How To Change A Dirt Bike Tire

Chilly shows us a hands on video of his techniques for changing dirt bike tires

Do you dread having to change tires? It seems to be a common source of frustration for many riders. But it really is not that difficult. With the right tools and steps, it should become a painless process.

The keys to a successful tire change are:

  • Good tools
  • Proper technique
  • Practice

Let me show you how I do it here in the video. Hopefully you can pick up a few tips to make the task easier.

Here are the tools I recommend:

Bike Master HD Tire Iron

Bike Master Tire Spoon

Motion Pro Bead Buddy II

Inspecting and Maintaining Street Motorcycle Tires

Your tires are some of the most important parts of your bike – if not THE most important – and it’s essential to take care of them, so they can take care of you. Check out our quick guide on inspecting and maintaining the tires on your street bike, to make sure your machine is as ready to hit the road as you are!


These days, rubber composite tires are standard on everything from dirt bikes to sport bikes to big adventure bikes, but one thing is certain – they are certainly not all created equal. In this article, we’ll give you a basic rundown of what you need to know about your tires and check on a regular basis, to make sure your tires – one of the most important parts of your entire bike – are always in shape and as ready to ride as you are!


Tires: The Most Important Parts of Your Bike?

Your tires are one of the most critical – if not the most critical components of your entire motorcycle. Unlike cars and other vehicles, motorcycles only have two tiny points of contact with the road at any given time, so it’s essential that these points of contact be the right size, shape, and compound to make your bike ride properly. You can get away with mismatching tires, putting on retreads, or even driving with steel cables showing in a car – but try that on a bike, and your ride wont last long!


No, these aren’t expensive race slicks – just really worn tires!


Reading Your Treads

So your tires are one of the most essential parts of your bike, but they are also the part that wears out the fastest, so it’s important to keep a close eye on your tread (the rubber that literally “meets the road.”) One important thing to know about tread is that the “pattern” (the grooves cut into the surface) of every tire is specifically designed for riding in certain conditions – on a street bike, this mostly has to do with the tires ability to shed water and maintain traction. The wetter the conditions, the more tread is needed for safe riding, so it’s important to choose the right kind of tire with the right tread pattern for the conditions you will be riding in most frequently.

As tread wears down, the grooves become more shallow, and their ability to shed water and maintain traction becomes compromised – so the depth of the grooves in your tread is a solid indicator of how much life you have left in your tire. Built in tread wear indicators are typically set at 1/32nd of an inch (0.8mm), so once they start showing, it’s time to replace your tire.


The bars you see going across the grooves in the tread are the tread wear indicators. Once you see them


But as the web’s leading motorcycle tire supplier, we’re especially particular about our tires, so we recommend actually replacing your tires before the tread wear indicators begin to show. Truth be told, when you’re at 1/32nd of a inch, you’re already in the “red zone” where traction is dramatically compromised, so we recommend changing them a little earlier than that.

How can you tell when? Well you can spend a few bucks and buy a proper tread wear indicator that will measure exactly where it’s at, but we have a simpler trick you can use called the “penny trick.” Just take a penny from your change cup, flip our fine sixteenth president upside down, and place him in the groove of your tread. As long as part of Lincoln’s hair is still covered by some rubber, your tires are at a decent thickness.


The good old “penny trick.” Still works.


Mixing and Matching

When replacing tires, it’s generally not a good idea to mix and match different brands, styles, or constructions. Some people do it with no problems (and in some rare cases, even brand new motorcycles come with mixed tires from the factory), but for the most part, tires are engineered to work best as a matching pair, and combining different models can create some instability in your ride, and we recommend sticking with a matching set in most cases.

You can, however, mix old and new motorcycle tires. Since rear tires have a tendency to wear down twice as fast as the front tires do, you’ll find that you will often go through two rear tires for every front tire you burn up. While most manuals will recommend changing them at the same time, this is not necessary for most street bikes, and you’ll only be wasting money doing it.


Does Age Matter?

In addition, age does matter with your tires – even if they have never been mounted. Most tires have a life span of five years and should be changed at that time; the reason for this is that tires are made with chemical compounds that give tires their “stickiness,” and these chemicals evaporate over time, leaving the rubber hard and brittle (a process called “outgassing.”)

