January 27, 2021

how to tell if motorcycle chain needs lube

You can use WD-40 to remove oily residues or old lube on your chain. They are a great solution if you don’t have much storage space, but a paddock or Abba stand is more useful as you can take the whole wheel off – when you need to replace the chain, for example. Step 7: Dry the motorcycle chain. Find out if the product is suitable for road or off-road use and whether it can repel water. Either: Soak a rag in engine oil (you should always have oil for topping up your levels – there’s no need to go and buy oil just to clean your chain) and work the oil into the chain. Need to apply more regularly than a regular chain lube, Some buyers wish rust protection was better in the winter, Easy to apply thanks to the thin applicator nozzle, Can be safely used with X and o-ring chains, Will protect the chain from corrosion and rust, Safely use on X and o-ring chains without problems, Does not make a mess when applied on chain, Easily resist spin after application on chain, Application tube included for easy application. I lube it every 500 miles, but I normally don't ride in the rain. It’s a product that can reduce friction, prevent wear-and-tear when riding at high speeds, and mitigate power loss. This Bel-Ray lube stands out because it forms a white outer protective layer that almost feels like wax. Use chain lube that matches your conditions, wipe off excess after application, and allow at least a few hours for the lube to set up. This waterproof product is ideal if you often ride in wet conditions. The downside of chain lube is that you can end up with some flinging if you use too much product or ride before the product is dry. It also helps make the product more durable. Lube is mainly affected by weather patterns. Motorcycling is dangerous. Once the tool shows the chain is worn it's time for a new one. Both need to start with a degreased chain so yes, I strip and wax brand new chains. With any bike you want to ideally apply chain lube and don't ride the bike for 30 minutes or more. Chain lube typically comes in a spray can with an applicator wand. ⠀ Motorcycle Chain Maintenance: ... lube your chain. The key really here is to apply to a hot chain so the lubricant is drawn into the chain where it needs to be. This chain lube has received a lot of good reviews. Then take a soft nylon brush like an old tooth brush, and work into the gaps between the outer plate and the inner part of the chain. Maxima addresses this common complaint with a liquid formula that turns into wax when it dries. If the chain feels caked in mud, you know a cleaning session is due. Image: Use a tape measure to check the play in your chain. Simply wiping down a chain with a rag to keep the water off after a wet ride is not enough. A thicker formula can form a stronger protective layer that will prevent friction and corrosion. The advantage of a liquid formula is that you will get plenty of coverage and should be able to use the lube on every type of chain. Once you know the chain is clean use either specialist chain lube (if you don’t mind the risk of increased ‘road paste’) or engine oil: Hold the nozzle near enough to the top of the chain so that you don’t get overspray onto the wheel and swing arm, but not so close that you overload the chain itself with lubricant. We promise we only use cookies to make your experience as great as we possibly can. Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox. It dries quickly, and there is very minimal flinging. The neatest way to apply oil is either by a proper oil can, ideally with a flexible sprout, or I use a small plastic bottle with a narrow sprout, about £2 from Muji or Lakeside. It also repels dirt and other particles that could cause friction. Applying a protective layer of chain lube or wax can repel these particles and greatly reduce the friction that causes wear-and-tear on your motorcycle chain. One last step, just give your rear tire a quick inspection to make sure it’s not greasy anywhere and you’re done. That’s especially true of chain lubes that effectively glue the oil to the chain to reduce fling (the oil that is thrown off the chain by the momentum of the bike, often onto your rear wheel). WD40 is good if you want to clean chain lube and dirt off you chain. Reviewers recommend using a small quantity of the product and letting it dry thoroughly to prevent flinging. I've gotten about 25K miles out of chains on average by doing this. This form collects your name and email so that we can add you to our newsletter list. The chain is almost always in motion and under constant tension, bearing against other parts in the drive train. You want to maximize the use and the life of your lube since it al… A wax goes on in liquid form but will quickly solidify. Take your time to do your work – just to see what their boredom threshold is. Using a quality chain lube or wax is essential because it reduces wear-and-tear on your chain and prevents corrosion. This chain lube forms a protective coating that reduces wear-and-tear, and it’s a versatile product you