Detailed Guide on Bike Chain Cleaning and Lubrication
Bikers love their bike more than anything else and take proper care of it. But it is true also that most people don’t like to clean and lubricate bike chain. Why? Because it is a filthy job.
Don’t ignore it. If chain fails, your bike is nothing but a heavy push toy.
If you want to know —
- How to clean bike chain?
- How often should you lube bike chain?
- What are the best bike chain cleaner, chain cleaning brush and Chain cleaning lube?
- What are the best paddock stand?
- If not paddock stand what else can be used?
Then you are on right place. Keep reading.
Importance of Bike Chain Cleaning:
The motor vehicle chain is made of metal which transfers power from pedals to drive-wheel. With time, this chain gets dry & dirty showing signs of wear & tear. It tends to stretch out as sprocket’s teeth pull into the links every time you ride. Plus, changing the gears becomes lesser & lesser smooth. So, it is essential to lubricate your chain and achieve a stronger pull.
Chain cleaning can help:
- Extend the life of your motorcycle chain
- Ensure protection against environmental conditions
- No chain noise
- Improve efficiency
- Prevent the rubbing of rollers with plates
How Frequently Motorcycle Chain Cleaning is Required?
If your bike is used several times throughout the week then it’s best to keep the chain drive cleaned at least once a month. For optimal performance, we recommend you to:
- Clean the bike chain every 1200-1600 Km
- Use lubricant every 500-800 Km
This way you will ensure peak performance with a longer life for the bike chain. And, if you do not clean and lubricate the chain, then you will have to replace it at least once a year.
Tools Necessary for Chain Cleaning:
Proper tools make the whole cleaning process really easy. We have listed best available options in India at later part of this article. Check them out before you start to clean yourself.
How to do Bike Chain Cleaning?
Chain cleaning is a “Do It Yourself” job. Just follow the simple steps that we have listed below to clean the bike chain properly. Remember to keep safety first while doing it.
- Place your bike in an upright position. Use paddock stand or G-Roller for that purpose.
- Get up close with the bike chain & sprockets to check for wear & tear.
- Use chain cleaner to remove existing lubricant and dirt on the bike chain. Spray it freely until the grime is completely knocked off.
- Now, use a bike chain brush that cleans three out of four sides of the motorcycle chain at once. You can opt for any of the two chain cleaner brush we have reviewed. Just scrub the chain thoroughly.
- Re-spray the bike chain cleaner to dissolve any lubricant or dust particles remaining and ensure even the last remnants have been removed.
- Dry the motorcycle chain using a soft & clean cloth before you apply chain lubricant.
- Once the bike chain gets clean & dry, use chain lubricant evenly to all sides.
Cleaning your bike chain is an important but easy process. Try doing it yourself to ensure smooth performance of your bike.
Best Bike Chain Cleaners in India:
The chain cleaner is used to dissolve/remove the existing lubricant and dirt from your bike chain. An effective cleaner can add years to the life of a drivetrain while improving the overall functions. It flushes out all the impurities, deposits and dirt accumulation thereby making it ready for lubrication.
1.Motul C1 Chain Cleaner:
The Motul C1 chain clean features an extremely powerful decreasing agent which removes oil, sand, grease, dirt and all different types of encrusted deposits. It uses a chlorine-free formula which greatly improves the life span of a motorcycle chain. The cleaner cleans all types of motorcycle chains (O, X, and Z-ring) and offers thermal resistance plus stability. Plus, it is available in two variants:
- 150 ml spray weighing 200 grams
- 400 ml spray weighing 499 grams
Most of the users are satisfied with Motul C1 and recommend this cleaner. Lastly, we’ll suggest using C2 lube road after C1 for the best results.
2. 3M Bike Chain Cleaner:
The best chain cleaner for rubber O rings. 3M cleaner effectively removes dirt and grease without damaging the bike chain. It also prevents corrosion & rusting and enables silent & smooth movement of the chain. For effective usage, shake well before use and spray it from a distance of 6-7 inches on the bike chain in the rotation. Also, remove any anti-corrosion coating before use.
The 3M cleaner comes in a 475-gram container and easily lasts more than any other cleaner out there. It smells like kerosene and also has a spray nozzle that allows you to clean even hard-to-reach areas. Overall, a handy chain cleaner that serves its purpose.
Kerosene is also a great cleansing agent and the cheapest one too. Just spray it like the chain cleaner to clean your O, X or Z-ring bike chain. But, be liberal in your application as the kerosene may be cheap but your motorcycle chain isn’t.
P.S. Not to use petroleum-based cleaners or the wire brushes as these will eventually damage the chain drive.
Best Motorcycle Chain Cleaning Brush:
A chain cleaning brush has sturdy ABS plastic body with nylon bristles effective in cleaning up dirt, grime and rust from the chain. There are 3-sided bristles on one end and a dedicated brush on the opposite end. This allows us to clean all four sides of the chain plus sprockets and wheels with ease.
