We know. It seems like a no-brainer.

And maybe for you, it is. But washing your bike incorrectly can literally cause more damage than the rigors of racing. So, let’s go over some routine dirt bike washing tips that can extend the life of your dirt bike components and keep it looking even more inviting on each trip to the garage.

Dirt Bike Washing Tips

1. Remove mud – Resist the urge to grab your pressure washer and just start going nuts.

  • The water and detergent can structurally break down your seat foam.
  • Never point your power-washer wand directly at rubber seals. It’s bad.
  • Never spray detergent on your brake pads or disc. The detergent will bond to the disc and glazes the first time you use your brakes. Your pads will become useless.

The best way to remove mud is gently. A bucket of hot water, a sponge, and some stiff brushes. Start by scraping off the big mud clods inside your fenders, around your engine, and stuck to your tires.

2. Remove seat – Clean the outside of the seat with a brush to avoid having your seat foam soak up a bunch of water. If your seat does soak up too much water, it will break down structurally and lose its cushion effect.

3. Remove air filter – Stuff a rag in the intake air boot or fasten an air box cover in place.

4. Cap your silencer – Use a rubber plug to prevent water from entering your exhaust pipe.

5. Wash your bike gently – Your brushes will get the job done. If you insist on using your power washer, please concentrate on deflecting dirt away from your bike. You don’t want to drive it into your bike’s crevices.

6. Spray time – After you’re finished washing, it’s time to spray parts of your dirt bike with the appropriate chemicals.

  •    Remove the magneto cover and spray your flywheel and coils with non-chlorinated brake cleaner.
  •    Use brake cleaner to spray your rotors to remove water and dirt.
  •    Spray a lubricating oil on your steel parts to displace leftover water.
  •    Spray your tires and plastic parts with silicone. This will protect from dryness and cracking, and will renew the look of your plastic parts by filling in scratches.

7. Clean your chain – The chain requires special care, not unlike cleaning your air filter. First, immerse your chain in a mild solvent. Scrub it with a chain cleaning brush to remove dirt. Let the chain drip dry, then lubricate it with traditional chain lube or chain wax.

Cleaning your dirt bike is important. It’s not a vanity thing like cleaning your car can be. A proper cleaning of your dirt bike after a ride will extend the life of your bike’s components.

(Image/Summit Racing)
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Author: Matt Griswold

After a 10-year newspaper journalism career, Matt Griswold spent another decade writing about the automotive aftermarket and motorsports. He was part of the original OnAllCylinders editorial team when it launched in 2012.