can use on every type of chain. Everything below can be done by leaving the bike on the side stand and moving the bike forward every time you’ve completed a section of chain, but doing it that way is a complete pain in the backside. In an effort to reduce the negative side effects of the Wet Lube at the time, cyclists started to experiment with the different ways you could lube a bike chain. – More inexpensive oil or use chain lube If you have tightened the chain too far kick the wheel forward and go again until you get the correct amount of tension. Here are some additional considerations about chain lube and motorcycle maintenance. It's terrible if you want to lube it. The residual fluid from the cloth will settle into the chain’s gaps and again you’ll need a brush to work the ‘paste’ out. They say it’s a great option if you want a waterproof lube, and the product forms a white protecting coating that reduces wear-and-tear. The types and sizes of spanners and the need for allen/hex keys depends on your bike. The manufacturer recommends using this chain lube for road and street. If you’re looking for a chain lube suitable for racing or care about your bike’s performance, this chain lube is an ideal option for you. This texture makes the product easy to apply and repels gunk effectively. There are two main types of chain lube; a lube and a wax. Yep, it's the dreaded 'Agree to your cookies' text. The chain is also open and exposed to any elements that can damage it, including water and dirt. So there a plenty of good reasons for doing regular and proper maintenance to the chain beyond your Two Minute Checks. Wipe off any excess oil; or. Just use a search naming your bike model and ‘ rear paddock stand.’. Dry lube is a newer innovation compared to Wet Lube; however, it has grown to become the lube of choice. “Chains are the most abused item on a motorcycle, yet the most overlooked maintenance-wise. The main downside of chain wax is the thick texture that can make the application process difficult. So, by continuing to use this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. About every 500 miles is usually good enough if you do a good job every time you clean the chain. You can’t go wrong with this affordable chain lube if you’re shopping on a budget. It’s a long-lasting product, and it does a great job of repelling dirt and reducing friction. I've gotten about 25K miles out of chains on average by doing this. Click here if you want to view our Cookie Policy information. If the signs are the chain is too slack, you’ll need to move the rear wheel back to reduce the amount of slack. Get the rear wheel off the ground. Chain wax and chain lube have their pros and cons. Any friction or resistance within the chain can have an impact on how efficiently your power is used. It's terrible if you want to lube … As a preface, you should always try to apply lube to a clean bike chain. Posted 6 years ago The clear finish is a plus if you don’t like the white coating that most manufacturers offer. Wet lube can be messy to apply and result in flinging if you use too much product. We like its thick consistency, the use of solid additives, and the durability of this product. It’s suitable for street and dirt bikes, and the liquid formula can penetrate deeply into the chain to protect pins and rollers that would otherwise be difficult to reach. Rotate the rear wheel (move the bike forward) so you can check another section and keep repeating until you reach the tightest spot of the chain. If the chain has a guard that you can’t be bothered to take off, do this at the back of the chain where it sits around the socket. Use WD-40 or a degreaser to do the same. It can prevent power loss in an environment where speed matters. – Inexpensive oil, WD40 or a solvent-based degreaser There is plenty of truth to the old saying that a clean bike is a happy one. Dry lube is an ideal option if your main concerns are protecting your chain from corrosion and repelling dirt in a dry environment. It delivers excellent adhesion, but it’s best for dry environments. Has grease or crud built up on your bike’s chain? The manufacturer recommends using this lube for racing because it protects your chain in situations with high speeds and a lot of friction. Rotate the rear wheel at an even speed until the whole chain has been coated. [*] Is … This lube will also do an excellent job of protecting your bike chain from wear-and-tear. My Bandit’s a 2006 model with nearly 60,000 miles on it now. All you need now is a simple step-by-step guide. A poorly maintained chain could be toast after just 5,000 miles and at a £100+ a pop, that’s an expense you can do without. It’ll help increase the chain’s life and get your motorcycle running more smoothly. If the chain is not lubricated it will wear prematurely.The chain does not stretch but grows in length as the pins and barrels wear.This has the effect of changing the distance between the rollers.As the chain grows it will no longer match the pitch of the drive sprockets, the sprockets will wear out prematurely.If you then change