Everyone who owns a dirt bike should have a few key accessories in their arsenal. But how do you know what you’ll need? The options are practically endless, and trying to dig through online forums for advice is both confusing and exhausting.
To save you as much time and bother as possible, I’ve put together a list of 21 of the best accessories for dirt bikes. Some of these items are essentials and some are just plain handy to have, but whatever you need, you’ll find it on here.
No matter where you plan on riding your bike, you’ll need a way to carry water with you. Though traditional water bottles will do the job, they can be a pain to carry and even more of a pain to try and use while you’re riding. Have you ever tried to drink out of a water bottle with one hand while riding on a bumpy trail? I have and trust me, it doesn’t end well.
That’s why hydration packs are a great investment. They’re much more comfortable to carry and are designed to be used with one hand or even hands-free. I wrote an article about the 7 best hydration packs out there fi you are interested in giving that a read. (Link to article)
No matter how experienced a rider is, he or she still crashes their bike sometimes. One of the most common damages that results from a crash is a bent, or even a snapped, lever. Whether it’s the lever for the clutch or the brake, this can be a huge problem, especially if a rider is in the middle of a ride and miles away from his or her method of transportation.
Because of this, pivot levers are an incredibly useful accessory on a dirt bike. They replace your standard levers, and instead of snapping on impact like standard levers have a tendency to do, they pivot the opposite direction. They’re also spring loaded, so when you right your bike, they automatically snap back into place.
You might already know that hand guards are a must for enduro racers. Because they protect the controls and the rider’s hands, they’re actually a good accessory for any rider to have. Hand guards help prevent your levers – and fingers! – from being damaged in a crash, and they can keep your fingers from being broken by rocks and tree branches.
Seriously, no matter how heavy-duty your gloves are, you have to remember that your hands and fingers are pretty much exposed on a dirt bike. A good set of hand guards will go a long way to keeping you safe from injuries.
Depending on what make your bike is, it might already have a decent cover on its underside. However, it’s more than likely that you’ll want to invest in a quality skid plate, especially if you’re planning on riding trails with rougher terrain. Rocks, logs, or whatever other obstacles you might encounter on a trail can tear up the unprotected underside of your bike and engine pretty badly, which can necessitate some really expensive repairs or even put your engine out of commission entirely.
A good skid plate should cover as much area as possible; ideally, you want one that provides side protection to your engine and doesn’t just cover directly below it. The material of the skid plate is really up to your personal preference – and budget – but whatever you get, make sure it will fit your bike’s make.
One of the cool parts about owning a dirt bike is that you do a lot, if not all, of the maintenance on it yourself. As long as you have the right tools, this isn’t too difficult and is usually pretty fun. A stand is one of the most essential of these tools. Technically, you could just use a wooden crate or something else strong enough to support your bike, but chances are good that you don’t already have that kind of thing sitting around. Plus, anything that’s not specifically designed to hold a bike’s weight can break and cause damage to your bike or yourself.
A standard metal stand like this one is a good option if you’re comfortable with lifting your bike on and off of it each time you perform maintenance. There are also some lever-operated options, like this lift stand, if you’d rather save yourself the hassle or are concerned about hurting your back.
Auxiliary Fuel Tank
One of the worst things that can happen to a rider is running out of fuel. Because there won’t be any gas stations out where you’ll be riding, you’re going to need to carry your own fuel with you. Otherwise, you might end up stranded miles out from your truck with no way of getting back other than walking. Have you ever tried to drag a heavy dirt bike along a rocky trail? It’s not exactly fun, but the only other option – abandoning it until you can come back with more fuel – isn’t great, either.
Getting an auxiliary fuel tank is a good way to prevent this from happening. Some riders try to carry a jug of fuel in their backpacks or fill extra water bottles with gas instead, but this is extremely unsafe, not to mention a pain in the neck. If you’re planning on going on really long rides and think you’ll need the option to fuel up again in the middle of a trail, do yourself a favor and get a second tank.
Most dirt bikes aren’t made to be street legal, so even if you live close to a trail, you’ll probably need to drive to wherever you plan on riding. Transporting a bike by car or truck is fairly simple to figure out, but if you don’t already have them, you’ll need some good quality tie downs.
You can use pretty much any type of tie down you like; the main three categories are ratchet, soft, or locking. Soft tie downs are a common choice among riders and tend to be fairly inexpensive, as well. If you’re worried about theft, locking tie downs have a built-in lock (hence the name “locking tie downs”) and are made with heavy-duty, hard-to-cut material. Ratchet tie downs are a little trickier to use, but they do provide an especially tight hold.
