Can You Ride a Motorcycle With a Rusty Chain?

Motorcycles have a metallic chain that uses sprocket gear to deliver mechanical power to the links and drive the rear tire. It exposes to environmental moisture and air which causes metallic oxidation and rusting.

Can You Ride a Motorcycle With a Rusty Chain? You should not ride a motorcycle with a rusty chain because it produces loud unwanted sounds, sudden chain breakdown, damages to other parts, malfunctioning sprocket gear, damaged shaft and chain drive, and poor force distribution.

Poor maintenance of this metallic chain can reduce its performance and lifespan. I clean it every month to reduce corrosion and damage.

Why you should not ride a motorcycle with a rusty chain?

I never ride my motorcycle when its chain undergoes corrosion because it can lead to various failures.

Loud unwanted sounds

Motorcycle chains have a specific lifespan and can break down when they lose their condition and stability. The rust can damage them and increase their internal wear. 

Then, they produce loud unwanted sounds at slow to high-speed levels. The corrosion can make them loud, which leads to its damage. 

However, riders can hear these loud and unnecessary sounds while riding the motorbike. These cranking and loud noises are annoying for the rider. 

They can distract the rider on the roads. Riding becomes dangerous because it can lead to accidents. 

Its inspection and rust removal is essential before riding it at high speeds. In such circumstances, its unwanted loud sounds decrease.

The clunking sounds show poor lubrication, which leads to corrosion. Sometimes, it bounces against the motorcycle frame, which produces vibrations and clunking sounds. 

However, you can clean it with a degreaser and brush. Applying a lubricant can stabilize its efficiency and reduce the loud sounds. 

Sudden chain breakdown

You cannot ride motorbikes when the chain undergoes rust because excessive corrosion can cause its sudden breakdown. They comprise roller chains that have different components. 

They have metallic internal links that connect to the external linkages. Furthermore, the links comprise the outer and inner plates. 

The rust can damage these links and leads to their breakdown. They become weak and breaks because the tension changes. 

They lose and lack alignment, which affects the rear tires and sprockets. As a result, they reduce the riding force, and the engine cannot apply pressure on the rear tires. 

The motorbike loses the standard riding force, and you cannot ride or start it. The power loss can affect the tires, and the engine cannot coordinate with the chain.

Damages to other parts

It is dangerous because it can damage other parts of the motorbike frame. The corrosion reduces its stability and performance. 

Then, it loses the attachment links and moves behind the motorcycle frame. It can strike the frame and causes surface damage. 

The metallic pieces become flexible and cause various injuries on the body of motorcyclists. It cannot provide tension and force for the movement of the driving wheel. 

The rear tire jams, and you cannot move the motorbike forward. Furthermore, it can wrap in the outer parts of the sprocket.

It can stick between the swing arm and sprocket and damages the performance of the rear tire. The rear wheels lock because it causes sudden jumps and vibrations, which leads to accidents.

The rear tire skid, and you cannot change the riding direction because it does not work on the engine power. It cannot deliver the riding force to the rear driving tires.

Malfunctioning sprocket gear

The sprocket gear is an essential part of the motorcycle chain. However, it comprises teeth-like objects and notches. These notches can rotate and have engagement abilities with the links.

They have dual sprockets with different connection points. One sprocket connects with the transmission shaft, and the other to the rear tire.

They have teeth-like structures which can move inside their groves or gaps. The engagement of these teeth-like things regulates the sprockets.

Rust can damage these links and sprocket gear. It misaligns and affects the performance of sprocket wheels.

Corrosion can damage these sprockets and jams the rear tire. It reduces riding control and momentum.

You cannot ride the motorcycle at a stable speed and balance when they break the sprockets, which leads to collisions.

Damaged shaft and chain drive

Motorcycles comprise a chain-based riding mechanism with dual sprockets and shafts. The shaft system has a rod-like object that connects to the gearbox and rear tire.

Rust can damage it and affects the chain drive and shaft. Then, the rear tire loses the rotations and jams in one position. 

The riding stability reduces, which causes accidents. The metallic sprockets connect to the shaft and regulate the rear tire.

Its corrosion can affect the performance of the shaft drive, which reduces the efficiency of the driving tire.

Poor force distribution

Moisture and reduced lubrication can cause rust over the motorcycle chain. Then, it cannot stabilize its performance and undergoes several internal wear and damage. 

Its internal friction level increases, which causes more cracks. The friction can lead to poor force distribution to the links, sprockets, and the driving wheel. 

It results in intermittent performance of the motorcycle and its tires. It cannot deliver the engine power to the rear wheel through the sprockets and links because corrosion reduces its performance. 

Rough riding and wheel jams are significant defects of poor force distribution to the driving tire. 

What can cause rusting of a motorcycle chain?

Moisture and air can oxidize the metallic chain components and cause damage. The following are a few reasons for its rusting.

Reduced lubrication

Motorcycle chains require proper lubrication for their standard performance. You can provide lubrication for its optimized efficiency after every 3500 to 5000 miles. 

Checking its tension is essential because reduced lubrication can produce dryness. It can increase friction which leads to rusting and damage. 

Poor lubrication is one of the most significant reasons for their rusting. High friction levels can decrease the rear wheel efficiency and increase its jams. 

Also, it reduces riding control and causes accidents.

Moisture and dust

Several people park their motorbikes outdoors, which increases chain exposure to moisture, rainwater, and air. The moisture can make a rust layer over its exposed metallic parts. 

The excessive oxidation of metallic links and sprockets can reduce its efficiency. The dust particles, environmental air, and moisture combine to form thick iron oxide layers over its metallic components.

A few people ride their motorcycles in humid weather, which causes corrosion. Road salt and moisture can develop a rust layer over the sprockets.

Poor maintenance

Poor maintenance of the motorcycle chains is a primary reason for its rusting. They require more cleaning and maintenance during rainy and humid weather. 

Their maintenance includes cleaning, lubrication, and rust removal from the internal and external parts. A few people do not apply a degreaser or lubricant on their surfaces. 

Then, they cannot repel the humidity and moisture. The rust build-up increases and reduces their efficiency. 

Poor maintenance can damage the metallic parts and decreases wheel performance. 

How to fix a rusty chain of a motorcycle?

You can fix a rusty motorcycle chain by removing the corrosion layers from its surface. Its cleaning is beneficial and can remove rust layers. 

A rag or brush is effective for surface cleaning. Applying a commercial motorcycle chain rust remover and rubbing its teeth-like structures with a brush can remove the corrosion. 

You can clean it when the motorbike engine is off. Soaking the metallic parts in the cleaner and rubbing them with a brush can remove the rust.

A high-quality lubricant application is essential for its smooth performance and fixing. You can replace the chain when its corrosion increases beyond limits. 

The drive sprocket nut is under the transmission cover. Putting a breaker bar is beneficial on the sprocket nut to loosen and remove it. 

You can increase its frame height with jack stands. A wrench is better for removing the axle bolt and pulling its tensioning screw. 

Removing the axle bolt can reduce tension. You can remove the built-in rusty chain by pulling the clips. 

Installing the sprocket on the rear side and fitting the transmission sprocket. Generally, installing the master link is complicated.

Therefore, you should fix it with pins on both ends. Replacing the rear tire, axle assembly, and brake system makes the procedure less challenging. 

Rolling the rust-free and compatible chain is better around the front sprocket, and you can use the links to attach it to the rear sprocket. You can install and tighten the bolts with a screwdriver.  

Fixing the axle bolts is better with a wrench, and you should re-install the removed transmission cover.

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