How to Clean and Lube a Motorcycle Chain
The chain on a motorcycle picks up dirt quickly, which leads to serious problems if it's not cleaned and lubed on a regular basis.
A dirty motorcycle chain — and its drive sprockets — wears out a lot faster than a chain that gets regular cleanings, because dirt absorbs the lube and eventually dries the chain out. To prevent excessive chain and sprocket wear — and avoid having to go through the expense of replacing them as often — you should clean and lube your motorcycle's chain regularly. Here's a quick guide on how to clean and lube a motorcycle chain.
Tools and Parts Needed - Motorcycle Chain Cleaning
Cleaning a Motorcycle Chain
Step 1. Lift the rear end of the motorcycle with a bike stand and make sure the engine is in neutral.
Step 2. Coat the motorcycle's chain with chain cleaner by rotating the rear wheel while spraying the chain as it moves. Let the cleaner sit for a while to fully penetrate the dirt on the chain.
PRO TIP: For extremely dirty chains, such as those on dirt bikes, you may want to let the cleaner sit for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 3. Scrub the chain by rotating the wheel again and using a chain brush (also known as a grunge brush) to remove all the built-up dirt and grime from the chain. Clean both the inner and outer faces of the chain, and work the brush down between all the chain pins. Don't forget to also clean the teeth on the front and rear drive sprockets. If the chain was extremely dirty, you may need to hose it down after scrubbing it.
Step 4. Wipe down the chain with a rag to remove the last of the dirt and debris.
Step 5. Coat the chain with chain lube by rotating the rear wheel again and spraying the chain with the lube. Wipe away any excess lube that sprays onto the swingarm or other parts of the bike.
PRO TIP: Always use quality chain lube instead of regular oil, which will fly off the chain when it's in motion. Chain lube is formulated to cling to the chain and provide lasting lubrication and protection. This will help extend the life of the chain, its guides and drive sprockets.