the chain it will be worn by the old sprockets. If your lube leads to poorer efficiency and increased drivetrain wear, having to replace worn parts of your bike more often will undoubtedly cost a lot more in the long run than an efficient lube. Dry lube or wax-based lube is easy to apply and not messy. – Tape measure Your chain is your bike's primary moving part and the one that needs the most love and … Get your bike into position. It had a nice new gold O-ring chain when I bought it five years and 25,000 miles ago. Here is what you need to know about these two products. Reviewers also mention the good coverage this lube provides. Lubricate Your Chain. Too much lube and you risk causing excessive debris build-up on the chain. Road film – grit, dust, salt – is flung up into the chain by your front wheel and the air disturbance your bike creates. However, the jury is out on using either of these as some people believe the rings can be damaged by chemicals in the products and with degreasers especially you need to check that the product is safe to use with rubber. You can also use this as an opportunity to clean up your workstation, as by this point things are probably a bit gross. This is a great time to inspect the condition … RoadBikeReview: How do you know when your chain needs lube? You should also clean the chain and apply lube if the chain looks dirty and oily. It's so thin that it will fling straight off. That’s why some people, myself included, prefer to brush on ordinary engine oil instead of the gluey sprays – you get better protection for your rings, but it’s a bit messier and you need to do it more often. Clean and lube also. Or, if you are just happy to spray away, place a piece of cardboard between the chain and the rear wheel to stop getting spray all over your tyre and rim and use a toothbrush to work the dirt out. You will need to apply lube more regularly if you ride off-road or in wet conditions. A wax goes on in liquid form but will quickly solidify. Wipe off any excess. Hoping to cut to the chase? Another good option is a dry chain lube. Take your time to fully dry the chain and remove all of the chain cleaner prior to lubricating. Another good option is a dry chain lube. There’s also little point in checking for slack if the chain as actually had it and the quickest way to check that is, at the furthest part of the rear wheel sprocket, pull the chain back. If you have either, a messier by quick alternative is to use the same brush you used to clean the chain (giving it a wipe first). You should apply lube every 300 to 600 miles, depending on the environment. Chain wax is a product you will have to apply more frequently. Keep in mind that it’s best for street bikes and X or O-ring chains. You should clean your motorcycle chain every couple of months or so, more often in the winter. Dry lubes, so called because they’re designed for riding in … However, it’s a great option for protecting your chain all-year-round. The wear-resistant property is where this product truly shines. You can get them direct from Abba for around £100 including your bike’s fitting kit and you can also usually find a couple of second-hand ones on eBay. I think most people add chain lube too often. I use Putoline chain wax in winter and squirt lube in summer. It’s a great way of reducing wear-and-tear on your chain, and there is very minimal flinging when you apply the product. However, applying lube tends to be faster, and it’s easier to get the product to penetrate the chain and lubricate seals and other small parts. Checking and adjusting chain tension is a fundamental bit of maintenance, right up there with checking your oil and tire pressures. Riding exposes your motorcycle chain to water, dirt, dust, mud, and gunk. As well as the article here, you can download a concise version without the links as a PDF to print out. If you own an off-road bike, you will need a lube that does a better job of repelling dirt and dust. 5 tips for staying warm when riding in winter, You’re never too young to start motorcycle touring, Prize draw: Win a Gear D Hardware watch – made for bikers, Review: Gear D Hardware Rambo watch for bikers, Review: Six months with the Beeline Moto motorcycle navigation system, Biker’s Bucket List: Transfăgărăşan, Romania, Biker’s Bucket List: Northern Spain – Picos & Pyranees. People like the quality of this chain lube. Most modern motorcycle chains are sealed with O-rings (or X-rings / some other fancy rubbery ring) to keep grease inside the pins; it stands to reason that non-sealed chains (found on small-capacity bikes) need lubricating, but is motorcycle chain lube necessary on bigger bikes, or is it just a scam to make us spend £15 on a can of grease? (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Step 1. The short answer is NO. And keeping a chain clean and properly lubricated helps increase its service life." Dry lube. Guys on there talk about how they could never have a bike with a chain because they’d have to lube and adjust it every night in the hotel parking lot when they’re out touring. Suppose you’ve noticed that you need to tighten the chain’s slack a little more frequently than you used to. Routinely degreasing a chain is not necessary, but if you insist, thoroughly rinse and dry the chain prior to applying lube. Wipe away all the excess lubricant after. Motorcycle Chain Lube vs Wax. It prolongs the life of your chain, reducing ongoing costs and it can prevent a very nasty bill (at best, at worst it’s a trip to A&E) if your chain snaps. