Hello, Two Wheelers! Once again we are back to discuss a very important topic about the Drivetrain maintenance of your beloved machine; changing a motorcycle chain. Last time we talked about how to adjust t and clean your motorbike chain (click here to check the article).
However, what happens if you reached your maximum adjusting limit, yet the motorcycle chain was not functioning properly and is giving you a poor output performance. Then it’s time to bring yourself a brand new one.
First, how will you realize that it’s the time to replace your old motorcycle chain?
Perfect Timing for Changing a Motorcycle Chain.
Your best reference that you should get back to, is your maintenance guide. Usually, it states the mileage at which the motorcycle chain should be replaced. On the other hand, you should do some check ups yourself, to ensure that the existing one is worn up for sure.
If the midway displacement of the chain, between the front and rear sprockets, is more than one inch (after several different readings), then this is a clear red flag that you should replace it. Just make sure that this displacement still occurs after the fully adjusting the chain. If so, then it’s time to buy yourself a new one.
Another important check up is taking a closer look at your sprockets’ teeth. If the teeth are pointed and your sprockets are starting to look like a “ninja star”, then most probably you should replace the bike chain.
Normal sprockets should have wavy teeth instead of pointed one. This is another blinking red light that can be used as a warning for changing a motorcycle chain. It’s recommended to change to whole set (both chain and sprockets) at the same time. We will be talking about the type of sprockets and how to change them in another article.
Types of Motorcycle Chains.
Now, you made the previous check-ups, and you are sure that your current bike chain needs a replacement. What is the best type of motorcycle chain for your motorcycle? Here are the most common ones on the market.
The Standard Motorcycle Chain.
This option has a very low lifetime span. It needs a lot of maintenance too. However, it has a very low friction factor and it’s usually used for heavy duty usage. It’s frequently installed on dirt bikes. Standard chains are usually used with low power engines. It’s an old-school option and a very primitive one, yet it’s still used.
The O-ring Motorcycle Chain.
The standard option was developed to the o-ring one. This option has an o-ring shaped rubber between the outer and inner plates of the motorcycle chain. Its main purpose is to keep the dirt outside, keeps the chain lubricated for more time and improves its lifetime span. This type is the most popular among the others when it comes to modern motorcycles with powerful engines.
The X-Ring Motorcycle Chain.
Last but not least, we have the X-ring bike chain which is the improved version of the O-ring one. The internal rubber shape is x-shaped one instead of the round one which provides less friction when compressed. This option provides its rider with the equilibrium state that he/she is seeking, between maintenance and performance.
Now, you have picked up your desired option and it’s time to take a closer look at our guide to changing a motorcycle chain.
Changing a Motorcycle Chain the Right Way.
You will need the following tools to get the job done:
– A Rear Wheelstand.
– A Chain Breaker.
– A Motorcycle chain Lubricant.
– A Rag.
It’s advisable to purchase your new motorcycle chain, same size as the stock one that is mentioned in the maintenance guide. Also, make sure that the sprockets are of the same size too, to ensure perfect fitment.
First, you need to lift the rear wheel using the stand. Remove the front sprocket cover to get access to your motorcycle chain front end part. Now, your old motorcycle chain is totally exposed and ready to be replaced.If you want to keep the old bike chain as a reserve one (for emergencies only), then it’s better to search for the master pin and cut it using the chain breaker.
This will keep the chain in good shape for emergency uses later on. If you don’t really care about the old chain, just break the chain itself at any point and remove the old chain.
One of the most important things that is skipped while changing a motorcycle chain is cleaning the sprockets (again, it’s recommended to change them with the chain), before installing the new one.Install the new chain on the sprockets, close it using the master pin, and apply some motorcycle chain lubricant on the whole chain.Remove any excess lubricants and close the front sprocket cover.
Viola, now you have installed your new motorcycle chain and ready to enjoy your rides.
We hope that we succeeded in supplying you with some useful information and tips about changing a motorcycle chain. The Two Wheelers Team wishes you joyful and safe rides. Cheers!