In order to find the birthday of your hoops, check the sidewall for the date stamp, a four-digit code inside a rectangular box. These indicate the week of the year, and then the year, that your tire first popped out of the mold. So a date stamp of “4012” would read as “the 40th week of 2012,” or some time in early October of 2012.


This is an example of the date code on a tire: this would be read as “manufactured in the 11th week of 2014.”


Inspecting and Maintaining Tubes

Just as tires get worn down, tire tubes do as well. Though not all tires require tubes, if your tires do (generally these are found on spoked rims), be sure to replace the tubes at the same time that you replace your tires. Over time, the tubes tend to stretch and if not changed when the new tire is put on, the tube could crease. Also, be sure that the tire size appears on the size markings of the tube, so that the two are compatible.


Keep An Eye On Your PSI

No matter how old the tire, having the right pressure is very important, and it can be easy to both underinflate or overinflate them. In order to keep them in the proper range, make sure to check them with an accurate pressure gauge like the BikeMaster Digital Tire Gauge at least once a week, or before any long rides. This should be done when the tire is cold, because as a tire heats up, the inflation pressure increases, which will give you an inaccurate reading.

An underinflated tire will not only diminish your gas mileage, but can actually have dangerous effects. They tend to build more heat which can cause them to be more likely to fail, they will wear unevenly, and the change in sidewall profile can cause your bike to handle and corner poorly.

Overinflating tires can be just as dangerous. Because the inflation pressure increases as it is ridden, an already overinflated tire is more easily damaged by sudden impact, and will ride harder, causing unnecessary wear and tear to the tread.

To keep your tires at the right PSI level – and this is important – you must consult your owners manual. While max PSI figures can be found on the tire itself, remember that this figure represents the maximum that the tire can withstand, not the optimal tire pressure for your specific bike.


This Motion Pro digital tire gauge is a top-of-the-line tire pressure gauge to use in your toolbox, on the road, or track side.


When doing your regular tire pressure check up, if you notice that your tires are loosing two or more PSI per month and you’re having to inflate them more than should be necessary, there could be a problem with the tire, the wheel or the valve. If that happens, we recommend removing the tire or tube to inspect it for leaks, and a patch job or valve stem replacement might be necessary.


Breaking In Your New Shoes

Just like a pair of new shoes, new tires are going to feel a bit different than the old worn in ones when first changed out; especially when switching to a different brand, as they will often have a different profile and sidewall feel. It’s usually a good idea to give new tires approximately 100 miles to fully break in, so try not to push the performance of your motorcycle until you’ve really gotten a feel for how your bike handles. In addition, new tires sometimes come with a coating that makes tires quite a bit more slippery, so go easy at first until it is worn off and the slick surface of the tire is worn down to get some traction (a process called “scrubbing in” the tire.)


Bias-Ply or Radial: Does It Matter?

Not all tires are created equally. Or rather, not all tires are created in the same way. Bias-ply and radial tires are both very different in the ways they are made and, unless approved by either the motorcycle or tire manufacturer, they should not be mixed on the same bike. Because of the differences in the way they are constructed, the two types of tires both have different advantages and disadvantages, and most motorcycles are designed to work with one or the other (for a full discussion on the nature of bias-ply and radial tires and what they work best for, check out this article!)


The Writing On The (Side) Wall

Much like reading the washing directions on the tag of your shirts, the symbols on the sidewalls of your tires can seem like gibberish. And since misreading a tire can be just as disastrous as throwing your wife’s dry clean only dress into the washing machine, here is a little help on how to understand what your tire is trying to tell you.


Check out our handy chart to decipher the different kinds of tire codes and what they mean.

Video: How to Series – Introduction to Street Motorcycle Armor

We all know how much fun riding can be and what a great feeling it is to hit the road and get some seed time on our bikes but every time we ride, there’s a chance we could get hurt and on a motorcycle, those injuries could be serious. We have to take our own safety into our own hands on our bikes but by choosing to ride in the proper gear, we can make the difference between getting up and walking away from a crash or getting a ride in an ambulance to the hospital. So, in this installment of the BikeBandit Garage, we’re going to take a look at what you need to know about body armor for street riding.

