How To Prep Your Dirt Bike For A Motocross Race

I love to race motocross, there’s no doubt about it. I’m sure you think the same if you’ve tried it. If not, learn How To Start Racing Motocross here. But if there’s one thing I hate the most, it would probably be a broken bike on race-day. I try to keep up on maintenance as best I can so that my dirt bikes won’t fail when I’m on for a ride or on the day of a race. There are many things you should do in order to prepare you dirt bike for a motocross race, so I’m going to tell you how.

They May Be Called “Dirt” Bikes, BUT…..

Clean Motocross Bike

First of all, is your bike clean? You should never put away your bike dirty. Although I hate to admit it, I do not achieve this goal just because I can’t at times (getting back extremely late at night, not having a pressure washer, etc.). But it’s very important that you keep your bike clean. It will make everything last much longer, and working on the bike will be easier when you have to do maintenance on it.

Filtering The Impurities

Okay next question…. When’s the last time you changed oil and filter? It depends on your bike, but you should change oil every couple of races, or every 5-10 hours if you ride in between. Oil filters should be replaced every other/second time you change the oil. Many riders make the mistake of not changing the oil often enough, and this results in seizing of the engine. A big NO-NO, especially for four-stroke motocross bikes. If they even run low on oil, the cam(s) might not get enough lubrication, causing them to score and possibly seize. And if one thing goes out on them, often it will destroy more parts. So don’t forget to do you oil change intervals!!!

Breath of Fresh Air

Next on the list is your air filter. Another crucial part of maintaining your dirt bike that many riders neglect doing. Cleaning or changing an air filter is easy, and cheap, so there’s no excuse for not doing it. Hardcore riders often clean it every ride, but that isn’t necessary if you aren’t riding in sand or mud. Clean it every 3-5 hours or so and you should be good. Your engine will last much long if it’s sucking clean air going to it instead of dirt. Make sense?

Cleaning and tightening your chain the day before will save you a headache. Not only will this help prevent the chain from falling off or breaking, it will save you time if you’re in a hurry on race-day.

Lay Some Rubber Down!

Tires can help you win a race. If it’s cracked or worn out then it’s time for a new tire! Tire pressure is also very important for racing. Although you’ll probably have to check/change it throughout the day, it’s good to pump them up to 15 psi the night before. A good pressure for soft terrain is about 10-12 psi, and hard-pack about 13-15 lbs.

Check Your Fluids

There are many fluid lines on a dirt bike, so remember to check those for cracks, wear, and tighten them if they’re loose. These include lines for gas, coolant, brake fluid, and clutch if you have a hydraulic clutch. Top them off and/or flush them if they need it (I’ll show you how to flush fluid lines in a future article/video). Also, check your brake pads to make sure they aren’t worn out. You don’t want to start racing and all of the sudden you have no brakes.

Splitting Cables

Motocross Bike Maintenance

Check your clutch and throttle cables for wear. If they are starting to fray, replace them. I also recommend you to lube your cables every few rides just to help prevent them from seizing up.

A fouled spark plug can end your day like that. Or, it can hold you back just one moto/practice if you are smart enough. If you haven’t changed plugs in a while, you may want to check what it looks like and possibly replace it. You never know when it could go out, especially if you’re jetting isn’t spot-on. Always remember to bring a spare plug or three; 2-stroke motocross bikes sometimes eat through them quickly. Click here if your bike is fouling plugs.

Don’t take the chance…

Last but not least, don’t forget to use fresh gas!!! I am a living example of this, but in my terms it was a little more extreme. I had a riding accident late August this year (2010) and hurt my shoulder, so I was out for about two months of any real riding… Well when I went riding at the end of October, I took my 125 out for a good ride on a sand track. After an hour or less of riding the bike it stalled and couldn’t get it started. I found out it was bad gas, causing it to score the piston and cylinder.

The reason I say this case is a little more extreme is because I have to a mix of race gas and pump gas, mixed with castor oil; all of which don’t last very long, especially when mixed together. So the best thing to do is buy gas the day before, and wait to mix it (if you use additives or 2-stroke oil) until race-day.

That should pretty much do it. If you do all of these things, there will be very little chance your bike will break down. Good luck, and ride safe!

If you have dumped many dollars into your ride, you may want to consider getting Dirt Bike Insurance in case something should happen to it.

