FFS – Check your chain!

A broken motorcycle chain can cause a lot of damage to both bike and rider. And then there’s the issue of finding yourself stranded by the roadside…

Seriously, do you know how much grief could be caused by your chain coming off or snapping?

I don’t normally get wound up by things like this but last night I heard a guy pull up next to me on his ZXR making an almighty racket.

Thinking he might be on a dry-clutch Ducati so worth a glance, I was horrified to realise he was on less exotic bike and the sound was coming from his drive chain!

I could literally see his chain dangling down by around 6cm… Before I could point it out to him he was off – pretty reckless through the traffic too, not that this has anything to do with it.

Why am I so bothered?

Here’s just a short list of scenarios:

The chain could slip off the rear sprocket and get caught – bind – between the sprocket and the rear frame, instantly locking up your rear wheel, at let’s say 70mph.

It could slip off and bind your front sprocket, with the potential to then smash a hole in your front crankcase.


A broken motorcycle chain could snap and fly up. If it hits the bike frame or engine it will either damage the bike or, inevitably when a hard object hits another hard object, whiplash sideways towards your much softer leg, where it will happily embed itself.

Or it could just head left towards your leg anyway. Again, a flexible, metal object flying into your leg at 70mph is going to do a lot of damage.

At the very least, that amount of slack will be ruining front and rear sprockets, making the chances of the chain coming off even more likely.

So at best, you could get a bind at a slow speed that will scratch the bike’s frame and mean a new chain and sprockets.

And at worst, you could go down the road with a chain sticking out of your leg and significant damage to the bike’s engine casing, sprockets, possibly swing arm…

You get the picture.

Check your chain today

If you now realise you really should be looking after your chain properly, read this step-by-step guide, How to check and lubricate your chain, here on Biker and Bike.

Get yourself sorted:

Do a regular TMC check of your bike.



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The Author

Paul Vennard

Paul Vennard

Paul is actually a chartered accountant so he knows a thing or two about saving money - and that's one of his roles at Biker and Bike: how to save bikers money.

Like everyone else here he's a full-on biker. He's a year-round rider and never happier than when he's on a track, screaming the nuts of his 675 Daytona.

Paul also loves a trip. Just don't share a tent with him. He snores like a bastard.