Rob Fish here with Aside from a helmet, body armor can be the most important protective gear that you should be investing in, from jackets and gloves to full-race suits. Body armor is pretty much in everything that you should be wearing but how do you know what is right for you? There are a lot of types of high-quality body armor on the market and we want to educate you on the various kinds of armor that you can protect yourself with.

First of all, what exactly is armor? Well, not quite. Motorcycle armor is a combination of pieces you wear to minimize the energy transferred to your body in the event of a crash. Motorcycle armor is usually found in the highest impact areas of the body, like your elbows, your shoulders, your knees, your back so, it will not only absorb the forces of an impact but it also can protect your body from abrasion also known as road rash. Some kinds of armor are very affordable, and others more expensive so not so much, right? But no matter how much you spend on armor, it will be cheaper than your visit to the hospital so you can definitely call it an investment in your safety.

Now, there are completely different kinds of armor for dirt riding and street riding but in this video, we’re focusing on the street variety. Street protection is specifically designed for incidents where riders go down typically at higher speeds, usually encountering one major impact and then hopefully sliding to a stop. Now, how the gear is attached to the rider is also different than dirt gear and that it’s usually built-in to the garments themselves.

Let’s use this jacket as an example, at first glance, you have no idea that there’s any armor in some places. This is because it’s less smooth so that it doesn’t snag during a slide, which would cause you to start tumbling, what you don’t see is the various forearm, elbow, shoulder and spine protection that’s hidden inside. Just remember though, street armor and dirt armor are very different and you should not ride on the street in dirt armor because that’s not what it was designed for and it probably won’t protect you in a fall. So what exactly is a body armor made of? Well, that all depends on what you’re buying and the quality of the pieces.

Some pieces of body armor only provide padding between the rider’s body and potential high-contact areas, such as simple soft foams or maybe memory foams. Others may use foam against the rider’s body with a hard-plastic cup facing outwards and so others use modern technology that blends the benefits of both. Let’s look further into each of these and discuss their pros and cons.

First, when it comes to foam, there are many different types that come in various configurations. From soft to hard, with open or closed cells with each type providing different levels of comfort and protection.

Take, for instance, most basic foams are very comfortable but offer minimal impact resistance, whereas a harder closed-cell foam will offer more resistance but less comfort because of its stiffness. Basic foams are fairly inexpensive to produce so you’ll find it in the most basic apparel. On the other end of the spectrum, however, there are amazing foams out there that are soft, breathable and can handle much more impact energy.

Now, let’s take a look at memory type foam which is very dense and offer superior impact absorption when compared to its less expensive counterparts. Its downfall is that it rebounds a bit slower, and because of its higher cost to produce, you’ll likely only find it on premium brands such as this Poron XRD used by Klim. Hard cup armor also known as GP Armor is designed to resist against puncture and abrasion injuries. Hard cup armor is very strong and often found in high-performance, high-speed applications, like sports jackets and race suits.

As you can see here in this Spidi Track Wind Pro. This type of armor is often built permanently into items like gloves but when it comes to jackets, pants, and suits, it’s usually removable in specially designed compartments, to hold it in place for maximum protection. The new player in protection materials is viscoelastic armor such as D30. This is very similar to memory foam and that it is soft, body-forming and extremely comfortable. What makes this better than traditional foams though is that it becomes rigid upon impact, meaning it can absorb high levels of energy while still remaining thin and flexible.

This is what you’ll normally find in quality jackets, pants, and suits such as Icon or let’s say Klim technical riding gear.

Now, with all these variations in armor, it would be nice if there was some sort of rating system that was used to designate the level of protection each time it gets you, right? Well, there is and it’s called the CE rating system. Now, you may have heard the term CE rated or maybe CE approved in the past but you weren’t clear on what it meant.

Now, CE stands for Conformité Européenne and refers to a system of safety standards used to test all sorts of motorcycle armor sold in the European Union. So when a product is CE rated, it simply means that a particular piece of armor meets the European standard for safety, that’s really it.

Now, American manufacturers and retailers have unofficially adopted the European system because it’s comprehensive, it’s easy to use and frankly, it’s because the U.S. doesn’t have a comparable system currently in place.

