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It’s almost always a good thing when you jump on a dirt bike to go riding. Whether it’s the adrenaline-pumping thrill of motocross, trying out a new hill climb, or just a Sunday afternoon ride in the mountains, our bikes usually bring a smile to our faces. However, it’s important to remember that you need to warm up your dirt bike before heading out.

Here, we’ll focus on a crucial part of owning a dirt bike – warming it up. Andy yes, this applies for both 2-strokes and 4-strokes.

Honda CRF dirt bike warming up

Why Warm Up a Dirt Bike?

Just like we need to stretch our muscles before pumping iron, dirt bikes need a warm-up period before tearing up the trails.

The main reason to warm up a dirt bike is that it will make the bike last longer. However, here are a few other important reasons to warm your bike up properly before riding.

Better Lubrication

Before a dirt bike is started, the engine oil is cold and thick. A warm-up allows the oil to heat up and thin out, ensuring it circulates throughout the engine more efficiently for optimal lubrication. Of course, this applies to 2 stroke oil for dirt bikes as well as for 4-stroke oil.

Reduces Wear and Tear

When a dirt bike is warmed up before riding, it reduces wear and tear on internal components. The engine’s metal parts expand with heat, so warming it up before heavy throttle use will result in less wear over time.

Improved Performance

Warming up your bike prepares the engine for the load it will face when you ride it hard. Once warmed up, the engine is likely to perform considerably better, providing smoother acceleration and throttle response.

Longevity of the Engine

A well-warmed engine ensures smooth running and longevity of the bike’s components. Regular warming up can therefore extend the overall life of the dirt bike


Especially on chillier days, warming up your bike isn’t just about performance—it’s about safety too. Tires gain more grip as they heat up, and the same goes for your bike’s brakes.

Fuel Efficiency

Cold engines don’t burn fuel as efficiently as warm ones, leading to a rich air/fuel mixture. Warming up your engine allows for a better air/fuel mixture, leading to better fuel efficiency. With this in mind, you don’t have to bring a full motorcycle fuel can everywhere you go… unless, of course, you’re planning on a long ride.

Overall, it’s important not to ride your dirt bike hard before warming it up first. Doing so could cause serious damage over time, which is not only dangerous but could also lead to expensive repairs.

How to Warm Up a 2 Stroke Dirt Bike

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For 2-stroke dirt bikes, there are a few steps that are crucial for the warm-up process:

Gentle Start

Turn on the choke if the bike is cold, and start the bike. If you aren’t sure how, most people will kick start a dirt bike, but you could bump start it as well. Either way, allow it to idle for around 30 to 60 seconds on slightly elevated RPM. The choke can be turned off after about a minute.

Light Riding

Post idle phase, ride lightly around the yard for about 5 minutes. This step will help raise the oil temperature and ensure all the parts are lubricated.

Slow Progression

Gradually increase the throttle, don’t go full throttle yet. Revving the engine too hard, too soon, can be damaging.

How to Warm Up a 4 Stroke Dirt Bike

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A 4-stroke dirt bike engine requires a slightly different approach VS a 2-stroke. Here are all of the steps:

Gentle Start

Start your dirt bike and let it idle for 2-3 minutes.

Unlike 2 strokes, 4 strokes don’t usually need a choke unless in very cold weather. There are a few different things to look at if your dirt bike won’t start, but assuming you’ve got it started, you can move on to the next step.

Incremental Throttle

Post idling, gradually increase the throttle, and keep it under half for the first 5 minutes of riding.

Warm-up Ride

Ride around lightly for another 10 minutes to make sure all the engine parts are warmed up.

Bwraaping it Up

The key to a properly warm-up your dirt bike is patience and a gentle touch.

Warming up a dirt bike correctly can significantly prolong its lifetime and maximize its performance. I hope this guide helps you with the warming-up process of your 2-stroke or 4-stroke dirt bike.

Always remember, properly warming up your dirtbike is critical.