Just let it rip!

Dirt bikes, indeed, can go from 0 to 60 off the showroom floor and the temptation to get out and ride as soon as you get home often proves overwhelming. However, before that first ride take some precautionary measures to ensure a smooth breaking in period and long term soundness of your dirt bike.

Dealers don't allow test rides thus have little reason to ensure proper specifications upon arrival from the manufacturer. Rarely do bikes go home dry and while new dirt bikes generally get some type of evaluation to ensure the engine turns over that doesn't mean every bike gets a thorough, proper inspection by a licensed in-house mechanic who pops open bottle after bottle of requisite fluids.

So when you get home expect your ride to fire up with little reason you can't head for the track or trails. But before you do spend a few minutes on what we'll call a New Dirt Bike Pre-ride check for some peace of mind and as a safeguard for your investment:

1. Grease

Grease the linkages and the steering stem. Of all the things missed either at the factory or dealer un-greased linkages probably rank #1. Whatever the reason (probably just a pain) you don't want to head out with any bearings un-lubricated. So take a few minutes to double check and while there it doesn't hurt to add a smudge or two of grease.

Remove the seat and upper part of the subframe to remove the shock and grease the linkage

2. Check Bolts

All the jostling around from the factory to the dealer and then to home helps loosen bolts as much as a 30 minute Moto. So grab your torque wrench and spend five minutes adjusting all the fittings to spec.

3. Fluids

You probably won't find an empty radiator but a bit low? Probably. And that goes for the oil and brake fluid too. Like we said, dealers won't spend the time or money ensuring every bike has adequate fluid levels. Your bike, your job. So, if the factory ran a bit low the day your bike was created make sure all vital parts don't run thirsty.

4. Air Filter

Yes it's there but is it oiled? That's the bigger question. Check to ensure the air filter holds a thorough coating of air filter oil because you might find it completely dry or lacking in oil. Look for bare spots and a general feeling of tackiness all over. If it makes you feel better add some oil to your liking but don't overdo it.

5. Final Adjustments

Of all the boxes to mark on the pre-ride check lost making necessary adjustments probably needs no introduction. As soon as you sit down and grab the grips you'll know whether the set-up works for your riding style. Adjust the handlebars and levers to your liking, then go ride!

After that first ride, come back and read "First Dirt Bike Maintenance - What You Need to Know" to learn what you should do after the maiden voyage.

Written By: AndrewT