Best Gloves for Different Riding Styles

There are so many styles of riding motorbikes, ranging from off-road through to racing on a track. While many think riding gloves are similar in many ways, they are some significant differences that apply to protection with each riding style.

Below, we look at some of the most popular riding styles and see how the gloves differ. Of course, these don’t just apply to give you comfort and girl on the bars, but also need to protect when things go wrong.

Palm Gloves

Gloves that only protect your palm make it easy to use your fingers to pick up things and have the full use of your hands while wearing the gloves. However, you’ll need to think carefully about these gloves as they don’t provide much protection. Therefore, they aren’t recommended for just about any type of riding. However, those who enjoy cruisers tend to prefer these as they help keep calm and you still have the full functionality of your hands.

Motocross Gloves

Motocross gloves offer some of the most protection as they include padding on your palms, knuckles and the outside of your fingers. They have been specially designed to provide the best protection against rocks, and uneven environments were dirt bike riders tend to go. There’s even an additional option that includes an insert for your palm, which provides even more protection and avoids blisters.

While these are great for off the road, they aren’t recommended for on-road use. The cloves aren’t made to protect against high-speed falls and would wear through quickly, and they don’t stop your jacket from sliding up your arm.

Gauntlet Gloves

Gauntlet gloves are the best for road riders as they offer extreme protection for your hands with coverage on knuckles and even additional leather protection on the palm. They also provide a longer tail, running up about halfway up your forearm, allowing you to protect your wrist and also stop your jacket from sliding up should you fall. These can be used for off-road as well, but since they are thicker, you’ll end up getting hot through the slow technical sections.

Racing Gloves

When you look at gloves in MotoGP or even just racing gloves in general, you’ll find they usually come with a steep price tag, also though it seems as if they offer the same protection as cheaper gloves. However, there are loads of differences with these gloves as they need to protect your hands against the worst possible conditions.

Therefore, race gloves tend to include much higher quality materials and have gone through years of engineering to ensure ultimate protection. Most think these gloves are to stop your fall from wearing through the gloves, but they also there to prevent your hands from being pulled apart while you’re sliding down the track. Furthermore, they usually offer high-quality carbon fibre knuckle protection and palm coverage.

Applying a New Sticker Kit to your Bike

Sticker kits on a bike can be quite tricky as the panels on not all straight and include some confusing terms and bends that can make it hard to get the graphics on without having to cut it or sit with a load of bubbles to get the best effect.

Luckily, there are a few tricks to get the very best results and make your bike look brand new with the graphics you want. Firstly, be sure to use a high-quality sticker, especially those who are using their bikes for enduro or sand. These stickers tend to take more beating than what you’d think and with thin labels, it just won’t last very long and would end up showing scratches in no time, leaving you right back where you were when you decided on the new kit in the first place.

Sizing

Most tend to use sticker kits that have already been cut to size and fits perfectly on the bike. However, some models aren’t available with these kits, or the few available kits might not be what you want. The next best option is to have the stickers made by a graphics shop who can also cut them to size for you. Finally, the last option is to have it printed on a big sheet that you can cut and apply as you need.

While the first two options are the easiest, the large print would need some cutting and adjustments as you go. Luckily, you can plan and get a rough size going before you start to apply the kit. Cut out pieces for each cover but be sure to go a bit bigger than the cover is. It merely ensures you get the best possible fit. If you bought a kit or had it cut to size, you’ll skip the cutting and move straight to applying.

Applying

With all your stickers laid out, begin by taking off the panels from the bike. It’s much easier to apply the labels when they are off the bike as you can twist it around and make sure everything lines up right.

Before you begin, use a contact clear or even brake clear to get all the bit, oils and other substances of the plastic as this could lead to bubbles and cause the stickers not to stick as well as they should.

Once your plastics are all cleaned and ready, start in the place where the sticker has to line up the best. This can either be a corner or a hole with a distinctive characteristic where the stick can’t go wrong. Don’t pull off the entire backing at the same time, but rather do it in stages.

Try to apply as much of the slicker as possible by starting in the centre of the sticker and working out all the bubbles as you go. As the NS, you’ll notice the label will begin to fall as it goes around the bends, which is where you want to use a heat gun to warm it up and make it more pliable. However, do not heat up too much as you might warp the sticker, which cannot be fixed.

