How can I turn my dirt bike into a good trail bike? In this article we’ll look at each area of your bike that can be optimized to make trail riding easier and more exciting.
A good trail bike is one that you can ride on at a fast pace for at least an hour and still be comfortable. If you race hare-scrambles or enduros then it’s important that you have the right equipment for two reasons. One, you will be faster if it’s set-up to your liking, and two, you will last the race without getting hurt or completely worn out.
Protect Your Hands
One of the first things I would put on my dirt bike to use in the woods would be bark busters/hand guards. They will protect your hands and levers from many could-have-been injuries, bruises, and broken parts.
Plush Yet Firm Suspension
Setting up your suspension is very important as well. If you have springs that don’t fit your weight you’ll be tired and probably banged up after a short period of riding. First get the right springs, then get the forks and shock re-valved for your riding style.
Slowing The Engine Down
Next on the list is a flywheel weight. This alone will greatly improve your riding by slowing down engine acceleration, allowing the rear wheel to hook up better. Today’s dirt bikes are very powerful, so it’s easy to lose traction and slide the rear wheel out.
Slowing down the engine to get more power to the ground will help you go faster, especially in slick conditions. A heavier flywheel weight will also help prevent stalling because the engine revs at a slower rate. This is very helpful for riding tight single track trails when it’s easy to stall.
You’re Going To Need More Gas
If you’re going on long rides or races, a bigger gas tank will reduce the number of, or eliminate pit stops. You don’t want to run out of gas during a race or 10 miles away from your vehicle. A bigger tank can increase your range up to 50% or more.
Are You Approved For Trails?
The exhaust system might also have to be changed for trail riding. DNR requires a USFS-Approved spark arrestor for most state trails. They’re often quieter than stock, which is a good thing because it keeps more riding areas open. Spark-arrestor silencers are fairly cheap and the power-loss is minimal, if any.
Spacing Your Gearing Appropriately
Gearing can be crucial for trail riding, so finding the right size sprockets that aren’t too high or too low is important. If you ride single track but have to ride on high-speed fire roads, a good ratio is one that you can lug the bike down low, while still keeping a relatively high cruise speed.
Protect The Undercarriage
There are umpteen different things you can do to your dirt bike to make it a woods weapon, but the last one on this list is a skid plate. It may not help performance-wise, but it can and will save you from costly damage. Rocks and logs are a hazard to the bottom of the engine and frame. A skid plate completely covers them so they won’t get scraped up or cracked.
How to ride in the woods with confidence
Want to ride with control so that you don’t crash and get hurt? It starts with learning proper riding technique, and I want to help you get started with the basics with my free training guide that only takes a few minutes to read. Click to learn more.