how to clean dirt bike chain

How To Clean Dirt Bike Chain | Know The Fundamentals

Got your first dirt bike? You should know some important facts like how to clean dirt bike chain. Well, usually, a cleaning a dirt bike chain is more crucial than the regular one.

There’s no difference in the process of cleaning bike chain. It’s just you need to get involved in it very carefully. For the healthy status of your dirt bike, you need to keep the chain clean regularly. You might think of sending your bike to a professional cleaner.

But if you can do the professional cleaning at your home, it would be even better. Don’t you think so? For the robust performance, your dirt bike should be fit and fine all the time. Dirt bike chain maintenance is highly important but not tough. It requires your extra care, attention, and a little time. Don’t forget you need to do it in the right way. Read further and you’ll know everything about cleaning your dirt bike chain.

Figure Out Your Chain Type

The first thing you should know about your chain is its type. That’s because everything depends on it from the beginning to the end. It also affects the way of how to clean dirt bike chain. Nothing to worry. It’s not a big deal as there are only a few types of chains.

Non-Sealed Chain

This is the simplest but high maintenance bike chain. You can also call them plain chain. The reason is the chain has no seal between the metal-on-metal links. So, the cleaning is easier than the sealed one. It can be compatible with any kind of bike. Most racers choose such a chain because they tend to be less frictional. On the other hand, such a chain can’t keep itself lubricated internally. It requires more attention like regularly.

Sealed Chain

You can easily find out the difference between sealed and non-sealed chains. The sealed chain contains a rubber seal on each space between the inside and the outside of the links. This seal makes the grease keep lubricating the pin from inside. Thus the longevity of the chain extends longer. You’ll get two different types of sealed chain out in the market, O-ring and X-ring.

O-Ring Chains

This type of sealed chain contains o-shaped rings between the rollers and link plates. Such shape helps the chain keep lubricating itself with lube and grease inside the chai. It also prevents dirt from easily getting into the chain. That’s the reason such chains are not high maintenance. Also, they tend to last longer. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need care. Without your care, it can crack or break down.

X-Ring Chain

Now, this is slightly better than the O-shaped ring. It has more longevity than the previous one. It’s its design that makes the X-chain a more efficient but expensive one. Unlike the continuous O-shaped ring, it contains a ring that has four arms as the touching points. Thus the ring only touches the chain at four different places like a cross. That’s how it reduces friction and increases the time of lubrication.   

How to Remove a Dirt Bike Chain

It’s not always a must to remove the chain from your dirt bike to clean it. You just need to know how to clean bike chain without removing Sometimes you need to remove it to clean it properly. It’s not a tough task to do but seems a little tricky.

There’s a master link on the chain that holds it connected. The easiest way to find it is by rotating the rear wheel slowly. When you got that try to loosen it. To loosen the chain first you need the rear axle of your dirt bike to be loose. That’s how you can slide the rear wheel forward and set the chain loose.

Now time to disconnect the master link. For that, you can use either a screwdriver or a pair of pliers. But the plier is more preferable. Hold the pin of that adjacent link with one end of the pliers. Then to remove the pin of the chain squeeze the other ends together and pull it out. You can use it on any kind of bike chain.

How to Clean Your Motorcycle Chain

Cleaning bike chain is a must for any type of chain. The quality of the material doesn’t matter. When it comes to dirt bikes, it’s risky to let the chain be dirty. On the other hand, grease and gunk is the reason your chain attracts the dirt and let them build up the wear.  

Never forget to check the chain before lubing it up. You should go for the lubing on a fresh and clean chain. So, make sure there is no dirt on it. To inspect you can rotate the rear wheel putting your bike on its stand. If you doubt that your chain is too dirty to clean, just replace it with a new one.

The best way to clean a motorcycle chain is to check its condition first. It’s not always necessary to take the chain off the bike to clean it. Sometimes you can clean it just wiping it out or scrubbing with a brush. But for excessive grease and mud, you need to take it off. 

After taking the chain off first you should wipe away the grease and dirt using a piece of cloth. Or, you can use a brush to remove the mud. Just make sure you use a soft rush on a sealed chain and the wire brush on non-sealed chains. Then you can use the mixture of water and soap to clean the chain.

You can also soak the chain into soap water if there’s much grease to clean. Soaking will make the thick mud easier to clean. Instead of scrubbing, soaking is a way better idea. It reduces the chance for your chain to get damaged. If you can’t find any cleaner good for your chain, you can go with kerosene. It’s available and cheap.

The best part is it can dissolve any oily or greasy residue including the previous lubricant. Spray some kerosene on the chain and give it some time to work properly. Then, scrub or wipe out the chain with brush or cloth appropriately. After that use a clean and dry towel to wipe the chain again to make it dry entirely.

Dirt Bike Chain Maintenance: Lubing Your Chain

The next thing you need to do is lube up your chain. During this time be more careful about the pins and rollers. The lube has to get inside them. To apply lube on your lower chain it’s the best way to spin the rear wheel forward. It’ll make the chain climb on the sprocket wile lubing.

After lubing the whole chain don’t leave it without wiping the excess lube. Otherwise, it’ll attract the dirt soon. Keep spinning the rear wheel after sometimes. That’s going to help the lube work fast. This is the way you lube your chain without taking it off.

If you clean your chain after taking it off the bike, lubing will be even easier. Each time you clean the chain never forget to lube it. It’s the backbone for the longevity of the chain. Thus your bike will be able to perform better.

Installing The Chain

When you complete all the above processes, now it’s time to install the chain. We should remind you that installing a chain might be more difficult than removing it. But that’s not a problem at all Just follow the steps with patience.

Now be careful with the position of the chain adjusters. You have to move them forward as much as you can. While breaking in you can realize the chain is stretching a little. This will lead you to move the chain adjuster backward now to balance the whole thing.

Then smoothly concentrate on wrapping the chain around the sprocket. Try to make the fit as tight as possible by removing links. Now make the ends of the chain closer using the master link. Before the attachment of the master link clip and plate make sure to check the type of your chain again. That’s because you should slide the seal through the pins of a sealed chain.

Now, slide the pins from the back into the chain and attach the master link. Don’t forget to put on the rings and press the side plate of the master links onto the pin. Now, you need to tighten the chain tool using a wrench.

Keep tightening to mount the side plate onto the master link evenly. Now time to taking off the plate and attach the rivet flare into the chain. It’s a must to set up the alignment of the rivet setter over every rivet carefully.

You need to flare the rivet but not more than enough. So, keep tighten it carefully. After finishing with a pin continue the same process with other pins. Make sure the pins are not extremely tight. After that, you need to tighten the chain adjuster.

Once you know how to clean dirt bike chain, it will be no longer a problem for you to keep it clean. Do all the steps very carefully with full concentration. Never forget to check every single part when you’re done with the installation. A silly mistake while cleaning bike chain can damage your chain and also bike. So, just you can’t afford the carelessness.

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