The CE rating system comes in levels, which makes it easier for you to know how much protection you’re getting for the money. The test goes something like this, an 11-pound weight, gets dropped from roughly six feet up onto the piece of specified armor nine different times. So, to obtain a level one certification, no more than 18 kilonewtons can be transmitted through and no one impact can exceed 24 kilonewtons. As you can see here, this D30 Viper Stealth Back Protector has a level one certification. So to obtain level two certification, only nine kilonewtons can be transmitted through and no one impact can exceed 12 kilonewtons. As you can see here, this D30 Viper Pro Back Protector has a level two safety certification.

Now, some armor can you protect you even more than that.

Forcefield, a major player in the soft armor marketplace makes a back protector called the Pro Sub 4 as it transmits less than four kilonewtons through to the rider and that my friends, that is an impressive number. So remember this when you’re looking at purchasing armor. While there may be cheaper pieces out on the market, be sure to check for a CE rating to ensure that you’re getting quality armor that you know will protect you when you need it most.

So aside from the rating, one very important thing to look for in motorcycle armor, is that it fits properly. Armor should be just big enough to cover the joints or limits it’s designed for while being as small as possible to reduce weight and bulk.

For example, check out this Blast Jacket from AGV Sport which fits Shane perfectly. The shoulder, elbow and back armor are positioned right where they should be and they fit snug to his body so that they won’t shift around in a slide or a tumble. But now if we move up a couple of sizes, you can see how the armor is no longer where it needs to be and will easily shift around during an impact. That means this armor can’t do its job and maybe just as bad as having no armor at all. Fit is absolutely crucial in motorcycle gear and even more so when armor is involved.

Finally, let’s talk about replacing armor. Now, some folks think that armor is meant to be replaced after just one crash but that’s not always the case, some armor’s designed to take multiple impacts and still be fine, such as the Seeflex Armor from REV’IT. Now, on the other end of the spectrum would be back protectors that are built, let’s say on a grid system such as the Spidi Warrior. Now, once the integrity of the grid has been compromised that armor should be replaced. Now, there’s also no law that requires armors to be replaced after a crash so you personally need to visually inspect your armor and replace it if needed.

So, there you have it just a quick overview on street motorcycling armor. We hope that you found this video helpful. If you’re ready to make an investment in your safety, here’s a link so that you can shop for the armor and the protective gear that best fits your needs and don’t ever hesitate to contact us with any questions that you have. We’re always here to help guide you for the products that will be the perfect fit for you.

Thanks for watching. If this is your first time here in the BikeBandit Garage, do yourself a favor and hit the red button and subscribe to our channel. With each new video, you’ll be in the loop learning more about motorcycles and all sorts of topics pertaining to them.

Thanks again for joining us, we’ll see you soon. Now, it’s time to go ride.

Video: How to Properly Wash A Dirt Bike

Hi. I’m Steve Matthes, mechanic to the stars. This week on “TransWorld How To,” presented by BikeBandit, we’re gonna show you how to wash your bike. You may be thinking, “Matthes. You’re an idiot. I know how to wash a bike.” Well, no you don’t. As a former factory mechanic, there’s a certain way that we wash bikes in the pits to try to minimize the water damage. And this week with the help of BikeBandit we’re gonna show you how to do it too. Let’s get clean.

All right. So we’ve got Brandon Louis’s RM-Z450 here. And thankfully he’s gotten it pretty dirty for us. So before you start washing, what I recommend doing is taking the seat off. I’m not sure how many people do this but if you take your seat off, it’ll help save your foam down the line. Water can really damage your foam, make it soft, make it easy, and break it down. So you’ll notice in the pits at your local national, there’s no bikes being washed with the seats on and it’s for this reason. Plus too, the foam accumulates the water and makes it heavy. So I always take my seat off.

Your filter is exposed. Just get a rag and stuff it in there to prevent your filter from being wet. You can certainly remove your filter, buy an air filter cover if you’d like. But I just put a rag in there, especially if your filter doesn’t need cleaning. Get an exhaust plug for your exhaust. If you get water down into your muffler it’ll cause your packing to deteriorate, it’ll cause your packing to go away and make it break down sooner which means you got to work on it more. So get the butt plug, as everybody calls it, stick in the end of the exhaust. The seat’s off.

