Washing a Dirt Bike - Tips & Tricks

Washing a Dirt Bike - Tips & Tricks

Why does a dirt bike have to be so clean just to get dirty again?

  1. Cleaning it helps chain, sprockets, bearing, etc. last longer.
  2. Weight loss program for your bike. Mud can add a lot of weight!
  3. Gives the washer time to inspect for damage, wear, and potential failing parts.
  4. Brings confidence to the rider showing up with the best-looking bike.
  5. One less thing to worry about on race day.
  6. If mechanic work is needed, it keeps dirt and debris out of places they do not belong.

A clean bike is a happy bike. Although washing a bike is tedious work, there are plenty of reasons why it is crucial. When the dirt bike is clean, it is easier to inspect damage and work on. What is your opinion, is it a good idea to have dirt clumps falling inside the engine or reservoirs?

What is proper way to clean a bike?

How I wash my bike varies on the scenario. It depends on if it was a mudder, what needs worked on, or just needs cleaned. If the bike is just typical dirty and it only needs routine maintenance, I do not take a lot apart. Pull the seat off and install an air filter plug. When it is a mudder, I remove EVERYTHING after washing to my best ability. If you have never done this, you would be shocked at how much dirt hides in the little crevices of the bike. If it is rebuild time (no matter how dirty), I pull the seat, air box cover, and the tank. Anytime the tank is pulled off, make sure the fuel line connection is blocked off. Removing the tank and plastics leave a lot of wire exposed, make sure you don’t spray an excessive amount of water on them.


Time to learn how to scrub! Major key items; power washer, scrub brushes, and soap. Without them you are wasting your time. I first rinse as much dirt off as possible. Then, I will lay it down on its side. This helps get areas hard to see clean. For soaps. I use purple power, bleach white (for white plastics), or Maxima Biowash. Before using any type of cleaner make sure the bike is wet and do not let it sit too long. Most cleaners can stain. Once the soap is applied, I start scrubbing and immediately following I will wash it off. If you run a raw header that is not completely rusted, a good way to clean it is purple power and Brillo pads. Brillo pads can be used on any raw metal serface, to bring the shine back.


Make sure you are not just focusing on plastics. Mud that sits in bearing or seals makes them go bad faster. Get the chain clean. Let’s just go with, there should not be any dirt or grime on your bike when you are finished washing it.

After washing, use an air nozzle and blow the bike off. Use common sense and do no blow places off you shouldn’t. Over time the bike and plastics start to look dull, Maxima SC1 smells wonderful and will brighten it back up! Lastly, apply chain lube to the chain so it won’t rust. If you have a raw header such as FMF Fatty, make sure you oil it. I prefer to use Lucas Tool Box Buddy, it is nice and thick.

Now that you have a sparkly clean bike, you should have an idea what needs fixed and it is time to get to work!!

The short version:

  1. Don’t leave mud on your bike for a week.\
  2. Wash. Lay on side. Soap. Scrub. Repeat.\
  3. Put on stand. Wash. Soap. Scrub. Repeat.\
  4. Remove air filter and install Twin Air air filter cover.\
  5. Remove seat and plastics.\
  6. Wash. Soap. Scrub. Repeat.
    6.5 Pro tip - make sure mud and dirt are removed from all areas; under swingarm, brake calipers, chain, sprockets, linkage, wheel bearing area, etc... Double check it.\
  7. Dry off. Use air or a towel.\
  8. If you have a raw pipe, Lucas Tool Box Buddy is your best friend.\
  9. Ultra tacky chain lube that doesn’t sling is Bel Ray Blue Tac Chain Lube.\
  10. SC1 makes it shine.\
  11. Details matter.


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