-Tom Stark

AMC 600 Aluminum Double Motorcycle Hitch Mount Carrier Review


I enjoy writing reviews, so I thought I’d help out you out if you’ve ever been in a jam when it comes to transporting dirt bikes. I’ve seen people use motorcycle carriers before, but I figured they were all pretty much the same; a metal rail welded onto square tubing that goes into a hitch receiver for cars and RV’s.

When I started researching them I found out that there is much more to it. Bike carriers for vehicles come in many shapes and size, but the one that made the most sense was the AMC 600 Double Motorcycle Carrier. It’s the perfect solution for hauling two motocross bikes without the trouble of pulling and storing a trailer.

What To Look For When Buying A Motorcycle/Dirt Bike Hitch Carrier:

  • How much it shakes
  • The weight
  • Is there assembly?
  • Number of rails
  • Weight restrictions
  • Simplicity of parts/use

Don’t Motorcycle Carriers Shake & Rattle?

AMC-600-2 Double Dirt Bike Carrier

While this is true for many bike carriers, the AMC-600-2 double motorcycle carrier features a reverse anti-tilt device. This keeps the carrier stable while going down the highway. This is important because if the dirt bike is shaking on the rack, it’s going to wear out, and possibly fall off. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want something that I will be worrying about all the way to the track and back home.

Double The Bikes Means Double The Weight…

Although you are able to carry two bikes with this dirt bike carrier, the AMC-600 is made out of lightweight aircraft aluminum. This is considerably lighter than steel, and just about as strong. Being aluminum, another advantage over steel is that it will not rust. This will allow for a lot longer life-span. Not to mention the aluminum finish looks cool.

Is There Assembly Required?

Yes there assembly required, but it’s very simple. It comes with a loading ramp that makes it easy enough for one person to load both bikes onto the carrier. The ramp has welded attaching lip with a 2/3″ hook, which allows for quick and easy loading of bikes. The lightweight aluminum ramp mounts onto the carrier itself, so you don’t need any room in your vehicle to carry it.

You Can Carry Two Bikes On The Hitch?!

Yes it can haul two bikes on a single hitch (hence the “Double” motorcycle carrier). It’s safe to carry up to 600 lbs of combined weight. That’s more than enough for two 450cc Motocross bikes! If you’re just using the carrier for one bike you can haul up to 400 lbs safely on a single rail.

Double Motorcycle Carrier

The main hitch tube is steel powder coated, so it will last longer, and looks better. The main tube is 18″ long from the center of the hitch pin for the first rail, and the second rail is 39″ away from the pin. The hitch fits any 2″ receiver, so you don’t have to get any exotic inserts for it.

What All Is Included?

  • Two-place dirt bike carrier
  • Full-width loading ramp that mounts on the carrier
  • Built-in hooks to tie down bikes
  • 2″ hitch receiver
  • Reverse anti-tilt device stabilizer

Product Description/Dimensions.

All aluminum, 600 lb capacity 75″ L x 5.5″ W hitch mounted motorcycle carrier with a 45.5″ L loading ramp accommodates two sport bikes. Not recommended for use with scooters or mopeds. Fits any Class III or IV 2″ hitch receiver. Easy assembly and installation. Specifically designed for transporting motocross bikes, enduro bikes, off-road dirt bikes, and some scooters/mopeds with up to 5 1/2″ wide tires.

Does It Come With Warranty?

Yes, the AMC-600-2 Double Motorcycle Carrier includes a 1 year warranty.

What Do Other Buyers Say About It?

This dirt bike hitch carrier is the number one selling on Amazon for motorcycle carriers, and it has a 5-star review rating.

  • “Space Life Saver”
  • “Carry it right”
  • “Good weld joints, solid steel main beam with aluminum racks and ramp make for a nice package.”

Carrying Limitations

  • Safely carries up to 600 lbs. on both rails (which should be enough for 2 dirt bikes)
  • Vehicle Carrying capacity – check to see if your vehicle can haul that much weight on the hitch
  • Will not work with class II or smaller receivers
  • NOT recommended for tow-behind trailers including 5th wheel trailers and camping trailers
  • NOT for street bikes, cruisers or sport motorcycles
  • NOT recommended for use with hitch adapters / extensions
  • Hitch pin NOT included
  • Not recommended for scooters/mopeds

Where can I buy the AMC 600 two-place motorcycle hitch mount carrier?

You can buy this dirt bike carrier from Amazon. When comparing to other online sites, Amazon currently has the best deal. It’s the perfect set-up for father-son ride days.

Buy My Aluminum Dirt Bike Carrier For Cars On Here

For more Motorcycle Carrier Reviews Click Here

-Tom Stark