How to clean and maintain motorcycle chain?

2 April 2022

Long story short – Cleaning the motorcycle chain is the most important part of motorcycle maintenance and should be done between 500-600kms.

Importance of Motorcycle chain

Cleaning motorcycle chain is what owners take less care of and needs at least lubrication every 500kms. Chain maintenance is so simple that it is a DIY thing with only a few tools needed. The basic principle behind the power transfer of a two-wheeler is the transmission of power from the engine to the rear wheel via a chain with the help of a sprocket. This applies to all motorcycles and in some models chain might be of different types. If a chain play is either loose or too tight or is dirty it affects the smooth transfer of power and ultimately affects performance. Definitely, you can now realise the importance of two-wheeler chain maintenance in a motorcycle, isn’t it?.

Types of motorcycle chain

Types of two-wheeler chain

Here are the three types of drive chain and we have to observe to understand the difference between each of them.

  1. Roller chain – No extra ring is present between the outer roller link plate and the inner roller link plate.
  2. O-ring chain – An extra ring in the shape of an o is present between the outer roller link plate and the inner roller link plate.
  3. X-ring chain – An extra ring in the shape of x is present between the outer roller link plate and the inner roller link plate.

Tools needed for cleaning the chain

  1. Two wheeler chain cleaning brush
  2. Bike chain cleanser
  3. Motorcycle chain lube
  4. Micro fiber cloth

How to clean a two-wheeler chain?

  1. First things first – Do not start the engine at any time while cleaning the chain and never put the finger anywhere near the chain.
  2. Keep the motorcycle on a centre stand and make sure it is stable. If no centre stand available use a paddock stand. Do not keep the vehicle on the side stand.
  3. Overall clean the motorcycle with water and also make sure the surrounding area is clean.
  4. Now use a chain cleanser and allow it to soak in for 10 minutes. Please note that while using a chain cleanser rotate the chain continuously.
  5. Use a chain cleaning brush and repeatedly clean until the chain begins to show silver colour. Next, use a microfibre cloth to wipe off the remaining dirt from the chain.
  6. Finally, start rotating the rear wheel, take the chain lubricant and keep the nozzle close to the chain and start spraying. Make sure each chain link is lubed.
  7. Please note that do not overuse the lubricant and also do not wash the motorcycle after lubrication.

Source: Royal Enfield Youtube

How to maintain a motorcycle chain?

  1. Clean and lubricate chain every 500-600kms
  2. Check for chain slack by referring owner’s manual and adjust as per instructions given in the manual.
  3. The chain should not be either too loose or too tight as this will result in the improper transmission of power from the engine.
  4. For long rides, the use of grease instead of chain lube spray is recommended as the grease stays for a longer time.

Benefits of cleaning and maintaining motorcycle chain

  1. Longer chain life
  2. Improve gear shift performance
  3. Prevents corrosion and reduces friction
  4. Improves mileage