Since there are quite a few articles filled with motorcycle maintenance tips regarding the tire pressure or oil level; I thought it was only fair to talk about one aspect that was equally important- a motorcycle’s drive chain. Nowadays, there are so many bikes on the street that seem perfect, but when you notice the drive chain, it’s really nowhere near perfection.
Why does this happen? Well, the new-age drive chains use an O-ring sealing between the moving parts to retain lubrication, which is undoubtedly durable. So even if you don’t take care of them, they won’t break apart at first, which means that many of us will take them for granted. What happens when you don't give your bike regularly needed maintenance? You never know what will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Imagine going on a solo trip and being stranded in the middle of nowhere, just because you didn’t take the time to maintain the motorcycle’s drive chain. If you don’t pay attention, the chain might dry out and ruin a set of perfect sprockets, too. It also has a negative effect on the engine, rear wheel bearings, and swingarm. These aren’t things you need to put your motorcycle or your wallet through.
So, how can you maintain the drive chain?
- Start with a basic visual inspection. Does the bike chain seem dry or rusty? Is the free play correct and is it centered on the rear sprocket
- If you feel like the chain is tilting towards one side, it could indicate towards bike alignment issues. The best way to set the alignment straight is to talk to a professional who will correct it for you or you can check the shop manual as well.
- After every ride, you should use a lubricator. This can be done immediately after you’ve ridden your bike since the chain will be warm and the lubricant will spread easily.
- The four areas that require lubrication are the area between the chain’s inner and outer side plates as well as the inner and outer rollers.
Taking care of it on a regular basis won’t consume more than 10 minutes of your time, and I highly recommend that you do it. It will also save you a lot of money in the long run.