Bikers’ responsibility is not just driving defensively and having the right gear but bike-related tasks like maintaining a motorbike chain. This task is one anyone can do and it’s a good way to make sure your chain doesn’t wear out too quickly.
This part of the bike is not one to be ignored and is as important as the tires, engine and everything else. A motorbike chain can wear faster if ignored but that’s only the best-case scenario.
What can go wrong with a motorbike chain?
Letting the chain dry out and gather dust particles or dirt can and will start eating itself away as well as the sprocket. A bad-case scenario with a damaged chain can leave you with a broken-down bike at the side of the road. If it breaks while you’re riding, the chain can even injure the rider.
Caring for a motorbike chain
If your usual cleaning method just means washing it when you wash the bike and just putting a little lube on top, won’t be enough. For one, the pressure from the water pump won’t be able to clean the chain enough. Properly applying lube on the chain is also a more involved process than just a few drops in a few spots.
Inspect the chain
This one is pretty obvious but go have a look at your chain before you go on a ride. See if it’s tense enough and if it’s dry or covered with any dirt. Look at the sprocket too, from many angles and make sure it’s not dented, curved or rusted.
Clean the chain
When you do decide to put some elbow grease into it, you are ready to begin cleaning your chain. Start cleaning before applying lube and grab a good cleaner specifically made for motorcycle chains.
You don’t want lube mixed with residue from the chain because it will make a nice paste that will give you a headache. To extend the life of the chain, cleaning is a must before applying lubricant.
The right tools
Choose a chain cleaner and make sure it’s not oil or petroleum-based. It’s ideal if the cleaner is water soluble so that you can wash it off.
After applying the cleaner you still need to brush the chain, as any cleaning process will be a deep clean.
Choose a brush made with ABS or plastic-based material and not metal wire so that your chain won’t get damaged.
It’s important to have a well-oiled machine, pun intended. The chain should be lubricated fairly regularly, after anywhere between 300 to 600 miles. That being said, if your bike has been sitting in the garage for a while, or the winter season, you might want to care for it.
It’s advised to add lube to your chain after you’ve used the bike. This is so that you let it reach everywhere and it has time to settle properly. It would be useful to have a stand that holds the rear end of the bike. This way you can move the wheel to rotate the chain easier as you apply the lube.
It’s not necessary, so if you want you could move the bike as you apply the lube on the chain. This method is quite exhausting and you’ll definitely wish you had a stand.
Caring for motorbike chain conclusions
Maybe one of the most necessary tools for caring about your motorcycle chain is regularity. If you have a regular schedule for cleaning your chain then you are halfway set. All you need now are the tools necessary to help you clean and lubricate the chain.