Loctite this, Loctite that. Loctite the @#$% out of everything and go.
Now wait just a second. Loctite won't make your dirt bike or ATV indestructible but get a little too footloose and fancy free with it and you just might want to run your ride off a cliff just to get things apart. And even then it might not work.
Loctite or threadlocker locks and seals threaded fasteners like bolts and screws preventing them from loosening as a result of the vibration and shaking during riding. Its structure also protects the bolt and threaded hole from rust and corrosion. The rate of loss for some bolts might tempt you to use Loctite on body parts and other areas of your bike but only a handful of bolts need assurance from coming undone.
A number of Loctite versions exist (designated by color and/or number) but MotoSport sells only the type appropriate to dirt bike and ATV riding. Also, it comes in liquid or stick (paste) form:
You should also not use Loctite on plastic. Therefore do not use it on body bolts. These bolts loosen all the time but the chemicals in Loctite don't get along well with plastic. Grin and bear it and get yourself a bolt kit to replace the lost ones.
Where to Use Loctite
Use Loctite on those bolts you absolutely don't want to come loose especially during the middle of battle while fighting for a podium position. But since several versions exist with a difference in strength you might wonder what color Loctite and where. First, always check the manufacturer's recommendations. Loctite has proven itself industry wide and makes an appearance in owner's manuals everywhere. As a general rule though, we recommend using Loctite Red on the following bolts:
- Internal engine components
- Cam sprocket
- Aftermarket clutch basket
- Shift drum
Use Loctite Blue on everything else you don't want coming loose including:
- Rear brake pedal
Again, check the owner's manual for recommendations and for all other bolts use the manufacturer's suggested torque settings.
A little bit of Loctite goes a long way
How to Apply Loctite
You need very little Loctite whether you use the paste or liquid. Apply a small amount to the thread of the bolt and slowly work it into the hole. This naturally spreads the Loctite around the groves of the bolt. Another method uses just a touch on the head of the bolt. Some riders find this prevents the affected bolt from loosening but makes it easier to extract when needed.
Let stand for 24 hours before riding.
How to Remove Loctite
Once cured, Loctite does not separate. To remove a bolt or other threaded fastener used with Loctite you need hand tools and sometimes a heat source. Depending on what type of Loctite used, the higher the temperature required. The blue version sold by MotoSport comes apart with hand tools and a bit of muscle. However, the red version requires a supplementary heat source, like a torch, to melt the dried Loctite prior to extracting the bolt using hand tools.
If you try to remove a bolt secured by Loctite Red without using the heat source expect to strip the bolt head and get yourself into a real pile of trouble trying to remove a permanently attached fixture without any means of loosening.
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Written By: AndrewT