Those who are more particular about their bikes or in other words are sort of pro bikers are usually give attention to their bike's drive chains when they are off to some ride or about to leave for any long journey. It is only kind of irony that when we give a thought to service our motorcycle chain and when we probably need it the most is in fact not the appropriate time to do it. As it is always recommended to lubricate the chain after cleaning it properly while the chain is still warm after a considerable long ride, so that the lubricants can penetrate through the rollers and pins more efficiently.
Cleaning The Chain:
Cleaning the drive chain is the foremost task to maintain it, before cleaning the chain it is necessary to find out which type of drive chain your bike has. If it is standard roller chain then there is no special attention is required and it can be cleaned by any cleaning agent but if it is O- ring type chain then you have to be more cautious while cleaning as the O-ring type chains are having rubber "O" ring seals which are prone to get damaged when treated with organic solvents, and this damage would be permanent and can result into total failure of the drive chain.
- Put your bike at the main center stand and if the bike is not having it put it on a paddock stand.
- Make sure that the bike is in neutral gear
- Never switch on the bike's engine while cleaning or throughout the maintenance procedure.
- Use hard bristle brush to wipe out the extra filth and dust from the chain, you can also use discarded tooth brush for this.
- Apply recommended chain cleaner to clean the chain, if it is O-ring type chain then always use chain cleaner approved for O-ring chains.
- To be on safer side instead of using chain cleaners you can use Kerosene or Diesel, they act as good cleaners and are also mild on chain and its O-ring, its absolutely safe.
- Leave the chain for a while to dry
Lubricating The Chain:
- Always use recommended chain lube, specially for your O-ring type chain.
- Make sure you are using approved chain lube for O-ring chain.
- Apply chain lube slowly while turning rear wheel carefully by hand.
- Never apply extra lube or never over spray the chain lube.
Dos And Don'ts Of Cleaning And Lubricating Chain:
- Maintain drive chain regularly and repeat the procedure ideally after every 500 Kms.
- NEVER ever switch on the bike's engine while cleaning or lubricating the chain.
- Use your bare hands carefully while cleaning/lubricating the chain specially at the tight spots.
- Avoid putting your hands too close to either of the sprockets while turning the rear wheel even manually.
- Make sure you are using approved cleaner/ chain lube for O-ring type chain.
- When in doubt avoid using cleaner/ chain lube for O-ring type chain use Kerosene/diesel as cleaner and engine oil/ gear oil as lubricant instead.
- Never apply grease on chain as it attracts dust
However use of engine oil/gear oil as lubricant is mentioned in some of the bikes user manuals as they are harmless and do act as lubricants but use of commercial chain lubes are always better as they are specially meant for their purpose and they also last longer.
By: Farhan Kashif