How to lube your ATV
For most of us, our ATVs are used for both work and play. With all the hard work that we put them through, it is important to give them the proper care that they need. Before you start hearing those clunks, rattles and squeaks, take the time to properly lube your ATV. Visit Dennis Kirk for all of the products you’ll need to perform the following tips.
Taking your ATV into the shop to have maintenance done is not necessary if you follow these steps to keep your ATV lubed up. You will save money and also have a more intimate knowledge of your machine.
A good place to start is at your machine’s drive chain. If you run your ATV hard, like in races, mudding or heavy trail riding, you should lube your chain every time you ride it. If you use your wheeler to cruise around the farm and it doesn’t get too dirty or wet, you don’t have to be so vigilant.
Before you lube the drive chain, you should lightly ride the wheeler around for five to ten minutes to warm it up. Once it is warm, you can spray the chain lube directly over each side of the chain links, avoiding the rollers, while you rotate the chain. You only need to spray for one revolution of the chain.
When you lube your ATV chain, you need to make sure that you are using the right kind of lube for the chain that you have. An O-ring chain will use a different lube than a non-O-ring chain, but there are some lubes that will work for both. Brands like Maxima and Klotz are good to apply. Be sure to avoid any penetrating oils, like WD40. They will clean the chain, but will not protect it and can also damage the O-rings on the chain.
Now some of you might be saying, “Wait a second, I don’t have a drive chain.” For those of you who have a drive shaft, it is still important to grease it. Most ATV drive shafts will have a grease fitting, called a zerk fitting, on the U-joints at the ends of the shaft. About once a month you should pump a shot or two of multi-purpose moly grease from a grease gun.
If your wheeler has CV joints, it is important to keep an eye on the rubber boots. Often these protective boots can dry out and crack. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, you should pull back the boot and apply grease to the CV knuckle, making sure that it is completely surrounded by the grease. You can use the same multipurpose grease as before or you can use Bel Ray’s Waterproof Grease to put on the CV joints. If your CV boots need to be replaced, brands like Moose and EPI will supply the grease with the new boot.
There will also be rubber boots over your wheeler’s ball joints. If the boot is damaged, it should be replaced. Otherwise, if they have a grease fitting, they should be greased once a month.
The next place that you can look to lube your ATV is the suspension. Most ATV A- arms will have zerk fittings and will only need a small shot of the moly grease monthly. If the A-arm does not have a fitting, you can remove the pivot bolt to lightly coat the shaft with grease.
Some sport ATVs have linkage arms on the rear shock. Every month, you should give them a shot of grease through the linkage arms.
Next, you will want to make sure that all of the cables are properly lubed. By keeping the cables lubed, you will eliminate sticky cables for a safer ride. To lube the throttle, brake and clutch cables, you will need a cable luber, which allows you to lube the cables without removing them from the machine. To use it, install the luber on the top end of the cable. You can then spray a cable lube down the cable until it runs out of the bottom end. You can also put a dab of grease at the pulling points of the cable ends.
One final place that you should lube is the steering stem. This should be lubed on a regular basis and has two areas that need to be lubed. The first area is the stem clamp. To lube the clamp, you first need to remove it and wipe it clean. Then, you can put a thin layer of fresh grease on the clamp and the stem. Before re-installing the clamp, lift the stem up and wipe a thin layer of grease on the inside of the bearing that is on the lower end and on the steering stem itself.
By keeping these components of your ATV lubed on a regular basis, your machine will ride smoothly for a long time.