Dirt Bike magazine how to buy a dirt bike

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Dirt Bike magazine how to buy a dirt bike

Post  Bump on Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:31 am

What to look at on a used Dirtbike
Jul 8, '08 5:36 AM
When looking at a used dirtbike or even a new one these are some of the things to inspect. You might think that when looking a new dirt bike “what is what could be wrong”, well when the dirt bikes come from the factory they are not ready to ride. They have some assembly that has to be done by the dealer. No one is perfect and mistakes can be made, so it is good to catch these things before they cost you money or cause injury.

Let’s start with the simple things that you can look at from a distance while you are approaching the dirt bike. Look to see if the dirt bike is standing in the proper position. Here are the questions to ask yourself. Are the handle bars straight? Is the sub-frame straight? Is the plastic properly installed? Is there anything hanging from the dirt bike?

Once you have approached the dirt bike and made the initial visual checks, you can perform another series of visual checks over the whole dirt bike. Grab the handle bars. Do they feel even, and comfortable? Do they twist easily? Now work the hand controls mounted on the handle bars. Does the throttle twist smoothly? Does the throttle have a full range of motion? Does the brake and clutch levers move smoothly and have full range of motion. Are they bent? Test them do they do their intended job when you manipulate them. While you are checking the controls check the rear brake lever. Is it bent? Does it move smoothly? Does it activate the rear brake? Now go back over all of the controls and make sure that they are tightly secured to the dirt bike, and are not loose and wobble.

Now inspect the suspension, wheels and brakes. You can check the same tings for the front and rear. Does the tire have a lot of tread on it? Are any of the spokes loose? Place your hands on the top and bottom of the tire and push and pull. Does it move? (this is a check to feel the condition of the wheel bearing, and the wheel should not have any play in it) Shake the brake caliper to make sure that it is secure. While you are down there feel the brake disc the sides should be very smooth and not have rings worn into it. Look at the caliper where the brake disc runs through it and inspect the brake pads for thickness. In the middle of the pad there should be a line cut into the lining on the pads. A rule of thumb if there is not a line and the pad looks unusually thin, it is time to replace them. The front suspension needs special attention due to its susceptibility to abuse. If not properly tuned for the individual rider, and the proper maintainace not being performed they will fail prematurely. Most dirt bikes have telescoping front forks. They are filled with oil that helps absorb the shock from riding. They have seals that keep the dust, dirt, and contaminants out, while keeping the oil in. If the seals are not routinely cleaned they will start to leak oil. This can turn into a very costly problem if it is not caught and corrected. Feel the fork and look for signs of oil. The rear suspension is not very difficult to check out. Look for signs of oil, shake the shock to feel for security. Now get on the dirt bike and try to compress the front suspension to feel for smoothness firmness and then do the same for the rear. Do this several times, then go back and recheck the suspension for oil leaks.

Now look at the drive line. Look at the sprockets to make sure that they have all of their teeth. Then look so see that they are symmetrical. This means it there a sharp point on the tip of each tooth and are the angles running up to the top of the tooth the same on both sides. Look to see if the rear sprocket has all of it bolts and they are tight. Check the chain for proper tension and signs of wear. On the swing arm there should be a rubber pad that prevents the chain from rubbing the swing arm. Look at this pad check to see that it is not worn out. With the dirt bike on the ground and standing upright find the middle of this pad and place your index and pointer finger under the chain. You should be able to raise you fingers up from the pad about half and inch. This a way to check for approximate proper tension of the chain. Now go to the rear sprocket, grab the chain by the sides at the back of the sprocket. Now pull the chain backward away from the dirt bike, it should not pull away from the sprocket anymore than ¼ inch. If it travels more then the chain is worn out. Some dirt bikes have an o-ring chain. This means that in between each link there are two little o-rings that hold a small amount of grease in between the links. If the dirt bike is equipped with this type of chain, look to see if they are all in place, look dried out, cracked, or damaged.

Some dirt bikes have sight glass on the lower part of the crankcase to check the oil level, and some have a dipstick. Some have an oil check bolt in the side of the crankcase that you remove, when removed the oil level should be at a level to which is equal to the bolt. Determine which the dirt bike has and look to see if it is properly filled with oil and the oil does not look thin, or milky.

Just remember that buying a dirt bike is an investment. Take your time and do some homework, by homework I mean compare specification, prices, features, and warranty between all the dirt bike manufactures. Then do the same for all of you local dealers. Do not be afraid to go in and talk with a salesmen a bunch of times, this is what he gets paid to do so let him earn his base salary. You want to do all of this to make sure that you make the right decision when you purchase the right dirt bike. Again take your time and consider all aspects before your purchase.-
By howtodirtbike
XRR Monger

Joined : 2009-01-28

Posts : 1144
Location : Canyon Lake, So Cal
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