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Get the bike pro attitude by fixing common dirt bike problems yourself

Dirt bikes are not meant for gentle play. Rugged adventure is their calling. They need maintenance and care to stay in top shape. Whether you are just on a weekend of off-road riding or on regular trail riding, if it isn't smooth riding, it isn't fun. So, when you find your bike acting up or just won’t start, becoming a pro at fixing common dirt bike problems will be an asset. Let’s look at what troubleshooting knowledge you need and when.

The bike doesn’t start

Petrol-powered bikes need a spark to start and the correct mixture of air and fuel. Not having one of these elements will cause the bike not to start. So, you will have to pay attention to these before going in for deep analysis. First, make sure you have recently filled fuel in the tank. If the fuel is old and varnished, change it without delay. Once you have checked the fuel, check the spark plugs. A fouled plug can cause a lot of problems. Inspect the air filter; a clogged one causes poor combustion. A broken kill switch might have turned the engine off. If it’s none of these, it could be the decompression system out of adjustment, a leaking gasket, or worn-out rings and valves.

Engine Issues

If the engine power has diminished, you will find your bike making weird noises and losing power on full throttle. When there is restricted fuel flow in the carburettor or throttle body, it affects the engine. A clogged air cleaner, slipping clutch, worn-out valves, seats, and rings, a stuck valve, leaking gasket, or ignition problems are other reasons why your engine is not performing to its full potential.  

If there is excessive vibration of the engine, it is a sign of a misaligned crankshaft, worn crank bearings, worn counterbalance bearings, a mistimed counterbalancer, or a loose clutch.

Clutch Issues

A slipping clutch is an infuriating thing. It is often a result of a bad clutch plate or a worn-out pressure plate.

A worn-out clutch basket causes poor disengagement. Check the fingers of the basket. When clutch plates wear grooves into the fingers of the basket, it prevents the clutch from properly disengaging.

A frayed cable makes the clutch lever feel hard when pulled without much fluidity. A badly routed one can also interfere with shifting. Make sure that the cable line does not get hung up in the handlebars when turning.

Brake Issues

The clear sign of worn brake pads is the high-pitched squeak from the metal-on-metal grinding.  Corroded retaining pin or caliper piston cause sticky brakes, and cleaning them solves this problem. Overheated brake fluid leads to brake fade. Brakes can completely give out when the master cylinder or caliper fails, resulting from old and worn-out parts. A bent brake rotor stops the pad from fully engaging and even cause unnecessary braking.

Over-consumption of fuel

If oil gets into the combustion chamber any time the engine consumes oil, it is called engine oil consumption. Oil can enter the combustion chamber from worn valve seals or worn piston rings.

Battery drain

When the battery is old or gone bad, sulphate, short circuit in the electrical system, intensely hot or cold conditions, and bad chargers can cause battery drain. The battery on electric start dirt bikes fails to work when the battery has a low voltage or charge. It will either spin the engine over slowly or click.

Maintenance tips to fix and prevent these issues

  • Clean the carburettor with compressed air. Remove the float to loosen up the carb clamps and rotate it to spray out jets of air.
  • Cleaning a clogged air filter allows a sufficient amount of air to flow into the carburettor, improving engine performance.
  • Check vital parts after every use to see they have not come loose. Tighten or adjust bike spokes, nuts and bolts, and cables.
  • Change oil regularly and replace brake fluid.

Your dirt bike takes a whole lot of abuse when it’s running, so it makes perfect sense to care for it after every use. A healthy bike makes all the actions on trails possible. Buy mini dirt bikes and genuine parts at Mini Bikes Off Road.

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