Cleaning a Motorcycle Chain - How to do it Without Causing Any Damage

MHUB - October 29, 2018
Cleaning a Motorcycle Chain - How to do it Without Causing Any Damage Gray scale picture of motorcycle on road with mountains in background.
It doesn’t matter if you have the latest sports bike or a very old and barely running trails bike.  No matter how beautiful t may look it needs a clean, well oiled and smooth chain to run. If your chain snaps then you could be looking at some serious damage to the engine on your motorcycle.

You may also find yourself being thrown off of it and spending time in hospital recovering from a long list of injuries.  Considering how simply it is to check and clean your chain this is not a job that should be left.

If you’re really struggling to complete this task you can entrust it to a reputable firm,  such as Procycles. However, you may be tempted to change your bike while you’re at their showroom!

Don’t forget that your chain carries as much power to the rear wheel as two drive shafts carry to the front of a small car. It’s under a lot of pressure.

There are 3 simple steps to cleaning and maintaining your chain:

  1. Visually Inspect

Ideally you should have a quick look at your chain every time you ride. At the worst you should be looking at it once a week; assuming you’re riding daily.

A visual inspection will highlight any damage on the chain or the sprockets. In particular you want to check that the teeth of the sprockets are not curved; this can cause the chain to be flung off while riding.

Use your centre stand or a motorcycle repair stand to check the rear wheel. Spin it slowly and it should go round smoothly. If it doesn’t you have a tight spot in your chain. This means it’s time for a new chain.

Also take a look at the free play in your chain, there should only be a little.

  1. Clean It

You should clean your chain at least every 750 miles and you should never use petroleum based products; they’ll cause it to slip and corrode faster.

Start by running a nylon brush over the chain on both sides. You’ll need the rear wheel off the ground in order to move the chain easily.

You can then rinse the chain gently with some clean water; you don’t need detergents and you definitely don’t want to use a pressure washer.

To finish use a dry, lint free cloth and slowly go over your chain; making sure all the moisture is removed.

  1. Lubricate It

To finish you need to lubricate it and this should be done straight after you’ve cleaned it; to avoid rust creeping in.

It is advisable to lubricate the chain after you’ve finished your ride.

Again the rear wheel needs to be off the ground. Simply spray a thin layer of chain lube onto the chain as you slowly turn the rear wheel by hand. You should keep doing this until the chain has gone round 3 times.

Then just leave it to soak in; ready to use next time.
Vehicle Maintenance