Ever pulled up to the track, unloaded your dirt bike, opened your gear bag and realised you’ve forgotten your socks? It’s enough to ruin your day, and depending on whether you can grit through riding sockless, it’s also enough to make you pack up and head home without even hitting the dirt.
Pre-ride preparation can make or break your weekend, and there’s nothing worse than rolling up to the track and being stoked to ride, only to realise you’ve forgotten the simplest of things – whether that be a bit of pre-ride maintenance, or a vital piece of gear. A quick and easy pre-ride checklist is a great way to prevent such heartbreak, and we’ve got you started with seven essentials to cross off before you head out for a rip.
1) Air filter
One of the first things we do before loading up is oiling a clean air filter and installing it. It’s always advised to run a freshly oiled filter to protect your dirt bike, and by doing it first, you can avoid the embarrassment at the track when your bike won’t start before noticing the air box wash cover is still fitted.
We always try to fuel up before loading, but let’s be real – most times we’re topping up the fuel can at the servo on the way. ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is the old age saying, so always put your fuel container with the rest of your gear and dirt bike so it doesn’t get left behind!
3) Tyre pressures
Whether you’re a weekly rider, or ride every now and then, it’s always ideal to check your tyre pressures before heading out. Ensuring you run a tyre pressure that suits the conditions – or your liking – will boost performance, and could very well save you from suffering a flat tyre.
4) Radiator fluid
Often overlooked is making sure your bike has adequate coolant. You can never tell how much coolant has been used each ride, so it’s always best to take the 30 seconds out to unscrew the radiator cap and see if it needs topping up.
5) Final once over
The last thing we do before rolling the dirt bike out of the garage is giving it a final once over, so this means pulling out the t-bar and nipping up the obvious bolts, such as the ones holding down your plastics, triple clamps, bars and controls. It’s a quick bit of prep that could really save you if a bolt is in fact loose.
6) Gear bag
Finally, packing your gear bag is an obvious one, but it’s what you pack inside that matters. You’ll always want to keep all your gear in your gear bag so nothing can be easily forgotten, and remember to check that you have jersey, pants, gloves, goggles, helmet, socks, knee brace/pads, and lastly, boots.
7) Bonus tip:
Like we said before, if it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. Before touching the bike and packing our gear bag, we always put our essential items together in one spot to ensure it doesn’t get forgotten. This means placing your stand, gear bag, tool box and fuel next to our bike or vehicle that we’re about to load. It’s an obvious tip, but a helpful one.