A bike standing upright? You’re not going to be able to get most of the dirt off. Most of the dirt is underneath the bike. So again, what you’ll see the factory mechanics do is they will take the stand and lean the bike over like so. So the bike is leaned over, as I was saying. Lots of dirt on the underside of the bike. So leaned over here it’s easy to get to the linkage, it’s easy to get to the bottom of the frame, it’s easy to get underneath the fenders, and be ready to get the crucial parts of the bike clean. So let’s get started.

All right, so the bike’s wet. It’s ready to be applied with soap. You can use any sort of household cleaner out there. There’s plenty of companies that make bike wash as well. And just basically spray it. Rims, plastic. And with you giving it a pre-soak the soap will have more effect onto the bike. One thing I should also stress with a pressure washer situation. Don’t hold it against your linkage, or inside your motor, or at your countershaft, or anything else. Bikes are not waterproof. You can get water in there if you just keep holding it and spraying it. You know, so be careful on the water when you use pressure washers because unlike factory mechanics, you’re not tearing it down all the time. All right, we’ve got some soap on there. Let’s get the dirt off.

All right. The underside of the bike is clean. Now we’re gonna worry about the plastics and the topside. So take it off the stand and put it back on the stand. And now you can get the other side that was underneath as well as the plastic on this side. All right. Bike’s ready to go. Got some more soap. Spray your handlebar area. All those parts that you missed before. You can use a simple kitchen brush if you have some stubborn spots that just won’t go.

Also, a few companies sell one of these mud scrapers. You can go underneath your fender like so if the mud is really bad. This bike? Louis doesn’t go very fast so he doesn’t attract a lot of mud. So not needed in this bike. Also as well, a wire brush helps. And what the wire brush does is on your chain, you just clean some of the crud off. So what I like to do is just jam it in there, spin your wheel forward, and it’ll get that junk off of your chain. And your gonna lube it afterwards. So MPPL on the SOS pad. And concentrate on the welds, like I said. Get your motor, even. You know, I always wonder how those mechanics get everything looking so good. They take each piece off and clean it like this. But for this demo, I’m gonna leave it on the bike.

Remember after you get it all back together make sure pull your rag out of the air box. And always start your bike. Water has a funny way of accumulating in different spots. Just start it up real quick. Could be 30 seconds. Get the bike up to temperature. Turn it off and make sure you’re all good for that. All right, get a towel. Dry off your machine. You can see how much better it looks there. Don’t spray too much on the filter when you have the seat off. What I like to do, Maxima SC1 spray. It’s a real bitchin’ sort of polish for your bike. Makes it look brand new again. You spray that on, put some MPPL on your chain. Make sure it’s good. Bolt your seat back on. Take your plug out and go riding.

That’s been this week “Transworld How To,” presented by BikeBandit. Stick around. Come back next week. We’ll have some more tips.

Video: How to Dirt Bike Grip Installation

Hi, I’m Steve Matthes, Transworld Motocross Editor-at-large, and this week on the Transworld Motocross BikeBandit how-to of the week, I’m gonna talk about grips.

Everybody likes new grips. I know factory riders usually start the day with brand new grips. So if it’s been a while, you might want to invest in some. Easiest way to do it, get a razor blade, grab your grip, and simply cut along the grip and pull off. Pull off, like I said. And with that, I’m going to now get the new grips.

The grips we’re going to install today are the pillow top tri-density ProTaper grips, available at BikeBandit. Really, if you don’t have control, what do you have? What I like to do is lay down some ProTaper grip glue. It’s already been applied to the ProTaper aluminum throttle tube. Get a little bit of contact cleaner, not too much because it could end up eating through your grip, and just basically put it on the tube, slide it on. And it’s very important to remove the air that you’ve accumulated by lifting up the edge. Put it on, stretch it on. Make sure you’re all the way on the end cap and you have a good feel. Put it on as much as you can, and voila. Now you have control, and now you’re able to decrease your lap times and put some wire on if you want.

So we’ve put some new grips on. The glue is dry and now you’re ready to go riding. And I’m Steve Matthes. That’s been the Transworld Motocross BikeBandit how-to of the week. Stay tuned next week for another little trick.

