How to clean and lubricate motorcycle chain at home: Key steps

  • Motorcycle chain cleaning and lubricating ensures the reduction of wear and tears.
Yamaha FZ-S FI Version 4.0
Motorcycle chain cleaning and lubricating ensures the reduction of wear and tears.
Yamaha FZ-S FI Version 4.0
Motorcycle chain cleaning and lubricating ensures the reduction of wear and tears.

The motorcycle chain is one of the most important yet the most overlooked components. Sometimes even the official motorcycle service centres skip this maintenance despite it being a major one. The motorcycle chain sends power to the rear wheel of the vehicle. It is basically the link between the powertrain and the wheels. To make it simple, the chain is the most important part after the engine that drives the motorcycle. A dry or grimy chain can significantly affect the performance of the motorcycle. Hence, it should be maintained properly and timely after at least every 500-kilometre run.

Motorcycle chain cleaning and lubricating ensures reduction of wear and tears. Also, it improves performance of the motorcycle. The chain of the motorcycle can wear for various reasons. However, the key accelerant for that is grit that sits within the chain and grinds the metal. The grime can catch that and accelerate the wear and tear. On the other hand, driness in chain can also expedite the wear and tear as it increases friction.

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Motorcycle chain cleaning and lubrication is one of the maintenance works that can be performed at home. It's a messy work, but certainly satisfying if you love your machine on two-wheelers. To do this, all you need are some tools, which include a toothbrush or a chain cleaning brush, WD-40 spray cleaner, chain lubricant. Here are the key steps to follow for cleaning and lubricating of motorcycle chain. Also, hee ae the tools that you need to do the cleaning.

Park the motorcycle on centre stand

Find a clean and flat surface to get the motorcydle up on centre stand. If your motorcycle doesn't have a centre stand, you can buy a paddock stand and use it to jack up the two-wheeler. Parking the two-wheeler on centre stand instead of putting it on side stand will help you to move the chain and sprocket easily.

Wash the chain

Motorcycle chains get filthy with time especially in countries like ours, as they come in close contact with dirt, grime and various other natural elements. Hence, they need regular cleaning. The chains act like magnets to dirt and dust because of their designs and positioning and oily surface. Many modern commuter motorcycles come with enclosed chain covers to protect the chains from becoming dirty. Hoevr, the sporty motorcycles come with exposed chains. After parking the two-wheeler give the chain a good wash. If possible, try pressure washing, which will help getting off the surface dirt as much as possible. Washing will loosen the remaining sludge on the chain.

Clean the chain

WD-40 is a multi-use spray cleaner, which is available online and offline. Spray it on the chain and keep rotating it. This will ensure even application of the WD-40 through the chain and sprockets. Give it a few minutes to soak in and then start scrubbing the chain with a toothbrush or chain cleaning brush. This will loosen the sludge from the chain completely. After this, wipe down the entire chain with a rag and make sure the chain loses its sludgy black colour. This will reveal the original shiny metallic colour.

Oil the chain

The last part of this maintenance work is oiling the chain for lubrication. Use the nozzle provided with the spray can and make sure to oil eachlink of the chain. Spray the lubricant in short bursts and keep rotating it for even application. Make sure not to overlube the chain and not to spray on the rear tyre.

How to clean and lubricate motorcycle chain: Key steps
Step 1 :

Park the motorcycle on centre stand

Step 2 :

Wash the chain

Step 3 :

Clean the chain

Step 4 :

Oil the chain

First Published Date: 03 Dec 2023, 12:56 PM IST
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