Low compression on your dirt bike is one of those things that is relatively inevitable. Whether your engine is a two-stroke or a four-stroke, its compression will eventually run low and will require your attention.
In a two-stroke dirt bike engine, the likeliest cause for low compression is worn pistons or rings. A four-stroke engine also has piston rings that need to be replaced regularly. However, the latter can also experience worn intake or exhaust valves, leading to low engine compression.
As is the case with most dirt bike questions, there is a lot of detail that goes into these common problems, and the more you understand about the machines, the more capable you will be at solving issues before they happen.
How to Tell If My Dirt Bike Has Low Compression
Low engine compression is the number one reason for dirt bikes working perfectly one day and struggling the next. Fortunately, there are many symptoms that indicate that your engine is in need of attention. In the case of a two-stroke dirt bike, you may notice any of the following signs that indicate your engine compression is low.
It becomes difficult to start
The kick-starter is too easy to kick over
Your dirt bike feels lower power than usual
Your spark plug is fouling
Your dirt bike won’t idle well
If you have a four-stroke dirt bike, many of the symptoms will be similar to the two-stroke variety, but with a few notable differences. You can expect to see any of the above, but with the following added to the list.
Dirt bike backfires or pops when decelerating
Complete loss of power
Runs very roughly
The only benefit of low engine compression is that it is easy to identify, thanks to these extremely obvious symptoms. Once you find your dirt bike showing any of the above signs of low compression, it’s time to get it tested.
How to Test Your Engine Compression?
Completing a compression test is reasonably straightforward, but there are a few variables to be aware of before starting. There are actually two ways to test an engine, warm or cold. The concept behind a compression test on a warm engine is that it will give you more accurate results because the machine will be closer to its average operating temperature.
While this has the benefit of accuracy due to the thermal expansion of the piston, cylinder, and rings being more representative of your engine when it’s running, it can be challenging to replicate this when testing. There are a few steps that need to be completed to run the test, and your engine will inevitably cool down as you get prepared, so in the pursuit of accuracy, you may end up with more variable results.
Choosing to perform a cold compression test is much simpler. However, it is important to be aware that the resulting compression values that you get from your test on a cold engine will be lower than a warm one. While mechanics will go back and forth over which choice is better, repeatability is the key to successful testing, and a cold compression test is infinitely easier to duplicate.
Step-By-Step Two Stroke Compression Test
The first step is the simplest one, and that is to remove the seat from your bike. Note that some bikes will give you sufficient access to the engine that you won’t need to remove the seat, but consult your owner’s manual to determine if yours falls into that category.
Remove both the fuel tank and the radiator shrouds from your bike. If your bike has a petcock equipped, turn it off before removing the fuel line. For safety and cleanliness, catch any fuel draining from the line with a rag.
Next, you will need to remove the spark plug cap. However, before you remove the plug itself, use compressed air to blow dust and debris out of the plug cavity so that it can’t get inside your engine. After doing so, remove your spark plug.
At this point, you should install your compression tester into the spark plug hole and ensure that all of your fittings are tight to reduce the possibility of getting false readings.
You will then hold the throttle wide open and kick the bike over five times as quickly and as hard as you can. Then, confirm the number recorded on the compression tester.
Once you’ve recorded the value somewhere, reset the testing gauge, and repeat your test three to five times to ensure that your results are accurate.
Testing compression on a two-stroke dirt bike is not a very complicated process. As long as you follow these steps and confirm the details of your exact make and model of bike in your owner’s manual, you should be able to get consistent readings of your dirt bike’s compression.
It is worth noting that a four-stroke engine will also involve a compression relief system and will have a specific allowable compression range. Consult your owner’s manual to find this information, and if your test indicates low compression in your four-stroke engine, you should complete a leak down test to determine what components need replacing.
What Level of Compression Should My Dirt Bike Have?
Now that you have a recorded compression value, you will need to compare it to your dirt bike’s recommended minimum compression. As mentioned above, your owner’s manual will have a minimum PSI specification, but there are commonly upheld two-stroke PSI values that you can use as a guideline. Be aware that these numbers are not absolute for every dirt bike.
50cc engine – 120 PSI minimum
65cc engine – 120 PSI minimum
85cc engine – 130 PSI minimum
125cc engine – 140 PSI minimum
250cc engine – 170 PSI minimum
500cc engine – 140 PSI minimum
Along with various makes and models possessing individual minimum requirements, where you live may also make a difference. Suppose you run identical tests on a single dirt bike at sea level and again at a higher altitude. In that case, you will receive different values as the difference in air pressure will provide alternate conditions.
How to Fix Low Compression?
With all the information you’ve gleaned from your dirt bike’s compression test, you will be ready to fix the actual problem. In most two-stroke engines, the primary reason for low compression will be a worn top-end, which may require replacing the piston or perhaps just the piston rings. However, if your cylinder has worn out of specifications or has physical scratches on it, you may need to rehone or replate it.
If you have a four-stroke engine suffering from low compression, you may need to replace the valves, seals, and potentially a new timing chain to ensure its reliability. Whether this is a task for you or your local mechanic depends on your mechanical aptitude and familiarity with top-end rebuilds.
Don’t Let Compression Get You Down
While the signs of low engine compression can be dramatic and alarming if you are not familiar with it, taking the time to understand your dirt bike’s engine will pay off in the long run. Even if you aren’t mechanically inclined, identifying problems with your machine before they get serious can save you time and money by preventing them from getting worse.
At the end of the day, knowing more about your bike will make maintaining it more straightforward and ensure that you spend less time worrying about what might be wrong and more time back out on the track!
The electric dirt bike and the gas dirt bike are very similar, but with a few key differences. Whether you’re a beginner buying your first dirt bike or an expert looking for an upgrade, it’s important to know the difference between these bikes to know what’s right for you.
An electric dirt bike is powered by a lithium-ion battery and therefore saves on operating costs, whereas a gas dirt bike is powered by either a two-stroke or a four-stroke engine and has more power. Electric bikes tend to be more expensive, but are easier to maintain than a gas dirt bike.
This article will discuss the differences between gas dirt bikes and electric dirt bikes, as well as their similarities and some things to take into account when purchasing a dirt bike or maintaining one that you already have.
Know Your Environment
Before you make a choice about the right dirt bike for you, you should develop a clear picture of how and where you’ll want to use the bike. Most bikes can be used in multiple kinds of environments, but you’ll find that knowing what environment you’ll be riding in will help you find a bike that is especially well suited to your needs.
There are two main kinds of dirt biking: motocross and off-roading. Within motocross, there are three primary forms of competition: racing, freestyle, and supercross. There are also competitive forms of off-roading, with the main being enduro.
Motocross takes place on an outdoor track that is groomed for bikers. You’ll know what to expect as you take laps around the course and move through the preset ramps and turns. Motocross is both a recreational activity and a competitive sport.
