How to Clean Motorcycle Chain

Motorcycle chains need to be kept clean and well-lubricated for optimal performance. Sometimes, though, dirt or other debris can make its way into the chain’s intricate links and cause premature wear. Cleaning a motorcycle chain is easy with the right supplies and tools. This blog post will cover everything you’ll need to know about How to Clean Motorcycle Chain so that it lasts as long as possible.

Cleaning your motorcycle chain is an essential part of maintaining the life and performance of your bike. If you neglect to clean it, dirt will build upon the links and jam into the spaces between them. The friction caused by this buildup can generate heat and lead to premature wear of other parts that are connected to or near the chain. A dirty chain also creates noise as it rubs against itself, which can be a problem when riding in traffic or at night because people might not know you’re coming from behind them if they don’t hear you coming!

We’re going to answer in our blog post on How to Clean Motorcycle Chain properly! Read on if you want more information.

Why Should a Motorcycle Chain Be Cleaned and Degreased?

It is essential to clean the motorcycle chain. This will help it run better. As the motorcycle gets more miles, there will be more dirt on it, which can make it not work. By cleaning it, will improve the traction, and the vehicle’s lifespan will be prolonged.

If you have ridden under normal conditions, you should clean your motorcycle’s chain every 800-1000 kilometers. You should clean your vehicle every 500 kilometers if you frequently pass through muddy terrain or a lot of water.

Before lubricating the chain, make sure it is spotless to avoid contamination and impede the proper operation of the vehicle.

What Are the Best Times to Clean Your Motorcycle Chain?

There is no need to clean the motorcycle chain so often. Cleaning a motorcycle depends on the style of use and the conditions in which it is used. In driving through wet or dirty areas, you have to wash your vehicle more often. The most common recommendation is to clean every 1,000 kilometers.

Even though the exact figure is not available, the chain’s dryness can let you know. An inadequate amount of grease forms an impermeability film that prevents new applications from penetrating. It is the ideal time for cleaning your motorcycle chain.

Which chain maintenance products should you use?

Adding grease or cleaning the chain is not the only aspect of general chain maintenance. Don’t wash the chain without being lubricated, and don’t add grease without the old one being washed first. To achieve both, the best solution is to use specialized lubricants such as Repsol or Motul.

WD-40 Specialist for Motorbikes is our personal recommendation. A chain cleaner bottle, a chain lubricant bottle, and a wax protector bottle are included in the set. You can find it on Amazon for an extremely accessible price. We can achieve with the high quality & durable results, thereby extending the chain’s life.

It would be best if you had gloves on so you don’t get chemicals on your hands. You should also wear safety glasses and a face mask to protect yourself from the chemicals in the chain’s waste. Put cardboard down for when it gets dropped on the floor.

As a final point, motorcycle manufacturers usually recommend specific products for their motorcycles when it comes to maintenance. Therefore, if you have your motorcycle’s manual at hand, you should check it for recommended products or contact the manufacturer to learn if there are any specific products that apply to your motorcycle.

The Best Way to Clean a Motorcycle Chain

A dirty chain can cause a multitude of problems for your motorcycle. Not only does it make the bike look unappealing, but it also can lead to safety issues as well. Follow these simple methods below and you’ll be able to clean your chain correctly.

Let’s do this! 

  • The First Method

First, let’s investigate the method used by most motorcycle riders. To do this, you must rise up the motorcycle on a stand. Our recommendation is never to let a second person stand up manually.

It is not necessary to start the motorcycle to apply a degreasing liquid along the chain. The suspended wheel can be moved by hand. A stiff bristle brush is used to help the cleaner penetrate better after the chain has completely been cleaned. In this way, any old grease particles can be more effectively removed and chemicals can penetrate better.

Until the chain is fully restored to its original color, the degreaser continues to be applied and rubbed in. In addition to applying the new grease, the wheel is also turned by hand by a worker so that the lubricant runs all along the chain. After applying grease after rotating the wheel for several minutes, it is extremely important to apply grease to the inside of the chain. So, lubricating fat will adhere to the crown better while penetrating between the links.

  • The Second Method

This second method requires removing the motorcycle’s chain, so it is less common since it takes longer. A rear stand is also a better option for this. To clean the motorcycle better, remove the chain. If you use liquids to clean it, they won’t splash on other parts of the motorcycle. Thus, it is still the safest method to clean your motorcycle chain, even if it is tedious to remove and reinstall it.

