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Despite the working area of modern O-ring chains being sealed and greased inside, you still need to clean and lubricate the outside of your chain, to ensure the efficiency of the drive and extending chain and sprocket life. In this video, we’ll show you how to properly and efficiently clean and lubricate your motorcycle chain. First, you’ll will need a bike. No, a motorbike. No, a motorbike with a chain To make your life easier, a motorcycle rear stand is very helpful, as is a drip tray, cardboard or rags, something to clean your chain with and chain lubricant. And this…. Wow, what’s that?!?!? That is a grunge brush, a wonderful piece of engineering that will greatly assist in cleaning a motorcycle chain and costs a few dollars on eBay. Now, lets get to cleaning. First, take your bike for a 10 minute ride to warm up the chain, it makes cleaning it easier. Jack the rear wheel up, put the bike in neutral and place some cardboard behind the chain where you intend to spray it. Continue spraying along the top, or inside of the chain until you’ve done a complete revolution. Next, spray on the outside of the chain at the rear sprocket. Place cardboard behind the chain again to protect the other parts of your bike. Leave the bike for around 10 minutes to let the chain cleaner penetrate and dry. Even without taking a brush to the chain, a good quality cleaner will already make it look much nicer. Hopefully your drip tray has caught most of waste. Now, take your grunge brush. There’s two ways of using it. First, manually rotate the back tire like you did when applying the chain cleaner. Or… Put the bike in first, turn it on and use your left hand on the clutch lever to regulate the wheel speed. Try not to put your fingers in the chain or sprocket. That might hurt. Before applying the chain lubricant, you may want to hose the bike down to remove any grime that is still sticking to the chain or sprocket. Once the chain has dried, it’s time to lubricate it. Before you begin lubricating, a quick rundown on what it is your spraying. Essentially, you’re lubricating the external sections of the chain that make contact with two sprockets. Specifically, you’re lubricating between the side plates, which are made up of an outer and inner side plate, as well as the rollers. When applying the lubricant, you can either be surgical, using just as much as you need… or coat the chain if you want to be quicker. Either way is fine. Once finished, wipe away any excess lubricant and you’re done. Do it regularly enough, you’ll enjoy a smoother drive and longer lasting chain and sprockets.

100 thoughts on “How to Clean Motorcycle Chain – Lubricate a Motorcycle Chain

  1. Contrary to what people think, taking a brush to a chain may actually SHORTEN it's lifespan. A friend who was a rep for a major chain manufacturer told me that a brush can actually push dirt past and into the rollers, where it will stay and turn into grinding paste. he says a good chain lube will have cleaner in it which will dissolve old chain lube, and flush it and dirt away. he told me all I should do is spray WD-40 on a rag and give chain a quick wipe to remove external debris. wait 5 minutes, lube chain and wipe off excess. Oh, always ride bike for 10 minutes before chain service as a warm chain cleans easier and helps lube penetrate between the link plates and into the bushings. This process works like charm for me.

  2. Don't know to much about sealed chain but standard off road in the dirt bikes I will take off and and soak in stale gas, rinse in more stale gas. Then soak in gear oil.

  3. DO NOT put your bike in first and run it on the rear stand. It's just not a good idea in general no matter how smart you think you are.

  4. Nice video mate! I think it's safe to clean it in gear for the fact that he's using a brush. But should your hand slip, may lord have mercy on your fingers. In India, the mechanics literally be doing burnouts when applying chain lube. JK.. but yeah, my mech lost his finger cleaning a chain and his wife ain't to happy about that 😉

  5. Lol @ everyone bitching and moaning. Don't like the video then fuck off. Simple. Jump down from your cloud of judgment where you hand out life lessons to all the sinners bahaha.

  6. I have a motul chain lube for chain lubrication……,can i use kerosene to clean the chain before using motul chain lube…..pls help

  7. Worst chain cleaning tutorial ever. Who in their right mind runs the bike in first gear while cleaning the chain? Take the video down, do over and do it right.

  8. Well done on the video but I would not clean the chain while the engine is running for several reasons:
    1) Premature and unnecessary wear on the brush
    2) Brush hairs may get lodged in the chain
    3) Brush may get caught by chain and cause damage to the bike, the brush, and you. There are plenty of pictures on the internet of people losing their fingers because of this.
    4) Unecessary use of gas, annoyance to your neighbors, and less environmentally friendly
    5)Cleaning is not thorough. Only the surface gets cleaned doing it this way. I would recommend using the other end of the brush to scrub between the chain rollers.

  9. "That might hurt." I hope he was joking. DO NOT TURN THE BIKE ON WHEN WORKING ON THE CHAIN. You will lose fingers if you get the fingers in the chain.

  10. Great video! I liked the camera angles and quick commentary. I would recommend not turning on your motorcycle, an unknowing person could make the mistake of getting their fingers caught in there. It's better to be safe than sorry!

  11. Good video, apart from the starting of the bike(?)

    Great idea to have cardboard, cleaner and lubricant on the tire will probably reduce traction of the tires(!)

  12. good idea run your bike and stick your fingers near the running chain. excellent way to loose a finger or two . please DONT take this blokes advice.

  13. Wd40 and a old rag to clean. And some pj1 blue label for lube, don't think you need to spray so much to where it's running off like that just to where it's coated. For a non o-ring chain thats really dirty and gritty I remove it and wash it in old gas. I really doubt any chain cleaner would work as good as completely submerging it in a solvent.

  14. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT put the bike in gear and clean the chain with your stupid brush, it's the best way to loose some fingers.


