When you finally get home with that thing of beauty it's possible - just possible - you won't want to ride it.
It's perfect. Maybe it belongs right next to that signed Moto jersey in your office.
Oh, but the feeling fades and then it's time to ride. That's why you bought it! In fact, the temptation to fire up your dirt bike might overcome you. And, if you live in the suburbs that's pretty much all you can do. Start it. Not much else because there is nothing legal about rolling the throttle down your neighborhood street.
Exhilarating barely describes scoring that first Motocross bike. But understand, simply owning a dirt bike doesn't mean you're ready to ride. If you're lucky to live on a farm or in an area where your backyard cozies up to a trail system you're a step ahead from most of us but everyone has a checklist to mark off after taking home their very first dirt bike.
A checklist? Yep. If you've been borrowing a friend's bike you've had it easy. After you're done riding, perhaps you've helped with clean-up but mostly you're done. Owning a dirt bike is a lot more than possessing a dirt bike. We'll try and keep the costs down for you but you've got more to buy. We know spending $10,000 on a brand new Motocross bike isn't something done every year.
Of course you need riding gear, so for the purposes of this article we're assuming, make that hoping, you've already invested in at least a helmet, goggles, gloves and boots. We're also assuming you know how to ride because, as stated above, you've been bumming a friend's. If you're looking for advice on riding a dirt bike, read "How to Ride a Dirt Bike."
Grab some tie-downs along with your new dirt bike
Most dirt bikes get transported to the riding destination. That could be the Motocross track, dunes or off-road trail system. You don't necessarily need a truck or trailer but it helps - a lot. So, if you do own one or the other, grab some tie downs. You'll only need two. You'll also need a ramp if the truck or trailer bed is high off the ground. Check out "Hauling 101 - How To Haul Your Dirt Bike, ATV & Street Bike" and then "How To Tie Down a Dirt Bike."
If you don't have a truck or trailer but have a hitch you're in luck. BikeMaster makes a fantastic motorcycle carrier that functions just like those used for transporting mountain bikes. It locks into the hitch with the dirt bike facing flush across the back of your car or SUV.
Now that we've got you to the riding area of choice, how do you plan on performing general maintenance? See, this is what your friend did on that borrowed bike after you left for the day. You can't do much, if anything, without a dirt bike stand. Grab the hip bump style stand where you lift the bike and bump with your hip. Or go the easier route with a Lift Stand. When not in use, leave your dirt bike on the stand.
Dirt bikes are heavy - get a ramp for easy loading into the bed of a truck or trailer
Before heading off into the sunset - OK, make that the track or trails - double check everything is lubed. Don't rely on the manufacturer to deliver the goods ride ready. That's your responsibility. Get some chain lube and apply a generous dose to the chain and sprockets. While you're at it, just grab the chain maintenance kit because you're going to need cleaner, post-ride.
Did you double check the oil? Ensure it's filled. Even if it's topped off you'll want fresh oil on standby and a new oil filter because after that first ride, regardless of hours, you'll change the oil. New engines tend to leave tiny slivers of metal before fully broken in. You don't want to ride again next week with metal shards floating in the oil or clogging the filter.
Inspect the pre-installed air filter before the first ride for adequate oil coating. Don't be surprised if it needs a bit more. You'll also want a clean air filter ready for install. There's a good chance, depending on where you ride or how long that first ride lasts, you'll need to replace it. But most certainly after the second or third ride. Therefore, either clean the current filter or pop in a new one. No Toil makes a great filter maintenance kit for cleaning and oiling or put off today what you can do tomorrow and go the pre-oiled filter route.
If you've done all this, now you're ready to ride. But understand, this is a bare minimum to help quench that burning fire. You'll also need cleaning supplies and eventually tools and parts to address the heavier maintenance needs like brake pads and fluid, new tires and fresh coolant.
Check out these other favorite articles to help get you up to speed:
- 5 Mistakes Dirt Bike Beginners Make
- What You Need To Know Your First Time at the Motocross Track
- Dirt Bike Hobby - What You Need to Know
Written By: AndrewT