How to Inspect and Maintain Dirt Bike Tires


Did you know that the only thing that separates you from the road while riding your dirt bike is your bike tires? In fact, many dirt bike experts say tout tires as the most fundamental part of your ride.

At any given point, the weight of your entire dirt bike and you are being held upright by the two tires. Unfortunately, this is the most overlooked part by dirt bike owners out there.

However, you need to keep in mind that without regular maintenance of your dirt bike tires, you are risking your life every time you jump on the bike and head out for a ride.

Before you go out, you need to inspect your tires and ensure that they are in excellent condition and that shouldn’t take much of your time.

You should also stick to a routine maintenance schedule to help keep you’re your dirt bike tires in great shape all the time.

In this simple guide, we look at how to inspect and maintain your dirt bike tires given their importance not only to your dirt bike as a whole but also your safety and health as the rider. Read on to find out everything that you need to know.

Know Your Dirt Bike Tire

Since the kind of tire that you use can significantly impact your overall performance and safety, it is essential to know where you are most likely going to ride before you choose your tire.

Basically, the bias-ply type of tires offer the best gripping capabilities, but they may affect the overall performance of your machine and also increase tire wear as a result of increased heat.

This means that if you decide to go for this type of tires, you will need to check them quite regularly to ensure that they are always in great shape.

Radial tires tend to reduce heat generation because of their unique construction, but their overall design means that the sidewalls can easily be flexed. This means that you need to check your tire pressure constantly to make sure that you maintain the optimal pressure for your comfort and safety.

Generally, softer dirt bike tires tend to provide better traction, but they are more likely going to wear out quickly. 

On the other hand, hard tires tend to last longer, but they provide you with the same grip and will need to be pressure checked regularly.

The first step towards maintaining your dirt bike tire is figuring out the kind of tire that you have and the attention that it requires. This is critical since it will ensure that nothing happens while you are in the middle of a great ride.

Why Is Inspecting Your Dirt Bike Tires So Important?

Typically, the dirt bike tires are made of rubber regardless of the type and dirt bike model that you ride. However, apart from the rubber, many other factors affect the overall quality of your tire.

Checking and maintaining your dirt bike tires in great shape is essential if you want to enjoy stress-free rides. As mentioned in the introduction of this post, your dirt bike tires are arguably the most important parts of your ride and its continued health.

Given that you will depend on your tires throughout the lifespan of your bike, you need to do everything that you can to keep them in great shape always. Make sure that they are of the same size and high-quality.

While car drivers may play around with the size and other characteristics of their tires, this is a freedom that dirt bike riders don’t have and it is one of the top reasons why you need to inspect your tires as often as possible.

The moment you notice that they have started to wear out or lose shape, then it is time to replace them to avoid risking your life.

Inspect Your Dirt Bike Tires before Every Trip

Even if you inspect your dirt bike tires quite regularly, it is critical to ensure that you check them before every trip.

Don’t make a mistake of going out without checking the tires since a minor issue could be catastrophic. It only takes a few minutes to check your tires, and that could save you from potential problems that could risk your safety while on the road. 

When checking your dirt bike tires before a ride, there are at least four critical things that you need to inspect namely:

Check your air pressure:

Whenever you go riding, it is essential to maintain the right air pressure in your tires.

Many things can occur if you aren’t running proper tire pressure including tube failure and premature tread wear.

You need to keep in mind that overinflation tends to reduce the overall contact area of your dirt bike tires which lowers traction while underinflation can easily cause your tires to slide off the bead making it lose more air. 

However, the big concern is; what is recommended tire pressure for a dirt bike? Well, it can be a little bit tricky with dirt bikes, but as a good rule of thumb, your dirt bike should run best at 14-16 PSI while ATVs and UTVs run best on anything between 7 and 10 PSI.

For dirt bikes, you can go as low as 10 PSI or 20 PSI or more depending on the ground terrain and the type of your tire. To check your dirt bike tire pressure, make sure that you get a good quality pressure gauge.

You should also remember the fact that tires can lose up to 1 PSI of pressure per week on their own without being used. Therefore, make sure that you check your tire pressure before you head out.

Check the tire treads:

Inspecting the tire treads is a great way of determining whether you need to replace your tire or not.

Typically, your tires are among your dirt bike parts that you need to replace quite often, and it is the state of the treads that will give you clues whether it is time to replace your tire.

The tread is that part of the tire that gives it grip. Treads provide the surface of the tire with a specific pattern.  The more you ride your dirt bike, the more this pattern of grooves wears down leaving your tire surface smoother.

This will affect the chances of your tire gripping on the road due to increased friction.  If you notice that your tire surface is quite smooth, then it could be time to replace it.

Some dirt bikes also come with an indicator that will show you when the tread is starting to become too worn for safe use. You should consider changing your tire before the indicator starts to show.

Check the valve stem: 

Did you know that one of common ways that dirt bike tires leak isn’t through a tube puncture, but a puncture in the tire’s valve stem?

When the valve stem wears down, it starts to leak slowly, and it is quite common for dirt to get trapped in the valve stem and cause small gaps in the valve stem seal.

When inspecting your valve stem, you need to ensure that the caps are in place and fastened tightly. You should also make sure that the stem hasn’t spun. If you notice that the stem has twisted, deflate your dirt bike tire and be sure to reset it before you inflate it again.

Check spokes and rim locks:

Lastly, you need to take a moment and examine your spokes and rim locks as well and make sure that they are all tightly in place and straight.

If you discover that they are loose, make sure that you tighten them before you start your bike. If everything is looking good up to this point, then you are good to go.

After How Long Should You Change Your Dirt Bike Tires?

When it comes to dirt bike tires, age can affect their ability to provide a safe ride even if they have never been used on the dirt bike. As a matter of fact, dirt bike tires need to be used within five years of manufacture or changed in the fifth year.

Age becomes a significant issue since their chemical composition can affect their ability to create traction and friction while on the road. 

Tires that are more than five years old may become slippery even if they are still new. There will always be a date stamp on the sidewall of your tire to help you know when you are supposed to change your tire.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking to get the best dirt bike riding experience, you must ensure that your tires stay in great shape all the time.

In case, you aren’t taking care of your dirt bike tires; you will not only fail to enjoy a great ride but also risk your safety.

Make sure that you enjoy the freedom of being out there riding your dirt bike by ensuring that your tires stay in great shape all the time. Take time to inspect your tires regularly to ensure that they pose no undue risk to yourself and others. 5; \

Daniel Mose

Daniel is a big fan of dirt biking. I own KTM 250 SX-F. I love learning how to maintain this dirt bike and ensure it lasts long while serving me without any issues. Join me in this journey as I document stuff that we, as dirt bike lovers, ought to know.

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