Maintaining your Motorbike Chain


Motorbikes require lots of care and maintenance, especially when it comes to the drive train, brakes and other commonly used. It might be annoying at times and even get a little messy, but once you get into the habit of maintaining each aspect of the motorbike, it will never run better, and you’ll always have the cleanest bike at the gathering.

One of the most important parts of the motorbike is the chain as it connects to both the gearbox and the back wheel and is actually the most important part to make the bike move forward. The chain isn’t one of those parts that you can just do once a year and expect it to last, no matter how often you ride.

With that said, it’s important to mention that different types of bikes require their own unique maintenance as well. For example, a road bike might not require the same maintenance as a dirt bike that’s covered in mud and dust all the time. Naturally, the dirt bike needs more care and lubrication, but don’t underestimate the requirements of your road bike.

Below, we look at how you need to take care of your chain and how quickly it actually is. Most recommend cleaning the chain about every 500 miles, which would be a simple scrub down and checking that everything is still in order. Once every 1,000 miles, it’s worth stripping down everything off the chain and reapplying the lubricant.

Determine the Chain you Have

The older chains look exactly the same as the ones we use today, but the difference is they don’t have O-rings on each and every link to ensure dirt and dust doesn’t go into the actual moving parts of the chain. In most cases, you’ll have an O-ring chain, unless you’ve chosen a special racing chain or off-road chain for your bike. The difference with these chains is with cleaning as you cannot use harsh cleaning methods such as metal brushes on a chain with O-rings as you’ll damage them.

If you aren’t sure what chain you have, it’s safest to just assume you have an O-ring chain as none of the cleaning procedures for the O-ring chain would be bad for the older chain.

What You’ll Need

There are a few additions for the toolbox when it comes to tool maintenance as you’ll need a special cleaning spray, which would be available at most spare shops. Be sure to choose one that’s O-ring friendly as the others might include cleaning chemicals that would hard the O-ring, which would basically end your chain’s life much sooner.

Get a nylon scrubbing brush as well. These allow you to really get in there and get the rest of the dirt loose after spraying the chain cleaner on it. Don’t be shy with the cleaner either. The tins are cheap and actually contain a lot of cleaner.

Finally, once the chain is clean and dry, apply chain wax. This is much better than normal lubricant as it doesn’t fling off the chain all over the bike when you take it out for the first time. To apply it, simply apply a single layer of the wax to the inside of the chain.

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