Dirt bike owners love speed. Whether it is motocross or supercross, riders can always be spotted doing jaw-dropping stunts and driving at really high speeds. Racing comes with its own sets of benefits and drawbacks. A rider can encounter a large tree or undulated land or any other obstacle that appears unexpectedly making them slow down.

Brake lever acts as the life savior during such time. Everyone who uses a dirt bike doesn’t necessarily know about the brake levers installed and the ways to maintain the same. They just know how and when to use the brakes; nothing more than that.

If you’re a novice dirt bike owner, then this article will help you get acquainted with the brake levers better than before.

Drum Brakes

Old bikes mostly have drum brakes. They are placed on either one or both the wheels. The external part of the wheel has a covered hub right at the center of the wheel along with a short arm that is connected to a cable for the front brake or the rod for the rear brake. You can notice the drum being fixed on the inside of the wheel, where there are two brake pads.

When the brake is activated, the arm is pulled resulting in the moving of a cam on the inside. It ultimately presses the brake pads against the drum’s inside curve. The moment the brake is released, the spring on the brake and the set of springs in the drum will pull everything back to the open position.

Drum brakes ensure that the bike comes to a halt safely even if the brakes are activated suddenly to avoid any mishap. The best part about drum brakes is that they can be easily maintained. Check out some easy ways to maintain the drum brakes.

  • Minor Adjustments

Maintenance doesn’t always mean making substantial changes or taking the bike to a professional. Sometimes, a small modification can do wonders. You should occasionally check the cable or linkage positioning to see if they are correctly adjusted or have been misplaced due to apparent reasons. Also, make sure that both the cable and linkage are well lubricated.

  • Check the Internal Parts of Your Dirt Bike

Just because your bike is running and stopping smoothly, doesn’t mean you should not get the internal parts checked once every six months. Decide the frequency you would want to open your bike’s drum brakes for a thorough checkup. If you find crud, goop or gunk inside the brake lever, then get it cleaned at the earliest. You can get a can of quality brake cleaner to clean the inside of the drum brakes.

  • Get the Brake Pads Inspected

If only a little portion of the brake pads are shiny and worn, then it means the brake pads are not contacting properly. To solve this problem, you can simply sand the shoe center for a perfect fit.

Apart from the ways shared above, you should also check for any missing springs or broken springs on the inside. Also, make sure that all the moving parts are well lubricated for smooth functioning.

Disc Brakes

The disc brakes have a disc, also known as the rotor, fixed to the wheel. Unlike the drum brakes, disc brakes use hydraulic power to bring the bike to a halt. You can notice a mechanism mounting the edge of a disc on one point on the disk. The mounting has two brake pads on each side of the disc. When a brake is applied, both the pads pinch the main disc between both brake pads. The brake lever presses against hydraulic fluid in the master cylinder once the disc is pinched between the brake pads. The resultant pressure is transferred to the pistons that, in turn, press the pads against the disc and stop the bike.

How to Maintain Disc Brakes For Smooth Functionality?

  • Eliminate Moisture  

As mentioned earlier, disc brake lever relies on hydraulic fluid and not cable or linkage. Air and moisture are the two things that affect hydraulic fluid the most. If the brakes of your dirt bike start feeling spongy, then it implies that some air or moisture has gotten inside the fluid. You can get the problem solved by removing any air bubbles or traces of moisture from the brake fluid.

  • Avoid Contaminating the Rotor

If you use any type of oil or spray on your rotor, then you should stop now! By using oil or spray on your rotors, you are contaminating it that can result in fatal accidents. If you’re about to apply some lubricant on the drive chain, then make sure that the oil doesn’t get inside the disc. The best way is to remove the wheels before applying any lubricant.

  • Keep an Eye on the Brake Pads

With continual use, the brake pads of your bike are bound to wear down with time. If you are riding on a road that is full of gunk and grit, then there are high chances that your bike pads are affected adversely. You should change the brake pads when they’re worn down like a metal spring.

In Conclusion:

By following the ways shared above, you can take care of the brake leverpresent in your dirt bike. If you lack the time to do a timely checkup of your bike or are skeptical about getting things done on own, then you should take a professionals help. Spending a bit on your bike’s brake maintenance will be better than trying to do it your own if you are not confident enough about doing it.