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When to lube a motorcycle chain

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We are often asked by customers, how often should I lube my drive chain, “is it every 500 or 1000km”? Many owners manuals use wording like – clean and lubricate the drive chain at regular intervals – every 1000km at the latest. Lubricate more frequently if the motorcycle is ridden in wet, dusty or dirty conditions.

Table of Contents

What is More Frequently?

Wording like ‘regular intervals’ and more ‘frequently’ will mean different things to different riders. Some riders use their bikes once a month, others use them daily, so regular intervals are going to be quite different for each riding scenario.

Dirty or Dry?

A motorcycle drive chain will become dirty and/or dry with use. How soon that happens depends on a variety of factors including wet or dry weather; dusty or dirty conditions; high or low speed use; the number of kilometres covered in those conditions or even how often the motorcycle is washed.

Knowing When to Lube

There is a simple and quick way to know whether your chain needs to be cleaned and lubricated. Whether you’ve done 200ks or 2000ks, you’ll know if it is ok or if it needs to be lubed.

Stand at the rear of the motorcycle and look at the drive chain rollers. If they are shiny or becoming shiny, they are dry and your drive chain needs to be lubricated. It really is that simple.

The picture below on the left clearly shows a dirty and dry drive chain. The picture on the right shows the drive chain after it has been cleaned and lubed.

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