Video: How to Dirt Bike Oil Change

Hi, I’m Steve Matthes, mechanic to the stars. Also the editor-at-large at Transworld Motocross. Here we are outside running a CRF 450 because today, with the help of Maxima Oil, we’re gonna show you how to do an oil change, and that’s this week’s Transworld Motocross “How To”, presented by Bike Bandit.

Alright, this being a Honda, and like I said earlier, oil in the motor and oil in the tranny. We’ve got some Maxima products here. Motorcycle transmission lube, guess what? That goes in the tranny. The motor lube is an ultra-performance, four-cycle motor. This has molly in it, so this is better for slippage and lubrication throughout the piston, the rings, and the crank, and everything else. So put the molly in the motor. Put the transmission without the molly into the transmission. Alright, we’ve got the bike inside here, and I always recommend running it to get the oil nice and hot, get it out easier. Honda’s have a couple of drain spots, one for the motor, one for the transmission. The transmission is back here. It’s a 12mm. And we’re gonna be doing a filter today as well. So just pull that out. We’ve got our drain pan ready, and always try to pull the washer off with it. And there we go. Makes a little bit of mess, but we’ll clean up. Now for the motor, down here on the stator…And we’re pulling that out, and there we go. There she blows.

We’re gonna do a filter in this bike also. So, the drain bolts are back in, and let’s take the old filter out. When you do a filter, you’re gonna need to add a bit more oil. There’s always a spring behind there that doesn’t come in the kit. So make sure you catch that. There’s the old filter. That’s no good anymore. Take this, clean it with contact cleaner, clean the spring out. You could even stick a rag in there, and wipe the excess oil away… Alright, we’ve got the new filter here. We’ve got the spring, gonna drop that in there. A good idea is to just use some new or used oil, coat that seal a little bit, just helps down the road, helps with install and initial startup. And you wanna just slide that filter in. Alright, spring is in, seal is in, seals been oiled a little bit, and I recommend doing the oil filter, no matter what brand it’s on, every second oil change. You don’t need to do it every oil change. So save yourself a little bit of money, do it every second time.

Alright, and then the motor side calls for 700cc’s. So we’ve got five right there…gonna do two more. Down the hatch she goes…And now for the tranny. And for the transmission side, it calls for a 1,000, which is one liter, a 1,000 milliliters, which is one liter. By the way, the Canadians enjoy the metric system, perhaps you Americans should look into it. Anyways, the entire 1,000 milliliters goes into the transmission side of a Honda. Nice, new oil, fresh ride thanks to Maxima. This Honda is ready to go. There’s an oil change for you on a Honda CRF 450, in this weeks Transworld Motocross “How To” presented by Bike Bandit. See ya next week.

Video: How to Rejet Carburetors

Hi, I’m Steve Matthes, 2003 Budds Creek first moto winning mechanic and I’m also Transworld Motocross editor at large. Carburetor’s on four strokes are scary things to a lot of people but I’m here to show you guys it’s not so scary. And with a little bit of knowledge and a little bit of tuning, you can have your bike running perfect. This week on the Transworld Motocross How To presented by Bike Bandit, we’re gonna talk about carburetors.

All right, so I’ve removed the carburetor from the motorcycle. I’ve taken the top lid off as well, taken off the opening to the needle jet. And what you can do is move the slide up, reach down in there and pull out the needle. As well, I’ve taken off the four screws on the bottom of the flow pull. Taken that off and exposed the main jet and the pilot jet. All right, so the needle affects your powerband throughout most of the range. And it’s a pretty massive change to make one clip difference. So what we’re gonna do here is I’m gonna show you how to make the bike a little richer. So if we take the needle, put it on a flat surface like your toolbox or somewhere, push down with your thumb. Now, make sure you count the number of clips slots that the clip is down. This one, in particular, is down four from the top, always count from the top. So what I wanna do is make it a little bit richer. So I’m gonna move it down to the fifth one which, in effect…push it back down, it’s on the fifth slot. What that does is raise the needle up and allow more fuel into the carburetor, thereby making your bike work a little richer.

