Bike Maintenance Recommendations with Thousand Oaks Powersports

The crew at Thousand Oaks Powersports is getting pretty amped up for Babes In The Dirt 4! If you need new gear or even a new bike they've got specials just for riders who have signed up for the event. Need a new dirt bike? Your special pricing is $100 over cost plus tax, title, and license. That's right....any new dirt bike from 65’s to 500’s. Need new gear? 20% off everything in store. They can special order items for you as well. Need your bike worked on? Call their service department for info and discounts. Mention Babes in the Dirt 4 when you call and they will give you the discount. Thousand Oaks Powersports can be reached at 805-497-3765.


babes in the dirt

The Thousand Oaks Powersports Yamaha trackside support team travels all over the country supporting amateur and professional racers. We cover races like Loretta Lynn’s, Transworld Motocross Series, Bishop Dual Sport, Monster Energy Supercross, Amsoil Arena Cross, and several other races. Our roots began in racing motorcycles!  Last year was our first year supporting Babes In The Dirt and now it’s one of our favorite events! Last year we fixed around 68 bikes in a day and a half. This year we hope to be ready for anything. Our role is not just to fix bikes but to pass on knowledge to you. Bring us your broken bikes and questions!

A lot of the problems we encountered could have been avoided with some routine bike maintenance. We like working on bikes but we’d rather have you riding them than us wrenching on them. Below are a few things you may want to check before you go riding.

First of all, if it’s been a while since you’ve ridden, start your bike. Let’s see if it fires up!

Fuel, Air, and Fire

If your bike hasn’t moved in awhile and you left gas in the tank then you may need to clean out your fuel system. Generally the pump gas we use begins to evaporate and separate after only a couple weeks. As it evaporates it leaves behind all of the grime that is mixed into the gas. This separation will cause your gas to “gum up” your fuel system and restrict the flow of fuel from the tank to the engine. It’s almost like having rubber cement in your fuel system. If your engine isn’t getting the correct amount of fuel it won’t run properly. The amount of fuel running through your carburetor or fuel injector is only ounces at time so a little clog makes a big difference. The best way to know if your bike needs a carb clean is to turn it on. If your bike doesn’t idle with the choke off or you’re getting popping from the exhaust when you turn the throttle then your fuel system is dirty. Your carburetor may work okay like that at sea level but when you go up in elevation (Hungry Valley is 3000-6000 feet) you’re going to have a bigger problem. If your bike warms up and idles with the choke off you should be in good shape. Using something like an enzyme fuel treatment or “ring free” treatments can help prevent and alleviate fuel system clogs. If that doesn’t work then get your carburetor or injector cleaned. Always follow the manufacturer's recommended dosage when using fuel treatments.

If you’re going to clean your carbs or injectors it's a good idea to have your spark plug replaced at the same time. Having an extra spark plug in your gear bag is always a great idea as well. Your bike needs to breathe so make sure your air filter is clean. Cleaning an air filter is messy but it’s pretty easy to do. If your air filter is falling apart then replace it. Air filters are pretty inexpensive so throwing a new one on is a good idea.

Traction

Your tires are the only part of the bike that should be in contact with the ground when you ride. If your tires are worn, cracking, missing treads or the treads are peeling off then it is a good idea to put on new tires. Pushing a dirt bike with a flat back to camp is a bad time. When riding dirt the earth is always moving underneath your tires so it’s a good idea to have plenty of traction. If you are unsure about which tires to put on your bike give us a call and we will go over the differences in tires with you. Also, check your tire pressure and make sure your tubes are holding air. Rolling up to Babes In The Dirt only to find out you have a flat tire on your bike would suck! Whenever you change your tires always put in a new tube and check your rim band. You may also need a rim lock. We recommend using a heavy duty tube over a regular tube.

Controls

You’re going to want to make sure your controls work as well. Pull your levers and make sure they pull smoothly. If not, the cables may need to be lubricated or replaced. A lot of new bikes have hydraulic systems. Make sure you’ve got fluid in these systems before you go.  We fixed a few clutch and brake cables last year. Fortunately the clutch cables broke not to far from our rig so it wasn’t a long way to push a bike. If you check your brakes and they seem soft then it probably means you need to add or replace brake fluid. Brake fluid heats up and cools down when you ride. This thermal change breaks down brake fluid. Brake fluid lasts an average of 6 months before it begins to go bad. Check your brake fluid levels as well. This is also true for street bikes. Going fast is a lot more fun if you know you can stop when you want to. While your checking your brakes make sure you have a look at the brake pads as well. If you don’t know what to look for when checking your brake system please stop by our truck when you are at Babes In The Dirt, we will be happy to show you.

Drive

In our experience most riders over look good chain maintenance. Cleaning, lubricating and adjusting your chain will help your bike run more efficiently. It will help to keep your sprockets in good shape as well. If you’ve never cleaned and lubricated your chain come see us at Babes In The Dirt and we’ll show you how we do it. If your chain is rusty and has a bunch of kinks in it then it’s time to replace your chain and sprockets. It’s always a good idea to change your front and rear sprockets each time you put on a new chain. You can lose up to 20% power delivery with a poorly adjusted chain.

Oil

We had one bike come to us last year that had been ridden for way too long without any oil in it. The bike shut down on the rider and we pushed the bike back to camp. It took some work and a quart of oil but we got the bike running again. Please make sure you have oil in your engine before you start your bike up. Changing the oil, filter, and crush washer is a pretty easy job on a dirt bike. If you have questions stop by and see us.

Spark Arrestors

You’re going to need one to ride at Hungry Valley. Please make sure your bike has a spark arrestor with a screen. The park rangers like to check for spark arrestors with screens at the gate. Call in or visit us if you are unsure.

Batteries

So maybe your bike has a battery and it’s been on a charger or tender for the last 3 months. That doesn't mean your battery will be charged. Check it early before you go just in case you need to replace it. Lithium Ion batteries are a great replacement battery for dirt bikes and they save a lot of weight as well.

Many of you will be renting dirt bikes for the weekend. When you pick up the bike make sure it starts up. We had a couple rentals in our trailer that wouldn’t start right away. Also, go over all the previous topics with the person renting the bike to you. You’re spending your hard earned money to ride all weekend, make sure the bike works before you hand over your cash.

Our services are free of charge at Babes In The Dirt so if you have an issue please come see us. We may have to charge a fee for parts. We’re going to try to have everything to keep you rolling all weekend long. If you have problems or questions come see us, we’ll be there to help!

Bike Prep Checklist

  1. Check running condition

  2. Spark plug

  3. Air filter

  4. Tires

  5. Tubes

  6. Rim strips

  7. Rim lock

  8. Levers

  9. Cables

  10. Brake fluid

  11. Brake pads

  12. Chain

  13. Sprockets

  14. Oil level

  15. Oil filter

  16. Spark arrestor

  17. Battery

  18. Grips

Thousand Oaks Powersports

1250 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd

Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

805-497-3765

www.thousandoakspowersports.com

@topowersports