Wake up that dirt bike or ATV! We’ve got some de-winterizing tips to get you back out on the trails.

Has your dirt bike or ATV been sitting since last winter (maybe because of, oh, a global pandemic ... or something)? Are you ready to get back out on the trails this season? Staying ahead of the pack is the best social-distancing plan we can think of. Whether you use your bike or ATV for motocross, hunting, pleasure riding, or just to go back and forth to the mailbox, proper maintenance and winterizing/de-winterizing are essential to its performance.

From the handles to the tires—and the carburetor, clutch, and brakes—here are a few tips for de-winterizing. Before you know it, you’ll be riding like Carmichael, McGrath, Dungey, Laeger, or Stuart. Just do a lot of practicing before you try some of their moves.

Look for Leaks

Check the front and rear suspension and the brake line for drips. Stains on the floor or ground are a good indicator. You’ll also want to check for insects, mice, and other creatures that may have taken up residence over the winter.

Check/Change Fluids and Filters

Inspect everything from oil and filters to brake fluid and coolant. This is a good thing to do every season, especially if you didn’t replace it when you winterized in the fall, to avoid any build-up that could have occurred over the winter.

Install Battery

Hopefully, you’ve removed the battery for winter storage. Check it now to make sure there are no leaks or corrosion. If there is a small amount of corrosion, you can easily clean it. A large amount, however, will probably require a new battery.

Check Spark Plugs

If the spark plugs have corrosion, you can clean them, but for the best performance, you might just want to get new ones. They’re not that expensive and can really make a world of difference in the battery life, performance, and fuel consumption of your bike or ATV.

Check Lights

This may seem pretty basic, but it’s always a good idea to make sure that headlights, brake lights, and indicator lights are all working. If any are burnt out, replace them before you’re out on the trails trying to head home at dusk.

Disks and Brake Pads

Clean the disks and check the brake pads for any problems. Replace if needed.


Check tire pressure and make sure there’s no dry rot. This is a good time to clean the chain (if there’s one).

If you don’t have the time for de-winterizing your ATV or dirt bike, Bighorn Automotive offers 4X4 off-road service and maintenance.

Has this helped you with the de-winterizing process? Do you have any tips we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments.