Spring Maintenance: Have You Checked Your Motorcycle Chain Lately?

Wrenching on his motorcycle

When was the last time you checked the chain on your motorcycle? If it has been sitting in the garage all winter, it’s probably been a while. However, the last thing you want is to pull out of your garage on one of the first rides of the season, and then get stranded because your chain snapped or chewed up your sprocket teeth. Here are a few things you should do to maintain your motorcycle chain.

Spring Maintenance: Motorcycle Chains

  1. Keep It Lubed – Though most modern motorcycle chains are technological marvels requiring very little attention, that doesn’t mean they aren’t susceptible to water, corrosion and rust. Keeping your chain regularly lubed protects it from all of these problems. When you come in from a ride, while the chain is still warm, apply your favorite lubricant. That will help ensure every little nook and cranny gets well oiled.
  2. Choose Your Lube Wisely – Gone are the days of using kerosene and WD-40 on motorcycle chains. Both of these old-fashioned lubes have a tendency to foul up modern motorcycle chains. New products more specific to motorcycles are on the market, and they can make a chain last for a very long time. Find a formula with a minimum of throw off, and though wax-based lubes are most often recommended, it doesn’t hurt to check your user manual to make sure.
  3. Inspect Your Chain – Is your chain dry? Does it have rust spots? Does it have free play? Is it kinked? Is the chain centered on the rear sprocket? If you do not know the answers to these questions, go take a look at your motorcycle chain right now. Any of these problems could cause damage to your front and rear sprockets. Even worse, these problems could also indicate a chain that is about to snap. If your chain snaps while you are on a ride, it could not only leave you stranded, it could ruin your swingarm, engine case or transmission.
  4. Consult Your Manual – The greatest font of information about how to maintain your motorcycle is going to be in its manual. From how to adjust its alignment to proper chain tension, don’t forget this valuable resource. If you don’t have the manual to your motorcycle, look online. If you can’t find a free pdf of the manual, then you can just go to the manufacturer’s website and order one. There’s no excuse for not having your bike’s manual in today’s interconnected world.

Did we miss something? Or is there a better way to handle your motorcycle chain issues? Let us know in the comments or by posting on our Facebook page. Remember, a well-maintained bike is also the one that will give you best ride.

From the motorcycling attorneys at Metier Law Firm—helping Coloradoans ride with comfort, safety and strength!

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