Despite many years of experience, the chain is still a popular way to transfer power and torque from the engine to the drive axle. Today we know it mainly from motorcycles, but an equally common example of chain use is bicycle. However, the simplicity and durability of the chain also has its own requirements, the omission of which can quickly result in the destruction of our equipment.
Cleaning and lubricating the chain on a motorcycle
When asked about typical chain maintenance activities, the most common answer is lubrication. And it’s true that a periodically applied lubricant will allow the chain to operate without unnecessary friction and therefore wear and tear on the chain and its associated components. However, we should not forget that even the best lubricant will not bring satisfactory results if we do not clean the chain thoroughly from time to time.
What does chain cleaning give?
Each lubricant manufacturer will offer us the advantages of their product, provided that the lubricant is not mixed with dirt and other undesirable substances. Such substances affect the composition of the grease and change its properties, in many cases practically depriving it of its original characteristics. Of course, dirt itself will also affect the characteristics of the chain itself, increasing friction in the chain and destroying its surface.
The consequences of this could be catastrophic. At best, an uncleaned chain will be useless after 10 to 20,000 kilometres. This argument should already make us act, because a cleaned chain will last 30 – 40 thousand kilometers from time to time, and a well-maintained chain will allow you to drive about 50 thousand without the need for replacement.
In the worst case, a neglected chain will simply break off while driving, which will force us to repair the entire transmission. And such a cost is often calculated not in hundreds, but in thousands of zlotys.
How to clean the chain on a motorcycle with what?
On the market we can find different answers to the question of which chain cleaning product is the best. Light kerosene, petrol or solvent are often proposed. But these are not the best ideas. The chain cleaning process with kerosene takes a very long time and also generates a lot of dirt, while petrol and solvent are not suitable because they dissolve O-rings.
For these reasons, it is best to use a specially formulated chain cleaner. Product type K2 Chain cleaner is strong enough to remove all sorts of dirt and mud from the chain, as well as old grease and oil. It will also not be dangerous for us and will not affect the surface of the chain and its sealants, i.e. O-Rings, X-Rings and others, which is a frequent danger in the case of strong corrosive substances.
How to clean the chain on a motorcycle?
It is worthwhile to clean the chain in a motorcycle every 3 – 4 typical chain lubrication. Such a period is enough to remove dirt and debris that will be present during the ride on a motorcycle. It is also easy to do so, especially since today’s products are usually available in spray form. After shaking, apply quite a lot of the agent to the dirty chain and sprocket, and then wait about one or two minutes for the remover to react with the dirt and grease.
If your chain hasn’t been cleaned for a long time or if you can see a lot of dirt on it, you can use a special toothbrush to help the chain work. After all, remove the dirt product with a cloth or under running water and dry thoroughly.
How to take care of your chain?
Cleaning a motorcycle chain is the first step in regular chain maintenance. The next one, i.e. lubrication, should be performed much more often, even every few hundred kilometers. Although it sounds dangerous, in practice it is a very easy task, it requires only a little discipline.
It takes a few minutes to apply a K2 type Dry Chain Lubricant to the chain in the form of a spray, but then it is worth waiting for half an hour for the lubricant to set and form an appropriate protective layer for the chain.
Another important issue is the correct chain tension. You don’t need any more lubricant here, but you do need to know the limit values for the chain tension. If these limits are exceeded even if the rear wheel on the control arm has been moved to its maximum position or a special tension pulley is used, the chain is only suitable for replacement.
On the other hand, it must be remembered that the chain’s tensioning force also has its limits, and exceeding it can cause damage to the rear axle components or even damage to the chain.
It’s worth taking care of the chain
Taking care of a chain is a series of simple, time consuming tasks. They are not expensive either, especially when we look at the costs of a possible underestimation of chain cleanliness. So it is worth spending these few moments and a dozen or so zlotys to restore the chain to its original condition from time to time.