Tech Tips With Tony Jeske

tech-tipTech Tips is an article series intended to give you, the rider/racer, good ideas and practical steps to follow to keep your bike in top condition. Always check your owners manual and shop manual before doing any work on your bike. Aside from bike specific information available in your manuals our intent here is to provide you with good usable information you can incorporate into your riding experience.

Tony Jeske our Tech Tips Author:

Former Pro MX Race Technician with 10+ years experience  

Services include

– Race Ready custom builds for any style of MX.  

– Engine mods and rebuilds.  

– Custom chassis setup.  

– Maintenance and repair.

– Trackside services available upon request.

His shop is in Temecula/Murrieta area, his shop hrs 8-5 .  

Tech Tip #1   Routine Maintenance                        

In my first Tech tip to The Race Program I am going to touch on a few things regarding your dirtbike.  I would encourage committing this to what your normal routine for getting your bike ready to hit the track is.  

The topic of today’s tech tip is “always wear rubber gloves”….  Just kidding.Looks like you get a two-fer, because It’s all about checking your steed over before you ever load it in the truck, van, car, bus or whatever else it is you take to the track or trail.  If you do this, hopefully it will eliminate the possibility of a non ride, ride day surprise.  If you forget your boots, that’s on you.

So for starters I’ll talk about what I like to do.  On a side note , this is how I do it, doesn’t mean it has to be done like this, it’s just what works best for me.  Feel free to experiment with it, at least your doing it!

Ok, getting down to the nitty gritty of it:

I like to start with a nut and bolt check.  Put the bike on a stand with both wheels off the ground and start with the smallest to largest fasteners.  I use my T-handles first.

If you don’t have a set, that’s fine. 

Grab a 8,10,12,13(KTM),14,17 sockets

Big sockets needed for  linkage, pivot, and axels nuts

Allens and Torx drivers that may be needed if applicable.  

You’ll need extensions, and ratchets and then you can get to work.  

Check the bolts and nuts to see if they’re tight.  If tight, don’t tighten more.

If loose, make it tight

If its a fastener that requires a specific torque, (IE, all pinch bolts, axels, engine mounts, etc..) don’t crush it, grab a torque wrench and torque to spec.  A special tip for you, a good rule of thumb on fork pinch bolts for a baseline is 12 ft# bottom, and 15 ft# upper.  ALWAYS torque forks in clamps.

Once all fasteners you can access with a T-handle/socket and wrench have been checked (don’t forget top and bottom bar mounts, sprocket bolts, and rotor bolts) move on to your screwdrivers for radiator hoses and carb/t-body clamps.  Don’t over tighten the clamps! Just make sure they are tight.


Then bleed the air from your forks.

I then move onto a functions test.

Check throttle for feel while turning the bars.  Feels good?  sweet!  If it feels bound or restricted, INSPECT further.  DO NOT ride with it like that.  May need to disassemble, inspect cables, clean and lube.  Reassemble and try again.   FYI, parts may need to be replaced to fix a problem.

Next the cable operated clutch.  Grab it a few times.  How’s its action?  Smooth, awesome. Not smooth, pull the perch apart, clean and inspect,  check the cable for frays. Lube the lever pivot and adjuster with a good assembly grease (I prefer redline) and throw some tri flow at the cable while your at it.  Not a perfect lube job, but it’ll get you through the day. Reassemble perch and lever and set the cable free play to the thickness of about a nickel between the lever and perch (very important).  Feel any better?  If that doesn’t fix it, a new cable is most likely needed or other problems exist.  

Hydraulic clutch users.  Still need to keep that lever lubed and keep fresh fluid in the master cylinder.On to the front brake.  Does it feel strong?  Always want to keep the pivot point at the master cylinder clean and lubed for a fresh non drag feel.  A little squirt of tri flow will keep it nice for the day without disassembly, but don’t make a habit out of it.  Take it apart and clean periodically.  

Now check the brake pad wear.  Make a mental note.Its very important you pay attention to your controls.  Its what keeps you connected to the motorcycle, gives you “control,” and if they’re grungy, you’re gonna feel it.

On to the rear brake. Check function and feel.  Note pad wear.  Grease pedal bolt and inspect seals if it feels sticky.  I always like to “pump the brakes” before the bike hits the track too.

Spokes: grab my spoke wrench and get to checking spokes.  I’ve aquired a feel over time.  I only tighten loose spokes.  Some people like spoke torque wrenches.  Fasst Company makes a good product if in the market, but whatever helps you check them, stick with it.Check rimlocks to see if they are tight.  It’s also a good practice to check spokes while taking a break from riding at the track.

Check the suspension seals (forks and shock) and make sure no sneaky leaks are surfacing, cause that can make a bad day at the track.  If leaks are present, I wouldn’t recommend riding. They need to be dealt with and should be shipped or be taken to a qualified suspension shop for servicing.  I choose MB1.

Chain: Always check your chain master link clip.  If the wheel is ever spun in reverse, the chances of it catching on the chain block are pretty high.  That being said, spin your wheel in the direction its supposed to travel when lubing your chain.Adjust the chain if necessary.  Refer to your owners manual for the required “measured” slack.  I base it off of three fingers at the back of the slider, but do note that some manufactures have some differences.Lube the chain…  While spinning the wheel forward.

Tires: Inflate tires with excess air.  Then set psi at the track.  Still bring a pump, but then you don’t have to wonder.  Just REMEMBER to set the pressure.

Check coolant and oil levels.  Top off if necessary.  Note how much was added.  Always check fluids!!

Wipe off the brake rotors with a clean blue disposable shop towel and contact cleaner.  It eliminates any foreign matter that doesn’t belong on the brakes.Once all the above has been gone through, I like test ride the bike.  Get it plenty warm, then run it through the gears and test/heat brakes.  Then it’s time to load up.Well, that’s my version of a once over on bike prep before hitting the track or trail for a day of fun moto’in.  I hope this helps a few of you.   It’ll take commitment and time at first, but once it becomes familiar, it’ll become routine and you’ll feel way more confident in your equipment on ride day.Thanks for reading,


Original article from The Race Program – Tech Tips With Tony Jeske