Staying on top of maintenance gives you the best chance to find performance related issues and prevent problems from happening on your dirt bike or ATV.

And when racing, it starts immediately after the Moto finishes.

We're not talking routine maintenance, rather immediate maintenance. That which can be done in a matter of minutes to ensure you're ready for the next Moto or to take note of and address once home. A quick check of your bike's visual parts following a race can often result in finding potential trouble because the bike is hot and you're in the frame of mind.

Don't worry about oil changes now, instead check for the little things that cause bigger stumbling blocks later.

Missing Bolts

Nut and bolts don't fall off while you're dirt bike or ATV sits in the garage. Aggressive riding and all the obstacles that create the ideal Motocross track help loosen things you want tight. Somewhere on the far end of a table top a missing bolt lies motionless. Perhaps you noticed the moment it broke free. But probably not.

Finishing a Moto down a bolt or two probably won't wreck your results or your bike, but continuing on without reinforcements is not a good idea. Check your bike and replace anything that managed to escape. Need replacements? Check out our Hardware.


Determining the source of a leak is often quite obvious while the engine is hot because oil is thinner and flows easier through a damaged gasket. You might even pinpoint the leak in the pits a few minutes after racing compared to checking things out once home when the oil or any leaking fluid has burned off, integrated with other dirt and debris, or just produced an incomprehensible mess. Waiting on the leak check might later result in "something is leaking but from where?"

Checking for leaks includes motor oil, transmission oil, fork oil, radiator fluid and brake fluid.

Chain and Sprockets

Perform the finger check (two to three fingers of slack - see How to Tighten a Dirt Bike Chain) to ensure the tension remains at spec and check for abnormal wear as well as any potential obstructions like sticks or rocks lodged into the chain. Visually inspect sprockets for chipped teeth and look at the master link to ensure its integrity.

Wash the Bike

Most tracks offer wash stations, so if at all possible hose down your bike before heading home for the day even if it's just to remove the heavily soiled areas. Waiting a few hours or even the next day isn't a bike breaker but the time and effort required to remove dried, caked on mud - not to mention the ensuing mess in your yard - adds significant time to your detailing day.

Optimzing your ride day means a proactive approach to maintenance. Tackling the role of mechanic immediately after crossing the checkered flag is a hassle but the minutes spent on fine tuning saves hours of trouble later.

For more routine maintenance tips check out: