How Often Should You Lube Your Motorcycle Chain?

Chain lubrication is a necessary maintenance required to keep your bike running smoothly, but it can be confusing trying to figure out when and where to apply lube.

So, Are you wondering how often should you lube your motorcycle chain? The answer is simple. Every 300 to 600 miles, or more frequently if you are riding through puddles or mud, the motorcycle chain needs to be greased. 

Here, we’ve compiled information on how often you should lubricate your motorcycle chain. For maximum performance, we will also discuss cleaning and lubricating your chain. 

So whether you’re a new motorcycle owner or a seasoned pro, this article will help you keep your chain in tip-top shape!

How often should you lube your motorcycle chain?

Regular maintenance of your bike’s chain is crucial for optimal performance and longevity. Aim to clean and oil your chain every 300 to 600 miles, but keep in mind that this can vary based on factors like the terrain you ride on and the amount of dirt and grime it encounters.

If you frequently navigate through busy city streets or engage in adventurous off-road biking, consider lubricating the chain more frequently to ensure smooth operation and extend its lifespan.

This proactive approach will not only enhance your bike’s performance but also contribute to a safer and more enjoyable riding experience.

Apply motorbike chain lube to both the inner and outside of the chain using a high-quality product. With a fresh cloth, remove any extra lubricant. 

Factors affecting the time of chain lubrication

Different factors will affect how often you should lube your motorcycle chain. Here are a few of them:

1. Type of motorcycle chain

There are different types of motorcycle chains O-ring, Z-ring, and standard ring. The O-ring chain has seals between the inner and outer plates that keep grease inside and dirt and water out. So it does not need to be lubed as often as other types of chains.

The Z-ring chain has an extra seal between the plates so it does not need to be lubed as often. The standard chain does not have any seals and will need to be lubricated more often.

2. Type of terrain

If you are riding on dirt roads or in muddy conditions, you will need to lube your chain more regularly. This is because the chain will get dirty more quickly and will need to be cleaned regularly. If you are riding on paved roads, you will not want to lube your chain as often. 

3. How much do you ride

As a general rule, the more you ride, the more often you will need to lubricate your chain. Therefore, the chain will need to be cleaned more frequently since it gets dirty. However, if you are not riding very often, you may not have to lube your chain as regularly. When you do lube it, make sure to clean the chain first.

Why is it necessary to lube your motorcycle chain?

Lubing your motorcycle chain is necessary for several reasons. Some of them are listed below, so be sure to check them:

1. keep the chain from rusting

This is the most critical reason to lube your chain. If you live in an area with high humidity or ride in wet conditions, your chain is especially susceptible to rust. Lubricating it will help protect it from the elements. Furthermore, if your chain does start to rust, lubing it will help to remove the rust.

2. Prevent the chain from stretching

Stretching is caused by friction and heat. When the chain rubs against the sprockets, it causes friction, which in turn produces heat. The metal may stretch as a result of this heat’s ability to make it expand. To avoid this, the chain should be lubricated.

3. Keep the chain from becoming brittle

A motorcycle chain is made of metal, and all metals are susceptible to becoming crumbly over time. The heat and friction mentioned above can also cause the metal to become brittle. When you start lubricating your chain regularly, it will help to keep the metal from getting fragile.

What happens if you do not lube the motorcycle chain?

It will eventually lead to the chain breaking if you do not lubricate your motorcycle chain. The lack of lubrication will result in the chain becoming dry and weak, which will increase its chances of snapping.

In addition, not lubing your motorcycle chain will also lead to premature wear of the sprockets. This is because the dry chain will cause the sprockets to become coated with metal filings, which will eventually cause them to wear down. 

Different Ways To Lube The Motorcycle Chain:

Lubing your motorcycle chain is an essential part of regular maintenance. A well-lubricated chain will last longer and run more smoothly. There are a few different ways to lube a motorcycle chain. The most effective method may vary depending on the type of chain and the conditions it will be used in.