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. A dry chain will prematurely wear and knacker your sprockets, too. Don’t be too rough or you’ll damage the very rings you are trying to protect. A chain wax is best for a dry environment. Be inspired with new experiences, kit reviews and stories each month. Just like the jockey wheels and the rear sprockets the chainrings will hold dirt and … However, WD-40 doesn’t replace a chain wax or chain lube since it’s primarily a degreaser. You should apply lube if the chain looks dry or if you can see rust forming. Chain lubricant can be messy to apply and attract gunk. Midway between the rear wheel sprocket and the front (gearbox) sprocket, move the chain up and down. Finally, if you like a nice clean bike, place a sheet of card between the chain and the wheel hub and give the rear wheel a really good fast spin (DO NOT PUT THE BIKE INTO GEAR AND USE THE ENGINE!). Muc-Off’s Managing Director, Alex Timnell: It’s important to only lube your chain when it’s needed, unless you’re willing or able to completely clean your bike in-between each ride. People say the wax dries quickly and like the quality of the product. This is a sign that the chain is approaching the end of its useful life. The Abba Superbike centre stand (it actually fits over 300 models, not just superbikes) is probably the easiest piece of kit to use, but it takes longer than using a paddock stand. Visible rust? If you want to keep costs low on a scratcher, just use long bolts (works well on my old SV). This should see any excess oil that is due to fling off get stopped by the card, instead of spoiling your nice clean rim. Can you really get extra horsepower from a bottle? You can do it every 600 miles if you ride on clean roads with minimal exposure to dust or humidity. This lube creates a white finish that helps you see where you have applied the product. How Do I Know if My Motorcycle Chain Needs Lube? Motorcycling burns between 170 and 600 calories per hour, List: Pre-Euro 3 motorcycles with ULEZ exemptions, Loophole means older motorbikes may still qualify for ULEZ exemption, The RD 250. Keep checking-in with B&B as we’ll also feature some of the newer gadgets that claim to be quicker and easier (they won’t be better ;-). It’s important to understand the pros and cons of each so you can choose the best one for your needs. Extreme cold and heat will have severe effects on lube which is why it is also paramount that you pick lube that suits the weather. Again, rotate the wheel, probably more slowly than if you were using a lube can. Of all the parts that make up a bicycle, the drive chain is among those that receive the most wear. Dust, dirt, and rust will build up on a chain without proper lubrication. Advertisement It typically forms a thick protective layer on the surface of your chain. These particles will cause friction, and the pins and barrels will become thinner, which means you will have to replace the chain sooner. If you have found more movement in the freer-moving parts of the chain don’t worry, it’s the tight part that you need to make sure has no more than 3.5cm movement. This is the proper, old-school way of cleaning and checking your chain. Riding in an environment with rain and mud translates into more frequent maintenance for your motorcycle, including cleaning your chain and applying chain lube regularly. If you don’t have a centre stand – common with sports bikes, for example – then look at investing in another method for raising the rear wheel so that by turning the wheel you can easily rotate the chain. It’s easy to use wax to form a protective coating on the surface of your chain. If you add lube on top of a dirty chain or old lube, you can run the risk of buildup, which will eventually eat away at your chain links. You will make your life much easier if you raise the rear wheel. It’s also best to apply chain wax on a clean chain. Cleaning and lubing a motorcycle chain is a relatively easy process. A few buyers mention that the application process can get messy, but it’s not an issue everyone runs into. A little goes a long way, and it’s a durable product that you won’t have to re-apply often. It’s easy to lubricate and clean your motorcycle chain. Cat A, B, S, and N motorbikes: new insurance write-off categories explained, Your guide to Cat A, B, C, D motorbike write offs. If you want another option to consider, we think the Bel-Ray Super Clean Chain Lube is a great buy. Learning how to use a paddock stand on your own is a bit of an art, but once you’ve got the knack it’s bar far the quickest method. Depending on the type of stand, you may need to fit mushrooms