During an official motocross race, about 25 to 30 riders ride around the course for a certain number of laps, and the first to finish is considered the winner. In championship events, the fastest riders compete in a series of rounds leading up to a final race.
Freestyle motocross is like motocross racing in that it is performed on a set motocross course, but instead of being judged based on speed, riders are judged based on acrobatic stunts as they complete laps.
One kind of freestyle motocross is big air, where the riders are given two major jumps covering a distance of 75 feet in which they can perform a stunt. In this kind of event, judges consider originality and difficulty and give a rating on a scale of 100.
Another kind of freestyle motocross, simply called freestyle, involves two routines, each lasting 14 minutes and 90 seconds. During this time, the rider takes laps around the motocross course, performing a series of jumps at different lengths and at different angles. In this case, judges also evaluate the skill and originality of stunts and give a rating on a scale of 100.
Supercross is an indoor form of track racing that is very similar to motocross but technically considered its own sport. These courses are shorter than motocross courses and involve steeper jumps and harder obstacles, which are less similar to the natural terrain. Supercross tracks are also shorter than motocross courses.
Off-Road Dirt Biking
Off-roading, or trail riding, takes place on natural trails that span hundreds of miles and have endless unknown obstacles: rocks, holes, steep slopes, and tight corners. Off-roading bikes need to have bigger tires with more rubber padding and softer suspension to be able to handle these obstacles.
Off-roading is also more doable with a push-button start than a kick start because you’ll need to start and stop the bike more often. These bikes are also often heavier than racing bikes because they have bigger gas tanks (if applicable) and more features built for comfort.
However, all kinds of dirt bikes can be ridden for motocross or for off-roading. Different models simply have better performance in different areas.
Enduro racing happens on off-road courses, and are given points based on the rider’s timing. The race takes part in stages, and riders are allowed to re-fuel or service their vehicles at certain stops along the way. If they do not keep to this schedule for stops, they can be penalized and lose points.
EnduroCross is a mix between enduro racing and supercross, and is usually conducted on indoor tracks. Riders are judged based on both the time that it takes them to finish the course, like in enduro, and based on how well they navigate course obstacles, like in supercross.
In EnduroCross, obstacles generally resemble outdoor obstacles, including rocks, boulders, fallen tree trunks, water, and mud, as well as giant tires and other obstacles.
Gas Dirt Bikes
Gas-fueled bikes have been used since the 1800s, and racing came soon after. Motorcycle racing became popular in the early 1900s. These events all occurred on rough, open terrain, and races became official by the 1920s in the UK, funded by factories like BSA, Norton, and Matchless.
By World War II, motorized bikes took a lighter form with less rigid frames, better shock absorption, and suspension, looking more like the dirt bikes that we see today. The speed and power of these bikes improved due to these and other innovations in engineering.
By the 1960s, motocross became popular internationally, both in the United States and Japan. Major auto manufacturers Suzuki and Honda began producing dirt bike models designed for off-roading.
Since then, the engineering of motocross bikes has developed to improve speed and overall performance, but the basic design of the gas dirt bike has remained the same.
Gas dirt bikes require regular maintenance of the engine, as well as the exterior of the bike. This includes washing and drying the bike and keeping a close eye on its performance, as well as changing the oil and air filter like you would for a car.
The following steps are important to take for a gas dirt bike. Some of these are the same as what you’d do for an electric dirt bike, and some are unique. Generally, a gas dirt bike will require more steps in the maintenance routine.
Gently wash your bike after every ride, using brushes and water, but avoiding getting water or dirt into the engine. You can, however, use a powerful stream of water, even a power jet.
Dry the bike before checking for hardware problems. You can use a leaf blower to make the drying process faster.
Check for oil leaks.
Check for leaks in coolant and brake fluid.
Clean dirt from the chain and let it dry.
Inspect the chain for weak points or tension issues
Lubricate the levers and cables, any moving parts.
Inspect and tighten bolts.
Check for frayed or bent control cables.
Check your throttle for twisting issues.
Make sure your air filter is clean and coated with oil.
Check your tire pressure after every ride.
Change your oil at least after every 8-10 hours of riding.
Grease your engine to seal out water and dirt.
A gas dirt bike engine comes in two varieties: two-stroke and four-stroke. Both are internal combustion engines with pistons, cylinders, fuel, exhaust, and a crankshaft, although the four-stroke varieties operate more similarly to large vehicles like buses and cars.
The dirt bike engine works by igniting a combination of fuel and air to move pistons up and down inside the cylinder, turning the crankshaft, which then turns the rear wheel of the bike. The clutch and the transmission allow you to control the rate and intensity at which this happens.
Most gas dirt bikes are classified according to the size of the combustion chamber, measured in ccs. 1,000 cc is equal to about 0.22 gallons, and most engines are somewhere in the range of 250-350 cc. You may also find bikes classified according to the number and shape of cylinders, like in cars.
It’s important to note that the lubrication process is different between a two-stroke and a four-stroke engine. A two-stroke engine mixes oil and fuel, and so either needs a fuel pre-mixed with oil or needs oil injected into a reservoir that combines with fuel on intake.
Having an oil reservoir means that you don’t need to worry about measuring the proper ratio of fuel to oil, but if something breaks in the pumping system, your engine can undergo serious damage.
The four-stroke engine is only ever lubricated through the use of an oil reservoir, which does not mix oil with fuel.
Electric Start Gas Bikes
Some gas bikes have an electric start mechanism, making them hybrids mostly reliant on engine power but with a small battery and some electric features. The push-button start is the most common electric feature and allows the bike to start more quickly and smoothly.
Built for kids, Aluminum big wheel, 2 stroke engine
Electric Dirt Bikes
Electric bikes were invented first in the 1890s, then evolved throughout the 1900s along with gas-powered bikes. However, very few electric bikes were available on the market for purchase at this time, even though they had been invented. It wasn’t until the late 1990s and early 2000s that electric bikes really became available to consumers.
During this time, electric bikes moved through a heavy lead-acid battery design to a lighter lithium-ion battery design, which made for more lightweight bikes. This led to speed improvements and extended the range that the bikes could go before needing to be charged.
Electric dirt bikes require regular maintenance to prevent failure and injury, and to keep you from having to pay for repairs. Make sure to wash your bike after every ride, and to inspect components for hardware issues before they become a problem on the track or trail.
The following steps are important to take for the maintenance of an electric dirt bike:
Very gently wash your bike after every ride, using brushes and water, but avoiding any powerful streams of water. It is very important not to get water into the electrical components.
Dry the bike before checking for hardware problems. You can use a leaf blower to make the drying process faster.
Check for leaks in coolant and brake fluid.
Clean dirt from the chain and let it dry.
Inspect the chain for weak points or tension issues.
Lubricate the levels and cables, any moving parts.
Inspect and tighten bolts.
Check for frayed or bent control cables.
Check your throttle for twisting issues.
Check your tire pressure after every ride.
