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Why Do Dirt Bikes Need Top End Rebuilds?

Dirt bikes are an expensive bit of kit, and yes, they will need rebuilds. It’s something to really factor in if you’re buying a used one.

Top-end rebuilds are necessary on dirt bikes because of the aggressive riding nature of the individual. Most dirt bikes will need a rebuild done at least once per year, while the competitive motocross racer needs their motorcycle rebuilt every few weeks to remain competitive throughout the season.

Essentially, dirt bikes that race need to be rebuilt much more often, especially if they’re ridden in the mud and sand. We’ll provide some more insights throughout this post.

Dirt Bikes and Regular Rebuilds

It can be a little confusing which leaves newer riders scratching their heads. After all, street bikes and adventure motorcycles don’t really need rebuilds…so why dirt bikes?

It’s all got to do with the thrashing. If you’re subjecting any motorcycle to high outputs, constantly high revs, being lightweight and throwing it around on gnarly tracks and trails, then it aint gonna last long. Motorcycles on the street will see 2% of this over their lifetime.

Oddly enough, some people go years without doing a top end rebuild. They’ll be riding for months and months without anything more than say topping up their oils. Really – that’s it.

2-Stroke vs 4-Stroke Rebuild

There is a difference between engine rebuilds between both types of dirt bikes. Given that 2-strokes are ridden much more often on motocross tracks, and the fact that they rev harder and have seriously high output, they’re rebuilt more often. 4-strokes can get by for longer.

You might get a few thousand miles between rebuilds on a 4-stroke while that 2 banger you have might need a rebuilt within a few hundred miles. It all depends on how aggressive you ride and what tournaments you’re trying to win.

If you’re the Sunday cruise who’s just looking for easy fire trails, then you’ll get away with never needing to rebuild your engine. In fact, it’s much more like a street bike than it is a dirt bike. Enduro bikes are a crossbreed between the enduro and amateur trail bike riding world, so yes, they will need rebuilding but not so often.

Cost to Rebuild

This is really a piece of string analogy. While you might spend a few hundred dollars with one make/model, another might cost you several thousand. Sometimes it’s easier and cheaper to just buy a new trail weapon than it is to rebuild that engine.

To reduce the costs, you can look up on Craigslist and Gumtree or even eBay for some parts. Sometimes riders have clapped out their dirt bikes but they have spare parts on the shelf at home not being used. They’ll list these and hope someone buys them which is your gain.

In Summary

So this all comes down to the competitive nature of riding. The harder you ride, the more often you’ll need to pull everything apart. Chances are though, if you don’t rebuild your engine, then you can send it in for an early retirement. That is – the junk yard.

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