Motorcycles are either chain, belt or shaft driven. If you own a sports model bike it most likely has a drive chain. Unfortunately, these need more maintenance than a belt or shaft. However, if you perform routine maintenance regularly, you shouldn't have to worry about needing expensive motorcycle repairs or having an accident due to mechanical failures. Here are a few things you should do to ensure the drive chain on your motorcycle is ready for the ride.
Before every ride, you need to inspect the drive chain. It will only take a few minutes but may keep you from having to walk home or getting in an accident. To inspect the chain, spin the back wheel slowly and watch how the chain moves. It should move easily and without any jumps or catches. Watch for clumps of dirt, grime, or a stone that might be causing a problem. Check the tightness of the chain. It should have a bit of slack, but not so much that the chain droops anywhere. The owner's manual will have a guide for how tight the chain should be.
Physically remove any stones or clumps of dirt from the chain. If it is greasy or grimy, spray a degreaser on it. Place a piece of cardboard under the chain to prevent the grease and gunk from dripping onto the cement and slowly turn the back wheel to ensure the whole thing is coated. If there is a lot of gunk you can use a brush to remove it.
Once you have cleaned all the grease and gunk from the chain you will need to lubricate it again. Never have the bike on when doing this to keep your hands from getting caught in the chain and being mangled. Spray the lubricant on the chain, spin the back wheel, and keep spraying until you are sure the entire chain is done. Then, quit spraying but give the wheel a couple extra spins to work the lubricant throughout the chain.
A chain that is drooping or loose needs to be tightened. There are three nuts you can adjust to tighten the chain. One holds the rear tire in place. Loosen this nut and pull the tire back just a bit. Tighten the nut again and check the tightness. You can also use the two nuts on the swingarm to make adjustments. Just be sure to tighten both sides equally.
Keeping the drive chain in good condition will not only keep your bike running, it will also keep the chain from breaking. A chain that breaks while riding not only puts you in danger of an accident but can also cause damage to other parts of the bike. This will end up costing you more at the shop. Maintaining the chain is simple enough, don't let something this simple be the cause of much more trouble. To learn more, visit a website like http://www.monarchhonda.com.