This is especially true with 4 stroke dirt bike maintenance.
The truth is, working on your own dirt bike and performing regular maintenance is not all that difficult if you are even slightly mechanically inclined. It's a good idea to learn how to fix and maintain your dirt bike properly so you can ultimately SAVE YOURSELF MONEY. Here are some tips to help you out.
#1). GET A REPAIR MANUAL
Go online and buy a repair manual for your dirt bike. Not the "Owner's Manual", but a "Repair Manual". This manual is going to have all the information you need to take care of every part of your dirt bike. It has pictures (they're not pop ups, but they'll do), torque specs and all the other information you'll need to disassemble and reassemble every part of your machine. You can get these manuals online from places like, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, BTO Sports, Motosport, etc.
If your dirt bike is a little older, you can sometimes find these manuals in a digital format online. The bonus to this format....most of the time, they're FREE. Just do a google search for your specific make and model dirt bike and download the PDF file. Just make sure it's a trusted source. I've gone this route with several repair manuals.
#2.) BUY THE RIGHT TOOLS
Having the right tools to work on your dirt bike makes all the difference in the world! Some dirt bikes have specific tools you need to work on certain components of the bike, like the suspension and engine. Make sure before you start tearing into your dirt bike that you have the right tools to do the job properly.
Some of the basics would be:
#3.) STAY ORGANIZED
When working on your dirt bike, it's important to have enough area to work so you can stay organized. Setting down bolts and parts and then not knowing where they go on the dirt bike is a critical mistake that a lot of beginner mechanics make. You can use zip-lock bags in order to keep track of loose parts and label the bags with a sharpie so you know what's in them. I personally like to re-install bolts and nuts if possible, just so they're not lying around loose. Plus, it makes reassembling the dirt bike much easier.
#4.) TAKE PICTURES WHILE YOUR WORKING
This kind of goes along with being organized. Everyone's cell phone takes pretty decent pictures nowadays. Nothing wrong with snapping some photos of what your working on so that you can refer to them later when it comes time to reassemble whatever it is you took apart. The repair manual won't have pictures of everything, so be sure to take some of your own along the way.
You can also video record the process, so you can see what exactly you did. If you don't want all that video on your phone, get yourself a cheap video camera to do the job.
#5.) TAKE YOUR TIME
Take your time and don't be in a rush to get the task done. Getting new parts or getting some much needed dirt bike maintenance done can be an exciting thing that will make you want to rush to get the dirt bike back together. Unfortunately, when you start rushing, you start cutting corners, forgetting things or making mistakes. Remember, you spent a decent amount of money for your dirt bike, the last thing you want is to make a mistake that's going to cost you all your MDK (Momma don't know) money to fix.
Hopefully these tips help you out a little bit when it comes to working on your own dirt bikes. Let's face it, you're going to make a mistake here and there. It happens. No need to throw in the towel and take it to someone else. Learn from your error and try not to do it again. Good luck!
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