Dirt Bike Clutch Issues

If you’re an enduro rider who tends to take on the most demanding trails, you’ll be using your clutch a lot more than usual, especially those who use two-stroke bikes. It merely helps you keep the RPMs up and gives you that boost of power to get the front wheel up to get over a log or when you need to get up a hill and find yourself slipping out of the power band.

It’s for these reasons you need to ensure your clutch is well taken care of and replaced when it starts to acts out and not give you the same performance as what you need to do the hardest trails. Below, we look at ways to tell your clutch needs replacing and how you can make sure it lasts longer, even under the most stressful situations.

Oils

It doesn’t matter what dirt bike you ride; your manual will have information about the oil you need to use in the gearbox. However, some riders tend to shift to other fuels, especially riders with MX bikes as the oil recommendation would be for racing.

Trails riding is a little different as the clutch gets much hotter and you use it a lot more than you would at a dirt bike track. It’s worth experimenting with different oils and sees the results. Some riders like to use ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) as the clutch plates work similar and also have multiple levels.

Changing the oil is another must, and most trail riders do it as often as every 10 hours. It ensures the gearbox stays clean and that the clutch plates have the longest possible life.

Dragging clutch

A dragging clutch refers to the bike wanting to move forward when you’re in gear, and the clutch is fully engaged. This can be caused by multiple things, including the most common cause of the plates being warped due to excessive heat.

There are also some riders who have to drag clutches due to the wrong oil, making the plates stick together and not allowing the clutch to break free. If you experience drag after changing to a different oil, this might be your problem. If it’s something that came up gradually, it might mean you need new plates.

Slipping Clutch

While some oils can cause a clutch to drag, the most common cause is the clutch plates being warned. It’s quite easy to see when a clutch is slipping as you’ll notice the engine revving up, but it’s just as if you’re not getting the power.

On two strokes you’ll hear the power band kick in but don’t feel that immediate boost. It’s almost as if the back wheel is spinning as the power doesn’t make you go faster. If you experience anything like it, the chances are good that your clutch is finished and needs replacing.

Metal Epoxy is a Must for your Enduro Kit

Metal epoxies have become popular in just about all trades and small jobs at home. You can’t always weld or brace something that might have paint around it or consists of a metal you don’t have the right welding equipment for.

Then there are those situations where you just aren’t close to a welder, which is usually the case when your bike breaks down while riding. Unfortunately, these endure bikes aren’t indestructible, even as strong as they are. Therefore, it’s well worth taking some metal epoxy with that can be mixed wherever you are to fix whatever it is broke.

Below, we look at some popular applications where metal epoxy can be used to provide a long-lasting fix. Some of the repairs might only be enough to get you home while others can be fixed for good with some metal epoxy.

Engine Casing

You can have as many covers and cages as you’d like, there always seems to be that one rock or strong stick that pokes through to break something offer that stops you in your tracks. Having a break in the casing or on the gearbox takes you out the game instantly and usually means you need to push the bike home or to your car.

This isn’t always possible, especially on those runs that go through narrow paths or that are more than just a few miles from home or your car. Luckily, you can use epoxy to repair engine cases well enough to keep the oil inside. It creates an incredibly strong bond with the metal, allowing you to easily repair the casing to a point where you can ride again. You’ll need to ensure all the oil is removed from the broken surface as most epoxy mixtures don’t stick to oil at all. You’d also need to get it as clean as possible, remove all the dirt and get the metal as clean as possible.

Chain

Snapping chains are common with enduro rides, especially those bikes that don’t have chain and sprocket guards. Once again, metal epoxy is strong enough to repair a chain well enough to get you going again. However, this wouldn’t be a permanent fix, but it will last well enough to help you get home.

Once again, clean off any wax or oil on the chain, apply the epoxy and be sure to leave it long enough to sure. Also, ensure you carry the right epoxy as some products can take up to 24 hours to cure. Sure, those are stronger, but you can’t exactly wait that long. Luckily, there are some products that cure within an hour.

Anything Else

It doesn’t matter what needs fixing on your bike, if it is metal, you’ll be able to use epoxy to get the job done. Whether you need to seal a leak in the exhaust or even a break in the gas tank, steel epoxy is the way to go for the durable fix.

