Tips on Cleaning and Lubricating your Bike Chain

  • A neglected chain not only shortens its lifespan, it also robs engine power and the engine consumes more fuel.

  • The chain needs to be kept clean and lubricated.

  • Here are some tips for cleaning and lubricating your bike chain.

Taking care of your bike’s chain including cleaning it is part and parcel of ownership.

A neglected chain not only shortens its lifespan (i.e. incurring costs), it also robs engine power and the engine consumes more fuel.

So how to do it? Let us show you some tips then.

Cleaning the chain

One is the Pro Bike Cleaner. In contrast to some chain cleaners in the market, this product is not a degreaser. That’s good because it doesn’t dissolve the grease in the chain’s rollers and links. But more importantly, it’s safe for use on rubber. Caustic products such as petrol, kerosene or diesel will dry out the chain’s rubber sealing rings, causing dirt and water to penetrate in between the sideplates.

The Pro Bike Cleaner is also awesome as a bike cleaner as the name suggests. You can spray some onto a sponge or mix with a pail of water and use it like your regular bike wash liquid.

Just spray it directly onto the chain, making sure that all parts are covered. If your chain is exceptionally dirty, just go over with a chain brush. Using a chain brush ensures that caked on bits of fine sand and grime are loosened.


Once done brushing, hose the chain with water. That’s how it is with this product.

Drying the chain

The chain needs to be dry before lubricating it. Otherwise, the chain lube will just sit on top of that water and not penetrate deep enough.

The best way is to go out for a short 5-minute ride. The centrifugal forces will force the water out.

However, since the Covid-19 Movement Control Order is in place, jack up the rear wheel, start the engine and put the bike into gear. Release the clutch slowly and spin the rear tyre.

Lubricating the chain

We’ve tried a lot of chain lubes in the market but came away very impressed by the Toyo Ninja Chain Lube. It has a synthetic formula, consisting of liquid molybdenum sulphide.

Before proceeding further, allow us to explain a bit about molybdenum sulphide.

In World War 2, pilots would pour the stuff into the engines to mix with the oil. The molybdenum sulphide would coat the parts of the engine, so that the engine will keep on running even if all the engine oil drained out should the engine get hit by a bullet, shell or flak.

The substance has a natural affinity (attraction) to metal surfaces, which causes the chain lube to stick to the chain. As such, we’ve ridden with the Toyo Ninja Chain Lube up to 1000 km, compared to the usual 300 to 400 km lifespan of normal chain lubes. We normal lube our chains at every 600 km with the Toyo product. It’s thus very economical.

The best way to lube the chain is by spraying onto the inner run of the chain. Centrifugal force will carry it to the outer parts. Therefore, if you spray on the outside run instead, most of it will be flung off.

Once you’ve sprayed the entire chain, wipe off the excess with a cloth.

Letting it set

Give 20 minutes for the lube to set.

Again, since the bike will probably sit idle due to the MCO, start the engine and spin the rear tyre.

You’re done.

Where to buy

You can order the Pro Bike Cleaner and Toyo Ninja Chain Lube from our e-commerce platform here.

We would to state that we’re not using these two products because we’re selling them. However, in actual fact, we had purchased and used the two products prior to selling them. We will not sell you crappy products.

Please click on the link below for the Pro Bike Cleaner.

Please click on this link for the Toyo Chain Lube.

Wahid's lust for motorcycles was spurred on by his late-Dad's love for his Lambretta on which he courted, married his mother, and took baby Wahid riding on it. He has since worked in the motorcycle and automotive industry for many years, before taking up riding courses and testing many, many motorcycles since becoming a motojournalist. Wahid likes to see things differently. What can you say about a guy who sees a road safety message in AC/DC's "Highway to Hell."

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