Don’t store your bike in direct sunlight, or anywhere that the battery might overheat.
Avoid opening electrical components, as they are difficult to seal and susceptible to water damage.
Recharge the battery.
Most electric dirt bikes today are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which can be charged by removing the battery pack from the bike, turning it off, and plugging it into a general power outlet. Some bikes come with a spot for the charger on the bike so that you’re sure to have it when and where you need it.
Most electric bike batteries will charge within 2 to 6 hours, depending on their range. Some charge at a rate of about 15 miles per hour, while others charge faster, at a rate of 25 miles per hour. Generally, the bigger the range, the faster the battery will charge.
Some more expensive models charge the battery as you ride, transferring energy each time you use the brakes. This can extend the life of your battery by 5-10%, although it also makes pedaling more difficult.
Batteries last longest if they are charged before they run out of power, and so you’ll want to recharge the battery after every use if possible. There is no harm in unplugging the battery before it is fully charged.
Many bike owners carry an extra battery so that they can make long trips and extend their range without worrying about stopping to charge. Without recharging, an electric bike will generally make it to about 22-56 miles, although some can go for over 70 miles.
You can extend the life of your battery by using the appropriate gears for different speeds and situations and by using a lower assistance setting on the bike.
Lithium batteries tend to last 500 charging cycles before losing much of its power, and up to 1200 cycles on some bikes. This translates to about 10,000 to 30,000 miles of total bike usage.
An electric bike can usually reach about 20 miles per hour, although some can go up to 28 miles per hour.
Best on the Market
Electric dirt bikes have become more advanced in recent years, now including high-quality brakes and suspension systems. These are ten of the best electric dirt bikes currently on the market:
Similarities Between Electric Dirt Bikes and Gas Dirt Bikes
Both electric and gas-powered bikes were invented in the 1800s and improved in performance and style throughout the 1900s.
Both gas and dirt bikes require regular maintenance to keep performing well and prevent the occurrence of mechanical failures, which can cause major accidents and injuries. All dirt bikes are also expensive to repair, so maintenance is also important from a cost-saving perspective.
No matter which kind of bike you have, it’s important to wash and dry it after every ride, and make sure that no liquids are leaking, no matter whether or not oil leaks are a concern. There is also coolant and brake fluid to consider, which both kinds of bikes have.
Both kinds of bikes also have chains that need to be checked and cleaned, as well as bolts and control cables. Tire pressure and brake liquid levels should be maintained in either case, too.
Both gas and dirt bikes are powered and need to be re-supplied with energy from time to time, and work through the use of a clutch and transmission. For this reason, the experience of riding and guiding a bike is generally similar between an electric and gas bike.
Differences Between Electric Dirt Bikes and Gas Dirt Bikes
Although gas and electric bikes came onto the scene at roughly the same time, gas bikes were available to consumers at a much earlier time and were at the heart of early motorized racing. It wasn’t until about a century after their invention that electric bikes became purchasable and usable for racing purposes.
Electric dirt bikes are easier to maintain than gas dirt bikes because they do not require engine maintenance. Oil changes and leak checks, air filter cleanings, and engine maintenance are all unnecessary or not relevant to an electric bike, but are necessary for the owner of a gas dirt bike.
However, the electrical components of an electric dirt bike are very sensitive to water and overheating, so it’s very important to be careful washing the bike with water and to keep the bike in temperature-controlled environments.
Where electric bikes are fueled by a lithium-ion battery, gas bikes are fueled by either a two-stroke or four-stroke combustion engine. Generally, the battery-powered model will have a longer range before needing a new supply of power, but the gas engine will top out at higher speeds.
Although both electric dirt bikes and gas dirt bikes come in a range of prices, depending on the model, electric dirt bikes will usually be more expensive. However, gas dirt bikes involve more maintenance expenses, and so the cost can also build over time.
How to Choose a Bike
When choosing which dirt bike to purchase, there are a number of factors you’ll want to consider. First, make sure that you understand the context you’ll be riding in. You should know what kind of terrain you’ll need to be ready for, how long you expect to ride, and how fast you need to be able to go.
If you are a beginner purchasing your first dirt bike, you’ll likely want to choose a secondhand bike with a gas engine, which is easier to find and generally cheaper for the amount of power that you get.
If you have some experience riding and want a bike that will go longer distances and be easier to maintain, and have the money to spend, you’ll likely be happiest investing in an electric bike.
Consider these factors as you look through your options, whether you choose gas or electric.
Your height, weight, arm length, and leg length are all relevant in picking a bike, and so the best way to find a good fit is to sit on the bike and see how it feels. Notice how heavy the bike feels, whether your feet can sit flat on the ground and whether you can reach the handlebars with a straight back and 90-degree angle in your elbows.
You should have room to reach the pedals without more than a slight bend in the knees, without being cramped.
Dirt bikes are made with a smaller wheel in the rear, which helps with fast acceleration, and a larger wheel in the front, which allows you to ride smoothly over rocks and other rough terrains.
If you’re hoping to spend more time off-roading, find a bike with smaller wheels and more rubber, which can take more of a beating from rocks and other obstacles.
In general, larger wheel sizes means for a more comfortable ride for beginners.
If you’re choosing a gas bike, check for a value measured in cc, like 250cc or 450cc. This stands for cubic centimeters and will tell you how big the dirt bike’s cylinders are. Higher numbers and larger cylinders mean that the bike will have more power, while lower numbers and a smaller cylinder size means less power.
Note that high and low cylinder sizes do not always go along with the size of the bike itself. A smaller bike can have a larger engine, and a larger bike can have a smaller engine. Other factors, like ground clearance, can be a reason for differences in bike sizes.
Two-Stroke vs. Four-Stroke Engines
In gas bikes, you will have the choice between models with a two-stroke engine and models with a four-stroke engine. Two-stroke engines will speed up more quickly, whereas four-stroke engines will have more consistent power and more reliable motors.
Electric dirt bikes and gas dirt bikes are very similar in function, but are different in that electric dirt bikes tend to have less power but are easier maintenance and are more environmentally friendly. Electric dirt bikes also tend to be more expensive, and so are better for riders with more experience than for beginners.
Over the years 4-stroke dirt bikes have improved thanks to technological advancements. There have been power increases, weight decreases, and the performance of 4-stroke engines have become a lot more efficient. Nonetheless, these types of bikes require maintenance, and while maintaining a 4-stroke isn’t as intensive as a 2-stroke, you’ll still want to make sure you know what needs to be done.