All right, so what we’ve done is made the needle richer but you can also do the opposite, which is make it leaner. You would want to raise the clip, drop the needle, that’ll make it leaner. Make the bike have less fuel, give it a little bit of throttle response, and you’ll notice the difference of the seat of the power plants immediately upon doing that. Loosened the main jet already. Here is the main jet, this is a 175. On the main jet, the bigger number means richer. So if you want more fuel…and this jet controls three-quarters to a wide open throttle. So if you want more fuel, if you’re getting cracking, popping up top, you’d wanna go to a 178, which is the next step up, or a 180 even. The bigger number on the main jet means more fuel.

All right, well for the purposes of this video, I took the bottom flow pull off. But what you can do is simply take out this 17 drain bolt on the bottom and you can get to your main jet and your pilot jet this way, so you can tilt the carburetor on your bike. Now, most people, they talk about a leak jet and a diaphragm. I find that in today’s bikes they’re jetted pretty well. You shouldn’t need to really adjust those too much. The diaphragm you can go up in sizes and the leak jet the same thing, which controls the amount of fuel that gets onto your diaphragm. But I would recommend between a pilot and a main, and a needle, you can make any change you want. Look in your owners manual, it tells you what kind of conditions to go richer, what kind of conditions to go lower, or leaner I should say and you’ll go from there. While the carburetor’s off, while it’s on the bench, it’s a good idea to check your air screw, and you should probably put that somewhere about…count the turns. This one is one, one and a half, this one’s one and three-quarters. Probably not a bad place to start, but I like to go one and a half. There’s one, and there’s a half. And will sell you a easy tool to get in there while you can do this on the bike.

All right, now what I’m doing is taking out the pilot jet. The pilot is anywhere from close throttle to a quarter throttle. If you notice your bike maybe hesitating a little bit, you probably need to go richer on the pilot jet. Same thing as the main jet, the bigger number, the more fuel.

So this is a 42 and you can see the number on the side of it. Same as the main jet. So if you’re noticing a little bit of cracking, a little bit of popping on the bottom, go to a 45. It’s pretty easy to do, pretty easy to change. So drop the 45 in there, and you’ll get more fuel in there, and that’ll solve that problem.

All right, so there you have it. I’ve covered the main jet, the pilot jet, and the needle jet, the three jets that are the most important in your carburetor. If you have a fuel injected bike, scratch everything I just said. It’ll be jetted for you perfectly all the time. But for now, don’t be scared. Get in there, tinker a little bit, make your bike work better. Adjust it for altitude, adjust it for track conditions. Read your manual, it’s pretty easy stuff. All right, and this is Transworld Motocross’s How To, presented by Bike Bandit. Get on it.

Video: How to Dirt Bike Brake Bleeding

Hi, I’m Steve Matthes. Welcome to Transworld Motocross How-tos, presented by BikeBandit.

As we all know, your brakes are very, very important. They enable you to stop your motorcycle, so they’re key. What many of you probably don’t realize is that you do need to change your brake fluid every now and then, and basically replenish the system. The stock brake fluid isn’t always the best, so what we’re going to do this week, with the help of Maxima and Motion Pro, is change your brake fluid.

All right, for this tip, we’re gonna use a Cowley 250-F, and what you wanna do is, with your front master cylinder, make it as level as you can for filling up purposes. I’m gonna use a Motion Pro brake bleeder. And, let me tell you folks, you could make this yourself with using your fuel line or whatever, but for $19.50, this will make your life a whole lot easier. It’s got a one-way check valve in it, and none of this fiddling around and chucking air back into your system, so I highly recommend this. We’re also gonna use Maxima racing brake fluid for this tip.

So, what you’ll need is a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws. And, on older bikes, this is gonna stick a little bit, so just wiggle it with your hands, pull it up, make sure you try not to spill any, and try to keep that diaphragm cap on the master cylinder cap. Find the bleeder screw on your front caliper or your rear caliper.

What I’ve done is… It helps to have a catch can of some sort. You can use almost anything. I’ve just used an old soda bottle with some tape.

And what you basically do is, put the end on there, like so. The brake bleeder has an arrow to show you which end goes onto the caliper, and just crack that open a little bit. Just slowly crack it open. Come to the top, top master cylinder, and just slowly add some brake fluid, and just slowly work it through the system. And what you can do is, make sure you don’t get too low and start sucking in air, otherwise, you’ll be right back to where you started.