Polishing a 2 Stroke Exhaust to look like new!

One of the main attractions of a two-stroke bike is that large exhaust chamber that always seems to have a bright shine, especially on new motorcycles.

Over time, these can get dented, scratched and pick up dirt even when you wash the bike regularly and keep it clean. The only way to keep it looking brand new would be to remove it and give it a good scrub and polish.

If you’re buying a used bike, you might find that the previous owner didn’t take steps to keep it clean and polish it from time to time, which is what we’re looking at in this article. Below, we take the steps to making an old rusty two-stroke exhaust look like new. It’s going to take some time and effort, but in the end, it would be well worth it.

Removing the Exhaust

Whether you have the standard exhaust or a performance pipe such as the FMF Gnarly, the fittings are all about the same, making it easy to remove. Firstly, you’ll find the exhaust is attached to the engine with either two powerful springs or bolts. On dirt bikes, the springs are the most common. Use a spring puller or a hook of some sort and pull them off the exhaust. Next, remove the clamp between the chamber and the tailpipe and finally take off the two bolts holding the exhaust to the bike’s frame.

Sanding Paper

Depending on how deep the scratches are, you might want to start a rough sanding paper such as a 400. With your hand, start to sand down the scratches and get the entire surface as even as possible. Don’t sand it too much as these exhausts aren’t very thick.

Next, move onto a finner paper such as an 800, then 1000, 1500, 2000 and finally 4000. Ensure all the sanding is one in one direction for the best possible finish. Also, ensure you don’t move onto the finner paper too quick as this would make the entire process a lot longer.

Buffing

From just the paper, you’ll find an excellent finish and wouldn’t need to use any other scratch removal products. However, if you want that high gloss mirror finish, it’s recommended to use a buffing wheel with a power tool.

These tend to be quite cheap, making them an excellent choice for keeping the exhaust looking new for many months to come.

Start with a reasonably hard buffing disc and move your way to the finest. However, unlike the sanding paper, you don’t need to use so many different types. We recommend using a wheel with rubbing compound and then a very soft wool buffing disc, which is sure to give you that incredible shine. Finally, if you want it looking even better, give it a polish, which will keep it free from excellent marks.

Installing a Foam Mousse Tube

There are so many things that make your dirt bike easier to maintain and allow you to get more out of it, no matter where you ride. One such addition would be the Mousse tube, which completely replaces your tube with a foam tube, which cannot get a puncher as there’s no air involved whatsoever.

These are brilliant for all trains, including mountain roads, motocross and much more, allowing you to enjoy the trails and racing without having to worry about getting a flat. Many people install a Mousse in both the front and back, but for those who prefer having a bit more feel in the front, you do have the option of installing a Mousse only in the back, giving you the best of both worlds.

Below, we look at the process of installing a Mousse, which can get a little tricky if you don’t use the right technique. Luckily, you won’t need a whole lot of tools, but it does help to have the right tire levers and loads of them. In fact, to make things easier, be sure to have around 4 or 5 of these levers. Of course, the lubrication that comes with the Mousse also plays an important role.

Lube the Mousse

The most important thing to make the Mousse last is to give it more than enough lube as this avoids it getting hot. Use half the tube of lube on the inside of the tire and the other half on the Mousse itself and ensure you get an even layer and cover all the possible places.

Take the Mousse and place part of it in the tire and then use your foot to press it in. This works best to get at least three-quarters of the Mousse in and the last part you can only use your hands to bend it and pop it right in.

Getting the Tire On

To get started, place the bottom bead of the tire into the rim lock on the rim. From there, you’ll need to start using a little force and get your tire levers to pull the bottom bead over the rim slowly. Use more than one lever to make it easier.

Once the first bead is on the rim, push the tire down the rim as far as you can to get to Mousse into place and make the last part of the job easier. When you start with the top bead, start with the rim lock side again and ensure you get toe bead to sit right there first. This is where you’ll use multiple levers and pull over the bead about 2 inches at a time while leaving the lever in place.

Once you’ve done about 10 inches, remove the second level you used and use it to get more of the bead on. Be sure to leave a lever in each quarter of the tire, which prevents it from popping off as you get to the other side of the rim.

