How to Change Your Dirt Bike Chain

The chain on the dirt bike is often overlooked when it comes to regular maintenance. The quality of your ride is related closely to the quality and condition of your chain. If you are a regular rider, you will notice that your chain will begin to lose tension, and at that point it’s time to replace it. A fresh chain will not only increase your power, but it will also reduce the risks of damage to your engine cases.

Grab the Proper Tools

There are a variety of tools and materials you may need to change your chain. You will want to use a bike stand or milk crate to elevate the rear tire of your dirt bike, and you will also need a socket set, wrenches, socket wrench, pliers, chain breaker, chain press, and of course a new chain.

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The Process

The first steps to replacing your chain involve releasing the tension on the chain already on the dirt bike. Using your pliers, bend the ends of the cotter pins and pull it out of the axle nut. Then you will need to loosen (not remove) the axle nut, which will allow you to pull the tire and axle forward.

Next you will need to break and remove the chain. It is easiest to do this with a chain breaker, and you will want to locate the master link and line it up with the breaker bar. Once you remove the master link you will be able to take off the chain.

Once the old chain is removed, it is time to put on your new chain. Lay it so the teeth catch into the links and connect the two ends with a new master link. Depending on your preference of wheel position the chain may be too long. If you choose a shorter wheel base you may be able to make sharper turns and increase response to throttle.

Finally, you are ready to push the rear tire and axle back into place until you achieve the proper tension on the chain. Remember to tighten the axle nut and replace the cotter pin as well.

Other Considerations

Whenever you wash your dirt bike or perform other maintenance is a great time to inspect your chain and sprockets. You will get the best results replacing the chain directly after washing your dirt bike, and this will give you the opportunity to make sure everything on your bike is in good condition. It’s also recommended that you replace the chain and sprocket in a matched set to reduce wear on the new parts.

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