Wheels Guru

Training, Travels, Racing – Motorcycles and Cars

Tips to Take Care of Motorcycle Chain


A very important two wheeler part that sometimes creates a problem and requires special attention is the motorcycle chain. Made of metal based rings, motorcycle chain functions to transmit power to the rear wheel.

Due to excessive usage, hours of continuous functioning or lack of maintenance, the motorcycle chains either wear out or become loose. The basic idea about motorcycle chains, their functioning, and few maintenance tips would help to take care of the motorcycle chains.

How often should the motorcycle chain be inspected?

It is mostly recommended that one should follow the automakers’ instructions that come with the motorbike manual. Auto Repair Experts suggest that motorcycle chains should be inspected after the motorbike runs for every 1000 – 1200 kilometers. The inspection period might vary if the motorcycle is used aggressively or rider has a habit of rash riding. Rash driving leads to the worn out chain.


Chain Maintenance involves the following attentions:

  • Inspection
  • Replacement
  • Cleaning
  • Wiping
  • Lubrication
  • Adjustment
  • Tightening

Periodical Inspection


– Motorcycle Chain
Ensure that the motorcycle chain is able to move roughly up and down easily. The approximate measure for the chain to move should be one inch both ways. One can either have a visual idea or can manually measure the chain with a measuring tape.

One needs to check the motorcycle chain at all the spots and sections.

Motorcycle chain if found to be loose, need to be tightened. Ask an auto repair mechanic to do that for you.

In case, the chain is too tight, it needs repair or moreover, replacement is always a better option.

– Check the Motorcycle’s Sprockets

It is important to check the motorcycle sprockets because its teeth can clearly indicate that the chains are not properly adjusted. Closely observe these teeth and ensure that they mesh well with the motorcycle chain.

If you find the sides of teeth to be worn out, this is a clear indication that the chain and teeth are not meshing well. New motorcycle sprockets will help to get rid of this problem.


Wiping and cleaning is always a suggested task that would help to keep any man, machine or automobile well functioning. Clean and well-lubricated motorcycle chain helps in smooth motor riding.

Always use o-ring approved cleaning agent to clean the dust and dirt off the chain. Using a soft brush for applying and rubbing off dirt is preferred.

Make sure the excess of grime from the chain links and all sprocket teeth is also wiped off with the use of a soft piece of cloth.


Now that cleaning of teeth and chain is done, it is important that chain should be lubricated for a smooth drive. Use superior quality lubricant and try spraying it smoothly over the chain.

Rotate the motorcycle wheels to properly lubricate the motorcycle chain.

Adjusting the Chain

Now its time for adjusting chain tension that is the to adjust the alignment of the motorcycle chain. There is a certain set distance between the front sprockets and rear sprockets. This distance needs to be adjusted. One can test whether the chain tension has been adjusted or not. This can be done by moving the chain up and down. If it moves till 1 inches, then the chain tension has been adjusted.



Your maintenance work is done. All you need to do is to evenly tighten the rear axle so that both sides are perfectly aligned. Make sure to properly align the motorcycle chain and sprockets.

Before starting the maintenance and inspection work, make sure you have all the apt motorcycle tools with you. Follow these maintenance tips to take care of your motorcycle chains that might affect smooth functioning of the motorbike. Care and caution will keep you safe and your driving experience a smoother & enjoyable one.

These small steps in our day to day life can help in the long term maintenance of your two wheels

Images: About.com, Web Bike World

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