How To Properly Maintain Your Motorcycle Chain

The joy of owning a motorcycle cannot be underrated. The thrills of the ride, the days of staring at your motorbike as she sits idle in the garage. There is also the feeling when you see fellow bike lovers and even non-bike lovers appreciating the beauty and elegance of your motorbike. But all of these can be cut short if you do not have a good maintenance habit. As a motorbike owner and lover, it is essential you develop a proper maintenance regime if you want to continue to enjoy your motorbike.

When you ask people these days how they maintain their motorbikes, some are quick to say they have their recommended garage but others are happy to carry out their own servicing. However, let’s face it, when you love something, it is your responsibility to care for it, caring for your motorbike should not feel like a bother at all. Asides from the professional touch, there is a requirement to have your own maintenance routine for your motorcycle, at least for the parts that you can work on in your garage at your leisure time.

How To Properly Maintain Your Motorcycle Chain

The chain is an essential part of a motorcycle, so maintaining your motorbike chain is vital if you want to continue to enjoy a good ride. Maintenance of a motorcycle chain depends on the type of chain. One other factor to consider is the kind of bike you have, since not all motorbikes are the same. Some other things that you should factor into the maintenance of your chain are: the kind of terrain which you ride and the weather of your location. Here are some ways for you to properly maintain your motorbike chain:

  1. Inspection– If you hope to get the best performance out of your motorcycle, you have to continually inspect the chain to ensure it is in good condition before and after a couple of rides, if not before every trip. Your motorbike’s service manual should provide directions for proper inspection usually it is centred around the level of wear present on the chain, and you should also check the slack over a number of links to make sure it is not too tight nor too loose. When a chain is new and in good condition, no or little slack is present and it wraps around the sprocket more closely.
  2. Cleaning – Accumulated dirt can cause an increase in wear of a chain and affect performance, hence the need to keep your motorcycle chain clean. To effectively ensure that the chain is clean and safe, you need to include this in your periodic maintenance check (or before every ride). This is a relatively simple process of applying degreaser and going at the chain with a cloth or a brush to remove any residue. Do the same to the sprocket for total peace of mind.
  3. Lubrication– The next thing to you should do after cleaning the chain is to lubricate it with quality grease. The chain must not be left dry and bare, it won’t last otherwise. We recommend that you always use fresh grease whenever you can and you use enough. Excessive greasing tends to attract dirt, and you do not want this to happen. Winter salt will destroy your chain in double-quick time, that is why it is essential for us British riders to keep on top of cleaning and lubing. Alternatively you can fit an autolube system such as a Scottoiler to lube your motorcycle chain without using a stand. These devices automatically meter a precise amount of oil to the chain, and they work so well that they can substantially extend the life of your chain and sprockets. Year-round riders should own two types of chain lube: dry lube for the summer months and a decent grease-based lube for the winter. The sticky grease-based lube holds up better against rain and dirt. Expect to pay around a tenner for the dry lube and £15 for the grease-based version.
  4. Replacement- If after inspection, you realise that your motorcycle chain is not in good condition (excessive wear to the chain or sprocket, it is slack, damaged or broken), you should replace it with a new one. Unless you are fully competent with changing your chain, we’d recommend you have this taken care of by your trusted local motorcycle garage; nobody wants an avoidable accident to happen. If after replacement, you realise that your ride isn’t as smooth as it should be, you should take your motorcycle back to the garage to have it checked out.

In conclusion, a motorcycle chain and including it in your pre-ride routine will help to ensure your motorbike stays in good condition and provide you with the safest, smoothest ride.