Getting ready for that first-ever motocross race can be incredibly exciting. Many riders begin preparing themselves for the big day from the day they first get their dirt bikes. While motocross is fun and exhilarating, it can also take its toll on bikes. This article will introduce a few of the ways that riders can make sure their dirt bikes are as ready as they are for that first race.

The Fun Stuff

Not everyone looks forward to performing basic dirt bike maintenance, and while that doesn’t mean it’s not necessary, there’s no reason not to start this discussion with the fun stuff. Graphics kits help riders of all experience levels stand out from the crowd, but that’s not all they do. Purchasing and correctly installing a full graphics kit for your Honda dirt bike protects its plastic parts against wear and tear, which is critical not just for keeping the bike looking its best but also functioning optimally.

Learn Basic Maintenance

Every dirt bike needs routine maintenance, not just coming up on race days but all the time. Riders should never put their dirt bikes away without cleaning them first, and they should learn how to perform basic maintenance work such as oil changes, cleaning air filters, and adjusting chains at home. These tasks must be performed often enough that it makes little sense to head to a dealer to have them done.

Check Fluids

Riders should check their fluid levels and lines before every race. Don’t stop at topping off the gas. If the fuel, coolant, or brake fluid needs to be changed, do it now instead of waiting until after the race. It’s also helpful to check the fluid lines for cracks and other signs of wear. It’s definitely preferable to perform repairs before that first race instead of risking ruining the big day.

Adjust Tire Pressure

Cracked or worn tires need to be replaced, but even new ones should be checked before the race. Tire pressure is very important, and while it needs to be checked and adjusted throughout the day, it’s still a good idea to pump them up the night before. Riders usually set their tires to 15 PSI the night before a race then adjust the pressure down as needed in the morning.

Check the Spark Plugs

Motocross bikes have a reputation for eating spark plugs. If the spark plugs haven’t been changed in a while, riders should check them for signs of wear and replace them as needed. Spark plugs tend to go out even more often among newcomers to the sport who haven’t quite gotten their jetting spot-on yet, so remember to bring a spare plug or two along on race day.

Always Use Fresh Gas

Riders should always buy gas the day before and wait to mix it until the day of a motocross race. It’s just not worth risking using bad gas, which can leave bikes stalling out at the worst possible times. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

One great thing about learning how to ride motocross is that other more established riders are almost always happy to take newcomers under their wings. When in doubt about how to set up a bike for racing, install graphics kits, perform basic maintenance, or otherwise prepare for that first race, ask a friend.