400 Tips & Tricks | Part 5

Key Advice Every Rider Should Know

The June 2016 issue marked Dirt Rider’s 400th issue, and to mark the milestone we put together 400 tips that might save the day, or just make the day go easier. We thought we’d show them to you again online, ten at a time, to help instill the wisdom into your brain so when the time comes you hear an expert bit of advice in your head.

Note: Tips that came from a specific source will have an attribute listed. Tips with no attribute have been pulled from Dirt Rider's extensive library of content, including back issues of the magazine, dirtrider.com, and The Total Dirt Rider Manual. Enjoy!

400 Tips & Tricks, Part 5
400 Tips & Tricks, Part 5Dirt Rider

41: “When you’re breaking in a new bike, I highly recommend doing a tightening pass of the spokes before you ride the first time and then each time you come off the track. Check them until you can ride and they don’t loosen up on you… I do one every third spoke with the Honda wheel and after three revolutions of the wheel I’ve hit every spoke. Working every third spoke will pull in opposite directions so you don’t pull the wheel out of true.” —Brent Presnell, Trey Canard’s mechanic

42: Adjust your clutch and front brake lever slightly inboard of the bar end to help prevent them from breaking in a tip-over.

43: Photographer Shan Moore says putting Bounce sheets in your gear bag makes everything smell fresh and pretty. He’s more likely to take your photo if he smells you coming down the trail at a National Enduro!

44: “If a bike’s not really dirty, you can almost do more harm washing it than not washing it.” —Ben Schiermeyer, Justin Barcia’s mechanic

45: Kent Howerton advises dragging the rear brake in rollers. It helps keep the bike straight and limits the amount the shock will kick.

46: Your rear axle placement affects shock performance but also front-end feel. A rear axle that’s farther forward will take weight off the front wheel and put it on the back wheel. A one-link change to the chain is about a 14mm change in axle position (then re-check your sag).

47: Gearing changes make a dramatic effect on your bike’s power delivery feel. A one-tooth change on the front sprocket is equal to a 3.5-tooth change on the rear.

48: A helmet is good for one impact or five years of use. After that, replace it.

49: Eight-time Enduro champion Mike Lafferty says to eat on race day what you eat on a normal day to avoid upsetting your stomach.

50: Speed is your friend in deep sand, but it’s a fickle friend.