The Core 4

As riders who love performance, we tend to put our bikes through the paces every chance we get. And that means our machines can show accelerated wear and tear, especially on drivetrain components. That’s where the Core 4 maintenance tasks come in. With a commitment to doing these four simple tasks on a regular basis, we can go far to make sure our drivetrain continues to deliver top performance on every ride and for mile after mile. 

Here’s the Core 4: Inspecting, Cleaning, Lubricating, and Adjusting.

Inspected by #1. You’re the main person. The boss. The only one who is in charge of your machine. So, as the top dog, it’s up to you to routinely conduct an inspection of your bike’s drivetrain components to make sure they always deliver each time you demand performance. Take a minute to do a visual inspection before every ride. Look for sprocket and chain wear such as worn sprocket teeth and a stretched chain that doesn’t align perfectly with the sprocket teeth. Check for excessive slack in the chain. And make sure there’s not a bunch of grime, grit, or gunk on the chain while you’re at it.

Clean up your act. A clean chain and sprocket are the picture of good drivetrain health. Dirt and grit, on the other hand, rapidly wear down components and lead to premature failure. So, if there’s grime, that’s a crime. Get after it with a cleaner designed specifically for motorcycle chains and that is safe for O-rings. Make a habit of cleaning the chain and sprockets after you’ve been roosting in dirt, mud, or water. Putting your bike away clean is a great way to avoid corrosion and keep components fresh for the start of every ride.

Let it slide. Clean is good. Clean and slippery is better. For top function and performance that lasts, your bike’s chain needs a regular dose of lubrication. Even if your bike has factory-sealed O-rings to keep lubrication inside, regular lubrication keeps rollers rolling smoothly and adds a protective coating to the chain to discourage corrosion. Be sure to do a thorough cleaning before adding chain lube. And use a quality lubricant designed specifically for motorcycle chains. A clean, lubricated chain will add many miles to the life of your bike’s drivetrain.

A fine mesh. The final key to performance and durability is a drivetrain that meshes properly thanks to proper chain tension adjustment and alignment. Don’t slack off on this one. Instead, be sure to routinely keep your bike’s chain tension within the recommended specifications. Too tight and you’ll rob power and add undue stress to components. Too loose and the chain can ride up on the sprocket teeth or even skip over the teeth or come off the sprocket altogether. Check your owner’s manual, but if the centermost point of the bottom run of the chain can be moved up and down about an inch or a little more, you’re in the right neighborhood. While you’re at it, make sure the wheel is aligned with the frame so the chain is centered over both front and rear sprockets. 

By practicing the Core 4, you’ll maximize your bike’s performance and add much to the life of your bike’s components. When it does come time to replace sprockets and chain, be sure to check out the full range of sprockets, chains, and lubricants available for your bike on the SUNSTAR website at Need help selecting the right parts? Just ask!

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