If the summer Motocross season proved anything, rain happens.
All year round.
And you can bet on one thing to take place 100 percent of the time during a mud race. Riders get muddy. So much, in fact, the muck sometimes makes them unrecognizable. But mud doesn't just affect the track. Trails get muddy too and whether you take on a mudder or spend time on wet, sloppy trails expect a thick coat of sludge to cover your bike and you from head to toe.
After normal riding conditions you can, for the most part, throw your pants, gloves and jersey into the wash along with the helmet liner. Then spray off the goggles and boots and any other gear that doesn't belong in a washing machine. But when caked in mud, cleaning offers a bigger challenge so we thought we'd offer some tips, tricks and techniques from those who have been there and done that.
1. Don't Ride
The #1 method to not getting caked in mud while riding your dirt bike or ATV is don't ride. Sounds counterproductive, but it's not. Leave your gear stored away until the sun comes out another day. This ploy actually works and believe it or not, some riders apply this approach.
2. Grab the Holeshot and Stay Up Front
The #2 method to not getting caked in mud depends on your riding ability. You generally can tell the winner of a mudder Motocross race based on cleanliness. The rider out front who stays out front gets less slop roosted at them than anyone else. Or, ride behind another rider(s) for 30 minutes and look forward to a saturated blanket of mud.
3. Make Friends with a Pressure Washer
OK, so you probably came here looking for sound advice. Actually, the above two recommendations do work. However, since many enjoy riding in the mud and not all can win a race you likely have arrived home a time or two with gear fully encased in mud.
Forget the backyard hose and power up a pressure washer. Don't get too enthusiastic with it otherwise you might rip out more than the mud but the stream and spray from a pressure washer outpaces a regular hose any day. If you have access to one at the track, even better. Let someone from your personal pit crew spray you down before you strip down. Once you have cleaned off whatever mud and muck cling to your pants, jersey and gloves let the clothes washer do the rest of the work. As for your boots, a pressure washer works well for the outside but use a regular hose to clean out any debris on the inside. Remove any inserts (booties or sole inserts) and wash separately. Then hang upside down to dry or use a boot dryer.
Leave the pressure washer off for your goggles, helmet and any other protective gear. Extract the cheek pads and/or helmet liner and toss that in with the regular wash and use a hose or a sink faucet to clean everything else. Check out " How To Clean Riding Gear" for additional instruction on cleaning your gear.
4. Visit the local Laundromat
You can always skip the spray down and take all washable garments to your local laundromat. The machines there take a beating and keep on washing. You will get your riding gear sparkly clean but don't be surprised if the owner puts a stop to it. Dirty clothes, yes. Mud caked riding gear, not so much.
5. Don't Do Anything
Imagine showing up to a race and seeing one of your competitors dressed in race-torn gear. "That guy knows how to ride," you'd say. Actually, he just didn't bother washing his gear from last week's mudder but now he's in your head. So, the next time you have submerged your riding gear into track or trail sludge, leave it be. You just might strike fear into the hearts of your competition.
6. Buy New Gear
Out with the old, in with the new. Just toss out the dirty gear and grab a new set. Yes, a shameless plug to visit our riding gear page, but in all seriousness if your pants and jersey have seen better days (and a mud race certainly adds years to the wear and tear) grab a brand new set. On a budget? Then check out our Clearance page. Always on sale. Always updated.