5. Replace Chain and Sprockets


A motorcycle’s chain has one of the most difficult jobs on the bike. It must transfer power from the engine to the rear wheel as the suspension tracks up and down over the pavement. Then there are the peak loads generated by botched downshifts, burnouts, or wheelies. If a rider cares for a chain, it can last for many thousands of miles. If not, the extra loads created by running either too tight or too loose can wear one out in short order. The off season is a great time to give your chain a good look to see if it’s near the end of its life. One simple check is just simply pulling the chain away from the rear sprocket. If more than half a tooth is exposed, the chain is done. Also, look at the sprocket’s teeth. If they are curved, like waves, it will destroy a chain in short order if it hasn’t done so already.

  • Alexander Pityuk

    I try extremely hard to not think and forget about my bikes during the winter. So no maintenance mid-season for me.

  • Born to Ride

    I thought winterizing your ride meant putting on a layer of thermal underpants? Oh wait, this article must be for the poor miserable souls that don’t have a 365 and 1/4 day riding season. God, how I pity them…

  • Old MOron

    Well, I’d been avoiding this article because I hate maintenance, and because I live in SoCal, anyway. But this is good advice and well-written. Just the other day, I was lamenting that my wear bars are nearing prominence. Aw shucks, I’ll have to get off my ass soon.