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The Ultimate Guide to How to Remove Rust from Motorcycle Chain

You may be noticing some rust on your motorcycle chain when the weather changes from summer to fall and winter. The problem is likely worse than it looks—a rusty chain affects your bike’s performance, can cause a dangerous situation while you’re riding, and may even damage surrounding components.

How to remove rust from motorcycle chain? Luckily, if rust has just started to set in, it’s fairly easy to remove with just a few common household tools. You don’t have to buy any fancy products or spend a ton of time. You just need patience and a little elbow grease!

Rust happens. It’s just part of owning a motorcycle. But it doesn’t have to be the end of the world! With just a few simple steps, you can get rid of that unsightly rust and get back on the road.

How to Remove Rust from Motorcycle Chain

You can use a variety of methods to remove rust from your motorcycle chain. For example, you can treat the chain with various chemicals or you can use some type of mechanical device. Whether you choose one method or a combination of methods depends entirely on how much time and money you want to spend on your bike.

If the chain is extremely rusty, it may even need to be replaced completely. Rusting will cause the metal links in the chain to expand and contract, putting pressure on the whole system that may eventually cause it to break completely if not taken care of immediately. In order to keep this from happening, your chain needs to be kept clean and lubricated.

SEE MORE: Best Anti Corrosion Spray for Motorcycle

Use a bike stand.

  • You’ll need to lift your motorcycle off the ground using a bike stand, which you can get at any local hardware store for about 30 dollars.
  • Place the bike stand beneath your motorbike, and connect it to the frame with a strap or chain in order to keep the bike stable and prevent it from falling over.
  • Use that bike stand to take a load off those old, rusty chains of yours!

There are several different types of chains available for motorcycles, so it is best to consult an expert at an auto supply store before attempting to repair your motorcycle chain yourself.

Try these following methods for DIY cleaning.

Detergent Wash

You’ll need:

  • A degreaser, dish soap, or kerosene
  • Rag or brush to scrub the chain links with
  • Water
  • A clean rag to dry it off with

Now that we’ve got our supplies together, let’s walk through how to use them. First, take your dirty chain and put it in a bucket of degreaser. The best way to apply this solution is by submerging the entire chain in the bucket and leaving it there while you get a good night’s sleep.

Of course, if you’re impatient like me, overnight isn’t going to cut it—you want your motorcycle back on the road right now! I’d recommend using dish soap or kerosene instead; the degreaser will be less effective than if you had left it for hours to work its magic.

Using a brush or rag (I prefer one made from an old tank top), scrub each of the links until they are covered with your dirt-busting concoction. Rinse and repeat as necessary until all the links look presentable again.

Dry off any excess liquid with another rag (again ideally made from an old tank top) and now your chain is looking better than ever!


Use WD-40 to remove rust from your motorcycle chain.

  • Step 1: Spray WD-40 on the rusted areas of your motorcycle chain. Let sit for a few minutes.
  • Step 2: Use a cloth or shop rag to scrub the affected area using circular motions.
  • Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 until all rust is gone, then wipe clean with a dry cloth.

WD-40 is a fantastic product for removing rust from metal surfaces. It’s also inexpensive, which makes it an economical choice when compared to other products on the market today that are designed specifically for this purpose.

Plus, you can use it again and again as needed! This makes it one of my favorite ways how to remove rust from motorcycle chain.

Wire Brush

Unless the chain is heavily rusted, a wire brush should be able to remove any rust or dirt. You’ll want to use a proper safety mask when working with chemicals or solvents.

For example, if you’re using WD-40, it’d be a good idea to wear gloves because the ingredients can be harmful if absorbed through the skin (and you will absorb them through your skin).

If you’re using a wire brush on metal tools that are rusty, I highly recommend wearing protective eyewear as well as heavy-duty gloves.

The abrasive action of brushing off rust is going to create some pretty serious slivers that can easily get in your eyes if you aren’t careful.

SEE MORE: Say Goodbye to Carburetor Gunk with Carb Cleaners for Motorcycles

Rust Remover

Remove the chain from the motorcycle to make it easier to clean.

Apply a rust remover paste (like the JENOLITE Rust Remover) directly onto the rusty surface of your bike chain (or other metal parts). It will loosen parts that are stuck together and dissolve rust right down to the metal.

Wait 15 minutes before wiping away loosened rust and residue with a cloth. Spray with water and wash off any remaining rust remover using soap and a soft brush; rinse completely with water.

Use a towel to dry the chain thoroughly before reattaching it to the motorcycle.


After every ride, you should lubricate your chain. It keeps the chain in good shape and prevents rust from forming. If you leave your motorcycle parked for a few days, it’s a good idea to lube the chain before hopping back on the bike.

You want to use high quality chain lubricant to get the most out of it. There are different kinds of lubrication depending on what type of riding you do and how often you ride.

But overall, if you keep it clean and properly lubed, your chain will last much longer than without proper care. Use a brush or rag to apply the lubricant if you can; same with removing rust if necessary—you don’t want harsh chemicals getting into other motorcycle parts.


The whole process only takes about twenty minutes, and a little bit of elbow grease can make all the difference in protecting your motorcycle from further corrosion problems in the future. Overall, removing rust from your motorcycle chain really isn’t that difficult at all—so go on out there and enjoy riding with a clean chain!

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