The chain can be cleaned as many times as needed by using a degreasing liquid after removing it. Because the bike is limited, you do not need to measure your movements necessarily. It is even possible to move the chain to a place where the grease won’t stain the floor.

You can dip the chain for a few minutes in a container of diesel for this method. When you’re done doing this, you’ll find that your diesel has regained almost 100% of its original color and brightness after you’ve removed the grease and dirt particles. After this, you should thoroughly wash it to remove any explosive residues.

It is now vital to ensure that the chain is completely dry. Using your new lubricant is now possible. Now that the chain is not attached to the motorcycle, you can take advantage of cleaning the crown and chain guard.

Apply lubricant to the sprocket before replacing the chain and your new chain will be ready to place. I know it’s not brand new, but the fact that it is so shiny will only make your friends believe it.

Pro Tips to Clean the Motorcycle Chain?

Cleaning the motorcycle chain should only be done with soap and water. Using diesel after cleaning is a good idea.

The process is straightforward. Cleaning the chain involves washing the motorcycle and then following the steps below:

  • Lift the rear wheel using the stand. The motorcycle may fall on you if another person tries to lift it, or you may get hurt.
  • Under pressure with a compressor or with the help of shop paper or a cloth, remove the chain.
  • If the chain has been removed, clean it with soap and water. The grease can easily be removed by spraying diesel carefully on the surface and rubbing continuously.
  • It would be best if you continued washing your chain until the color returns to its original. Additionally, you may want to clean the chain guard or crown during this time.
  • I love it! I bet the chain was like new when it arrived.

Are you planning on using a pressure washer?

Although a pressure washer can clean the motorcycle chain very efficiently, we do not recommend using it because it will damage seals or allow water to penetrate them. It’s best to keep a certain distance from the chain while cleaning it with pressure water so that all of the pressure doesn’t reach it.

After the bike has dried, it’s time to work on the chain. The rear wheel must be lifted using a stand. If we don’t have the stand, we will ask for help. We need to tilt the motorcycle onto the kickstand and then someone needs to clean and grease it. But we say this is an exceptional measure because it is dangerous and will damage the kickstand. What we need is a garage stand or a lift we can use to fix the motorcycle.

If you do not throw away a little shop paper or a rag, you can dry the chain well with an air compressor.

The process of lubrication

Motorcycle chains need to be lubricated every 300-600 miles to guarantee smooth riding and a long lifespan.

It is best to lubricate the chain after riding rather than before. By spraying your bike ahead of time, you give the solvents a chance to evaporate and the lubricant a chance to penetrate the link. 

You’ll need to turn the rear wheel completely when you’re on a bike stand or paddock stand.

Apply lubricant/grease evenly and thinly to the chain. Turn the wheel three full circles around the chain and target the spray nozzle at the inside of the chain.

Whenever possible, use a lube/grease specifically made for motorcycle chains, as non-specialized products may not function.


  • Can I use WD40 to clean motorcycle chain?

If your bike chain is mud-covered and thick with dirt, you only need to rinse it. Apply the WD-40 Bike Degreaser to your bike chain and allow it to work for a sufficient period. Furthermore, other moving parts can be cleaned and degreased with the WD-40 Bike Degreaser.

  • How often should motorcycle chain be cleaned?

Around every 600 kilometers.

Is it necessary to clean your motorcycle chain often? If your motorcycle chain has O-rings, we recommend lubricating it every 600 miles at the very least, and more often if it has a plain chain.

  • Can I clean my motorcycle chain with water?

You can.

Rinse the chain with water if you’re just cleaning and lubricating it, and then wipe it with a cloth. To get the chain ready to be lubricated, you should ride the bike for a short period after cleaning both the chain and wheel (or both).

  • How long do motorcycle chains last?

Between 20,000 and 30,000 miles

Over time, chains degrade and should be replaced. Is it necessary to replace the motorcycle chain every so often? Most motorcycles have a lifespan of between 20,000 and 30,000 miles, sometimes longer. However, some last only between 5,000 and 10,000 miles.

  • How much does it cost to replace a motorcycle chain?

An entry level chain can be found for about $15.00, whereas higher performance chains can be found for up to $30 – $60. The greater the cost of the chain, the better the quality, and the more durable it is.


We hope that this post “How to Clean Motorcycle Chain” has helped you learn how to clean your motorcycle chain. It is common for a dirty and oily bike chain to cause serious problems with the performance of your engine, so it’s essential to take care of it as soon as possible. The steps outlined in this article should give you a good idea of what to do next time you need help cleaning up your bike. If there are any other questions or comments about our tutorial, please let us know!


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