4-stroke Dirt Bike Maintenance:
Wash, Dry Inspect, Tighten and lube bike (Every ride)
Oil change (4-6 hrs)
Replace Oil Filter (6-10 hrs)
Clean, Check, Replace, and Oil the Air Filter (Every ride or 3Hrs)
Replace Brake Fluid ( 20-40 hrs)
Replace Pads (0.04 in-1.00mm)
Check Calipers and Rotors (Regularly)
Check Coolants (Every ride, change yearly)
Check Tire Pressure, Valve stems (Every ride)
Check Tire and wheel Condition (10k, lube every 6 months)
Check for Engine, Brakes, etc… for leaks (Every ride)
Check Chain tension and Sprockets (Every ride)
Check Control Cables (Regularly)
Change the Piston and Rings (Every 30-100 hours)
Check Suspension/Steering (Regularly)
Make note that the maintenance of a 4-stroke dirt bike is different from that of a 2-stroke as the engines are different.
Read on to learn more about the difference between 2-stroke and 4-stroke, the importance of creating a maintenance schedule, and tips on maintaining a 4-stroke dirt bike.
How Does a 4-Stroke Engine Dirt Bike Work?
A 4-stroke engine consists of four functions, which include exhaust, combustion, compression, and intake. This type of engine is more complex than that of a 2-stroke engine. That’s because a 4-stroke engine power is fired every two revolutions of the crankshaft, something that allows for steady power delivery.
Also, the 4-stroke engines feature a smooth powerband that makes handling easier. It’s the reason why dirt bikes with this type of engine are preferred for beginners. They require little effort to ride. The 4-stroke dirt bikes have more moving parts, and there’s controlled engine power, which means you don’t need to worry about shifting, clutching, or the brakes.
Another reason why 4-stroke dirt bikes are preferred is that they require less maintenance than 2-stroke bikes. You can comfortably use these bikes for trail riding. Nonetheless, having too many moving parts also means the bike becomes heavier than that of a 2-stroke engine. You may also need to account for the replacement of the moving parts.
Differences Between 2-Stroke and 4-Stroke Dirt Bikes
Some of the major differences between the two include:
Modern 4-Stroke dirt bikes have an excellent power performance due to the different advanced versions of the engines. 2-stroke dirt bikes, on the other hand, have a high power performance, but this can be difficult to control when trail riding or controlling the bike on rough terrain. The best part is that a 4-stroke bike has better power handling as power management is better than that of a 2-stroke.
Another difference between the 2-stroke and 4-stroke engine is the handling. Four-stroke engines are heavy as they have multiple moving parts. The result is challenging handling. However, two-stroke engines have fewer parts, something that makes them lighter and easier to handle. The good thing is that adding suspension can reduce handling problems in a 4-stroke dirt bike.
Another difference between the 2-stroke and 4-stroke is in the operation. A two-stroke engine has oil mixed with fuel inside. The combination goes through a combustion cycle where it burns up and leaves through the exhaust pipe. There are some 2-stroke engines with an oil injection system that adds oil into the carburetor.
2-stroke engine oil is refined as it needs to mix well with the fuel and burn in the combustion chamber. These oils are thinner and have specific additives. You can find 2-stroke engine oils made from synthetic, conventional, or castor oil.
The 4-stroke engine has a separate chamber for the fuel. There is a pump that circulates the fuel through the engine, while the filter removes unwanted particles. The process repeats, and although the oil can be recycled, it’s best to change it after some time to avoid contaminant buildup.
Four-stroke engine oil isn’t as refined due to the circulation system. Nonetheless, additives may be added. Viscosity plays a critical role in how the engines function.
2-stroke engines have less moving parts, hence less repair and costs to rebuild. A 4-stroke engine consists of multiple moving components, which means you may have different parts to repair. That makes it costly to rebuild this type of engine.
Another difference between the two engines is in the maintenance. Like repair, maintaining a 2-stroke is easier because of the few moving parts. A 4-stroke bike will need more maintenance as there are a lot of parts involved.
The Pros and Cons of 4-Stroke Dirt Bikes
They are fuel-efficient
Only gasoline required to fill up
Durable with proper maintenance
More maintenance is required
Predictable power delivery
Can be extremely loud
Heavier due to the many moving parts
Change the Oil Regularly
A 4-stroke dirt bike has so many moving parts, which is why you need to change the oil regularly and lubricate these parts to ensure longevity and guarantee performance. Failure to change the oil means you may be unable to race or ride because your bike needs an engine rebuild.
How often should you change the engine oil for your 4-stroke dirt bike? The recommended time frame is five to ten hours. However, this depends on the times you race. It’s also best to buy stainless steel reusable filters as they only require cleaning using a contact cleaner when changing the oil.
When cleaning the oil filter:
Spray every part with a contact cleaner to remove all the debris.
Focus on the edges and the corners where dirt hides.
Allow the filter to dry before putting it back inside.
You should start by reading the owner’s manual for the process of changing oil and get your model of bike. Modern 4-stroke bikes have a single oil compartment, while others have two-one for engine oil and the other for transmission. Checking the oil filler caps will tell you how many compartments your bike has.
If you are forgetful, simply write down the time you last changed the oil and remember to clean the air filters each time. That will ensure you never have to deal with engine failure.
What’s more, when dealing with a 4-stroke dirt bike, you need to change the oil filter. If you are using the stainless steel filter, you only need to clean it every time you change the oil. However, when using the disposable filter, you need to change it each time you do the oil.
What Happens to a 4-Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Without Oil?
Engine oil is what lubricates the metal parts in the engine. Lack of proper lubrication means that these parts will rub against each other at high temperatures. The result is premature wear and, finally, a damaged engine. You may need to replace most of the engine metal components, which is expensive.
How to Change Oil in a 4-Stroke Dirt Bike
Here are the steps to follow:
Take the bike for a ride until the engine oil is warm. Doing this helps the used oil drain better.
Put an oil pan under the bike’s bottom and remove the oil filter cap on the bike’s side. Unscrew the drain bolt on the bottom of the dirt bike. You’ll start seeing oil pouring out. At this point, shake the bike from side to side to ensure you get everything out.
Remove the oil filter cover. Take the filter out and place a new filter, ensuring you cover it with some oil for a good seal.
Use a contact cleaner to remove any particles and hunk on the filter cap that could block oil flow. Fit the cover in place, but avoid over-tightening the bolts. Check the rubber o-rings to see if they are loose or worn out. You’ll need to replace them if they are old and don’t fit properly.
Tighten the drain bolt and add fresh oil. Use a funnel to avoid creating a mess and ensure you put the recommended amount from your user manual. Some bikes have this written on the engine casing.
Clean the oil filler cap and put it tightly.
Tips on the Type of Oil to Use in a 4-Stroke Dirt Bike
The kind of oil you put depends on the bike’s brand and model. All this information is available on the user manual, but here are some tips that you should consider:
Don’t go for the cheapest oil in the market. Instead, opt for high-performance oil. Although it may be costly, it will keep your engine running smoothly.
The type of oil to choose also depends on API classification and viscosity. The thickness of the engine level is the viscosity.
Some engine oils are best for cold weather, while others work for warm weather.
Another factor to consider is the API classification.
Find an oil with a classification of SG or higher, apart from oils labeled as resource-conserving or energy-conserving on the label.
