As the name suggests, dirt bikes are all about dirt. When they maneuver on dirty tracks, mud and grime, they get fully immersed with it. This can cover your bike’s parts and hamper their performance. Therefore, it is essential for you to wash your dirt bike before and after every race to allow it to perform its best.
But the issue is that most riders wash their bikes the wrong way. Using excessive water pressure or scrubbing the parts too harshly, along with other inaccurate methods can damage your bike in the long run.
This brings us to one of the most important questions, i.e. how to clean a dirt bike the right way? Let us tell you how:
Protect or remove the fragile parts
Herculean, robust, sturdy — all these adjectives define a dirt bike, but there are certain fragile components in the bike that get easily damaged. So, before exposing them to water, cover or remove them. Read further to know about these parts:
- Air filters: Water getting into your air filters is a sure-shot way of destroying your bike. Hence, remove them before washing your bike.
- Airbox: Even if you have taken out the air filter, cover the airbox. Use an airbox cover or attach a duct over the holes.
- Bark buster, pipe guards, and skid plates: Water will not destroy these parts, but they conceal dirt and debris and will keep you from cleaning the hidden parts. Remove these parts to access the hidden area and ensure proper cleaning.
- Seats: Needless to say, the foam inside the bike seats will absorb all the water and break down.
Once you have covered or removed the fragile parts, it is time to get down to the next step.
Most riders face the dilemma of whether to use a pressure washer or not. The answer is no.
A pressure washer will make your work easy and less time-consuming, but getting water into the sensitive areas can damage your bike. Moreover, their high-pressure stream can wreak havoc on plastic pieces and graphics of your dirt bike.
If you still wish to use a pressure washer, exercise caution. Maintain a safe distance from your bike while knocking off the debris, or else you will knock off the sensitive parts, like the carburetor, muffler, or airbox with pressure. Use pressure only on tires and then switch to a regular hose for cleaning the delicate parts.
The safest option is to use a hose with a spray nozzle. It will loosen the mud and grime plastered on your bike.
Scrub your bike
Use a bike brush to clean the stubborn grime. Clean the chain, wheels, sprockets, and swingarm with a bike brush because these areas flaunt the maximum build-up and can lead to problems if not cleaned properly. Make sure to clean the underside too.
Check your bike and spray water to knock off the build-up clinging from it.
Sponge your bike
Mix water and liquid soap, and create a soapy solution. Use a sponge, a soft brush, or a wash mitten to clean the large spots.
Lather well and sponge it for two minutes. Prevent the lather from getting into sensitive areas. Rinse thoroughly with water.
Use a bike wash on the frame, sprockets, engine, and chain to clean the remaining residue and lend a shine to your bike.
Dry the bike
Take a clean and dry towel, microfiber, cotton, or terry cloth to dry your bike. Use compressed air to dry hard-to-reach areas. Start the bike and run the engine for a few minutes to evaporate any remaining water.
Reinstall the parts
Once you are done cleaning, re-assemble your bike carefully. Retrieve the plugs or tapes from the engine.
The bottom line
Not cleaning your dirt bike the right way will not just make your bike look dirty, but will also affect its performance. So, whether you have a Suzuki, Honda, or SSR dirt bike, use these tips to clean your bike to preserve its performance and enhance its durability.