Why Your Dirt Bike Is Flooded & How To Fix It

Has your dirt bike been flooded? What does that even mean? This article explains what it means, how to tell if your dirt bike is flooded, what the most common causes are, and how to fix it. 

What Is A Flooded Dirt Bike?

A flooded dirt bike refers to the engine having filled up with fuel or water sitting in it. Too much fuel in the engine or combustion chamber and the engine will not start. 

Overheating Why Your Dirt Bike Is Flooded & How To Fix It

Is It Bad If The Engine Gets Flooded?

In most cases, a flooded engine will not damage anything in your dirt bike. However, if the engine is completely flooded with gas or water, trying to start it could cause damage or a potential injury.

Liquids are harder to compress than air. This means that if you have a 4 stroke dirt bike, a valve could possibly get bent from trying to compress too much liquid in the engine. 

A scenario like this isn’t too likely, but electric start engines have a higher risk if the engine is flooded.

If you’re kick starting your bike, the kick start lever may kick back and hurt your foot, ankle or leg. This is why you should always wear proper riding gear to prevent injury.

How To Tell If Your Dirt Bike Is Flooded

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if your dirt bike is just flooded or there’s a more serious problem causing it not to start.

Common signs that the engine is or was flooded are:

  • Easy to start after sitting for at least 5 minutes
  • Kick start lever kicks back when starting
  • Backfires when trying to start
  • Spark plug is wet

What Causes A Dirt Bike Engine To Flood?

There’s a number of ways to flood your dirt bike’s engine, but the most likely reasons are:

How To Fix or Start A Flooded Dirt Bike

The first thing you need to do is get rid of all or as much of the water in the bike as possible. It can be in the engine, airbox, and exhaust system that will cause problems, and potentially some of the electrical. 

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To get your dirt bike started after being flooded, the best things to do are:

  • Turn the fuel off
  • Remove the exhaust (if possible)
  • Tip the bike backwards or upside down to drain the water
  • Check the engine for milky water and drain/replace if needed
  • Dry/replace the air filter if it’s waterlogged
  • Remove the spark plugs and crank over the engine to get any excess water out of the combustion chamber
  • Replace the spark plug if it’s fouled

How to become a better trail rider

Tired of getting stuck or crashing? Maybe it’s time to start making smarter decisions and not riding through water holes. Or maybe you just need some help with riding technique to stay in control.

If that’s the case, then I want to help you!

Riding with confidence and control starts with the proper dirt bike that you can handle, but you need to know how to properly ride it. Not only clutch and throttle control, but how to use your body positioning to be able to relax and ride better.

Ready to get started down the path that will make you safer AND a better rider? Click here to learn more. 

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Kelley Fager

I help newer riders learn to safely ride with confidence by teaching basic techniques in a way that's easy to understand. Learn To Ride With Control Here

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