On the other hand, it is impossible to clean all four sides of the chain especially the one facing towards the motorcycle, using a normal brush. Hence, we do not suggest it for use.
How to use it?
- Fit the bike chain between the three-sided bristles of a chain cleaner brush and start spinning the wheel
- Bristles will start scrubbing the chain while knocking off the dirt & dust
- Spin the wheel a couple more times to ensure proper chain cleaning
1.Autofy Universal Chain Cleaner Brush for Bikes:
ABS Plastic body with abrasion-resistant Nylon bristles makes chain cleaning a breezy process. The Autofy chain cleaner brush has a bracket layout for chain cleaning and vertical bristles for the engine block, sprocket, rims, and other parts.
The product is compatible with all two-wheelers and its bracket layout can be disassembled to suit different conditions. The nylon brushes are reusable, flexible and long-lasting. Plus, it is extremely effective in removing oil and dust from the motorcycle chain.
A must-have accessory during off-roading, up-hill travelling, high-speed riding, etc. and it only weighs around 90.7 grams.
2. AllExtreme Bike Chain Cleaner Brush:
Ergonomic and easy to grasp design makes AllExtreme Bike chain cleaner brush a handy product for use. Similar to Autofy brush, it has 3-sided bristles on one side and a long bristle on the other side.
Also, it is made of heavy-duty plastic which ensures durability. At around 59 grams, the chain cleaner brush is a portable product and is very easy to use. The 3-sided bristles are detachable as per the requirement and remove all dirt around the chain. Value for money product if you are a bike lover like us.
Best Bike Chain Lubricants:
A chain lubricant is an essential product that reduces friction and power loss while making the chain slippery and smooth.
It includes a unique solvent that penetrates into the links and eliminates any old residue. The lubrication increases the lifetime of a gear chain and keeps it smooth even at high speeds. It also reduces stress on the engine while ensuring a smooth overall performance of your bike. Lastly, it prevents rusting, overcomes resistance and does not attract excessive dirt.
How to apply it?
Before you start lubricating the bike chain let it clean and dry. Take your time to completely dry out the chain. Remove any chain cleaner before starting lubrication.
- Spin the wheel backwards and apply a single drop per roller (link)
- Avoid lubing the same link again
- Run the chain up & down slowly to evenly distribute lube into the rollers & pins
- Use a clean, dry cloth (rag) to grip the chain and then backpedal, removing excess lube
P.S. For wet lubes it is best to perform a second wipe for proper cleaning of the bike chain.
1.Motul C2 Chain Lube for Bikes:
The bike chain lube by Motul is recommended for standard, O-ring, X-ring, Z-ring, street, go-kart and all other types of bike chains.
The chain spray is colourless, sticky and best designed to lubricate all chains while reducing friction & loss of power. It is water and rust resistant increasing the durability of your gear chain.
The bike chain spray comes in a 399-gram container and adheres to the chain even at high speeds. For proper application, shake it well before using and spray it from top of the lower chain spinning the wheel backwards.
2. 3M Motorcycle Chain Lubricant:
Another popular chain lubricant highly recommended for the bike enthusiasts and bike lovers. This bike chain lube is used for reducing friction and regular wear & tear of the chain linkages. It easily penetrates inside chain links and protects rubber O rings on heavy duty chains.
Use 3M chain lubricant to keep rusting and corrosion away from the gear chain. It has excellent water repellent properties which enhances the lifetime of the bike chain.
For best results, remove the old lubricant residues or anti-corrosion coatings. Spray from a distance of 6-7 inches, highly recommended.
3. Sheeba Liquid Bike Chain Spray:
The heavy friction spray fluid by Sheeba effectively lubricates moving parts. It seals out moisture, prolongs the life of joints and provides protection against rust & corrosion. The fluid reduces noise and easily penetrates even the tightest of gaps ensuring smooth performance of moving parts.
We are impressed at how easily you can spray the liquid grease. Plus, it comes with a plastic pipe that makes it easy to spray at a particular spot where nozzle cannot reach. A great value for money product to lubricate the motorcycle chain and prevent harsh mechanical day-to-day wear.
Best Paddock Stand in India:
Bike wobbles i.e. moves unsteadily from the front to back wheel when you use the main stand for chain cleaning. This makes it difficult to clean and lube the bike chain. Plus, there are some bikes which only come with a side stand. So, you need a paddock stand for effective cleaning.
