.
Wrapping it up
There are a host of other things that you can do to maintain your bike, but if you can do the 8 things mentioned above, you will be off to a good start. All you need is some effort and some time.