Here are six essential, easy-to-do bike prep’ tips that’ll ensure finishing a Hard Enduro race, like next week’s Red Bull Romaniacs, becomes more than just a dream…

Good bike preparation is a must, no matter what the event. Starting with a new chain, sprockets, brake pads and fresh tyres and mousses are a must. But what other easy-to-do mods will make life easier?

Here’s six cost effective preparation essentials no pro rider will start a race without…

1. Hand Guards

Hand guards are a definite must. From the full on wrap-around style units to simple roost deflectors that provide minimal protection, hand guards come in many different shapes and sizes. What’s necessary is that you have some on your bike.

Generally the pros run basic guards, which offer little in the way of any real protection. Guys like Jarvis and Walker don’t tend to fall off too much and definitely don’t launch their bikes up vertical climbs. Roost deflectors are certainly cheaper but wrap around guards could save you a fortune in levers.

Cody-webb 1080Handguards are a basic must

2. Use Protection

No, we don’t mean fill your bumbag up with condoms. If you’re going to tackle a Hard Enduro event (or simply plan on doing a lot of crashing) expect your bike to take a bashing. A bash plate – plastic or aluminium – will protect the under side of your engine and frame rails. A good one will also keep essential and vulnerable parts like engine casings and water pump covers from being smashed by rocks. Exhaust guards won’t stop you destroying a pipe but they will help a lot.

DL-KTM Tough-One-2014 0133Protect your bike from a bashing

3. Levers & Grips

Do yourself a favour and start off the race with a fresh set of grips. Throw those half worn ones away. Your hands take a major beating when clocking up the miles so comfortable grips are a must. As to is the ability to keep hold of your bike if conditions get wet. Jonny Walker’s top tip is to run grip tape on your clutch and front brake lever. It gives an added level of grip, especially when it’s muddy.

jonny-walker ktm 300 enduroWalker runs grip tape on his levers

4. Fit A Fan

It takes a little bit of work to do but any serious Hard Enduro rider worth their salt runs a fan to their bike’s radiator, to their motor cool… especially when the going gets HOT. You’ll have a better chance of finishing the race if your bike doesn’t turn into a boiling kettle…

graham-jarvis Hells-Gate-2014 0510A fan will keep things cool

5. Sharpen Your Pegs

OK, so not everyone is fortunate enough to have their own personalised set of titanium footpegs but that’s no reason not to keep your standard set sharp. Grab a file and sharpen those pegs up with a bit of elbow grease. You need a good contact point between your pegs and the soles of your boots, to stop your feet bouncing off over every bump on the track. Doesn’t cost anything either…

jonny-walker ktm 1080Sharpen your pegs

6. Pull Strap

This is Hard Enduro – you’re going to get stuck. Even the pros do. So fit a pull strap to the front of your bike, one that fits on the front fender and wraps around the fork legs. You can buy a custom made one or even make your own, either way you’ll be glad of it when friendly marshals are winching you up an impossible climb. Don’t leave home without one.

Cody-webb-beta-1080Don’t leave home without a pull strap