Paddock stand allows you to lift the bike wheels from the ground standing your motorcycle in an upright position without wobbling. It includes:
- Rectangular frame with wheels on the rear end and two holding mounts on the front
- Push/pull frame connected at an angle which supports the stand and doesn’t let it wobble
1.Grand Pitstop Universal Rear Paddock Stand:
The universal paddock stand lets you lubricate and clean the bike chain quickly and effectively. It is a reliable stand by Grand Pitstop and includes a rotatable swing armrest. This increases the grip on a swing arm while increasing stability for the bike. Plus, there is extra torsional support for a better stand rigidity. The double bearing wheels on the rear allow a smooth lift of your motorbike.
It is ideally compatible with every sports bike including KTM, Honda CBR, Yamaha, Ducati, Suzuki, Aprilia and more. The motorcycle paddock stand is constructed using extra heavy-duty steel which guarantees durable life in all conditions. The front stand comes with “under-fork rubber coated” adapters as standard equipment which prevents scratching.
It weighs around 7 Kg and includes 2 bobbin forks and 2 swing armrest. You will love how easy it is to dismantle the stand and store it anywhere.
2. MotoMod Paddock for Bikes:
The MotoMod Paddock is an agile, strong and ultra-durable stand that can easily lift your motorcycle rear wheel leaving it in an upright position. Unlike the main stand, this does not let the bike wobble during cleaning. The quality paddock stand is easy to assemble, store and provides reliable performance every time.
It is engineered with graded MS tube, CNC bent and is useful for 150cc to 600cc category bikes. The sturdy motorcycle paddock stand is compatible with KTM Duke, Yamaha bikes, Kawasaki Ninja, Bajaj Pulsar, Honda CBR and all others out there.
We loved the finishing of MotoMod stand with Orange, Black, Red, Blue, Green and White colours.
The product has a total weight of 4 Kg with adjustable swing arm. Also, the product dimensions are 30 x 30 x 50 cm. It serves its purpose well and won’t budge at any moment.
3. GA Auto Accessories Motorcycle Paddock Stand:
Weighing at 3.48 Kg the GA Auto Accessories bike paddock stand feels a lot lighter than all others. It can easily lift all sports bikes ranging between 200cc and 400cc. The heavy-duty steel construction ensures a longer life, durability, and strength. The stand has four wheels that provide stability to your motorcycle. It is a perfect tool for chain cleaning, lubrication, maintenance and more. G A Auto Accessories stand has a rear swing-arm which allows you to easily & safely lift the rear wheel for repair, maintenance & storage.
The paddock stand is available in three colour variants – Red, Black, and Orange. Also, its dimensions are 60 x 52.6 x 32 cm. The stand is easily mount/unmounts and felt premium every time we used it for lifting the rear wheel. You will love its build quality just as we do!
4. Explore Universal Paddock Stand for Bikes:
Available in black colour, it is a universal paddock stand by Explore. The stand weighs around 4.5 Kg and has highly gauged iron round unbreakable tubes. There are adjustable swing arms and wheels which make it easy to operate. It is made of galvanized iron tubes powder coated to provide rust resistance. Also, there is a rubber brush that provides paint protection. It looks pleasing to the eye thanks to its excellent finishing.
Explore’s universal paddock stand is compatible with all bikes such as Duke, BMW, Dominar and others. It easily lifts the rear wheel of your motorcycle allowing you to clean and lubricate bike chains effectively. The dimensions of the paddock stand are 70*45*35. Also, the build quality is excellent and is a real value for money product.
P.S. Only hold & release the motorcycle by loosening the swing armrest
Grand Pitstop GRoller – Paddock Stand Substitute:
A perfect paddock stand replacement GRoller lets you effortlessly clean and lubricates bike chains. It includes a flat non-skidding back with anti-skid rubber backing. This prevents any probability of bike skidding while mounting/dismounting. It is made up of aluminium and stainless steel material which prevents rusting. While being minute in size GRoller is certainly the best substitute for huge paddock stands.
Compact, sturdy and a completely lightweight product at 699 grams. GRoller is a perfect companion for any bike tour (check saddle bag for motorcycle if you are planning for a bike tour ) and comes with a 6-month product warranty period. Also, the portable wheel roller is compatible with all bikes less than 220 Kg in weight. There are sealed ball bearings and a powder coated steel base plate that provides a smooth finish.
This is certainly an innovative product by Grand Pitstop that does its job really well. A handy replacement for paddock bike stands!
Role of bike chain (How it works)
The motorcycle chain is an essential part of every bike that includes:
- Inner & outer plate
- And link pins
The metal chain connects the output shaft to the rear wheel of a motorcycle through respective sprockets. So, when the transmission turns front sprocket, power is transferred along the chain to the larger sprocket which turns the rear wheel. This way the motorbike chain works!
A well-greased motorcycle chain enables us to easily shift gears and attain maximum performance from the bike. It transfers the power from gearbox to your wheel and without which your bike cannot function. There are approximately 500 pieces inside the chain connected together to convey power to the wheel.