Top motorcycle chain-set maintenance tips for beginners

There are three types of power delivery drives in motorcycles, first and the most common is chain-type drive, second is belt type drive and third is shaft type drive. Generally, all motorcycles that we use on day to day basis use a chain drive/chain-set to deliver the mechanical power from the engine to rear wheel which makes the motorcycle move forward. The second on the list is belt drive which is commonly seen only on cruiser bikes since it is used for smoother power delivery (mechanical losses may be more). The shaft type drive is only seen in some very exclusive or premium motorcycle and isn’t very common. But shaft type drive doesn’t need maintenance at all (until some damage has occurred), hence it is preferred in some motorcycle which need to cover up long distances in one go. On the flip side, it is extremely costly to replace compared to the rest two.


Among all, it is only the chain type drive which needs proper timely maintenance while the other two can live without it for a long time. A chain-set needs to be properly service every 600kms to 800kms when used on the regular roads but needs even more frequent maintenance if the bike is operated in harsh/dirt filled terrain.

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In the article below we list down some very simple steps that you need to follow for regular chain-set maintenance –

  1. Get a paddock stand – A motorcycle paddock stand is very important if your bike doesn’t feature a center-stand. You will need to lift up the rear tyre to make the chain freely move back and forth. Hence is a must have tool for all timely maintenance works that you need to do on the bike. *Buy Paddock stand from*
  2. Place your bike on the stand and use chain cleaner – The first step which needs to be followed in getting the sticky dirt and muck off the chain. A cleaner spray will definitely come handy in doing so. In another case, if you do not use a cleaner and directly apply the lubricant, all the dirt will end up sticking harder on to the chain – eating away its critical rings that bind the chain together. So in the longer term, it will indirectly shorten the chain life. Hence it is extremely important to use a chain cleaner before lubrication.
  3. Let the chain dry – Use a dry cloth/microfiber to wipe off all the dripping cleaner liquid from the chain. If you directly apply lubricant over the wet chain, chances are most of it might already get washed away due to the cleaner.
  4. Apply the cleaner on the dry chain – Apply Motul lubricant spray on the cleaned chain and do not operate the motorcycle until it dries and sticks to the surface.
  5. Chain adjustment – For those of you unaware, make sure your motorcycle chain is adjusted every 1000 km of operation, or when you notice that the chain needs to adjust as it stretches loose on the operation. Only go to a specialized mechanic for chain adjustments.
  6. Additional advice – Do not wash your motorcycle directly after chain lubrication, as it may wash away all the lubricant which was applied to the chain in the first place. Also do regular checks on the chain for rust, cracks, or untimely damage which might have occurred recently.
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