Kids and adults alike love riding dirt bikes. There are few things more exciting than getting on and heading out for that first ride, but kids, especially, often fall out of love with their new dirt bikes as it becomes a normal activity.
No matter a rider’s age, personalizing a dirt bike is a great way to fall back in love with riding and make the sport more fun. Read on to find out about seven of the best dirt bike mods to try for Yamaha bikes.
1. Add Some Custom Graphics
Adding custom graphics is one of the easiest and least expensive methods of personalizing your Yamaha. New decals can make even an old bike look amazing again, giving riders more confidence and making it easier for them to get back out on the trails.
Competitive riders often find that applying custom decals helps them stand out from the crowd, as well. Anyone looking to establish a motocross career, whether now or years in the future, will want to find ways to get the attention of potential sponsors. Custom decals are a great way to do just that since they make bikes look more professional while simultaneously allowing riders to express themselves and really stand out.
2. Upgrade the Pipe
Upgrading the pipe on a dirt bike can enhance its performance and its appearance. Choosing the right pipe is important, though, because upgrading to the wrong type of pipe can damage the bike.
If a rider has a two-stroke engine, he or she will need to think about what type of riding the bike is used for most often. Motocross riding requires a different type of pipe than supercross riding, to give just one example. When in doubt about what kind of pipe to use, ask a professional dirt bike mechanic.
It’s also worth mentioning here that sometimes, just upgrading the pipe is not enough. Riders who want to make more advanced improvements may be better off replacing their entire exhaust systems, especially if their bikes have four-stroke engines. In this case, replacing the factory exhaust system with a more optimized one can reduce weight and enhance performance significantly more than just upgrading the pipe.
3. Install New Reeds
Reeds, more accurately labeled as reed valves, are only found on bikes with two-stroke engines. They’re designed to prevent air and fuel from flowing backward into the carburetor when riders are using the power stroke. Reed issues are one of the most common culprits on bikes that start running slower than they should, but the good news is, they’re pretty easy to replace.
Even if riders are still relatively new to their bikes, they may want to upgrade from factory reeds to more optimal carbon fiber ones to enhance the bike’s performance. Switching to carbon fiber reeds can give the bike more responsiveness and horsepower, so it’s worth the investment.
4. Upgrade the Suspension
Suspension upgrades are some of the most common dirt bike mods around, though they’re also some of the most expensive ones. Although young riders who are brand-new to the wonderful world of dirt bikes may not need to upgrade their suspensions immediately, anyone who wants to get serious about riding should consider making the investment.
Upgrading the suspension of a dirt bike is one of the best ways to gain a competitive edge. It will improve the bike’s ability to handle everything from landings and turns to traversing rugged terrain. Just make sure to hire a reputable professional to perform the upgrade because this customization is best performed by someone with plenty of mechanical knowledge.
5. Upgrade the Gearing System
Upgrading a bike’s gearing system can give it a boost in performance. As with suspension upgrades, gearing upgrades can be quite expensive and are best left to a professional. Before reaching out to local dirt bike mechanics, though, riders will need to determine exactly what they want to accomplish in upgrading their gearing systems.
There are different ways to go about performing this upgrade, but a good mechanic will be able to take all the right steps based on his or her client’s goals. Said goals often include enhancing acceleration, increasing max speeds, or just improving overall performance.
6. Jet the Carbs
Jetting the carbs on a dirt bike involves adjusting the ratio of fuel to air so that the engine doesn’t run too lean or too rich. Most serious riders perform this basic upgrade whenever they race at substantially different altitudes, such as when they’re out riding in the mountains one day and down at sea level the next.
Riders who want to jet their carbs will need to invest in a good jet kit so they can achieve the right ratios. The process is rather exacting, and it’s hard to get right. Getting the ratio wrong can cause unnecessary wear and may render the whole process ineffective, but it makes little sense for riders to hire mechanics every time they switch elevations. The best bet is to learn how to jet the carbs correctly from a more experienced rider.
7. Add a Steering Damper
Steering dampers are designed to keep a dirt bike’s handlebars more stable, relieving some of the stress on riders’ hands, arms, and shoulders. Upgrading a bike’s stock steering system by installing a steering damper can make riding off-road much more enjoyable. Plus, dampers can be adjusted, which means riders don’t have to worry about how improving their comfort off-road will affect their performance on the tracks.
Get an Edge
There’s no need to perform every upgrade described above on every bike. Before deciding how to proceed, riders should establish budgets and get a feel for their riding styles. From there, they’ll be able to determine how best to invest their money into upgrades and customizations, whether that means installing a whole new suspension system for a competitive edge in races or just personalizing the bike using custom graphics to get some extra attention. Most riders start with minor upgrades and continue working on their bikes for months, or even years until they’re happy with every component.