No matter the type, look for tie downs that are long enough for your bike and have a lot of break strength. They don’t need to be super expensive, but anything that’s cheaply made will end up breaking, slipping, or fraying. These soft tie downs are a high-quality, inexpensive option.
If you’ve ever looked at the handlebars of a dirt bike, you may have noticed that they usually have open ends. This lets dirt and water into your handlebars, and over time, leads to corrosion. Now, this may not seem like too big of a deal; after all, it’s just the ends of your handlebars, right? What could possibly go wrong?
When the metal inside your handlebars starts to corrode, it weakens, and it can actually end up breaking while you’re out riding. Broken handlebars are both dangerous as well as an expensive thing to fix, so it’s better to get handlebar plugs in the first place. They’re pretty cheap on Amazon and can be a fun way to add some style to your bike, too.
Again, because there aren’t any gas stations for dirt bikes, you’ll want to keep extra fuel on hand, whether or not you have an auxiliary tank. The standard gas tank on a dirt bike is fairly small, so a gas can is pretty much an essential accessory for every rider.
If you take a gas can or two with you when you drive out to a trail, you’ll be able to spend a whole lot more time on your bike. Just make sure to plan on coming back and filling up when you need to.
Your gas can will also save your skin if you forget to fill your bike’s tank at home – there’s nothing more disappointing than driving all the way out to a trail and having to turn around again!
Keeping your chain properly lubricated not only extends its life but makes for a smoother, more pleasant ride, too. This is because lube cuts down on friction and keeps your chain from rusting.
So what can you use for chain lube? Technically, you could try using that WD-40 you have lying around in your garage, and if you’re really in a bind, this is probably your best option. That’s only in case of emergencies, though; what you really want to use is chain wax. This stuff is made to stand up to the heat of a bike chain and repel dirt, plus, you don’t have to use a ton of it.
Fixing or replacing the radiators on your bike is an expensive process, so it’s a good idea to get radiator guards right off the bat.
Rads tend to dent and bend a lot, which weakens them over time and can lead to them getting leaks. While guards won’t always prevent your rads from damage – especially if you get into a major crash – they provide a significant amount of extra strength and support. They’ll also cut down on wear and tear, which extends the life of your radiators. So, even though rad guards will cost you up front, they’ll save you a lot of money and trouble in the long run. Plus, since you can get them in a bunch of different styles and colors, they can make your bike look pretty cool!
Even if you already have an air pump you use for a normal street bike, you’ll probably want to get a new one for your dirt bike. It’s important to keep your tire pressure at the correct level, and that actually can mean adjusting it while you’re out riding trails.
Your tire pressure is affected by a lot of things, including elevation and temperature, and even a small change in pressure can make a big difference in how comfortable your ride is. If your pressure is too high, you’ll feel bumps and jolts more keenly, plus, you won’t get as much grip. If your pressure is too low, you’ll start to wobble a little and you won’t be able to turn corners as tightly as usual. The “correct” amount of PSI also changes based on different terrain. For example, lower tire pressure is better on loose sand, and higher pressure is better on rocky trails.
A portable air pump gives you the option to adjust your tire pressure based on all of these factors, so even though it adds some extra weight to your pack, it’s worth having a safer and more comfortable ride. This one is an electric on that you might be able to connect to your dirt bike, depending on what type of bike you have.
Along with your pump, you’ll need a portable pressure gauge so you can accurately measure and know how to adjust your tire pressure. There are a lot of options on the market varying drastically in price, accuracy, and size.
The main thing to look for is something that will measure in small increments. That means you’ll probably want to get a gauge that is specifically made for bikes. There are other options; some riders, especially racers, recommend gauges designed for race cars because they are heavy-duty as well as highly accurate.
For the most part, though, you probably won’t need anything more expensive or bigger than this analog gauge, which measures up to 100 PSI, or this digital one, which measures up to 150 in half-pound increments.
The front suspension on a dirt bike is controlled by forks. The more pressure that builds up in a fork, the stiffer the suspension is – and the more uncomfortable your ride is, as well. You can use the screws on your forks to release this pressure, but this takes both time and tools. You also can’t use screws to release pressure until after you’ve finished your ride, which can be frustrating.
Fork bleeders are much easier and more convenient to use. They replace the screws on your forks; instead of fiddling around with a screwdriver, you just have to push a button. You can also use your fork bleeders during a ride as well as afterwards.
Dirt bikes might be made to get dirty, but they do need to be regularly cleaned to prevent corrosion and wear. This can be a bit of a hassle, especially since there are certain parts of a bike that can rust or otherwise be damaged by water. The engine, obviously, is one of those parts.
