6 Simple Steps on How to Clean Motorcycle Chain and Make It Look Like New

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Owning a motorcycle brings in a lot of responsibilities. To keep the motorcycle in the best state possible, you have to put in a lot of time and effort.

An enjoyable ride is not just about throwing on a cool motorcycle jacket and going on an adventure. It is also about looking after your vehicle because if you don’t, things can turn bad.

When you are cleaning up the parts of the vehicle, pay special attention to the motorcycle chain as well.

Cleaning a motorcycle could be tricky as it gets the most greasy and smudgy with dirt.

There are a number of steps that you need to follow in order to give it a thorough cleanse.

To know exactly how to clean motorcycle chain, read the given tips below.

1. Check the Overall Condition of the Chain

Before you actually begin with the cleaning process, make sure to quickly inspect the state of the chain and the sprockets.

Inspect the amount of wear and tear the rollers have undergone. It will tell you if the state can be fixed by giving it a quick cleanse or if it needs replacing.

Check the sprockets carefully for any missing teeth as well.

Check for rusting too, as it can cause a great deal of damage to the mechanical parts.

Once you have inspected the chain of your motorcycle, you canget started with the cleaning.

2. Use a Chain Cleaner

Now, it’s time to use a chain cleaner.

Motorcycle chains get greasy over time and make cleaning a difficult task.

A chain cleaning liquid will make the job easier by helping the chain and sprockets degrease. Keep in mind to only use a chain cleaner that is meant for motorcycles.

You can choose any motorcycle chain cleaner and spray it all over the chain.

To protect the spray from getting to the tires and wheels, you can put a cardboard piece behind the chain as you spray.

Make sure you rotate the wheel and keep spraying until you have covered the whole chain.

Let the cleaner sit on the chain for about 5 minutes and you will see it degrease and the grime over it loosening.

Just like that, the chain will no longer be crusty and smudgy from the gunk.

3. Scrub It Off

After you have let the cleaning liquid sit for a while, scrub all the dirt and grease off the chain and sprockets.

You will have to use a cleaning brush or even a toothbrush for this. Wiping stubborn grime and grease merely with a piece of rag will not help.

Use the brush in a circular motion all over the chain until the dirt comes off.

The motion which you use to scrub the dirt off the motorcycle is important. A gentle scrubbing motion will allow you to get rid of the gunk in a gentle manner without scratching the vehicle.

Focus on the teeth of the sprockets as that is where most of the gunkaccumulates.

If you see the brush getting dirty and greasy, keep rinsing it with clean water.

Keep scrubbing until most of the grime and grease comes off the chain.

4. Wipe It Down

The next step is to wipe down the chain and sprockets.

After you have scrubbed away all the dirt, there might be some still stuck on the chain.

To get rid of it, you will have to wipe it all down with a piece of rag or a sponge.

Take a piece of rag, dip it in some water, let it soak for a few seconds and use it to wipe.

You can also remove the sprockets cover and clean the crud that you see there.

If you find it difficult to wipe the grease off, you can use a scraping tool to scrape away the gunk.

At this step, your target should be to clean all the grease and grime from the motorcycle completely.

This was all about how to clean motorcycle chain.

The next steps are ways through which you can maintain the chain and keep it greasy yet clean.

5. Rinse and Dry

Now that the chain and sprockets are free from all grease and grime, it is time to give it a final rinse.

You can pour water with a bucket over the chain to rinse it.

Alternatively, you can also use a power hose to spray the chain with a stream of water to clean it.

If you are rinsing with a hose, make sure that the pressure is low or else it can harm the motorcycle parts.

Keep rinsing the chain and sprockets with water until it is completely clean from the dirt.

When you have successfully rinsed off the chain, wipe it dry with a clean piece of cloth.

6. Lube the Chain

Next, it is time to re-lube the chain.

Invest in a good motorcycle lube that would give your chain the moisture that it needs to function.

However, before you lube the chain, it will need some warming up to make it completely dry from the rinse.

Take your motorcycle to a quick 5 minutes ride to make it ready for the lubrication.

Once ready, take the motorcycle lube of your choice and apply it generously to the chain.

Apply it to the overlapping links and wipe off any excesses with a piece of rag.

You should be able to see a good shine over the chain and sprockets when you are done.

Leave the lube for a few hours before you take your vehicle to the next ride.


So this was the step-by-step guide for everyone who needed to know how to clean motorcycle chain.

Cleaning the motorcycle chain is not a complicated task at all. Anybody with the right knowledge can do it on their own without any help from a professional.

Next time you want to clean your motorcycle on your own you need not worry. Just follow the steps mentioned in this article and you will be good to go!

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Nathan Olvera

Nathan Olvera

Nathan was born and raised in Nevada where he spent some of his earliest days cycling around the neighborhood and gradually developed a great deal of love for motorbikes.
Nathan Olvera

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