Most dirt bikes will use engine oils rated equally in performance to SJ.
You should stick to the name-brand dirt bike oil if you are unsure of what engine oil to get.
Be Careful About the Coolant
4-stroke dirt bikes are more involved as they have multiple moving parts. These parts can overheat and affect you on the track. Unfortunately, you can’t just add coolant and forget about it.
The 4-stroke coolant is designed to lower the engine temperature drastically and keep the engine parts from breaking down and overheating. You need to change the coolant regularly if you ride a lot or go to the sand dunes.
Check the Tire Pressure
Another essential aspect of a 4-stroke dirt bike maintenance is tire pressure. You need to check the tire pressure in between each ride. Begin by checking the tread and any signs of visual damage like flat spots or cracks. Inspect the tires for any stuck objects in the tire like glass pieces or nails that could damage your tires.
Most riders get a range of 10,000 miles with a pair of tires. Nonetheless, this is dependent on how you ride the dirt bike and the type of bike you have. The front tires last longer than the rear ones.
It’s also critical to check the tire pressure of your dirt bike tires, especially if you are taking long rides. That helps to prevent wear and tear.
The best way to check tire pressure is to use a tire pressure gauge. There is an electric pressure gauge that checks the tire pressure in a minute or less. Experts recommend checking the pressure on cold tires before you ride and not after.
Check the pressure of the tires often when they are new. Afterward, you can extend the pressure check intervals.
The recommended dirt bike tire air pressure is between 10-21 psi. You’ll need to read your user manual to know the pressure your bike needs. You can adjust tire pressure down or up to get the right traction on the terrain you’ll be racing or riding on.
Tires that are soft feel spongy and roll on the rim, while tires that are too hard means less grip.
All of these could affect your performance. Incorrect tire pressure could lead to uneven tire wear, tube/tire failure, punctures, and sometimes the tire may come off the bead.
Check the Valve Stem
After checking the tire pressure, you need to check the valve stem:
Air leaks often happen in the valve system as opposed to tire punctures or holes in the tube.
The valve can have dirt and debris that creates gaps in the seal.
When checking the valve stem, ensure the caps are on and tightened.
If your stem has spun, you need to deflate the tire and reset it.
Check Tire Tread, Spokes, and Rim Locks
The next step is to check the tire tread. Most traction is from the knobs that get into the terrain, instead of friction between the pavement and rubber when riding, Check between the knobs for cuts and cracks in the tire as this could affect traction.
The tire spokes and rim locks are an essential part of the tires. They need to be tight in place and straight. Find out if the rim locks are fastened.
Sometimes you may need to replace the tires. A few signs you may need to replace tires include: cracked tires, rounded knobs. discolored tires, missing or torn knobs, and tires that are more than a year old.
If it’s time to replace a tire, it’s recommended to replace both tires even if one looks better than the other. Overall, tire pressure is about experimenting. Begin with 12 psi and go down or up with the tips.
Check for Leaks
When your engine is clean, you can quickly spot oil and air leaks. You’ll notice oily drips or marks on the floor. Other signs include sooty marks on the exhaust and cylinder. Check for leaks on the brake calipers, brake fluid reservoirs, and hydraulic brake cables.
Other areas prone to leaks are coolant pipes, radiators, and the water pump gasket. In case of any leaks, ensure that you deal with them before riding the bike.
Inspect the Sprockets for Wear and Damage
The chain and sprocket are critical in any dirt bike. Unfortunately, dirt wears out the bushings and rollers. Although lubricating the chain might seem like a good idea, sometimes it could worsen the situation. The lube forms a sticky substance that attracts dirt. You need to clean the chain as this makes inspection for damage easier.
For sprockets, look for any eroded/chipped teeth and missing teeth. Worn sprockets are easy to spot. Other indicators include bent rear chain guides, bent sprockets, or chain rub blocks that are worn through. If you find them damaged, it’s best to replace both the chain and sprockets.
Another area where people make a mistake is in the chain and sprocket alignment. That’s what leads to premature chain failure. Make sure that the chain is centered on the sprocket tooth. Use a chain adjuster to correct the misalignment.
Ever wondered how long the chains and sprockets last? All that depends on the riding environment, maintenance, and rising habits. If you want the sprockets and chains to last longer, make sure that you inspect the drive components regularly, adjust the chain properly, and keep the drivetrain clean and lubricated.
Check the Brakes and Brake Pads
Brake pads tend to wear out over time as the material breaks down until all that is left is the backing plate. The hardened steel can damage the brake rotor when this happens. Moreover, you could end up with brakes that no longer work. It’s critical to check your motorcycle brake pads routinely.
Brake pads that are between 0.04 in and 1.00mm need to be replaced. Some brake pads have indicator marks that are no longer visible when worn out. That is an indication to replace them immediately. Also, you need to replace other brake components like the rotors.
Carry Out Air Filter Maintenance
Your dirt bike’s air filter helps get rid of external elements you may encounter while riding. It’s essential to check the air filter regularly as dirt and debris may be embedded in the filter and not visible to the eye. Accumulation of moisture in the air filter can also result in other consequences.
Experts recommend atleast cleaning the air filter after one ride. Ensure that the filter is also covered in a good amount of oil, as too little can easily get through the intake, and too much can weep into the engine. The air filter should be replaced between 6-10 hrs of riding depending on how hard you ride and terrain.
Exhaust Pipe Maintenance
Focus on cleaning the outside of the exhaust pipe to prevent corrosion and rust. Don’t forget to check the muffler packing. Four-stroke bikes have the muffler packing compressed, which makes it ineffective. If you notice the compression, it means that it’s time to replace it.
The best exhaust packing prevents the exhaust from becoming too hot. Some are made from fiberglass for durability and maximum performance.
Your dirt bike is designed with mudguards, fenders, and side paneling to protect you and your bike from debris and dirt. They also come in handyman the event of a crash. Regular cleaning can prevent plastic parts from looking old and faded.
When restoring the plastic parts, some experts suggest sanding the plastic as it allows for better absorption. There are plastic restorers that provide a clean and fresh look by working as an undercoat protector and a lubricant. Some block UV rays to reduce cracking and fading.
Carburetor Care and Maintenance
Carburetors in a 4-stroke dirt bike regulate airflow through the main bore. It’s this flowing air that draws in fuel, and the mixture gets into the engine through the intake valve. They consist of a center bore, a bowl, passage, vents, jets, a slide, air/fuel ratio adjustment, accelerator pump, and idle speed adjustment.
Some of the signs that show you need a carburetor tuning include:
A bike that isn’t smooth to accelerate
Engine hiccups when the throttle is opened
The engine overheats even when you don’t race a lot
Reduced fuel efficiency
The importance of carrying out routine maintenance is to determine the right air-to-fuel ratio that the engine is getting. Adjusting these ratios ensures that your bike functions optimally. If you have a weak spark, check the ignition coil. A damaged ignition coil causes the engine to miss at high rpm and run erratically.
