Motorcycle chains are prone to gunk and rust with time. At some point, they become so dirty and affect the performance of the bike. Whether it’s a dirt or street bike, you need to clean your chain once in a while, which should be more frequent for dirt bikes, though. You can do this manually or by using a cleaner. Using the right cleaner can make the job effortless and quick. Here we’ve got a list of the best motorcycle chain cleaners capable of cleaning even the dirtiest chains, thereby ensuring a longer chain life.
Best Overall – Muc Off Chain Cleaner
Full Cleaning Kit – Motul Chain Cleaner Kit
Cleaner+Lube Combo – Maxima Ultimate
Best Chain Cleaning & Lubrication Kit – Moto Chain Mate
Best Motorcycle Chain Cleaning Brush – Tirox 360 Degree
When to Clean Your Motorcycle Chain?
The best time to clean the motorcycle chain is after every 600 miles of riding. However, you can do it more frequently if your bike takes part in very frequent off-roading expeditions. To be on the safer side, you should always keep some cleaner with you for emergency purposes. Ensure you inspect your chain for dirt and rust after every ride. If you heavily use the bike, you should clean the chain after every 200 miles.
Best Motorcycle Chain Cleaner – Top Table
Clean Motorcycle Chain – Things & Tools
Here are a few things & tools that you can use to clean your motorcycle chain:
1. A good cleaner: Chain cleaners are readily available in various stores and can be used to remove dust, grime, rust from the links of the chain. Always use a dedicated motorcycle chain cleaner for this purpose, as other kinds of cleaners can destroy or damage your bike’s paintwork over time.
2. Lubricant: After cleaning your motorcycle chain thoroughly, make sure you use a proper chain lubricant. Shake some on it using a spray can. Then wipe off any excess with a clean cloth. The oil will prevent dust particles from sticking to the chain and rusting it further.
3. Rags: You will need rags or paper towels to clean your chains thoroughly before spraying on some oil. Do not use a regular cloth because the dust particles will stick to it, which is counter-productive at this stage.
How to Clean Motorcycle Chains – Step by Step
The first step is to read the motorcycle’s manual thoroughly and gather all your tools. Lay some newspapers on the ground because there may be a possibility of some oil getting onto the garage floor while you work. Ensure you wear protective gear like gloves, eyewear, shoes, etc., before starting the cleaning process.
Chain Cover Removal
If your bike has a chain cover, you can remove it to clean the links underneath it. Your motorcycle’s owner’s manual will specify the exact procedure for this purpose.
Cleaning the Chain
Now that the cover is off, you can start cleaning your motorcycle’s chain with a brush or a rag soaked in a good quality cleaner. It must be completely covered from all angles, so use a sturdy brush to clean every link on both sides of your bike’s chain.
If you have a dirt bike, use a pressure washer for cleaning the motorcycle chain to blast away mud and grime.
Oiling the Chain
After a thorough cleaning, you can finally apply some oil to the chain. Make sure that every link is covered with the lubricant. A lightweight spray-on oil or WD-40 will do just fine for this purpose.
Precautions – Follow When Cleaning Motorcycle Chain
Always use a dedicated motorcycle chain cleaner for best results. Do not mix up different types of cleansers in the same container because it may lead to adverse chemical reactions and damage your bike’s paintwork.
Make sure that no excess oil spills over onto other parts like brake levers or shock absorbers because it can be messy and difficult to clean later.
Finally, always ensure that the chain is thoroughly dry before applying oil to it.
Make sure you follow all the precautionary measures before starting with the cleaning process. Once you are done, make sure to store all your tools for future reference. If possible, do it every couple of months and always enjoy a smooth ride!
Can You Use WD-40 for Motorcycle Chain Waxing?
Yes, you can use WD-40 for motorcycle chain waxing. However, the oil should be small in amounts because a little goes a long way when lubricating motorcycle chains. For best results, always wipe off the excess after allowing the chain to absorb some of the oil. Otherwise, it will attract a lot of dust particles while riding and make your chain dirty.
How to Remove Motorcycle Chain Rust?
Motorcycle chain rust removal is an essential part of the cleaning process. It involves using a cleaner designed for this specific purpose to remove all kinds of rust from the links on both sides of your bike’s chain. This process not only improves the general look of the motorcycle but also enhances its overall performance.
Here are some tips to follow when doing motorcycle chain rust removal:
- Keep the surface of your bike’s chain as clean as possible before starting with the cleaning process.
- Use a brush or rag to apply the rust remover sparingly on both sides of your motorcycle’s chain.
- Let the cleaner do its work while you clean and dry other parts of your bike.
- Rinse off the cleaner thoroughly and wipe off the excess.
- Use a dry cloth to wipe down your motorcycle’s chain, ensuring no remaining rust.
Can you clean a motorcycle chain with soap and water?
Yes, you can clean your motorcycle’s chain by just using soap and water. However, you have to clean it thoroughly by scrubbing the links with a brush or rag because soap alone may not be enough to remove all the dirt. Using a mild cleaner can help remove any remaining grime or oil residue.
Another important tip is to ensure that all the soap is rinsed thoroughly for the best results. Motorcycle chain cleaner is a good investment, and you should use it every once in a while to keep your bike in good condition.
Chain Wax vs Chain Lube
Have you ever considered the difference between chain wax and chain lube? Without being too technical or difficult, it may be helpful to know just what these two products are designed to do and how they differ from one another. Perhaps more importantly, what you use on your bike can have a huge impact on its performance.
When it comes to choosing chain lubricants, for some, it may be just preference. However, most of the time, the decision is when to use chain wax and chain lube. While they are similar in purpose (chain protection and maintenance), they are different.
Chain lube is usually a viscous oil combined with a rust inhibitor. Some additives used in the manufacture of these lubricants will also include Teflon – or PTFE – an extremely slippery compound that finds use as a coating for pans. The main purpose of this fluid is to move around the metal on the chain’s pins and bushings so that it does not abrade like sandpaper on the surface, creating friction that causes wear.
On the other hand, chain wax is a form of paraffin, sometimes called “liquid Teflon. It’s a thick, sticky substance that you apply to your bike’s drivetrain. It’s essential to know about both types of lubrication, as choosing improperly can cause a loss in performance or a breakdown of your bike.
Is It Necessary to Lube the Chain After Cleanup?
Yes, it is important to lube your motorcycle’s chain after cleaning it. Applying enough lubricant on the links helps keep them protected from damage while riding on the road. Doing so also enhances their performance by preventing unnecessary strain and wear on metal parts.
With these tools & things at hand, you can easily extend the lifespan of your motorcycle chains by cleaning them properly at regular intervals. A clean chain is an efficient chain, so always ensure that you maintain them well for enhanced performance and a trouble-free experience on the road.
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