When you purchase a dirt bike, if you’re like most riders, you intend to use this motorcycle extensively, hopefully for years to come. With trip after trip to the track or on rough roads and hills, you’re bound to put your dirt bike through a lot. To make it last longer, perform better and hold up to wear and tear, consistent maintenance is essential. It’s critical that you pay close attention to the suspension on your bike. If you ignore this area, you can say goodbye to smooth rides. Learning how to remove dirt bike linkage is a great way to ensure effective suspension. 

What Is Linkage?

Not all dirt bikes are made with linkage, but those that do tend to have better shocks and offer a less of a rough ride. Linkage compresses the shocks, thereby moving it progressively faster. At the end of each stroke, the bike’s shocks will move faster and farther, which in turn will increase the damping. The linkage will alter the rate at which the shock moves as the wheels turn. When all of these components are working properly, you have little worries about running over small obstacles on the road such as rocks and other debris.

Lifespan

Nothing on your bike will last forever. Linkage is no exception. At some point, the linkage and other parts of the suspension will wear out, so you’ll need to understand how dirt bike linkage replacement works. The key is to pay close attention to these parts and being vigilant with maintenance and care. It’s crucial that you grease the linkage regularly. If do so, it should last up to five years. If you neglect this task, you might find yourself having to replace it annually. 

Remove the Linkage

As soon as you recognize that the shocks aren’t doing their job correctly, check the linkage. If it’s time to change it, you can save yourself some money by removing and replacing it yourself. You don’t have to be a trained mechanic to do this. Removing the linkage involves a few steps. First, stand up your dirt bike and place something underneath the rear wheel for support.  You will then take off the chain roller and loosen the nuts on the linkage bolts. It’s important to do this, as the bolts are connected to the swingarm and the shock. The last step when it comes to knowing how to remove dirt bike suspension linkage is to then fully remove the bolts. At this point, the linkage should come out freely. Some bike owners disregard the order at which they remove these small pieces; however, it’s crucial that you follow the removal steps in exactly this way. 

Take It Apart

In order to grease the linkage, you first need to disassemble it properly. Take the linkage to an open space free of dirt where you can easily work on it. Take a small screwdriver and carefully remove the end caps and bushings. 

Time to Clean

Before you can grease the linkage, you want to clean it thoroughly. The best way to do this is to purchase some quality contact cleaner and spray it all over the linkage. This should remove any dirt and old grease on the part. Carefully inspect the bearings and the seals and determine whether you need to replace them. One of the best ways to tell if it’s time for new ones is if they are dry. You can also check for physical damage and other flaws. Don’t put these items back on the linkage unless they are in good shape. 

Grease It Up

The best way to lubricate dirt bike suspension linkage is to use a waterproof product. Your bike is sure to encounter wet roads as well as snowy and rainy conditions as you ride. Apply the grease to the bolts and bushing as well as to the oil seals and inside the bushings. 

Put It Back On

Once your dirt bike’s linkage is clean and has new grease on it, install it on the dirt bike in the opposite order with which you removed it. It’s best to gently wipe off any extra grease so dirt, dust and other unwanted debris won’t attach itself to it. Make sure the bolts are tight, though you may need to consult the owner’s manual for the proper torque settings.

How To Find the Right Type of Grease

The quality of the product you go with can have a significant impact on how well your linkage works after this point. Part of knowing how to grease dirt bike linkage requires that you understand what you’re looking for. There is no shortage of options available, but not everything will produce the results you want. Consult the owner’s manual of your dirt bike to see if there are specific recommendations. You can also speak to a trusted mechanic or to the deal about what products are best. It’s also helpful to read online reviews on selected options. These reviews can help you narrow the candidates and choose something you’ll be confident about. 

How Often Should You Grease the Linkage?

In an ideal world, you would grease these parts after every ride. This isn’t realistic, however, and your bike can still stand the test of time if you’re consistent and frequent in your approach. Conscientious dirt bike owners clean the linkage about every three months. Though you may think the process takes too long and is a hassle, you’ll be happy you took the time to do this. It’ll save you money in the long run and will keep you from having to replace parts more often or even take the vehicle to the doctor’s office. 

Diligently follow these removal, cleaning, installation and greasing guidelines. Any effort you make for your dirt bike today will be well worth it and will pay dividends down the road. Follow these steps, and your next ride or race can be smoother and more enjoyable. The suspension on your dirt bike will be in much better shape and could work well for many years to come.