A dirt bike can give you hours of entertainment on wet tracks, dusty mountain trails, and fields. As the name implies, they are made for dirt and are expected to handle almost any rugged outdoor condition. It takes a bit of riding experience and getting the feel of your bike to determine when something is wrong. When your bike is well maintained, repairs can be minimized. However, everything mechanical has a breaking point, and here are 6 signs that your dirt bike is in need of repair.
1. Loose Wheel Spokes
Getting a feel for your dirt bike can take time. If you have a new bike and the wheels are making an annoying creaky noise, the wheel spokes are too tight. Too loose wheel spokes are harder to diagnose. The wheel spokes will begin to loosen throughout time and usage. If left unchecked, the wheels will become unbalanced and the rims will begin to shake.
The tension of the spokes should be checked after each ride. It can be worth your while to invest in the right tools for checking and adjusting your own spokes. These tools can include a wheel truing stand, a spoke tension meter, and a spoke wrench.
2. Faulty Brake Pads
Leaving a dirt bike dormant for long periods of time can affect the strength of the brakes. The pads and rotors will glaze and harden, leading to poor grab. Many times this is apparent from a squeaky sound while braking. If you are a frequent rider, pay attention to any type of pull to one side while riding. Brake pads last approximately 20,000 miles. This is only an estimate, however.
3. Boiled Brake Fluid
A bad habit to get into while riding your bike is dragging the brakes. While this may sound like unnecessary wear and tear on the brake pads, it is causing much more damage. Overuse of the brakes can also cause this problem. The brake fluid can become overheated and begin to boil. Once this happens, the fluid loses its ability to be useful. The only solution is to bleed the brakes and change the fluid.
4. Won’t Start
Just when you think that your bike is set to take for a spin, it will not start. There are a number of reasons why it will start up fine on one day and be difficult the next. The spark plug may be dirty and needs to be cleaned or replaced. If that doesn’t solve the problem, there could be a leak in between the intake manifold and the carburetor. Another issue might involve a loose connection to the engine. Don’t wait until there is no start at all. Fixing the problem in the early stages can save a trip to the shop.
That annoying hesitation as you turn your throttle could point to oncoming trouble. Known as bogging, it is mainly caused by dirt. This is not unusual for a dirt bike, but needs to be repaired. Cleaning the carburetor or pilot jet circuit could fix the problem. However, adjustment of the float height can be tricky. Always have a good supplier for dirt bike parts available and a repair shop close by for keeping your bike in tip-top shape.
6. Leaking Gas or Coolant
Noticing a puddle of liquid or a drip from your bike is a reason to be concerned. A gas leak is always a dangerous sign and must be repaired. There could be a leaking seal or a crack in the gas line. Coolant leakage is also concerning. If the radiator has not been damaged in a wreck, check the coolant system for overflow or leaks. This type of problem is best attended to by a professional. Welding or replacement of blown head gaskets is the worst scenario.
Once you get a good feel for your dirt bike, trips will become more pleasant and accidents less likely. The first few trips will involve learning to balance your body and keeping control. After this, your comfort level will increase and you can concentrate on the care of your bike. Always wash and check your dirt bike for issues after riding and keep up with good maintenance so you will be ready to roll.