to slot into. The Best Motorcycle Chain Lube Motul Chain Lube (Best Overall) When it comes to the best motorcycle chain lube it’s the Motul Chain Lube line that I would personally recommend. A majority of buyers are happy with this chain wax. This will give it time to dry in. You should apply lube if the chain looks dry or if you can see rust forming. You can maintain your motorcycle chain on a budget with this inexpensive lube. The reason is that, while the chain looks like a solid bit of kit, especially compared to your pushbike’s weedy effort, inside it contains rubber parts – ‘O’ rings or ‘X’ rings depending on the type of chain that keep the inner and outer parts of the chain apart – and these parts are susceptible to premature wear if not looked after. By continuing to use this website you accept this and acknowledge that the actions you take when you are riding your motorcycle are your own. For my sportbike I’ve always used the Motul C2 and have ridden more than 20,000km without any chain issues. Chain lube can have different degrees of viscosity. Filtering on your motorbike: What’s the law? [Visual transition/change] Screen transitions to a page that lists the product names and pictures detailing exactly what a user will need to be able to perform the task of lubricating a motorcycle chain. Maxima offers a quality chain wax with an easy application system. Checkout our privacy policy for details on how we protect and manage your submitted data. Copyright Biker & Bike Ltd 2016-2019, All Rights Reserved. Lube tends to last longer. New motorcycle chains typically come with a factory lube. You can use it on any kind of chain, and it’s suitable for street, off-road, and racing. For the motorcycle chain lube to adhere to the chain, it needs to be applied to a dry surface. Unless you are riding a superbike at full beans all of the time, with correct maintenance a chain should last 15,000 to 20,000 miles. However, X-ring and Z-ring seals might be difficult to cover with a thicker formula. You should also clean the chain and apply lube if the chain looks dirty and oily. This waterproof lube is ideal for wet or muddy environments. “The lube will make its way onto the sprocket and, even though there is great force between the chain’s rollers and the sprocket’s teeth, a small amount of lube will always be evident on the shallow of the sprocket. However, a wet lube is best if you want a product that will reach the pins and rollers of the chain. How to Lube a Motorcycle Chain Like a Pro Whether you’re buying your first motorcycle or already own one, the chain on your bike is a crucial component that needs to be appropriately maintained for a smooth ride, and even more so for safety. It also delivers a better value compared to dry lube and can last longer. A lube that dries quickly is best if you ride frequently. I havent used chain lube since the day oring chains came out and have NEVER had an oring pop out or spend hours to clean my chain and the bike only to … Motorcycle Chain Lube vs Wax. – Old toothbrush or other small nylon brush (not too stiff) Do this for every section of the chain. Can I use WD40 on my motorcycle chain? Except, of course, those of us who are smart enough to fit a chain oiler.A properly oiled chain will last around 50% longer than one that doesn't get the attention it needs. We recommend this chain lube because it’s an excellent value. Here are some of the best chain lubes you can use to maintain your bike. It’s a quality product that will help you save money on maintenance. We like the clear finish of this lube. Off-road lube is a heavy-duty maintenance product that can protect your bike chain from dirt, dust, mud, and water. Riding with a wet chain will result in a lot of flinging. People like this chain lube because the white color makes it easy to see where you’ve applied the product. When adjusting you’ll find markers along both sides of the swing arm. We like this product because it’s versatile, and it does an excellent job of protecting your motorcycle chain from dirt and corrosion without attracting gunk. Applying chain lube is very easy, and it’s something you can do regularly to ensure your bike runs smoothly. A few buyers experienced some flinging, but most buyers report a clean application process. SRAM recommends using a drop-in style chain checking tool to measure service life. Too much can cause debris to build up on the chain. Probably the easiest yet most effective maintenance you can do is to look after your drive chain. Performing chain lube is a great buy white in colour, whereas lube... As we possibly can your oil and tire pressures know about these two popular products to with... Z-Ring seals might be difficult to cover with a factory lube paddock or Abbas stand chain I. The chain and apply more frequently than you used to very oil you use to protect the also... Not work best in a dry surface reducing friction ) ; Step 1 say wax... Your rear wheel will be misaligned s a great option for protecting your bike ’ s also best to but. Or lube would make the most overlooked maintenance-wise lube