And, as you can see below, I’m pushing fluid through the system and it’s coming out. And it was coming out pretty dirty, and now, because we’ve reintroduced some new brake fluid, it’s pretty clean. And that’s where your catch can comes into place, too, so you don’t make a mess on Mom’s floor.

The final step is… You’ve introduced new brake fluid through the system. You can see that it’s clean. What I like to do is, you close the valve back up the bleeder screw and just manually pump a few more cc’s through the system. So what you wanna do is pump your front brake lever up, or rear brake pedal, hold it, crack it open, bleed it through manually a couple times. Make sure you close that bleeder screw tight, come up to the top, and you wanna be careful you don’t overfill the front master cylinder or the rear one, about three-quarter level. The diaphragm will take up the rest of the room.

And there you have it. Fresh brakes, fresh stopping power. I’m Steve Matthes, and that was Transworld Motocross How-tos, presented by BikeBandit.

Video: How to Dirt Bike Suspension Adjustment

Steve: Hi. I’m Steve Matthes, Transworld Motocross’ Editor at Large, and this week on the “Transworld Motocross How To,” presented by BikeBandit, we’re going to show you how to adjust your sag with this cool Motion Pro Sag Adjuster. Sag on a motorcycle is very, very important. I can’t stress enough that when you get the brand new motorcycle if you’ve never done your sag, you need to check it. It helps your rear suspension, and your front for that matter, work properly in each and every condition. This way too you’ll also know if your spring rate on the rear, suits your weight. So if I can recommend anything to anybody, it’s adjust your forks for the right height and adjust your sag. Very, very important and I will show you how this week.

All right, I’ve got my sweet Motion Pro Sag Tool and I’ve got a Sharpie marker. So what you want to do is put this in the hole of the axle. Find a spot on your fender that’s pretty much a straight line, adjust it accordingly, and find zero. So there we found zero right there, tighten this back up on the bottom and just for sanity’s sake, put a little mark there so you know you’re at zero. And that’s your base while the bike is on the stand with no weight on it. All right, so for this, we’ve got the Photo Editor of TransWorld Motocross, Brandon Lutes [SP], Lutes come on in. What size [inaudible 00:01:47] do you think I would need for this to adjust properly?

Brandon: What’s the biggest size?

Steve: They make like a 5.8, 6.0. Anyways, get on the bike.

Brandon: I don’t know what mine…I don’t know what’s in it right now.

Steve: Okay. So what we’ve got is we already know we’re at zero, I highly suggest that you and your buddy get together to do your sag. Dress up in your gear because your gear adds 10 to 15 pounds to your weight with boots and a helmet and everything. So to get precisely accurate, dress up in your gear, get your buddy to help you. So we’re at zero, we know we’re at zero on our mark. Lutes is at neutral…stay neutral on the bike, don’t shift back and forth, basically, sit where you would sit to ride the bike.

Brandon: Do you want to keep your feet in front of the footpegs?

Steve: It doesn’t really matter.

Brandon: It doesn’t?

Steve: Nope.

Brandon: Okay.

Steve: All right, so what we have here with Lutes on it, we’re going to mark it back up to our mark and we are at 1.08. So from zero to 1.08 milimeters on our scale. So what we want, we want 105 for Lutes, for his speed and for his suspension settings, so let’s go to 105. I recommend a punch, here at the palatial TransWorld offices, no punch was available so we’re using a big screwdriver, but you can use one, too. Basically get in there, break the lock ring loose, give yourself a few threads, and now you’re ready for adjustment. Now we’re at 108, we want 105, so what we want to do is we want to go less. So we want to turn the spring, we want to tighten the spring down in a clockwise position to get less sag. If you need more, you back it off. So just reach in there, one complete turn and you could put a magic marker in there or just eyeball. One complete turn is about 4 millimeters. That’s a good guideline to know how many turns to go. I went almost one turn all around. Now, let’s remeasure. All right, we’ve got Lutes back on and as you can see instead of 105, I’m actually at 102 right now, so I need to give him a little bit more sag. And as you can see right now, we’re at 105, so we’re perfect for where he wants to go. And the bike will handle like a dream, it will handle the bumps better, and like I recommend, adjusting the sag is key.

And that has been this week’s “TransWorld Motorcross How To,” presented by BikeBandit.

Adjust that sag.