Balancing your Dirt Bike Rims at Home

Servicing your rims, putting on new spokes or merely coming up with a new impressive design is done best by stripping the rim entirely. It gives you more space to work with, and you can see the status of all the items without having to struggle around the spokes.

However, many avoid doing this as the reassembly seems a bit frightening, especially when it comes to preventing a wobbly rim or one that runs oval. Luckily, it’s not that hard, and you won’t even need essential tools to get the job done. Sure, getting a rim stand would help, but there’s no reason you can’t use the bike’s axel to check and adjust the balancing.

So, you’ll need a tool that can loosen and tighten the spoke nipples, a marker and some space to work. Of course, you’ll need to be patient as well if you’re committed to getting it 100% perfect, which is recommended if you want a smooth and comfortable ride.

Getting Started

You’d want your wheel back together as one piece before getting started with the balancing, meaning all your spokes need to be in place and tightened down.

The best way to get a relatively balanced rim would be to tighten the nipples evenly around the rim as you put the spokes back in place. Start by placing each spoke in position and only tighten the nipple where it begins to resist a bit. Try to get all the nipples on the same tightness before doing around and giving each of them another full turn. Once all are the same, use the torque wrench and torque them to the manual-specified setting.

Then, check the offset by placing the sprocket side of the rim down on a table and measure the distance from the table to the edge of the rim and refer back to the manual to see what the range should be. If it is out, loosen the spokes, push down or pull from the rim and tighten it again. You might also need to tighten one side more than the other.

Once that’s done, you can either attach the wheel to the balancing stand or put it back on the bike. If you use the bike, make sure you have enough room on the sides and below the wheel to turn it quickly. You’d also want to ensure the axel is tight and in line correctly before you get started.

Turn the Wheel

Start with the movement from left to right by placing a marker close to the side of the rim without touching it (about 2mm). When you spin the rim, it will make a mark where the wobble is and identify where you need to adjust the spokes by loosening one side and tightening the other side a little more.

The same does get the rim perfectly round. Place the marker just before the rim and spin it to see where it makes a mark, if it doesn’t leave any marks, put it even close until you get an even line, which would indicate it is perfectly level.

Lacing your Rims

Whether you are changing the design of your wheels or you want to give it a decent clean, I can’t go wrong with taking everything apart and doing it right. It is the best way to see what items need to be replaced or what could become an issue in the future.

Luckily, half of the job is easy, which is stripping the wheel and betting everything apart. Of course, you will need to remove the tire, tube and the protective skin on the inside of the rim, loosen all the spokes and carefully take them out. Remember, when taking out the spikes, be sure to relax all of them equally, which would avoid bending the spokes and even the rim.

It is essential to pay attention to the disassembly you’ll find some spokes are longer than others. Of course, once you’ve seen them up, you can measure them and see the different lengths.

Reassembly and Lacing

The first step is to provide your spokes according to the length. Most wheels only include two measurements that will be laced through the inside and outside. Some wheels will have three spoke designs, so be sure to pay attention to each spoke, the bend of it and how long they are.

Next, place the room with the model numbers downwards and set the hub with the brake disk side down in the centre. Don’t worry about lining them up correctly as you’ll need to move it around a little while lacing and we’ll tell you how to balance it perfectly when tightening.

Start with the longer spokes that will go into the inner holes (closest to the centre of the hub). You will see each spoke has a bend at the top, which leads the spoke to the nipple it needs to attach to on the rim. The holes in the hub will guide you to as where they need to go. Next, take the shorter spokes and lace them through the outer holes and place them over the inner spokes.

On the rim itself, some holes point up and others that point down. The side you’ve just laced will line up with the holes pointing up as the others will be used for the other side of the hub.

To line up the spokes with the right holes, ensure the inner and outer cross. When you lift them, you’ll see they naturally line up with holes with a downfacing gap between them. Apply some anti-seize and begin to attach the nipple to the spoke.

Once all the spokes are done, do the same on the other side, but don’t tighten any of them. Once all is lined up, begin to tighten them evenly, but again not too tight. Then start going around the rim and give each spoke half a turn, then torque the spokes and check if they are balanced by spinning the wheel.

