Thursday, 29 March 2012

Motorcycle Chain Maintenance

Motorcycle Chain Maintenance

The chain is a very important Component of your Bike as the chain is what powers the rear wheel. The Chain drive of your bike has to be in proper condition so that the there is no power dissipation when the power is delivered from the engine via the cam chain tensioner to the rear wheel. A Bike’s chain, sprocket and the cam chain tensioner are the main components that transfer power to the road from the engine. The chain, sprocket technique is the most efficient method to power the rear wheel and that’s why most of the bikes employ this method. Some bikes employ Belt driven method like the Gearless scooter Honda Activa that employs a V-Matic belt driven transmission system. Big V-twin Bikes like the Suzuki Boulevard 1783 cc employs a Shaft Driven Transmission system like in a car. The chain cant handle the extra torque produced by the bigger engine as there is higher wear and tear so shaft system is used in higher engine capacity bikes.
motorcycle chain maintenance
Why Chain Maintenance: India is a country, which has a diverse range of environmental conditions so this ensures that the chains in your bikes need regular care. Rains, dust, muddy and slushy roads etc all wreak havoc with your bike’s chain. These days many bikes come with an O Ring sealed chain, which is exposed to the environment. The conventional Chain Guard prevents the chain from getting damaged. The O Ring chains are more prone to wear and tear as they are exposed and need regular maintenance so that your bike’s chain is healthy. Conventional Chains also need regular maintenance.
Tips for maintenance of O Ring Chains and conventional Chains: Your bike’s chain need regular lubrication, cleaning and adjustment. In case you have a bike which has a conventional chain cover remove it and then go ahead with the job.
Motorcycle Chain Maintenance
Cleaning: Wash the chain with paraffin, a soft brush and a piece of cloth and remove the dirt accumulated in the chain. Don’t use Water as it might rust the chain links because if the water has salt or minerals or chlorine and sodium it will damage the chain. After the dirt is cleaned with the brush and paraffin wipe the chain with a clean dry cloth.
Motorcycle Chain Maintenance
Lubrication: Lubricate the chain links and the chain with used engine oil. For this you need not buy expensive oils, whenever you get your bike serviced ask the workshop to give you some old engine oil in a bottle. Use this used Engine oil and lubricate all the areas of your bike’s chain by rotating the wheel so that you lubricate all the areas of the chain. Check if the chain has rusted or starting to rust if it is, then put more lubricant on the rusted areas. It is a good idea to touchup with paint in the rusted areas to prevent further rusting, WD 40 Antirust spray is also helpful. Make sure your bike is switched off to prevent any injuries to your hand.
motorcycle chain lube
Inspection and Adjustment: Check if your bike’s chain has a free play of 2-4 mm in general by moving the chain up and down in a vertical direction with your fingers. Your bike’s chain must have the correct tension and free play of the rear wheel. If the tension is more the chain wont power the rear wheel smoothly during motion. If in case the chain is loose, the power delivery from the engine to the rear wheel wont be optimal and there will be loss of power due to slippage. Take the bike to your mechanic or service center and get it adjusted to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Always remember that all the moving parts will affect the performance of your bikes. The Transmission system in bikes is often overlooked by many people. You must inspect the Transmission system every three weeks in general to ensure your bike’s engine and transmission components are in perfect working order. Remember you bike must not only look good Cosmetically but also function properly and regular Chain Drive Maintenance will ensure this and the performance of your bikes wont drop through passage of time.

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