Clogged carburetor vent hoses are another problem that needs to be addressed. Any dirt and debris accumulation in the hoses or vent tubes causes jetting to be lean, something that makes the engine sluggish.
A worn carburetor fuel inlet needle needs to be replaced every two years. Failure to replace it means the fuel will get into the float bowl and go up the pilot jet and into the engine.
Spoke Tightening and Maintenance
Spoked wheels are more durable than single-piece cast wheels, and that’s the reason they are fitted on most dirt bikes. However, the spokes which are between the tire and rim are neglected. Loose spokes cab damage or break the rim, which is something that can be costly to repair or replace. Also, overtightening strips the thread and stresses the rim.
You need to check the spokes regularly by tapping them with a metallic item. A dull sound will be heard if you have loose spokes, while tight spokes have a high pitch. Check if your wheel is running true by placing it on a stand and allow it to spin freely.
Maintaining dirt bike spokes requires tightening them when they become loose. Follow these simple tips if you’re doing this on your own:
You can use a spoke wrench or get a spoke torque wrench to tighten the spokes.
Avoid using pliers as it could damage the nipples.
Put the spoke wrench over the spoke’s head.
Turn the loose spokes anti-clockwise and examine the inside of the rim as you tighten the spoke.
If you need to loosen the spoke, turn the spoke clockwise. The direction is unlike regular bolts and nuts that use a clockwise direction when tightening.
Remove the wrench and tap on the spokes to listen to the sound.
If the sound is high pitched, this shows the spokes are properly tightened, but if it’s dull, you may need to tighten them again.
Change the Piston and Rings
The durability of the piston and rings depends on how you ride the dirt bike. If you are a weekend rider, the pistons will wear out gently, but for motocross racers, the pistons wear out faster. Other factors like track conditions will affect the longevity of the pistons and rings.
It’s best to change the piston in a 4-stroke dirt bike used for racing at least every 30 hours of riding. Although most people suggest that riding a bike gently can get you up to 100 hours of a 4-stroke piston, exposing the piston to tough conditions can break it. That’s why it’s recommended to change the piston every 50 hours when riding the dirt bike gently.
Replace Worn Out or Damaged Bearings
It can be challenging to know when bearings wear out, which is why you need to check them often and replace them once you notice something is out of place. You can check the wheel bearings by holding the dirt bike and trying to move the wheels from side to side.
Check the swingarm linkage bearings by placing the dirt bike on its stand. Take the rear wheel and try to move it up and down. The movement will point to the top rear shock bearing or the linkage bearing. Any wheel movement shows that the bearings need to be replaced.
To replace wheel bearings, you’ll need a screwdriver, a wrench to remove the wheel, punch, hammer, bearing retainer tools, and a bearing installer/socket.
Here are the steps to replace the bearings on a dirt bike:
Start with a clean bike. Wash it to make your work easier and let you know if you have a leak or any other problem with your bike.
Set the bike on a stand once it’s dry and remove the wheel that has the bearings you need to replace.
Remove the seals with a screwdriver to get to the bearings. Get rid of the retainer and flip the wheel to remove the bearing. Take the punch and push the wheel space in between the bearings to hit the bearing.
Hammer on the punch to knock the bearing out of the wheel. You want the bearing coming out straight. You’ll notice the wheel spacer out once the first wheel bearing is out.
When installing new bearings, clean the area around the wheel and set it back on the stand. Take the wheel bearing and place it on the journal. Use a piece of wood to hammer the bearing in until its flush. Install the wheel spacer once you flip the wheel over to the other side.
4-stroke dirt bikes have multiple moving parts, which means they require lots of maintenance. These bikes are fast, powerful, and efficient, something that makes it ideal for trails and other races.
The above tips will help you understand how a 4-stroke bike works and how to maintain it to ensure the bike is simple to handle, easy to ride, and offers optimum power when maneuvering and controlling it.
2-stroke dirt bikes are amazing machines with a power band all their own making for a very unique riding experience. 2-strokes are said to be somewhat maintenance free but that doesn’t mean that you can just keep getting on and riding without ever giving it any love.
2-stroke dirt bike maintenance involves cleaning the air filter, checking the oil, maintaining the carburetor, cleaning and lubricating the cables, chain, and sprocket, and keeping everything clean and free of mud and dirt after every ride.
Read on to learn more about how a 2-stroke dirt bike works, signs that you may be neglecting maintenance, and some essential maintenance tips to ensure everything is working properly and you get to ride and enjoy your bike.
How Does a 2-Stroke Dirt Bike Work?
A 2-stroke dirt bike engine fires and produces power, once for each revolution of the crankshaft. Every time the piston goes up, it’s filled with a balanced combination of petrol and oil. That combination is compressed, and the spark plug ignites it, which results in an explosion. That action forces the piston to go back down, and the process repeats itself.
What Is the Difference Between a 2-Stroke and a 4-Stroke?
The difference between these two engines is the combustion cycle process depends on the frequency the piston moves up and down during every cycle.
For a 2-stroke engine, the whole combustion cycle requires one piston stroke to be completed. There is a compression stroke and an explosion of the compressed fuel. The return stroke means the exhaust is let out, which allows fresh fuel mixture to get into the cylinder. The spark plugs will fire every single revolution, and this produces power once every two strokes of the piston.
What’s more, you need oil to be pre-mixed in with the fuel with 2-stroke engines.
However, for a 4-stroke engine, the piston completes two strokes during each revolution. That involves one exhaust stroke and one compression stroke. They are each followed by a return stroke. The spark plugs fire once every other revolution, and this produces power every four strokes of the piston.
The 4-stroke engine does not need pre-mixing of oil and fuel as it has a separate compartment for the oil.
Lack of proper maintenance will not only cost you in terms of the fees for replacing the parts, but it could also mean you may not enjoy your ride as much as you’d like. Below are some essential maintenance tips.
The engine of a dirt bike plays a critical role in the overall performance of your dirt bike. The advantage of 2-stroke engines is that they don’t have valves, something that reduces their weight. They also have low output in horsepower and fire once each revolution. 2-stroke engines can function in any position as oil flow isn’t a problem.
On the downside, 2-stroke engine parts wear out a lot. These engines also use more fuel, which means dealing with a lot of pollution. Failure to maintain the engine means you would need to replace the parts often, which is expensive.
Signs You Need to Maintain Your Engine
Some of the signs that you may be neglecting your engine include:
Diminishing engine power. If you’ve noticed that engine power has diminished, this could be due to a clogged air cleaner, restricted fuel flow in the carburetor, worn rings, worn valves and seats, ignition problems, leaking gaskets, or a stuck valve.
Hard to start engine. Another indication of a dirt bike engine maintenance problem is when starting your bike becomes an issue. That could be attributed to a stuck valve, worn valves, worn rings, ignition problem, leaking gaskets, the decompression system could be out of adjustment, or the cam timing could be off.