Maintaining your Gear

Whether you ride off the road, on the road or both, your gear is one of the most expensive parts of your entire kit. Not only do these kits run well into the thousands, but you can’t take shortcuts either, which is really where the expensive part comes in.

Since we spend so much on these kits, there’s no doubt about a certain amount of pride when it comes to the gear, and we want it to last as long as possible, look good for much longer than expected and merely protect us when we need it. The best way to get the best results for it all would be to look after the gear, maintain it and keep it on the same level of service as the bike you ride.

In this guide, we look at some of the best ways to keep your gear in excellent condition and working as well as the day you go it for longer.

Keep it Clean

Though many might think this step applies more to dirt bike riders, it plays a role for all types of riding. There are loads of things on the road that could shorten the lifespan of your gear, including dust, the sun, grease, gas and much more.

It’s important to keep the gear clear as these harmful chemicals and dirt could eventually build up and damage your equipment to a point where you can’t get it back to looking decent anymore. Leather might be tight, but it positively doesn’t react well to being dirty as it gets hard over time and starts to crack the leather along with the dirt that’s built up.

There are loads of unique ways to look after your gear, including special treatments for leather jackets, special cleaners for boots and even your gloves. You don’t need to go out and buy a cleaner for each, but instead, use a cloth and wipe down your gear after a ride and be sure to treat it with oils to ensure fading and cracking from the sun is kept to a minimum.

Fix the Fixable

Whether the soles on your boots are warn, your jacket has been torn, or your helmet’s visor has a scratch, don’t rush to replace these items as there are loads of ways and businesses that can fix it and make it look as good as new at just a fraction of the price.

Some of you might think the stitching would be visible or the soles won’t be the same, but you’ll be amazed how well these items come out after being fixed. There are so many unique ways to get these items in perfect condition without showing any trace of it ever being used, never mind damaged.

If you fix your gear, be sure to follow the steps to maintain them and keep them new as long as possible, which is sure to save you even more cash or repairs and replacement.

Keeping your Dirt Bike Newer for Longer

While most focus on maintaining the mechanical parts of their dirt bikes, there’s a lot more to keep your bike looking and running new. Whether it’s the deep blue colors of a Yamaha, the bright orange of a KTM, the yellow of Suzuki or even your design. There’s something about the appearance of a dirt bike that makes it stand out and look great.

Keep your bike looking new and younger for longer. There are a few things you can do, which doesn’t only keep it in great shape, but ensures you get top dollar when you sell it and you’ll save massive amounts on replacing plastics, stickers and more.

Clean it Properly – Every Time!

It’s a lot of fun taking the bike out all day, getting it full of dust, mud and all types of other dirt you come across along the way. Unfortunately, these have a severe effect on how long your bike looks new, especially when you don’t clean it afterwards.

Luckily, there are many ways to keep the bike in tip-top shape and super clean without spending the whole day cleaning it. There are loads of special foams and sprays that are available online and at most retailers that merely require you to spray it on, leave it for a couple of minutes and use the hose to rinse it off.

These sprays are concentrated to get the toughest muds loose and also getting into the tightest spots to get out all the dust. Not only does this keep the bike clean and keep your plastics looking good by getting the dirt out of fine scratches. It also helps keep the bike in good running condition, not to mention a much easier job when it comes to maintaining the bike.

The high-pressure cleaner is another great addition as they make it a lot easier to remove even more dirt, especially in combination with the sprays and foams. Be careful with these though and try to keep the pressure away from electrics and the chain as too much pressure might damage your seals and remove the lubrication needed to make it run smoothly.

Use Traction Pads and Clear Vinyl

Stickers and plastics can be expensive, especially if you like keeping your bike in top shape with a few scratches and marks as possible. The best way to keep both the plastics and stickers looking new without forking out money for new ones would be to use traction pads or clear vinyl.

Traction pads are the most recommended as they are a lot thinker and serve an additional purpose as they allow you to grip onto the bike better while you ride, which is essential for just about any obstacle.

Clear vinyl is excellent for the areas where you don’t have traction pads. You can’t see these, allowing the graphics and colours of your stickers to remain the star of the slow. The great thing is, once the bike looked a little tired and scratched, peel off the clear vinyl, add a new one and it will be looking as good as new in no time.

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