We get asked a lot of questions but the one theme that always comes up revolves around upgrades or modifications.
Most riders, especially veterans, tend to make immediate changes to the stock equipment, equipping higher-end aftermarket parts sometimes even before that first ride. You can spend thousands and even upgrade parts you didn't even know existed! But we'll leave that for the factory pros. You don't need to drain your wallet and spend countless hours on needless upgrades.
Those who ride trails more than Motocross have their favorites and vice versa, sometimes they align other times what helps you reach the podium on the track won't offer much in terms of power or performance when hitting the trails with friends. As such, we combined the best of both worlds to give you the trail rider, and you the racer, and you who does all of the above our recommendations for the best modifications for your dirt bike that offer a well-rounded riding experience.
Whether you go full system or slip-on, dumping the stock pipe and installing an aftermarket power horse offers one of the best modifications you can do to your dirt bike. You get style, stamina and speed all rolled into one. The best part? You can spend a lot or just a few hundred bucks. So, depending on your budget, check out these suggestions:
Don't forget when upgrading your trail bike don't get yourself in trouble with the rangers and face fines or even confiscation, so check out the 4-stroke spark arrestors and the 2-stroke spark arrestors.
For more information on spark arrestors and upgrading the exhaust check out Exhaust Upgrade - What You Need to Know.
End your battles between throttle and clutch control with an upgraded clutch system. Beginners probably get more out of modifying their clutch than anyone else because figuring out the throttle and clutch control often poses the biggest hurdle for the true amateur, however, you don't see pros riding stock, do you? You will not regret for a minute spending the money required for the Rekluse Core EXP 3.0 Clutch kit. Hands-down one of the best upgrades you can possibly do for your dirt bike.
A close second, and for some even better, comes from Hinson. You won't spend as much but if you want to do the clutch right inexpensive doesn't apply in this category.
For more information on upgrading your clutch check out Dirt Bike Clutch Upgrade - What You Need to Know.
Finally, something easy to install and affordable with pinpoint results. You want more bottom end? Use a small front sprocket or larger rear sprocket. Lots of Moto riders prefer this. If wide open on the desert floor makes your weekend then use a larger front sprocket or smaller rear sprocket. Ultimately, you will need to experiment a bit with the front and rear sprocket ratios to figure out what works best so don't get too wild and radically change your set-up. Keep in mind for every tooth added or removed upfront you have the equivalent of changing three to four teeth in the rear. We suggest removing or adding one to two teeth in the rear for a subtle change and work from there.
As far as recommendations, steel sprockets with an o-ring chain works better for the off-road grime and grind while aluminum sprockets and non-o-ring chains tend to offer a lighter pairing for Motocross.
For more information on chains, check out O-ring Chain vs Non O-ring.
If you don't like the feeling of riding down railroad tracks all day then change the suspension. OK, underperforming suspension don't function that bad however the beating your arms and shoulders take riding on subpar forks makes enough of a case to upgrade. But, a suspension upgrade consists of more than just new springs, you need the whole setup including a new linkage and you probably need a professional to install and get you dialed in - that's where much of the cost comes from - so if you can do it yourself you'll save enough to invest in another upgrade.
One of the most common complaints riders have with a new bike involves how comfortable, or perhaps how uncomfortable, it feels to ride - much of that involves the controls. Therefore, when it comes to modifying the controls we include everything that allows you to operate and properly ride your dirt bike - the handlebars, levers, footpegs and grips.
You might ride similar to trying to stick a square peg into a round hole meaning you simply put up with uncomfortable levers, grips that slip, stiff handlebars and footpegs that just don't fit with your boots. You can handle this for a while but try holding on without significant fatigue during a race or day long adventure down trails. Stop doing this and upgrade the controls.
Riding comfortably with your feet well-planted, arms positioned correctly without the use of a death grip offers a good overall feel of the bike translating into better control, better performance and thus more power. Many riders find just these simple upgrades improves their skill set all-around.
Need more information on handlebars? Check out Pros and Cons: 7/8-inch or 1 1-1/8-inch Oversized Handlebars. And for an even deeper discussion read Dirt Bike Handlebars & Controls Explained.
An easy way to work your way up the modifications ladders starts with the Controls. By changing this set-up you can get "comfortable" on the bike for much less than some of the other suggested upgrades thereby allowing you to better your riding skills. From there, grab a new sprocket and chain set. However, if you struggle in areas that require immediate attention then spending the money on a new clutch or exhaust system usually equates to a wise investment not only for enjoyment but in keeping up with everyone else.
Written By: AndrewT