From Track to Trail Bike Tips

From Track to Trail

Under the guidance and demands of a skilled rider a 250F can be a fierce competitor to tackle table-tops, step-ups, ruts or triples at any local or national motocross track. Fortunately, for those of us who prefer to get the adrenaline flowing with a glancing blow between a hand-guard and a hardwood that same inspiring performance is available for the trails with a few modifications and tweaks.

The first area that will need attention is the suspension. MX bikes are set up stiff to absorb the impact of landing doubles and triples, so for most riders it will need to be softened to perform on the trails. There are multiple adjustments to suspension, including spring rates, valves, fluid weights and fluid levels which is why, if it’s in the budget, it should be handled by a professional. But if that is not an option there are a few basic adjustments that can be made with little experience. Sag adjustment can be made to the front forks and rear shock by increasing or decreasing spring pre-load. This adjustment is usually covered in the owner’s or service manual and requires no special tools. After the sag is set, the compression and rebound adjusters can be used to fine tune the suspension to suite the rider’s taste and terrain. But if sending the forks and shock to a professional is an option, do it. You’ll be glad you did.

The cockpit is the next area that will require some changes. Changing or modifying the handlebars can make a huge difference for riding trails. There are trail specific handlebars available that use a higher bend than stock MX bars and although you will sacrifice some leverage these bars make navigating tight single track much easier. Installing a good set of hand guards can be the difference between a fun day on the trail or loading up early because a finger got pinched between a lever and the bars. A bar-end-mount guard provides great hand and finger protection for the rider and also will keep levers from bending if the bike ends up on its side. For gnarly rocky sections of the trails a steering damper can provide additional steering stability for the motorcycle and minimize fatigue for the rider. For easy installation and durability, select a stabilizer that will mount without major modifications. Ergonomic items, such as grips, levers and seat, can also be added or changed to enhance comfort, durability and function.

Acerbis Plastic Kit Contains All Needed Body Parts

Changes to the engine can be quick and cheap or not-so-quick and expensive. To improve the engines performance on the trails it’s not necessary to apply for another credit card or a second mortgage. There are several ‘bolt on’ performance modifications available without performing any internal engine work. Adding an off-road flywheel will smooth power delivery to the wheel and improve stalling in technical sections of the trail. Off-road flywheels come in a variety of sizes and can weigh between 2oz and 9oz more than stock flywheels. Installing an off-road flywheel does require some special tools but these tools are relatively cheap and easy to use. A free flowing exhaust will make any bike perform better and requires no special tools to change. There are many choices of exhaust on the market so chose one that suites your riding style, budget and riding area restrictions. Some exhaust changes also require changes to the fuel system to perform properly. EFI systems can require a fuel management system to compensate for less exhaust restriction and carbureted bikes can also require jetting or adjusting. Research online or check with the exhaust manufacturer to see if any fuel system modifications will be necessary.

Changes to body work and graphics are not necessary, but these inexpensive upgrades can improve the appearance of any motorcycle and increase rider confidence. Body work kits typically include all major number plates, shrouds, side covers and fenders and can be changed with minimum tools and effort. Graphic kits are available in a wide variety of styles to suite any rider’s taste and can include number plate decals, swing arm decals, fork guard decals, fender decals and air box decals. Most graphics manufactures also offer custom graphics that can be personalized to include the rider’s name, number and various sponsors.

WR250F Fuel Tank Added For Extended Range For Off-Road Racing

While any motorcycle can be taken straight from the track and used on the trails a few changes will improved the bikes performance and predictability, protect the rider and make a long day on the trail seem too short. Explore responsibly and of course, have fun.

Too learn more about these products and more please visit ‘The Guys That Ride!’ at motosport.com.

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