You either love it or hate it.

Riding dirt bikes in the mud is a sometimes welcome change to the usual hot and dusty spin around the track or trails. In racing, it's often epic for the fans when a Supercross or Motocross round turns into a mudder which gets talked about for years later. Ask Chad Reed about 2008 Daytona when his bike gave up the ghost on the last lap - while he was leading.

As such, it also throws all podium predictions out because some riders excel in the mud, others get bogged down, and no one can predict who overheats or gets stuck in the mud. At the end of the day, rider and bike look unrecognizable and often resemble a mud monster.

Riding dirt bikes in the mud more or less throws out all the rules. Bikes often get a best guess setup and definitely different tires. It's no longer every rider for himself but rather survival of the fittest and most importantly who stays on two wheels.

Since so much is out of your control when riding in the mud it's important to get a handle on what you can control. You need to prep your bike and yourself before getting down and dirty in the mud.

Rider Mud Prep

Understand you're going to get wet and dirty real fast. Roost won't hurt as much but in addition to other bikes kicking up muck, your bike sends it everywhere too, including all over you. The #1 thing for riding in the mud is wearing the right goggles. Absolutely you need tear-offs but roll-offs prove even better. You can wear 28 tear-offs before distorting your vision but with muddy wet gloves the ability to pull one off at a time substantially decreases. It's highly likely you'll remove multiple tear-offs at a time and run out long before the checkered flag drops.

Another trick includes taping a goggle lens or second visor to the existing visor on your helmet. It provides additional shielding from muddy roost slowing the use rate of the roll-off or tear-offs. Trey Canard once wore two pairs of goggles in a mud race which is also an option though it might require some finesse to remove it without yanking off the second set.

It's also a wise choice to carry a towel in your pants (like a quarterback does) so you have something thick and durable to wipe your hands and grips off in the event of a fall.

Dirt Bike Mud Prep

When prepping your bike it's all about reducing the build-up of mud to keep weight off and limit the strain on the engine. Use Maxima SC1 or cooking spray under all fenders to help prevent the mud from sticking. Use a lot! Stick foam in between the skid plate, brake pedal and other tight fitting spots where mud likes to accumulate. Add footpeg covers to prevent caking which helps maintain boot grip. Finally, install handguards to keep your hands, handlebar grips and levers clean, well, mostly clean.

Tape your air box too. Mud equals water and you don't want any moisture inside the intake.

If you're riding regular MX tires switch those out for mud tires. The difference is the wider spacing between knobs on mud tires helps fling mud off instead of accumulating it. Anything else and you'll certainly have mud tires, but not the kind that propel you forward. Same goes with trail riding. An all-purpose or dual-sport tire probably won't cut it so grab a set designed for the muck to keep you gripped.

Motocross Mudding

When racing in the mud think "stay clean." Yes, we did say you're going to get dirty but at the end of a Moto you can usually tell who led and who didn't based entirely on mud accumulation. Grab the holeshot and spare yourself a firehose spray down of mud before the first turn. Also, pick your lines which usually form on the outside as the mud gets pushed into the middle of the track, where you want to avoid at all cost.

Watch your clutch. It's easy to abuse because of grip and power, or lack thereof, so don't burn it out trying to will your bike across the finish line. Finally, stand up more and ride as smooth as possible. Remember the saying: Go slower to go faster. It's absolutely true in a mud throwing contest.