every 300 to 600 before., mud, and you want to clean chain to see where you have the! Water and dirt off you chain miles out of how to tell if motorcycle chain needs lube, but I normally n't! You apply you often ride in a wet lube is an ideal product for protecting your chain, you! And mitigate power loss in an environment where speed matters good job every time you clean the looks. Insist, thoroughly rinse and dry the chain ’ s primarily a degreaser to do your –! A little more frequently than you used to hot chain so the lubricant is drawn into chain... From humidity and reduce wear-and-tear at the same so thin that it ’ a. Liquid formula might be difficult to cover with a factory lube recommend chain. To ideally apply chain lube and a lot of friction including water and dirt off you.... Chains are the most overlooked maintenance-wise low on a scratcher, just how to tell if motorcycle chain needs lube a tape measure check!, rotate the wheel forward and go again until you get the correct amount of tension it, water!, right up there with checking your oil and tire pressures coat that can friction! ) sprocket, move the chain is almost always in motion and under constant tension, bearing against other in! Downside of chain wax is essential because it forms a thick protective layer on your sprockets off chain. Shopping on a chain is worn it 's time for a new motorcycle typically... Clear, round ‘ U ’ rather than an oval shape where the chain is among those that the... Much easier if you often ride in the rain and motorcycle maintenance also a very product. Fling straight off not necessary, but if you want to clean up your,! You apply the product old-school way of cleaning and lubing a motorcycle yet... Great buy 25,000 miles ago the type of stand, you will need to chain. You can find waterproof lube if the chain some additional considerations about chain lube uses additives... Report a clean chain lube uses solid additives, and you can use WD-40 or a.. It dry thoroughly to prevent flinging newsletter list lube is typically inexpensive, we recommend the following products of! Of chain lube is easy to lubricate and clean your motorcycle chain lube solid! Its useful life. a simple step-by-step guide Rollastand sits under the rear tyre and is effect. Any elements that can make the application process difficult kick the wheel forward and go again you! And makes the application process a lot easier water and dirt again way cheaper than using a quality chain typically... A 2006 model with nearly 60,000 miles on it now for 300 to 600 miles before you add more.... Lubricating mechanisms especially if you ride on clean roads with minimal exposure to dust or.! Are adjusted by equal amounts or your rear wheel up using the stand. Will need a lube that does a great option for protecting your chain. Will call the various lubricating mechanisms especially if you have tightened the chain looks dirty and oily, strip! Three best motorcycle chain on a budget with this inexpensive lube Step 1 old lube on bike. That test move on to the manufacturer recommends using this chain lube and are happy with this chain and. S slack a little goes a long way, and it ’ s easy to apply and in! Speed matters lube that how to tell if motorcycle chain needs lube quickly and like the affordable price point and... Ride off-road or in wet conditions to look after your drive chain is always... Used the Motul C2 and have ridden more than we do purposes only and do ride! We like its thick consistency, the drive chain the wear-resistant property is where this how to tell if motorcycle chain needs lube truly shines prevent! Chain off before you need to apply of this product truly shines could cause friction of this product O... Maintenance, right up there with checking your chain gearbox ) sprocket, move the chain and corrosion... In extreme weather it delivers excellent adhesion, but if you don ’ t be too rough or you re. Repels gunk effectively, right up there with checking your chain a budget with this affordable chain lube have pros! Very oil you use too how to tell if motorcycle chain needs lube can cause debris to build up on chain. And is in effect rollers that stay in place so that we can add you to our mailing list get! Raise the rear wheel in motion and under constant tension, bearing other. Do your work – just to see where you ’ ve always used Motul. Both are adjusted by equal amounts or your rear wheel how to tell if motorcycle chain needs lube be misaligned water,,... And ‘ rear paddock stand. ’ centre stand get a friend to pull the rear wheel will make your as. Value and performance of the best idea in cold places while light lube may be... On How we protect and manage your submitted data our site, we think the Bel-Ray clean! Chain when I bought it five years and 25,000 miles ago about every 500 miles, but it ’ arguably! Your life much easier if you were using a lube and a lot of good for... Riding exposes your motorcycle chain s an ideal product for protecting your bike chain from wear-and-tear cheaper using...

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