How To Stop a Motorcycle Chain from Rusting? (11 Ways)


Chains on your bike can be made out of two materials. One is metal, and the other is a metal derivative. Both of them are susceptible to rust.

Rust is the oxidization process that occurs when your chain is exposed to moisture. Not just water, but any type of moisture such as condensation or fog. How can this be prevented, though?

How To Stop a Motorcycle Chain From Rusting?

1) Protect Your Motorcycle from The Elements

Harley-Davidson motorcycle in a garage
Photo by REVOLT on Unsplash

You understand that the leading cause of rust on your motorcycle chain is due to being left out in the weather. This may sound a little contradicting because it is a vehicle designed to ride.

Riding it in the wet is one thing, but storing it out in the rain is another. You should always try to park your bike inside an enclosed garage or shed.

Even if you cover your ride when unused, moisture can still get to it. You should take the time to check your chain regularly and use some of the basic rules to prevent rust from setting in.

2) Dry Your Chain After Riding

Riding in the rain is part of owning a motorcycle that you will have to deal with, but it does not mean you have to let your chain rust.

After you park it for the day, dry the chain off. Use a shop towel and run it over the entire length of the chain and all the parts around it that could drip more water onto it.

Never let your motorcycle’s chain sit without removing the moisture that could damage it so quickly. It only takes 4 to 5 days for rust to form, especially in the right conditions.

3) Water Preventing Spray Application

Waterproof Spray Lubricant
Photo by Dylan McLeod on Unsplash

Water-preventing sprays are not a replacement for bike chain lubricants, but they are a great line of first defense that should be used every time you ride it in moist conditions.

Even if you have been out riding in the sun but in a humid environment, you will want to take precautions to keep the water from forming on the bike’s chain. 

If you live in areas where the humidity and air are full of salt, such as next to the ocean, you will want to incorporate this step into your routine of parking your bike. Each and every time you park it for the day.

4) Lubricate Your Motorcycle Chain

Maxima 70-749203-3PK Chain Wax Ultimate Chain Care Aerosol Combo Kit, (Pack of 3)
  • 3 Pack Contains: Maxima Clean Up 15.5 ounce, Maxima Multi Purpose Penetrant Lube 14.5 ounce and Maxima...

Numerous products on the shelves are designed to lubricate your motorcycle chain. Brands are not as crucial as the ingredients; read the back to see what it has in it.

When you put the lubricate on, you may have to have the motorcycle jacked up to get to the entire length of the chain, not just the accessible areas that are showing.

After lubricating the chain, clean up any of the excess amounts immediately. You want the chain and the gears to be lubricated to help them work and stay clean, but you do not wish oil flying everywhere while driving it.

5) Replace With a Rust-Resistant Chain

If you check around, you can find some chains with which you can replace your current ones that are designed to be rust resistant.

This is an easy way to prevent your motorcycle chain from rusting. However, you should still take steps to care for it properly, such as wiping it when done riding and keeping it lubricated.

No matter how much you spend on a chain, you must take care of it. You cannot expect a piece of metal to not rust if you do not take care of it.

6) Keep The Chain Clean

You spend a substantial amount of time trying to make your motorcycle look good and run great, and the chain should not be ignored.

Clean the chain regularly. It is always a better idea to be proactive rather than reactive. That means you should do what you must to prevent rust from forming before it has a chance.

After you clean it, coat the entire chain with a chemical explicitly designed to prevent rust from forming on the chain. The thicker the bike chain grease is, the longer it will stay in place.

7) Install Bigger Wheel Fenders

Honda cafe-racer motorcycle in the woods
Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash

The fenders above each of your tires are not there just for looks. They are designed to keep mud and water from being propelled all over you and the motorcycle.

Replacing the standard fenders with larger ones will give you a unique style and help prevent moisture and grime from getting onto the chain.

If you have problems finding some that fit, you can always design and create your own or have a professional in your area do it for you.

8) Pay Attention to Surrounding Parts

You can take all the time in the world to get your chain dry, clean, and lubricated, but if the frame above is wet, it will drip water down onto your chain. 

This will usually happen after you have walked away, so you will not know that your motorcycle chain is in trouble until you go to ride it again.

You do not want to forget the areas around the chain that could cause moisture to collect and begin rusting. Keep everything on the bike clean, dry, and rust-free.

9) Remove Signs of Rust immediately

Rusted motorcycle chain
Image by Max Lochner from Pixabay

If you see some rust forming, you must get it cleaned immediately. The longer it sits on the chain, the quicker the rust will spread to other areas.

Not only will the chain be affected if the rust is allowed to spread. The gears and brakes will also start showing issues that could grow into big problems. 


Stopping a motorcycle chain from rusting starts, and ends, with you and your actions. You should always do what is needed to take care of the chain and all the parts, for that matter.

If you do not know how to do any of the steps above, you can do some more research and figure it out, or you can take the bike to a professional. Either way, preventative care is critical, so get it done.

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