So after tightening my chain the other day I noticed a creaking noise - its seems there is a tight spot in the links. I have sprayed this with chain oil and let soak. I know I will need to replace the chain soon but is it ok to ride a few times? Will the stiffness 'iron out'?


  • 1
    soak chain in kerosene. its thinner than chain oil. after that spray some chain oil on that. Sep 12, 2012 at 10:57

4 Answers 4


If you can get some penetrating lube similar to what you would on rusty bolts spray the offening link. This should help but only if the stiff link is due to rust or lack of lubrication. If the link was damaged it won't get better. In the U.S. we have Liquid wrench,SeaFoam, PB Blaster etc. you want something that is thin enough to seep between the plates. If you can soak a small rag with the penetrant and wrap it around the chain overnight. Then see if you can work the link in both direction by hand. Most of the aerosols will evaporate so the rag gives you a longer soak. If the link frees up spray it with a chain lubricant so it will stay flexible.


Your Question

Motorcycle: stiff chain links - able to repair?

The Answer

NO, this is not really repairable. Throw it away.

The reason why I say this is that the pins inside the castors or rollers are more than likely rusted together inside the chain. The danger isn't the rust, it's highly unlikely to be so bad as to weaken the chain extraordinarily, it's a safety issue.

The chain rides up on the sprockets at incredible speeds. When they break they are extremely dangerous. Have you seen a tire explode in NASCAR during a race. All that damage is created by rubber, nylon and thin cables. Imagine your chain coming off and the damage it would do to you or a passenger. I've seen chains go through motors.

  • A sticking link chain will bind

  • A sticking link chain has a higher chance of breaking

  • Sticking link chains will come off sprockets...and destroy swingarms and possible lock the engine up. From 5,000 RPM's to zero in a snap. Not good for engines.

  • Sticking link chains will destroy sprockets in weeks instead of years. They land incorrectly on the sprocket and don't distribute the power delivery on every link. Some don't touch the sprocket. This increases wear dramatically.

  • Sticking link chains show no mercy. When they break they destroy things. When they hop off sprockets (this would be my greatest worry) they gouge up swingarms and lockup motors and even destroy them from time to time by getting sucket into the power side on the motor and getting bunched up thereby punching a hole in the motor.

  • Salient points! Thanks for the great safety lesson with motorcycles! Jan 2, 2016 at 1:50

If the lubrication options don't work, the chain might need replacing. I made this mistake once...

I over tightened the chain, and when for a ride, too much torque, suspension travel, etc.. stretched the chain in a few places and sort of bent a couple of the pins in the chain causing tight spots (and loose spots)... can't really repair it... chuck a new chain on... made a massive difference to the feel of the bike too.


Lubricating the motorcycle chains is very helpful when it comes to the maintenance of the chains. With regular lubrication your chain will perform well. Ensure that despite the need for replacements lubrication is a solution as well.

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