If you get water in the engine while you’re washing your bike, chances are high that it won’t start the next time you go for a ride. An exhaust plug will prevent this from happening. It keeps water from entering your engine via the exhaust port, and prevents the exhaust port itself from rusting, too. Be careful to remove the plug only after your bike is dry, but don’t forget to do so before you try riding your bike again. It sounds a little silly, but it happens to every rider at some point.
If you don’t have an exhaust plug and your bike badly needs cleaned, you can always try stretching a plastic bag or rubber glove over the exhaust port instead, but it’s much easier and less risky to just get a plug. Make sure to buy one that fits your bike; the size of a plug differs depending on whether it is made for a 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine.
Just like a normal street bike, you’ll need some kind of lock to secure your dirt bike. This is one of the very first accessories you’ll want to buy, especially if you don’t have the option to store your bike in a locked garage. Dirt bikes are expensive and you don’t want someone stealing yours before you even get to ride it!
There are a few different kinds of locks you can use on your bike. If you own a regular street bike, you might already have a heavy-duty cable lock that you could potentially use. Otherwise, you’ll want to look for a fairly high-quality cable or disc lock, though that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be expensive.
Wherever you’re planning on riding, you’ll need to take a lot of stuff with you. If you have a hydration pack, you’re already set for water, but what about your tools, first aid kit, food, etc.? You’re going to need a backpack, and probably one that’s specifically made for bikers.
When you’re out riding, you need a lightweight backpack that is low profile and comfortable to wear. It’s helpful to get something that has a sleeve for a hydration reservoir, or even a hydration reservoir that’s already added in. Depending on where you’re riding and just how much you’ll need to carry with you, you’ll want to look for a pack with the right capacity and least weight possible, as well.
Heavy Duty Tubes
Replacing your standard inner tubes with heavy duty ones might seem like overkill, but after the first time you get a punctured tire in the middle of a trail, you’ll definitely want to make the investment. Dirt bike tires are expensive, especially high-quality ones, and having to replace them is not fun. Patching a puncture in a tire is a pain, too, and no matter how good of a job you do, a patch will only hold up for so long. In the long run, it’s cheaper and less stressful to replace your tubes right off, instead.
Heavy duty tubes will prevent punctures and lessen wear, so they’re a good accessory no matter what kind of tires your bike has. However, if you’re going to upgrade your tires with better tubes anyways, you may as well get better tires, too. A combination of quality tires and heavy duty tubes will extend the life of your tires drastically.
You probably already know that you’ll need a toolkit to maintain your bike, but what exactly should you get? If the word “toolkit” makes you think of that rusty old box in your garage and the jumbled mess of screwdrivers and drill bits inside – well, just know that that’s not the kind of thing you’re looking for.
Your toolkit should have some specific items, like an extra spark plug and a tire repair kit. There are some great toolkits on Amazon that are already put together for you _. You can also assemble your own pretty easily, especially if you already own some of the things you’ll need.
Dirt bikes often need maintenance out on the trail or racetrack, so the best toolkit is also one that you can carry with you. If you’re worried about weight or bulk, figure out what you absolutely have to have and are most likely to use on a regular basis while you’re on the trail, and then keep the rest in your truck.
If you don’t plan on using a backpack that will fit a regular toolkit, you’ll want to consider getting a fender mounted toolkit like this one. They can be a bit more expensive, but the portability is definitely worth it.
Trying to keep track of hours on your dirt bike can be incredibly tedious. Who wants to have to sit and calculate how many hours they’ve spent on their bike when they could just be riding instead?
Unfortunately, tracking your riding hours is a necessity. If you don’t know how much life is left on something like a brake pad, or how close your oil is to needing replacing, you could end up accidentally ruining your brakes or damaging your engine.
An hour meter is an easily installed accessory that will keep track of your riding hours for you. If you get one with a tachometer, it will even calculate the remaining life of separate parts. Otherwise, you’ll just want to make a note of the lifespans of your bike’s parts as soon as you purchase it and periodically check them against your riding hours.
Using an hour meter, with or without a tachometer, is far less of a hassle and more accurate than trying to remember to tally up your hours every time you go for a ride. This one is a good, inexpensive choice if you don’t want to spend the extra money on a tachometer.
Airbox Wash Cover
An airbox wash cover is another accessory that will save you time and hassle every time you wash your bike. The airbox on your bike can get really dirty, especially if you’ve recently ridden on a muddy trail. But since it directly connects to the engine through the air intake, trying to clean the airbox can be a huge pain in the neck.
Typically, you’d have to take off the subframe before washing your bike, clean the subframe separately, and wait for everything to dry before putting it back on. With a wash cover, you won’t have to go through all that. Just bolt it on to seal the air intake and you’re good to hose your bike down or power wash it.