You've experienced joy few encounter.

Now it's time to get to work.

Your new dirt bike is an investment and with proper care it should last you many years if not a lifetime. The hard work you put into it gives you freedom to ride another day. Routine maintenance is crucial to the longevity of your dirt bike and it begins the moment you get home.

Heading straight for the garage after that first ride accomplishes two things: First, you're getting the bike cleaned and ready for the next ride. Second, you're developing the mindset to clean your bike after every ride. Let it go a few days after that first ride just think how long your now old bike sits in its own filth a year later.

Of course, after some days in the future you might not have enough energy or get caught up in the busyness of life to clean the bike right after riding. You might even ride your bike again without doing so much as checking the oil level. That's OK as long as it doesn't become a habit.

However, after the very first ride, it's necessary before ripping another lap or heading down the nearest trail to perform some immediate general maintenance which begins with changing the oil.

Change the Oil and Filter

Regardless of the length of that first ride, change the oil and filter. A newly broken-in engine tends to leave slivers of metal in the oil and much gets sucked up by the filter. But not all of it - and the filter at this point did its job and needs replacing. You'll be surprised at how dirty the oil is and you don't want any remaining metal fragments in your crankcase the next time out.

Change the Air Filter

The factory installed air filter usually arrives with poor quality air filter oil and not much of it. Hopefully you read First Dirt Bike - What You Need To Know and added extra oil before riding. At any rate, after that first ride the air filter might not even be that dirty but it's best to clean and re-oil it with high quality air filter oil.

Tighten the spokes

The tires and wheels have yet to settle so you'll need a spoke wrench to check the spokes and ensure proper tightening. The spoke check is part of the regular pre-ride checklist so it's best to get in the habit now, anyway.

Reset Rear Shock Sag

You probably were so excited for the first ride you didn't even bother setting the sag but regardless of whether you set it or not, as the suspension components break-in, the sag changes. So give it a look. Read Guide to Motocross Suspension Tuning for more information.

Check All Bolts

The bolt check is also on the usual pre-ride checklist but is especially important now. In fact, just change it to "Check Anything and Everything That Tightens." Nothing beats a personal hand-check of the bolts and screws that keep your dirt bike intact. It'll take a few minutes but you'll not only ensure the bike is good-to-go but think of the peace of mind gained after hitting a hard landing.

All of this presumes you'll clean the bike and of course, make any other adjustments that fall under personal preference like lever positioning and handlebar height. The above suggestions represent the minimum maintenance needs on a new dirt bike after the first ride. After breaking-in the bike, follow the manufacturer's recommendations for all future service intervals and check out our Pre-Ride Checklist.

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