Steve: Hi, I’m Steve Matthes, TransWorld Motocross Editor-at-Large. Okay. You’ve got your brand new bike, 2011s are out. Now you want to go race them? So now what do you do? Well, on this week’s TransWorld how to, presented by Bike Bandit, I’m going to show you what to do to get your brand new bike ready to go rip. The latest greatest bikes, they’re pretty damn good. I got to admit. But there’s still some things that you can do when they’re brand new out of the crates before you go riding or racing that could help them get ready.
Number one, check your air pressure. You never know what it comes with overseas. And you just never know, so a good baseline for almost any condition is 12 pounds. Look at this. This is a brand new bike, and we got 18 pounds in it, folks. No good. So it couldn’t have worked any better if I’d dreampt it up. Twelve pounds. It’s a water-based Motion Pro Air Pressure Gauge, high quality. There you go, 12 pounds. Prefect. What you can do is 12 pounds front and rear. This locking nut on the tube, don’t tighten it, put it up against the cap. Next up, check your spokes. Just take a spoke wrench, we’ve got an RK Excel spoke wrench here. Go around the whole wheel and just tighten them a little bit. You want to do this after the initial ride as well, but when the bike’s brand new, just go around the wheel and make sure you’re all good and make sure nothing’s loose.
You might find around the rim lock after the first ride, the spoke will be a little loose, so go around there and tighten it up. Also, stock bikes, the tubes in the tires, they’re okay, but not that great. You’ll be more susceptible to flats if you just keep the stock tubing. I know it’s a lot of work to take your tire off and put a new tube in, but maybe the first time you change tires, go to the store and pick up a medium-heavy or a motocross light tube from one of the major tire companies and install that over the stock tube. Stock tubes are a little flimsy. None of the pros that you see on the motocross, supercross circuit have stock tubes in their bikes, so just a little tip there.
Another thing you can do with a brand new bike, take the seat off, fill some filter oil on this filter. This one’s brand new. It’s been worked on a little bit, but a little bit of filter oil doesn’t hurt. Always something to keep in mind, just make sure you check it before you go riding. I have had a buddy back in the day who didn’t oil his filter and he seized his bike second ride-out. Just something that you can do. I want to keep you safe.
Another thing you can do is when you have a brand new bike and it comes straight from the dealer or out of the crate, get some rag and clean the disk off because you’ll see oftentimes it comes with a little bit of oil for shipping purposes and it’s good to just clean it off. So do that front and rear disks and you’ll be good to go.
All right. What I suggest you do is set your controls for your new bike before you go out to the track. Always take your bike off the stand and sit on in a natural position before you adjust anything. Brendan Lutes here, editor at TransWorld MotoCross, he’s my model. What you can do is put a T-handle on your bolts are good. If you don’t really know what you’re doing, you got a brand new bike and you’re not sure, the thing you can always do is move your bars up so that the middle of the cross part touches the T-handle. It’s kind of a basic neutral starting point. Or if you’re an experienced rider and you have your favorite position, you can do that. Let’s just leave it at that for now. Tighten it up. Always tighten the front mounts first before you go to the back.
And the back will always have a little gap there. Also, your controls. Here’s your eight. Front break lever, clutch lever, a kill switch. When you do your kill switch over here, something to realize is make sure the screw head is facing in towards your leg and not down. Sometimes that can gash your thigh, as you know, Lutes. Right? Where do you like your control set?
Brendan: I kind of like them up a little more than most people.
Steve: Than most people. Also, another thing to do when you adjust your clutch, make sure the end of your clutch lever doesn’t go past the end of your bar. When you fall, it would be much more susceptible to bending or breaking. Obviously, if you’re as fast as Lutes is here, you can do whatever you want. I just recommend that for the beginner. Just whenever you put your clutch in, make sure that the lever doesn’t go past the end of the bar. These levers are set.
Brendan: Good to go.
Steve: All right. Tighten them up. Or did you already?
Brendan: I think I did. You want to double check.
Steve: Let me check. All right. Basically, you don’t need to really reef on these things. Tighten them up for sure. But in the event of a crash, and we all fall, if they’re not super, super tight, they’ll move up and that will help you to bang it down in position and you won’t damage your master cylinder or your clutch. There you go. Your controls are set. There’s a couple of tips for you as well. On your front brake, all these new bikes, they have adjusting screws as far as your reach goes, maybe you have small fingers or maybe you have big hands, whatever it is, you can back that off and adjust it in or out for your play.
All right. Never hurts to take a T-handle and run it over the bike, your brand new bike. Make sure everything’s tight. It usually is, from the factory, but hey, it never hurts to do it. Do that as well after one ride or two rides. Take the 30 seconds and run the T-handle over your different nut sizes and you’ll be set. Check your coolant. Again, it comes from the factory with coolant but you never ever really know, so pull the cap off. Look at that. A brand new bike. Not very much coolant in it. So put some coolant in. Also when you’re riding, I recommend…you have a couple hours on the bike, change your engine oil, read your owner’s manual and do it that way. Change your engine oil right away. Put some high quality stuff in there.
Suspension oil change, I’ve got friends who have never done it. That’s appalling to me. Definitely change your fork or shock oil at a reputable suspension shop. Ten hours into it, the oil that you used in the fork and shock isn’t always the best. You’ll notice a performance increase on your bike on that. Also, wire your grips if you can. Really just go over it. Think about it and make your bike right for you, and you’ll be ready to rip all year. A little bit of ounce of prevention right now saves you down the road.
Your chain will stretch a lot after your first two couple rides. Make sure that’s adjusted tightly. We’ve done a Bike Bandit tech tip on that. You can go back to that. Make sure the chain is good. As well, bleed the air on your forks from your set screw. After the first couple rides, let the air out. All these tips and more are very, very important and you’ll be able to enjoy…the lifespan of your bike will be increased. And you’ll be ready to rip your buddy.
In closing, this has been TransWorld how to Bike Bandit tip of the week. See you around.