Noisy top end. A loose cam chain, worn cam bearings, a worn cam chain guide, or out of spec valve clearances could all result in a noisy top end.
White smoke. When a head gasket starts leaking, you may notice white smoke as soon as the engine starts burning coolant.
Blue smoke. Blue smoke is an indication that the valve seals could be allowing oil to leak past them. Also, the piston rings may no longer be sealing correctly.
Creamy engine oil. Creamy engine oil is an indication that moisture could be getting into the engine oil. Too much moisture in the oil should be a concern as this shows the water pump seal could be leaking.
Engine consumes oil. If you notice that your engine is consuming too much oil, it could be entering into the combustion chamber from worn piston rings or worn valve seals.
Big pieces of metal in the engine oil. Although metallic particles can be found in engine oil, large metal pieces could indicate damaged parts.
Engine that vibrates excessively. Worn counterbalance bearings, out of place crankshaft, a loose clutch, or a mistimed counterbalancer could cause excessive engine vibration.
Noisy bottom end. Bottom end noise could be due to gears that are lubricated improperly, damaged stuck bearings, and a worn bushing and needle bearing between the clutch basket.
Tips on Engine Maintenance
Engine maintenance involves engine oil, air filters, and coolant.
Dirt bike engines are small and work more with high compression ratios. 2-Stroke dirt bike engines require frequent oil changes. You should change the engine oil every ten hours of riding. It doesn’t matter the type of oil you choose as the frequency is more essential.
Pressure and heat can break down oil, and this leaves the engine vulnerable to heat buildup and performance loss.
Changing oil on a 2-stroke dirt bike is simple. It takes a few minutes, and it’s one of the critical maintenance procedures.
Below is a step by step guide on how to change oil.
Start with a clean bike. Always start with a clean bike. You can warm up the bike as oil drains well when hot. All you need is to take the dirt bike for a spin and turn it off.
Unscrew the oil cap. Place the bike upright and unscrew the oil cap on the engine casing. Ensure that no dirt drops into the transmission.
Drain the oil. Put a bucket under the bike and unscrew the drain plug. That will allow the oil to drain out. You need to ensure you get rid of the oil by tilting the bike from side to side.
Screw the drain plug. Once you drain out all the oil, it’s time to screw the drain plug back. Make sure that you don’t over tighten it or cross thread as this could damage the drain plug. Replace the drain plug if it gets damaged.
Put the transmission oil. Use the top filler hole to pour in the recommended amount of transmission oil. Your manual should tell you the correct amount. A few bikes allow you to check the oil levels through the check bolt on the side that you can unscrew.
Screw the oil cap. Wipe any dirt from the oil cap. Check if the washer is in proper condition to make sure it seals tightly. Screw the oil cap back, but don’t over tighten it.
Air filters play a critical role in your dirt bike engine performance. A dirty air filter means airflow is affected, which means your bike won’t function as expected. What’s more, they can damage the engine by allowing dirt particles in the combustion chamber. These particles end up scratching the chamber and messing up with the piston and other parts.
The air filter could also collect moisture, and that means interfering with air filtration. That’s why it’s critical to inspect your air filter regularly. When checking your air filter pay attention to the filter oil coverage, and check for the presence of sand and silt.
It’s recommended to clean the air filter after every ride to avoid wearing out the engine. A simple way to do this is to follow these simple steps:
Get a cleaner, oil, and rim grease.
Put some caps of the cleaner into warm water.
Dip the dirty air filter into the warm water.
Avoid turning and twisting the filter as this could damage it.
Squeeze the filter and rinse it off under running water.
Remove any excess water and allow it to dry.
Apply oil on the filter evenly once it’s dried completely.
Don’t forget to clean the rim and apply rim grease.
Put the air filter back and enjoy your ride.
Having sufficient coolant in the radiator is critical as this is what ensures the engine remains cool always. You may have changed your engine oil and cleaned out the air filter, but failure to have enough coolant could damage your engine.
Make sure you have enough coolant before each ride. If you can’t spot the level of the fluid, that means you have insufficient coolant, and you need to fill it up. When it’s too hot outside, this equals heat. Flush the radiator and put some coolant.
Brake and Brake Pads Maintenance
Another part you should never neglect when doing maintenance is the brake and brake pads of your dirt bike. Front brake pads undergo harsh conditions and are responsible for most of the work. That’s why it’s essential to inspect the brakes and brake pads regularly to ensure you get the strongest performing braking system.
Having functional front brakes comes in handy when you are hitting the ramps since stopping distances are tight when competing.
Front Brakes Maintenance
Start by checking the hydraulic system for adequate pressure or leaks. Simply grab the front brake lever and squeeze it to check for pressure. Inspect the front brake system from the master cylinder to the caliper, while checking for signs of dirt accumulation or wetness.
After inspection, here are some tips on how to maintain brakes for smooth functionality:
Replace brake fluid. It is time to replace the brake fluid if it’s old or dirty. The fluid absorbs moisture and may require flushing. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when replacing the fluid.
Adjust the brake lever. Placing your brake lever incorrectly can lead to the constant pressure of the pads on the rotor. Also, you may be dealing with insufficient pressure. Check to ensure it is adjusted, and everything works correctly.
Clean the brake pads. Clean up the brake system and the brake pads when cleaning the rest of the bike.
Clean the clutch cables. The clutch cables are critical parts of your dirt bike. These cables offer access to vital controls, and that’s why you need to keep them in good condition if you plan on using your bike for a long time. You need to clean and lubricate the throttle and clutch cables after every ride.
Lubricate the clutch cables. When cleaning and lubricating the cables, you need to remove the cable from the lever and perch. Disconnect the carburetor end when dealing with throttle cables and use a standard contact cleaner to do the flushing as this will clean off any grime and dirt. Also, lubricating the cables prolongs the longevity of your cables and prevents the accumulation of mud and dust.
Chain and Sprocket Care
Another essential aspect of a 2-stroke dirt bike maintenance is the chain and sprocket care. Sprockets are critical as they help transfer power to the rear wheel through the help of a drive chain. The sprockets need to endure heavy energy loads and maintain structural functionality.
With this regular stress, the result is constant pressure on the rear sprockets and countershaft. The parts begin to wear out. Avoid riding on dry chains and sprockets as this only damages the bike. It’s advisable to lubricate the chain and sprockets if you are looking for a smooth riding experience.
Inspect your bike for any signs of wear and tear in the chains of your dirt bike. In case of any tear, replace the chain to avoid any accidents. Waterproof lube works best for 2-stroke dirt bike chains as it doesn’t wash away.
Check the Transmission Fluid
Most transmission problems on a dirt bike start with the transmission fluid. The fluid resembles the engine oil as a few dirt bike models use similar oil in the transmission. Check to see if the transmission fluid is fresh and clear.