  16. I JUST LOST 2 FINGERS halves DOING THAT .. DOO NOOT TURN ON THE ENGINE EEVVVERR… unless ur sitting the seat…
    take time and clean it manually.. DO NOT TOUCH ANY PARTS WHILE ON GEAR… its just been 3 days since it happened.. even now typing with left hand…

  17. Cleaning a bike chain while running your motor? That's a trip to the emergency room and the start of a Fucked up day! You won't save much time doing this and you'll be risking too much. Even if you don't get your fingers caught, a rag or scrubber going through your chain wouldn't be too good either.

  18. Does no one on you tube check before posting this stuff? Cleaning is fine but best way to lube is on a hot chain so lube gets in all the o rings and pins as they expand with heat, then use a cleaner degreaser on rag to remove all excess lube on outside,if you can see it it is not lubing the chain so wipe all excess off.

  19. such worst advice to keep bike in gear to clean chain…. totally retarded.
    Delete this scene and then upload again, your whole advice had gone for a toss idiot.

  20. I wouldn't recommend starting a motorbike while mechanically working on any part of it – especially around chains and cogs

  21. NO NO NO NO NO!  YOU COMPLETE AND IRISPONSIBLE  DICK!  thanks to you and this stupid video, a young guy I work with has lost the end of his finger and is off work for 3 weeks after getting his hand caught in the chain and sprockets..if you cant give safe sound advice, leave it to people who have done this job for a living for 30 years…   risking your own fingers is one thing, but spouting this rubbish on the internet is reckless and dangerous…….   your stupidity is on a level with Donald J Trump….   I would like you to supply your name and address so his solicitors can get in touch.

  22. Like nearly ALL others here, performing chain maintenance with the bike in gear and rotating is so dangerous it’s not funny. Like sticking your hands near the moving fan belts of your car with a rag in your hand…you’d never do that right? Well, R E A P E R would…he’s a tough talker. As a youth, I exercised that poor judgement…turned my Saturday morning into an all day ER visit. Just like Jey Kar…I got my damn thumb stuck in the back frikking  sprocket…I don’t even know how to this day. Stupid stupid stupid…just like this video.

  23. When using the tooth brush you should make sure the back of the chain gets cleaned by the brush too. Very lazy just putting a brush on and then rotating the wheel and think you are chain cleaning. 2 positions to cover the back part of the chain.

  24. This immediately became a bad advice video the moment it recommended running the bike while working on the chain. Was this meant as a bad joke?


    (Cleaning and lubricating a motorcycle chain while running it not only extends the life of those parts, but also helps you in losing your fingers or even your hands……..) how about that….genius…..

    Step 1 Put the bike on paddock stand.
    Step 2 Put the key in ignition.
    Step 3 Turn it to on position.
    Step 4 Turn on the engine.
    Step 5 Pull the clutch lever.
    Step 6 Put it in first gear.
    Step 7 Release the clutch.
    Step 8 Put your finger between the chain and sprocket.
    Step 9 lose your finger(s)
    Job done
    (Disclaimer: Only for idiots)

  27. Not only is he turning the bike on, but very important is using the right cleaner, use kerosine or somthing mild that won't effect the O-rings between the plates. No Brak-clean or thinner or whatever. Your seals will be affected and dirt will get in the mechanical parts of the chain. result, rust and dirt inside the chain.

  28. Remove this video. With 370k views, there is a chance somebody already lost some fingers because of your stupid advice.

  29. Hey, Man. Thanks for the video. I need more guidance from you in order to take care my motorcycle. I'm pretty sure my chain looks really dirty and needs celaning and lube. Please guide me, Master. I beg u

  30. A LOT of people here are upset about the grunge brush being used while in gear. Not everyone's clumsy you know. Riding a sportbike around mountain roads is a lot more dangerous.

  31. Check out the new Moto Chain-Mate Kit. Perfect for Motorcycle Chain Cleaning and Lubrication, works fantastic!

  32. To all the noobs, don't be a boob and try this. Watch the videos on chain cleaning by MC Garage or Revzilla.

  33. NEVER put your bike in gear with the engine running when working on the chain. This is a sure way to loose your fingers. The fuckwit in the video needs a good kicking to knock some sense into him. What an utter no-nothing fuckwit! I've reported the video to YouTube as advocating dangerous practice.

  34. some good advice and really bad advice also. NEVER ever clean your chain with the bike I gear!! it's to easy to lose your fingers that way. just spin the wheel by hand, take a little longer but way safer.

  35. DO NO DO THIS IN GEAR!! I took a friends advise and did this, a trip to A&E and a broken thumb later defo not worth the 5 mins its saves you. Good thing my chain was loose or could have been much worse.

  36. Dont listen to this guy about putting ur bike in gear and letting it go. Horrible advice to someone who potentially is trying to clean his/her chain for the first time. U can easily loose a finger. Good thing videos like to dislike ratio is bad to warn other riders.

  37. Not 100% sure a warm chain is best when cleaning, could let solvent in where it shouldn't be. Anyway, definitely warm for the oring friendly lube part.

  38. As most people have pointed out it's dangerous to clean the chain while in gear and running. Two benefits of cleaning the slow, safe way, are that you get to visually check the links of your chain. I once found a kink in my chain that was very stubborn. I knew then that the chain was ready to be replaced. The link wasn't settling right, and I'm not a mechanic, but that's a warning to me. The sprockets were fine, and the rest of the chain was good, but that link was toast for some reason. Second, I like being thorough in cleaning the gunk of the chain. Running in gear, I imagine might be quick, but you might not pick off all the gunk of the blind side of the chain.

  39. Jesus the most dumb idea ever, I guess if you don't want your fingers anymore, go ahead and turn the motorbike on to gain 2 seconds on time

  40. That is irresponsible telling people to turn on the motorcycle and put into first gear. Don't do it this way. You might lose a finger or a hand. It is not worth it, just roll the rear wheel by hand with the motorcycle off. I stopped watching the video as soon as they did that. Be safe.

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