Is your motorcycle chain full of oil and dirt and needs a good clean? Will it cause harm to the chain? Is it ok to strip off all the excess grease with a degreaser?
A degreaser can be used on a motorcycle chain. The motorcycle chain should not be overloaded with grease and oil, as this will attract road grime and debris, resulting in premature wear. Use a chain degreaser designed for this purpose.
Is it ok to use a degreaser on motorcycle chains?
Yes. Many motorcyclists will wash off the chain with a power washer or hose and never give it a second thought. However, decreasing your motorcycle chain will extend its life and prevent premature failure.
It is advisable to use a purpose-made degreaser for good results. Some folks swear by WD40, but it doesn’t do the same job as a degreaser.
You can also use good old soap and water. Dishwashing soap is a pretty good degreaser, but it’s not quite up to the job of removing road grime and grease from the chain.
Some automotive degreasers are caustic based, and if you don’t take great care, it can cause some ratings. Also, keep the degreasers away from aluminium components. Degreasers and aluminium tend to react, leaving the aluminium blackened and slightly pitted, making polishing to its former lustre difficult.
How do you degrease a motorcycle chain?
Put your motorcycle on its centre stand and in neutral. Assess how big a job this will be by spinning the back wheel to view the whole chain.
Apply the cleaner liberally but not excessively to the chain and leave for a minute or so for the degreaser to eat into the grease.
If you use a water-based degreaser, it will take you longer to degrease the chain, but it’s environmentally friendly, so the trade-off is worth it.
Time to scrub the chain. Scrub thoroughly with a chain brush. This will make things easier. When complete, rinse off with water and repeat the process until you are satisfied with the results.
Use some old fabric rather than a new microfibre cloth. Dry your chain off. Whatever you use, you will need to throw it in the bin when you are finished.
Don’t forget you need to now re-lube your chain, use chain wax or spray your chain, remembering to catch any overspray. Once complete, you are all set and ready to go.
What is the best thing to clean a motorcycle chain?
It depends on your preference for degreasers. Solvent-based degreasers do a great job quickly. Whereas water-based degreasers are environmentally safer, they take a little longer to do the job.
If you have enough time on your hands to use a water-based solvent, the results will be as good as solvent-based degreasers with less impact on the environment.