The Many Different Ways to Customize Your Dirt Bike
Custom graphics from OMX are the best way to jump start your dirt bike customization efforts. They’ll provide your bike with a professional aura, even if all you do is ride around the quarry with your friends. If you’re dedicated to the notion of making an MX career for yourself however, they’ll catch the attention of both the competition and potential sponsors and inform anyone that’s paying attention that you mean business. But while custom dirt bike graphics are a no-lose proposition you’re likely going to want to customize your ride from a performance perspective as well. And below we’ll give you a number of ways to do that.
- Upgrade your pipe – Upgrading your pipe is more involved than just removing the old one and fastening the new one into position. There are an array of things that factor into the choice of a pipe and if you aren’t careful you could wind up harming the performance of your bike rather than enhancing it. If you have a 2 stroke the pipe you choose will be determined at least in part by the type of riding you do. MX calls for one type of pipe while Supercross calls for another. Are you looking for top end power or something more in the low to middle end of the spectrum? If your bike is a 4 stroke you have the option of replacing the entire system which is a great way to reduce weight which, of course, should help enhance performance as well. If you’re this close to contention swapping out your pipe could be the push you’ve been looking for.
- Upgrading the suspension – This is one of the most, if not the most, common upgrades performed on dirt bikes. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most expensive. But if you’re serious about gleaning a competitive edge from your machine upgrading its relationship to the ground is a great way to do it. You might have to enlist professional help to ensure you do this right, or at least the help of someone who has experience with it. It’s really too important to take chances. Once properly installed you’re going to notice an immediate difference in your ability to attack turns, endure landings and float through whoops like a rock skipping across the water.
- New Reeds – Where 4 strokes use intake values 2 stroke bikes have reeds. They prevent air and fuel from being pushed back into the carb on the power stroke. If your bike is running sluggish there’s a good chance there’s an issue with the reeds. Even if the bike is right off the showroom floor you might still benefit from upgrading to new carbon fiber reeds that will typically close faster and provide more horsepower as well as better response when you crank the throttle.
- Upgrade the gearing – By upgrading the gearing you’re going to see a noticeable boost in performance the first time you take the bike out. However, it’s another of those upgrades you’re going to want experienced help with. You should have a clear goal of what you’re trying to accomplish with the upgraded gearing and whoever is helping you should know how to provide that. Are you looking to enhance acceleration or top speed? Why? Think it through before you dole out the bucks for this type of customization and be sure to get qualified help.
- Install a steering damper – A steering damper can literally make the difference between enjoying yourself and feeling like you’ve been drawn and quartered at the end of the day. The damper will stabilize the handlebars which will go a long way toward relieving stress on arms, hands and shoulders, especially if you are into off road activities where the terrain is rough and unpredictable. Some dampers can be adjusted on the fly, which can provide an enormous advantage over those racing with stock steering.
- Jet the carbs – Not the easiest thing to do. Or rather, not the easiest thing to do right. Jetting your carbs will adjust the air/fuel mixture so that you’re not running too rich or lean as can happen when you go from racing at 5,000 feet one week to sea level the next. Eventually electronic fuel injection will probably make jetting the carbs obsolete, but until it does go get a good jet kit and make sure you’re running the right mix for the conditions.
- It’s the Little Things – All of the above are fairly involved customizations and several will take a nice bite out of your bank account. But there are other, simpler ways you can customize your dirt bike that aren’t glamorous but will make a noticeable difference in your experience. The seat, grips, foot pegs and more all play a role in determining your comfort level and therefore your ability to focus on the task at hand. If you’re thinking about how much your feet hurt or how sore your butt is half way through the race you’re not thinking about closing the gap or exploding out of the turn. Make sure everything you come into contact with on your bike is right for your size and body type.
By implementing some or all of these customization tips you’ll be molding the bike to your body, your temperament and your goals. And don’t forget the cherry on the cake: custom graphics from OMX.