CHAIN AND SPROCKET LONGEVITY
Keeping your wheels a-rollin’ is easy!
(Courtesy of Dirt Rider 2007 Buyer’s Guide)
The chain and sprocket connection (commonly called the drive system) on any motorcycle is its lifeline. Without a healthy and direct path between motor and wheel, the bike is idle worthless and dead.
This is why it is so important to keep the links and teeth of your bike clean, lubed and properly adjusted. Here is a simple system to ensure your bike continues to roll easily under its own power. Seriously, it is easy. Do it!
Cleaning your chain and sprockets is not done at the car wash or with a pressure washer. Doing that will force water into the chain rollers and prematurely rust the beans out of the components. Instead, use a stiff wire brush and some chain-specific cleaner (like Motorex Chain Clean). Clean all the debris off the chain and the entire build-up of gunk off your sprockets before you relube. Lubing dirt does absolutely no good! Make sure you clean and lube every time you wash your bike, at least but preferable after every ride.
After your drive system is clean, lube up with a high-quality choice from your favorite Moto-Chemical brand. There are a gabillion chain lubricants out there, but we recommend sticking to lighter, cleaner lubricants such as Maxima Crystal Clear or a similarly lightweight product. Such lubes are heavy enough to not fling off but light enough so they don’t leave a gooey mess on your swingarm and garage floor. Lube the chain, top and bottom, in the middle of the swingarm. Doing this should keep your sprocket clear of any excess spray, which could coat the sprocket and attract dirt, making it harder to clean.
It is important to lube your chain when it’s warm, not cold, to ensure good penetration into the chain rollers. Take a lap or two with a clean chain and then come back and lube it quickly, before it cools.
Since it’s so easy, adjusting your chain to the proper tension should be an automatic maintenance check every time you ride. Riding with a chain that’s too loose will wear out sprockets faster and increase your risk of DNFing due to a broken or thrown chain. Check your manual for the proper free play in the chain and remember it. Usually, if three fingers fit under the chain on top of the swingarm, you’re good to go. Remember to recheck your sag after adjusting your chain as you are essentially changing your wheelbase when you tighten your chain.
I TOLD YOU IT WAS EASY!
OUR ARCHIVED TIPS:
Dirt Rider – Buyers Guide 2007 Tips – written by Daryl Osswald