Cleaning and Lubricating Motorcycle Chain
By Yogesh Sarkar
Chain is an essential part of a motorcycle and keeping it clean and lubricated ensures that you have a trouble free smooth ride, at the same time it helps increase the life of the chain as well.
Cleaning the Chain
While there are various ways of cleaning your motorcycles chain as well lubricating it, I prefer to use the good old kerosene (if not available then petrol) to clean the chain. A small brush dipped in kerosene cleans out most of the sludge. Although it is a bit time consuming, but it usually does the trick and leaves a thoroughly cleaned chain.
However if you wish to clean the chain even more thoroughly then the best option is to remove the chain, dip it in a pot filled with kerosene and then clean it with the help of a brush. After the chain is cleaned, wipe it with a clean lint free cloth and let it hang for half an hour to dry up properly.
Lubricating the Chain
For lubricating the chain I prefer to use 90w gear oil, it is thick enough to stick to the chain properly and usually is good enough to keep the chain lubricated for roughly 1500-2000kms if the chain cover is on.
Once again the best way to lubricate the chain is to remove the chain and dip it in a pot filled with 90w oil, this way the oil penetrates all the parts of the chain. Let the chain remain inside the oil filled pot for 10minutes and then hang it for half an hour to ensure excess oil drips out (put a pot under it else the you will be left with a lubricated floor). After the excess oil has dripped out, put the chain back on and ensure you put chain lock back on properly.
If you do not wish to go in to the trouble of lubricating the chain in the above mentioned manner, then you can simply apply the oil to the chain with the help of a brush. While applying oil ensure you put a coat of oil on each side of the chain to lubricate the chain thoroughly and ensure rusting doesn’t take place.
2 stroke oil: You can also use 2t oil to lubricate the chain in the event you are unable to find 90w gear oil. However the 2t oil is only good enough for 400-500kms if the chain cover is on.
WD 40: WD 40 can also be used to clean as well as lubricate the chain; it is usually easier then above mentioned option. However it is an expensive affair and requires quite a lot of WD 40 spray to clean and lubricate the entire chain.
Chain lubes: There are chain cleaner cum chain lube spray available in the market from Motul and cleans and lubricates the chain at the same time, also it is quite easy to apply since it is only a spray. However it is quite expensive to use it on a regular basis.
Chain Cover: Removing chain cover reduces the life of the chain drastically especially in monsoon months. If you have removed the chain cover then inspect the chain on regular intervals for signs of dirt and also keep on the look out for the chain noise as a hint that chain needs to be adjusted and/or cleaned.
Yogesh Sarkar is the Editor of Bike, Car and Motorcycle Touring, more of his articles can be found at www.bcmtouring.com and www.yogeshsarkar.com
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