First Method: Use Drip Lubricant

One way to lube a motorcycle chain is to use a drip lubricant. This method involves dripping the lubricant directly onto the chain while the motorcycle is running. This ensures that the lubricant gets evenly distributed.

To do this, you will need:

• A drip lubricant

• A clean rag

• Gloves 

Step 1: Park your motorcycle on a level surface and make sure it is neutral.

Step 2: If you choose to, put on gloves to keep your hands clean.

Step 3: Squeeze the drip lubricant onto the chain, making sure to get even coverage. Be careful not to get any on the tires or brakes.

Step 4: Use the clean rag to wipe off any excess lubricant.

Step 5: Take the motorcycle for a test ride to make sure the chain is properly lubricated.

Second Method: Use a Brush

Another way to lube a motorcycle chain is to use a brush. This method is most appropriate for chains that are already fairly clean. To do this follow these steps:

Step 1: Apply chain lube to a clean rag by dabbing it on.

Step 2: Wrap the rag around the chain and spin the wheel to rotate the chain.

Step 3: As the chain spins, use the brush to work the lube into all the nooks and crannies.

Step 4: Wipe off any excess lube with a clean rag.

Third Method: Use an Aerosol Chain Lube

This method is most suitable for chains that are very dirty or caked with old grease. It will also work well in wet or muddy conditions. To begin this process, simply follow these steps:

Step 1: First of all clean the chain with a reliable degreaser. You can find a suitable degreaser at your local motorcycle shop.

Step 2: Once the chain is clean, hold the can of aerosol chain lube about 6 inches from the chain and spray it on while rotating the tire.

Step 3: Make sure to lube the inside and outside of each link.

Step 4: Let the lube dry for a few minutes before riding. This will give it time to penetrate the chain.

Fourth Method: Use a Chain Lube Pen

This is probably the easiest and most convenient way to lube a motorcycle chain. A chain lube pen is a small, handheld device that dispenses a precise amount of lubricant. These pens are available at most motorcycle shops.

To use a chain lube pen, simply follow these steps:

Step 1: Park your motorcycle on a level surface and make sure it is neutral.

Step 2: Squeeze the trigger on the chain lube pen to dispense the lubricant onto the chain.

Step 3: Be sure to get even coverage and avoid getting any on the tires or brakes.

Step 4: Take the motorcycle for a test ride to make sure the chain is properly lubricated.

When should you replace your motorcycle chain?

The average motorcycle chain will last for about 15,000 miles to 30,000 before it needs to be replaced. However, this will depend on factors such as your bike’s make and model, how often you ride, and the terrain you typically ride on.

If you do a lot of stop-and-go city riding, your chain will wear out much faster than if you mostly ride on highways. And if you often ride in wet or muddy conditions, that will also shorten your chain’s lifespan.

How to clean your motorcycle chain?

Cleaning your motorcycle chain is important to keep your bike running smoothly. For light cleaning, you can use a brush and some soap and water. For more heavy-duty cleaning, you can use a degreaser or even remove the chain entirely and soak it in a solvent. Whichever method you choose, be sure to dry the chain thoroughly before lubricating it. 

Final Verdict

Chain lubrication is an essential element of routine maintenance for motorcycles. A properly oiled chain will perform better and last longer. If you don’t lubricate your motorcycle chain, friction will build up and the rollers and plates will begin to deteriorate. 

The chain will eventually get strained and break. Your motorbike chain can be lubricated using chain lube applied with a brush, drip lubricant, or spray. 

You can select any approach based on the type of chain and the circumstances. However, using drip lubricant is the ideal option because it evenly distributes the lubricant.

In this guide, we have not only looked at the best ways to lube your motorcycle chain but have also answered some of the frequently asked questions.

About David Riedel

I am David Riedel founder of Bikerwhizz, I'm a technician at Keystone Harley Davidson with more than 10 years of industry experience. I’m here to help you solve motorbike problems, customizations, tweaks, and easy fixes to enjoy your rides more.

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