Chain and sprockets are some of the most important parts of a motorcycle drive-train and their maintenance is a crucial part of safe riding. They are used for a very critical task of delivering power from the gearbox to the rear wheel. That means we need to take a special care about this part and for that, we need to know about chain maintenance.
1) At the very beginning we need to know about the chain set of motorcycles before going for its maintenance. Most of the motorcycles in India comes with a non-sealed type chain, while some premium ones come with an O-ring type chain. The prior one needs much attention compared to the latter one, and the reason is the self-lubricating and cleaning technique of the O-ring type chain. If your motorcycle has a non-sealed type chain, you need to keep a closer eye on it for cleaning, lubricating and wear. However, an O-ring type chain comes with a little o-ring between the rollers and link plates of the chain, which keeps the grease locked for a longer time and keeps dirt out.
2) Now the question is how often we should check the chain-set of our motorcycle?
We should inspect and adjust the normal chain set after every run of around 700 kms. Put your bike on the main stand, so your rear wheel gets free and you can inspect the whole chain by rotating the wheel. You can check the dryness of the chain by touching it and visually inspect the dirt and dust on it. You can also check the wear and tear on the chain and sprocket by visual inspection. According to the level of wear and tear, you can decide that how long the system is going to work further or it needs to be changed immediately.
3) Grease on the chain meets with dirt and makes a gunk type matter, which has a tendency to build up around the chain and increase its wear.
So. we need to remove this gunk from the chain periodically. We can use a very hard or a wire brush with mild soap to clean the non-sealed type chain, while an o-ring type chain should be cleaned with a very soft brush. A Simple Solution Grunge brush is also a good tool to solve the purpose with ease. If you are using soap water to clean the chain-set, you have to dry the chain with a cloth or blower properly after cleaning.
4) After cleaning, we need to lubricate the chain with fresh grease and ensure that the lube goes well inside every pin and roller.
You can apply grease on the inner side of the chain while rotating the rear wheel forward, which will ensure the proper lubing of the system. After that, you should clean the extra lube from it using a cloth, so it will not attract more dirt and dust. If you want to make the process easier, you can also use a chain lubricating spray for the job. You can feel the smoothness in power delivery after cleaning and lubricating the chain set of your motorcycle.
5) If your motorcycle’s chain set is in running condition, you can use it further with cleaning and lubrication. However, if it is worn out, you need to get it replaced it with a new set.
While going for a chain set replacement, always prefer genuine spares or high end brands like DID etc, specifically made for your motorcycle. The new set comes lubricated, so there is no need to apply more grease or other lube on a new set. Excessive tension or low tension may damage your new chain-set, so it should be balanced properly. After getting it replaced, take a test ride first and ensure that the tension in the chain is proper and power delivery is happening smoothly.
Periodic maintenance is necessary to keep output of your bike in good shape. A dry or loose chain can hampers the performance as well as fuel economy of your motorcycle.
Keep your vehicle chain sett clean, tightened and in good health.