Something that almost every rider has done or will do is forget a helmet, a pair of goggles, their boots, or some other gear that they need for racing. It’s very frustrating to get to the track and find out that you forgot to throw your helmet in the truck or trailer. From then on it’s just frustrating, especially if you live far away from the track.
Scrambling around the pits to find some one that you can borrow or buy a helmet, pair of boots, or whatever is often the scenario. You can usually find a rider with an extra set of gear, but the feeling of forgetting something is, well disgusting. Just think if you weren’t able to find something with that article of protection, you wouldn’t be able to race and just wasted a trip to the track, just because you didn’t remember an item that’s probably sitting next to the door at your house.
Well, there are two ways to help prevent this from happening again. If you don’t have anything your gear in, the easiest way to not forget anything is to clean your gear all at once right after a race, then put it all together so you know everything is there. Then when it’s time to race again you can just throw that pile of gear in the truck and go, assuming you don’t forget your bike!
If you really want to make sure nothing is forgotten, the best and easiest way to go is buying a Gear Bag for everything. Almost every motocross apparel company makes one, and they come in many shapes and sizes, so it won’t be difficult to find one that fits your needs. Then there won’t be any excuse if your forget something, because you can wash your gear after a race, throw in the gear bag, and forget about it until next weekend.
I know I have a bad memory, so while packing for a race I often forget things. One category I don’t stress out on anymore is my gear because I have a bag that I stuff it in. Do yourself a favor that will get solve future headaches and Buy A Gear Bag for your Motocross Gear.
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…..
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.
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.