How to Clean a Motorcycle Chain (Using Lube)

How Long Does a Motorcycle Chain Last?

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Once I was riding and I heard a loud bang, I looked down and there was my motorcycle chain that was completely destroyed and part of it dissipated. I did some brief research and found some credible resources and came to a conclusion as to why motorcycle chain was bad. There is no doubt that learning the complexities of a motorcycle chain is vitally important, you want to ensure that your safety is the number one priority so you know when to replace your chain accordingly.

So, how long does a motorcycle chain last? This question depends on a variety of aspects, but generally, you can expect a motorcycle chain to last anywhere between 20,000 and 30,000 miles. But again, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind because at the same time a motorcycle chain could last you 5,000 miles depending on the lubrication, maintenance and brand.

Type of Chain

So when looking at your chain, looking at that type of chain is going to be very important. Most of the older chains don’t have the O-ring or X seals which are essentially modernized in the traditional style of motorcycles. The purpose of the O-ring chain is to maintain a special lubricant that is within the seals of the chain, these new style O-ring motorcycle chains will last you a lot of years especially if you maintain the outside of the chain. 

If you have an O-ring motorcycle chain, you can expect your motorcycle chain to last more than 30,000 miles. The purpose is to keep dirt and other moisture away from the inner-chain, which ultimately protects the chain and prolongs its life.

Type of Riding

The type of riding is definitely going to influence the lifetime span of your motorcycle chain. So for example if you’re riding your motorcycle in muddy rainy weather water or even Dusty conditions like off roading you can expect a shorter lifespan on your motorcycle chain. 

Just keep in mind when you’re riding your motorcycle to always clean it and always lubricate the chain as well just to maintain it. I am not saying you can’t ride in rough conditions but just make sure that you clean your motorcycle and you stay up-to-date on your motorcycle maintenance.

Chain Lubrication & Maintenance

Staying up-to-date on your motorcycle maintenance will save you time, money and stress. My professional recommendation is to clean your motorcycle chain and not only that changed the whole motorcycle every once in awhile to ensure that your safety yet your motorcycles lifetime is prolonged. 

Signs of a Bad Motorcycle Chain

You may have found or even seen symptoms of a bad motorcycle chain. I understand how you feel when you are looking at your motorcycle with total madeness. So here I have listed some of the most important symptoms that you cannot miss. 

  • Rust – Inspecting your chain for rust is very important. This is something that is overlooked by many motorcycle mechanics and I will tell you with my experience in the industry you should definitely check for rust on your chain. Now, however, if your motorcycle chain has rust on the outside layer, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your motorcycle chain is ruined. It does mean that you need to do further analysis on your chain to come up with a conclusion based on if you need to replace it. If your motorcycle chain pins or rollers are rusted in that case you will definitely need to replace your motorcycle chain because the rulers just don’t function the same anymore need to replace your motorcycle chain because the rollers just don’t function the same anymore.
  • Kinks – Kinks on a motorcycle chain is very important to raise awareness around this because if you’re riding on a motorcycle who has kinks on the chain it’s important to realize that your life is at risk. 
  • Noise – A normal motorcycle chain should sound very smooth and no clunking sounds. If you hear clunking, try to clean and lubricant the chain, furthermore if the sound doesn’t go away. So it’s my professional recommendation that the chain needs a replacement.

My Motorcycle Chain Lube Recommendation

I don’t like to straight-up promote a product like this, but for here it’s necessary because I’ve had nothing but great results from my chain lubricant from Amazon.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do motorcycle sprockets last? A motorcycle sprocket is harder to determine when to replace. As a general rule I would replace your sprocket as soon as your chain needs replacement. Of course you never know on a used motorcycle, but in terms of looking at the specifics on your sprocket, make sure the teeth aren’t worn out. 

Where can I buy a motorcycle chain & sprocket? The best places to get your motorcycle sprockets or chains is from RevZilla or Amazon. I can tell you that Amazon has phenomenal selection of parts throughout their entire store and all their inventory so I can say that they do have more opportunity in terms of the variety of motorcycle models that they do offer. 

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