A dark brown or black cloudy oil shows that the transmission oil is overdue for a replacement, and you need to replace it. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when replacing the fluid. Furthermore, you should always check the transmission fluid level a day before riding.
Running the dirt bike with low transmission fluid could damage the internal components and lead to overheating. Low transmission fluid levels also cause wear and tear on the clutch and gears. Check the manual to know the type of oil to use and when to change the transmission fluid.
The pipes are prone to corrosion and rust due to exposure to weather and road conditions. Moreover, the part between the cylinder and exhaust spigot that contains the rubber O-ring is often overlooked.
Check the seal for cracks and other problems. It’s advisable to replace the O-ring. You can use silicone if the new ring doesn’t fit properly.
Spokes often get lost, and also sometimes they can break, leading to a crash. In some cases, the spokes can get caught up in another part of the wheel. You need to check and tighten the spokes if you get a new wheel or when you have a new bike.
When it comes to inspecting the spokes, you need to avoid going through every spoke in a row as this could make the wheel get out of true. Once you’ve tightened the first spoke, skip the next two, and check the third spoke. That means you’ll go through the spokes three times around the wheel. In case of any loose spoke, your wheel won’t be going out of true when you go around it three times.
Another thing to note is to not over tighten the loose spokes as this could get the wheel out of true. Tighten the loose spokes equally to ensure that it stays in place. A spoke torque wrench is a fantastic tool to help you tighten the spokes properly. Read the owner’s manual to understand how to tighten each spoke based on the recommended torque setting.
Carburetor Care and Maintenance
The carburetor is the part likely to fail first if left unchecked. It keeps your dirt bike functioning at peak efficiency. Having a dirty carburetor affects performance, and this could make your bike fail to function.
The engine begins to run lean when the balance of gas and fuel is thrown off
Presence of dirt or debris in the carburetor, causing fuel flow out
An engine that runs rich shows the fuel is excess, and there is insufficient air
Get the required tools before you remove the carburetor and disassemble it. You need to get:
A service manual
A socket wrench
A small screwdriver
A hex key
A carburetor cleaner
A low strength thread locker
Start by cleaning the carburetor. However, you need to be careful. The service manual will tell you the specific tools and their size required for cleaning.
What you need to do then is to remove the carburetor from your dirt bike. However, before that, turn off the primary fuel supply and use a tiny screw in the bike’s chamber base and a hose to drain the float chamber. Here are the next steps:
Remove the slide and control cable once you’ve removed the carburetor from the engine.
Turn the carburetor upside down and locate the four screws that house the float chamber.
Remove the screws and use the handle of your screwdriver to loosen the chamber from the gasket.
Once you remove the float chamber, you’ll see the primary jet, main floats, and jets. Remove the floats as they are delicate.
Remove the air or fuel adjusting screw in the bike’s carburetor.
Check the location of the screws to determine the type your carburetor has.
Some of the steps you should take to clean the carburetor include:
Clean the float bowl. Get a carb cleaner and a rag. Use this to clean the float bowl, while checking all other components of the carburetor.
Flush out all the holes. The next step is to flush out the holes in the carburetor’s body. You can use a carburetor cleaner and compressed air to blow through these holes. Ensure that you use goggles to cover your eyes from the dirt particles and fluids that may splash from the holes.
Reinstall the carburetor. The process of assembling the carburetor is similar to the disassembly process. The only thing different is that you need to check the float heights before reconnecting the float chamber. You’ll need to fine-tune the air adjusting screw every time you assemble the bike carburetor. Once you’ve reattached the carburetor and started the engine, give it time to warm up to normal temperature.
Does your 2-stroke dirt bike always become hard to start, or do you experience carbon deposits on the exhaust opening? That could indicate an issue with your reed. Failure to check the outer corners and surfaces of the reed located within the reed cage could affect your dirt bike performance.
Monitor the reeds when you start experiencing problems with your bike. The other alternative would be to replace the reed pedals.
Remove the screws that hold the pedal in place and install a new pedal. All you need is a screwdriver. Use a thread-locking agent on the screws to fit them in place. Moreover, use a fresh gasket when installing the reed cage back in the motor.
On 2-stroke dirt bikes, oil is mixed into the gasoline, something that allows the spark plug to foul out quicker than 4-stroke dirt bikes. Nonetheless, this is dependent on carb tuning. You’ll need to tune the carb on the rich side to hasten along the plug’s fouling.
Avoid replacing the plug far outside the recommended heat range. Also, it’s best to have a spare spark plug on hand for the unexpected days. Remember that elevation affects spark plugs on 2-stroke dirt bikes because of tuning. That means it will foul faster when you overstretch your dirt bike limits.
Another point of concern is that bad spark plugs could interfere with your dirt bike’s performance. Some signs of a bad dirt bike spark plugs include:
Having a flooded engine
A misfiring motorcycle
Dealing with backfiring
Physical indicators like rust, burn marks, corrosion, and broken tips
All of the above show that you are dealing with bad spark plugs, and you may need to replace them.
Aging is one reason why your spark plugs could go bad. With time, the plug’s knobs on the end wear out due to sparking. A bike that detonates gas too late or too early means that all the back pressure builds up on the spark plug.
It’s recommended to replace the spark plug every five years. Fortunately, they are simple and affordable to replace.
Your dirt bike comes with fenders, mudguards, and side paneling. All these plastic parts help to protect your bike from debris and dirt. These plastics also come in handy in case of a crash. The last thing you want is faded or dull-looking plastics on your bike.
It’s critical to clean the plastic regularly and keep them in top shape to prevent them from deteriorating. Sometimes you may need to get plastic repair if you break the fender or shroud while you are at the track.
The simplest way is to stitch up the plastic by drilling some holes on both sides of the crack and running zip-ties across. You’ll need to drill a hole at the end of the crack to ensure the cf an inch apart. It’s an easy and quick way to fix the repairs while on track.
Dirt bike tires have an inner tube that sits inside and holds air to keep the tire attached to the rim and inflated. The tire pressure ranges from 8=18 psi, that’s because some types of terrain and riding need less or more tire pressure.
One essential thing you need to do is to check your dirt bike’s tire pressure. The best way to check for pressure is to use a pressure tire gauge. Monitor the pressure at the trail or track and not at home. If you notice that your dirt bike tire doesn’t have the right pressure, you need to use a bike tire pump to hand pump.
Dirt Bike Maintenance Schedule
Having a dirt bike maintenance schedule is essential as it helps you keep track of areas you may have overlooked. A good maintenance schedule needs to include washing, inspection, and lubrication. It should also involve cleaning the air filter, changing the engine oil, checking tire pressure, among other things.
2-stroke dirt bike maintenance is simple. All you need is to check the owner’s manual on the maintenance schedule to follow. The above tips will help you keep your dirt bike in top condition and ensure you don’t have to spend too much money replacing expensive parts.