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How to Clean and Lube a Motorcycle Chain

posted Dec 21, 2017, 2:11 AM by Silvio Vincini   [ updated Mar 25, 2018, 12:44 AM ]

How do I Clean & Lube a Motorcycle Chain?

This process is extremely important in maintaining your motorcycle.

Here is a step by step guide explaining how to clean and lube your motorcycle chain.


  1. Know the type of motorcycle chain: Do you know what type of motorcycle chain you are dealing with? It is so important to understand the type of your chain before cleaning it as you will have to use different approach depending on the chain. If your chain is plain on metal links and shows no seal in between, then you will need to clean it more aggressively than a sealed chain. Sealed chains have a rubber seal between the inner and outer links to keep the grease in and the dirt out. If you know the type, you can choose the best approach.
  2. The motorbike should be in the correct position: Your bike must be kept on the stand to spin freely, whether it's on the centre stand or paddock stand. If your bike's wheels spin freely then you would be able to clean and lube your chain quickly and easily. You can also use your kickstand if you don’t have any of the above 2 stands. 
    motorcycle chain
  3. Check the condition of the motorcycle's chain and sprockets: While cleaning your chain you will get more familiar with its current condition. Also, look at the sprocket. If it has a flat top and the edges are worn evenly, it means they are in a good condition. If your chain is flexible in moving back and forth and side to side equally with minimal variances then, your chain doesn't need to be replaced. When cleaning or lubing, examine the master link: The master link is the link that connects the two ends of the chain. For a master link to be secure, it should be peened over with rivets. In addition, the sprockets should also be healthy. When examining your chain, look out for the condition of your sprockets, and whether it has sharp fins and teeth. Your chain and riding style affects your sprockets and wears them down in different ways. If they have shark fins, it means the leading edge of the sprocket wears more than the back one and faster. On the other hand, sharp teeth denote both leading and trailing edges are heavily worn. So never put a new chain on an old or worn sprocket. Change both of them at the same time. 
    motorcycle sprockets
  4. Use cleaner as a spray on the chain: Now you can start griming off and removing dirt from the chain. When doing this, you can choose professional chemicals or a kerosene to remove dirt and lubricant from the chain. Its advisable to soak the chain properly into kerosene as it would be cheaper than buying a new chain.
  5. Now begin chain scrubbing: After few hours of soaking, you can start cleaning the chain with a chain brush. Choose a brush that can clean three or four sides of the chain. We recommend you thoroughly clean the chain so its easy to lube. 
    motorcycle lube
  6. Soak the chain again: Once you are done with cleaning the chain, you can re-soak it in any chemical of your choice.  Make sure, all the dirt has been removed properly.
  7. Dry the chain for better lubrication: For the chain to be lubed perfectly, you should dry it properly. So give it time to dry after removing all the chemical/cleaner from it. You can also use a cloth to wipe off all the cleaner.
  8. Begin lubing the chain: This is the last step of the process when lubricating your motorcycle chain. Bring the dried chain to the lubricant and apply it evenly on all sides of the chain. You can check out and find the best lubricant as there are plenty of lubricants available in the market. Use the lubricant that would not be easily flung off of the chain and disturb the other parts. Lubricate all the sides and sprockets of the chain properly. If you have a plain chain, you will need to lube it continuously from time to time so that it functions properly whereas a sealed chain needs to be lubricated only from the outside to protect it from rust.
Follow these 8 simple steps’ to maintain a healthy motorbike without wasting money. Be your own mechanic and get ready for your next ride!

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