Maintenance is one of those things you just can't get around whether it's for a car, truck or a two stroke motorcycle. It's one of those jobs that if ignored can lead to problems somewhere down the road, trail or track.
Key areas to focus on
When it's time to do summer maintenance on your two stroke, here are a few items to check off your list. Depending on your level of riding - beginner, weekend warrior or competitive racer - the maintenance needed may be more or less frequent. Check your owner's manual for suggested time frames to do maintenance on your particular two stroke bike.
A clean filter is critical to a two stroke machine. A dirty filter reduces the performance and life of the engine. Keep the filter clean for every ride and check it frequently especially when riding on sandy, dusty or loamy tracks. The reeds on a two stroke motor also need to be checked at regular intervals. These are vital to engine performance and even one ride with a dirty air filter can ruin a perfectly good set of reeds.Oil
Keep the transmission fluid fresh. Two stroke riders are generally hard on the clutch and you don't want the clutch material floating around in the transmission and clutch components. This can cause premature wear cost a lot of money for repairs in the future.Chain
Jumps, whoops and rough outdoor tracks can be very harsh on your drive chain. Always check the chain tension and make sure to keep it lubed properly. The sand and dust associated with outdoor summer riding can cause a dry non-lubed chain to wear out prematurely.Clutch
A vital piece to your bike is the clutch. If you feel it "slipping," it's time to take a look at the clutch plates. The life of a clutch varies depending on the type of riding you do. Riders in competitions may need to replace the clutch after one race while riders may use the same clutch for multiple competitions.
Check and maintain the front and rear brake fluid levels and don't forget to check the pads for wear. Regardless of how well tuned your bike may be, the higher speeds of outdoor summer riding will require a good braking setup. Brakes on the two stroke are incredibly important, as the engine lacks compression braking like a 4 stroke engine has to help slow you down.Shocks and Forks
When doing a scheduled oil change, take a look at your bike's suspension particularly the bushings and seals. If you see any signs of wear on the bushings or leaking seals, replace these immediately to prevent damage to vital suspension components.Spokes
Just like the chain can get out of adjustment, spokes can also become loose and out of sync. Adjust and tighten, as needed.
Additional checks for your bike include:
- taking a look at the sprockets for wear
- adjusting, lubing and replacing cables, if necessary
- ensuring radiator hose clamps are secure
- checking wheel bearings and swing arm bearings for functionality
- checking tire pressure and tread condition
- scanning the bike for any breaks, fractures or cracks
A solid ride not only includes a savvy rider with good techniques, it also includes a two stroke that is running at peak performance. Spending a little time keeping your bike in tiptop shape will pay off in the end by saving you money on problems caught and addressed from the get-go.
Ride safely and don't cut corners when it comes to frequent maintenance. The time you take to give your bike a thorough once over can mean the difference between starting and finishing a race.
Written By: AndrewT