Hi, I’m Steve Matthes, Transworld Motocross’s Editor at large. You know, your chain is very vital to your bike’s performance. If it’s too loose, that’s bad. If it’s too tight, that’s bad as well. And of course, you need the proper lube. So this week on Transworld Motocross’s Bike Bandit, “How To Of The Week,” it’s gonna be chain etiquette.
So what we have here is Lutz’s bike. And as you can see, the chain is way too loose. If you have a chain that’s way too loose, it’s in danger of being derailed as well as wearing out the rubbers on your swing arm. If the chain’s too tight, it wears out your sprockets prematurely or worse case scenario, it could snap. So as you know, all the bikes come with marks on the swing arms. But in my experience as a factory mechanic, I don’t always trust those marks. They’re not always perfectly right. So I have a cheap micrometer here you can pick up at a hardware store and basically what I’m gonna do is go off the back of the swing arm. So right now, if you line it up, we’re at 11 millimeters. So let’s tighten that up a little bit and measure it again. And we’re at nine. I’m gonna go around to this side of the motorcycle and basically line it up to be nine as well. Good idea to put tension on it, put a wrench in there. And almost there. Come back three fingers. I have kind of stubby fingers but a general rule, three fingers on the chain block. Chain should be a little tight on you.
And when you want to tighten it up, what you wanna do is put your ten on one end to keep it where your measurement was. Get your big end wrench, be it a 12 or maybe an 11 on a KTM, and just tighten that up snug. We’re still a little loose. So let’s give it one turn, two turns. One turn, two turns. Put a wrench in there. Pull it tight and off the back of the swing arm which we assume to be parallel and true, we’re at eight millimeters. Once I tighten it up, lots of tension there. And that’s how you adjust a chain.
What we have here is Maxima Chain Guard, Maxima Chain Wax, both available at Bike Bandit, slightly different. Chain Wax stays on the chain longer, coats it a little more. It’s best to put the Chain Wax on when the chain is hot. Chain Guard, you can do it anytime. Everyone’s got a different theory about this, kind of like a theory about why Ricky Carmichael was so good. You can lube the chain at the back like Brendan Lutz. You can lube it at the front. My dad always taught me to lube it at the front. It doesn’t get everywhere, it stays easier, and it seems to get stuck in the rollers. So basically I go in at the bottom and I spray the chain, slowly spin the wheel. It’s getting into the sprockets. It’s getting into the rollers. It’s promoting healthy chain. And there you go. Don’t be afraid to use some chain lube to extend the life your chain and therefore save yourself money.
There you go, how to adjust your chain and how to lube your chain. Both very important to keeping your motorcycle running well and something that the factory teams do all the time. And that’s been your Transworld Motocross Bike Bandit, “How To Of The Week.”