• Announcements

    • Bryan Bosch

      JUST IN!   04/24/2018

      HOW TO: 4-STROKE PISTON REPLACEMENT DONE RIGHT!
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

How To Prep Your Bike For A Race


mx4god

I love to race motocross, there's no doubt about it. I'm sure you think the same if you've tried it. 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.

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!!!

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.

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.

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.

Nuts and bolts keep your bike together. I know I didn't have to say that, but it's often disregarded when maintaining a bike. Remember to check and tighten any nuts or bolts that are loose. Common areas that become loose after use are: plastics, handlebars, forks, pipe, radiators, fluid line clamps, etc. This should be done before every race so that your bike doesn't fall apart!

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 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 it 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 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!

-Tom Stark


Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0


User Feedback


There are no comments to display.



Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:


  • Similar Content

    • By speedtoad
      I think honda let us down with the new CRF250L. We didn't need another Japanese softcore Dualsport option. Suspension looks good for street but not enough for serious off-road, and 320 lbs wet is way to much for a 250. This is basically a small trail bike just like the CRF230L.
      Looks like the motor is from the CBR250, tuned for better low end. Should last forever and at $4499 retail the price is low.
      I won't be trading it for my DRZ. I would consider the new NC700x for a commuting bike. I saw it at the motorcycle show. Its lockage 21 liter storage was a nice option.
    • By gots_a_sol
      I see there was a thread like this, but it hasn't had a new post in almost 2 years, so lets see if this one has better luck.
      I picked up my '03 WR on Friday

      Took it out for its first ride on Sunday along with my buddy with a yz400. The day went well and so far there isn't really anything obvious that needs to be changed.

      Today I flushed the old coolant for some engine ice.


      Also I adjusted the rear brake lever down and removed the odometer/cable also since it is broken. I'll pick up an hour meter before the next ride and the yz parts to eliminate the speedo drive.
    • By Oldmossyspokes
      I've been reading many posts, some good, some bad on our new kid in town...the 2013 Honda CRF250L.
      It is my impression that most of the posts are from riders that either (a) don't have one or ( haven't rode one; this is not surprising since they are hard to get right now...the dealers can't keep them in stock. hmmm...pondering...can't keep them in stock.
      Yes, the supply is limited due to overseas demands for the little scooter..but still I think, "can't keep them in stock" says something to the market.
      I recently traded in my 230L on a DRZ400S and my wife traded her 230L in on the new CRF 250L. WHY? Because we wanted to give up some gas mileage for a bit more speed and better suspension...we got just that on both accounts.
      I took the 250L for a little spin down HWY 101 in Washington state...the hilly winding part along the Hood Canal and found this machine to be a breathe of fresh air over the 230L on the tarmac. It could easily keep my 235lb body going 65mph without waiver. It cornered well, handled well, was nice and quiet and achieved 70 mpg.
      Then we headed up into the Olympic mountains...the old logging roads and fire roads. The 250L kept right up with the DRZ and had stellar handling compared to its little brother the 230L.No issues of hitting bottom on either end...not exactly a tractor but that's what the shifter and clutch are for when the terrain goes south on you.
      Yes, your not going to win any enduro's on this nor astonish anybody on a track or load it down with 200lbs of gear and take off on a 2000 mile trek...but, that's not its purpose.
      Let's examine reality for a moment :
      Nobody ever has, nor ever will, make the perfect "Dual Sport" bike...this is a pipe dream conjured out of desperation and limited resources...or something related to that sort of mind freak in some way. If one wants to ride "anywhere" one needs at least three, if not four bikes.
      We to like to go on the trails but we take our WR250F and WR450F on the trails...that's what they were made for and they're great for that...but not so much on the roads because one just rides from gas station to gas station. (and needs ear plugs and a mouth piece to keep ones teeth from rattling out).
      We also like to ride on the highway...on a road bike preferably...nice smooth inline four like my old GS1000, or a Gold Wing, BMW or what have you...don't really care as long as its comfortable and fast.
      Next we have the adventure bike...The gentleman's "dual-sport"...sweet on the highway and fine on the dual track but too much work on the fire roads or trails. Enter the F800GS or similar orange bike.
      Finally, we get to the Dual Sport; part dirt bike, part adventure bike...good gas mileage, enough suspension for some rocks and logs, street legal and emissions correct. For the days one doesn't want to bother trailering the WR, but still may get into some crap a big bike can't handle without an expert rider at the helm. The 250L is fine for this...what we call "bike packing in the back country"...beats walking by a large margin. Did I say fine? I mean the good kind of fine...not stellar...not a pig...just fine. Honda nailed that with a good price tag...not to much, not to little...just fine.
      Myself, at 6'5" and 235lbs, prefer the DRZ400S, but Ive been riding for 35 years and can deal with the high seat...frankly if not just from the size standpoint the DRZ is also...fine. Yes, Honda answered the desire of a whole lot of people, just like us, with the 250L...its a dual-sport and it serves that niche well. Its an improved 230L from our view and that's just what we wanted...just a bit more...not to much...just right.
      If one wants an orange bike...shut up and go buy one...they made them for those with your needs and wants. The 2013 Honda 250L is not for you and was never intended to be for you. Most recreational riders of average size, that have a job, will love this little dual sport on the county pavement and the logging roads...Thats where they ride when they say "Dual Sport".
      Good Job Honda ! Please make a CRF400L...I'll take two.
      I'll never understand those that need to hate something else in order to like what they want...twisted at best....good day.
    • By Bryan Bosch
      Let's see your CRF250L, sitting purdy or in action.
    • By Oldmossyspokes
      Let's all load this up with the good stuff found out there for our new bike...could be a good place to let the after market guys know what we want as well.

      Just tossing it out there...as the demand rises the parts will come.