What Happens if the Motorcycle Chain is Loose?

What Happens if the Motorcycle Chain is Loose?

Yesterday I observed that my Harley motorbike chain is getting loose because of lack of maintenance. My younger brother asked me what happens if the motorcycle chain is loose? I thought, why shouldn’t I write a post about the same.

If your motorbike chain is loose, then you’ll experience jerky wheel moments more frequently. You’ll also see your motorbike chains skipping and coming from the skyrocket, and in this case, you’ll lose rear motorbike control. Additionally, you’ll experience motorbike chain lash creating too much noise when you accelerate your motorbike. 

Let’s look at what it means for you and what you can do about it.

While writing this post, I leave no stone unturned so you can maintain your motorbike chain effectively. 

What Happens if the Motorcycle Chain is Loose?

No doubt, your motorbike chain is one of the most crucial components which connects your motorbike chain with the rear tire. 

And that’s why you must know what will happen if your motorbike chain is loose. 

No worries! In this post, I’ve also mentioned some reasons and symptoms why motorbike chains are getting loose. 

What Will Happen if Your Motorbike Chain is Loose? Details:
Your motorbike chain will skip over the teeth. It means you’ll experience uneven power transmission without your intervention. 
The Motorbike chain will come out from the sprocket. Once your motorbike chain comes out from the sprocket, then you’ll lose total connection with the rear tire.
You’ll experience jerky movement. Uneven power transmission will cause jerky movements along with noise.

Your Motorbike Chain will Skip over the Teeth:

Before understanding this point, you should know that your motorbike moves ahead only when your motorbike chain gets stuck in sprocket teeth. 

But if your motorbike chain is loose, then your motorbike chain will skip over the teeth. 

It means you’ll experience uneven power transmission without your intervention. 

Although some riders don’t experience this situation if they ride slowly. 

But you’ll experience this if you ride a lightweight motorbike just like my younger brother. 

The uneven power transmission also could cause unfortunate situations, and that’s why you should check your motorbike chain every month. 

Your Motorbike Chain will Come Out from Sprocket:

What’s worse than your motorbike chain skipping the sprocket? It’s when your motorbike chain comes out from the sprocket. 

Like skipping teeth, your motorbike chain will come out from the sprocket if your motorbike chain is loose and you accelerate your motorbike. 

Once your motorbike chain comes out from the sprocket, then you’ll lose total connection with the rear tire. And as a result, your motorbike will come to a halt. 

It’s even more dangerous if your motorbike chain gets stuck in your rear tire, which could cause the motorbike to unbalance.

You will even hear an unexpected noise if ever the motorbike chain comes out from the sprocket and hits the swindle arm.

And if you ever hear the sound, then tighten your motorbike as soon as possible for your safety. 

You Will Experience Jerky Movements:

Because of loose chains, your motorbike will experience variable power transmission, which will cause jerky movements along with noise.

Also, you’ll experience a loss of power because of variable power transmission. 

What’re the Symptoms of Loose Motorbike Chain?

So far, you understand what will happen if ever your motorbike chain gets loose? 

And since precautions are better than cure, you should at least know some symptoms of loose motorbike chains to avoid any unfortunate situations. 

Symptoms of loose motorbike chains:Details
Low hanging motorbike chain. The loose motorbike chain will always hang there like a separate piece. 
Uneven power transmission. Uneven power transmission may be caused due to the chain grip on the sprocket. 
Motorbike chain tugIn the chain tug, you’ll experience a resisting force when you accelerate your motorbike.

Low Hanging Motorbike Chain:

Low hanging motorbike chains are a common and easy-to-figure symptom. Even beginners can figure their motorbike chain status by simply looking at the motorbike chain. 

The loose motorbike chain will always hang there like a separate piece. 

Fortunately enough, you can tighten your motorbike chain anytime. If it’s technical for you, then it’s always better to hire a reliable technician. 

Uneven Power Transmission:

Although uneven power transmission isn’t the only sign, you can figure out your motorbike chain status. 

But if you ever experience uneven power transmission, then you should at least pay attention to your motorbike chain. 

Motorbike Chain Tug:

Experts consider motorbike chain tugs as one of the dangerous symptoms of loose motorbike chains.

In the chain tug, you’ll experience a resisting force when you accelerate your motorbike. Fortunately, enough chain tugging is easily noticeable.  

Why Does Your Motorbike Chain Get Loose Every Time?

So far, you understand what happens if the motorbike chain is loose and some symptoms of losing the chain. 

But have you ever wondered why your motorbike chain gets loose every time? 

Motorbike chains get loose every time because of chain loosening or the rear chain bolt not getting tight enough. Also, riders suffer from loose chains because of the wrong size chain installed in their motorbike. Additionally, worn down sprocket teeth or high tension motorbike chains also contribute to chain loosening.    

Below is the table for your clear understanding. 

Reasons why your motorbike chain is loose: Details:
Motorbike chains stretchabilityEvery motorbike chain can stretch. More particularly, it’s not a chain that stretches, but it’s a link between motorbike chains.
Wrong chain length. Wrong size motorbike chains or large chain sizes can also be the reason behind the chain being loose. 
Chain tensioning. The loose motorbike chain tensioning bolts and axle bolts also contribute toward chain loosening. 
Too tight motorbike chain. Over tightening motorcycle chains can also cause motorbike chains to lose. It’s because the chain stretches more aggressively when it’s too tight. 
Worn out motorbike sprocket teeth. Because of less surface area between the chain links, the chain will seem to be stretched. 

Motorbike Chain Stretchability:

Every motorbike chain can stretch. More particularly, it’s not a chain that stretches, but it’s a link between motorbike chains. 

Although the stretch between links is minute, combining all 100 links, the motorbike chain gives the impression of chain loosening. 

And that’s why many experts recommend tightening the new motorbike chain after you ride 100 miles. Usually, 100 miles riding gives you enough idea about chain size.

Wrong Motorbike Chain Length:

Motorbike chain loosening because of chain length is one of the common reasons. 

Fortunately enough, you can quickly notice some slack with your motorbike chain. 

Experts always recommend choosing the suitable motorbike chain after checking it from the motorbike manual. 

Change the motorbike chain as soon as possible if the large chain is the reason behind the slack. 

Motorbike Chain Tensioning Bolts:

Like motorbike chain stretching, the loose motorbike chain tensioning bolts and axle bolts also contribute toward chain loosening. 

If your motorbike is suffering from chain loss more frequently in the year, you should pay attention to tensioning or axle bolts. 

Ensure both bolts are tightened enough. Also, don’t forget to check both bolts every month if you do a lot of off-riding. 

Too Tight Motorbike Chain:

Yes, you read right. 

Over tightening motorcycle chains can also cause motorbike chains to lose. It’s because the chain stretches more aggressively when it’s too tight. 

Experts recommend checking the motorbike manual and seeing how much tension your motorbike required for proper functioning. 

Also, read my previous post, where I’ve talked about the frequency of lubing a motorcycle chain. Click here to read.

Motorbike Chain Sprocket Teeth:

Last but not least, your motorbike chain can also lose because of sprocket teeth worn down.

Because of less surface area between the chain links, the chain will seem to be stretched. 

And that’s why it will always be a good idea to check the motorbike sprocket teeth every three months. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

How motorbike chain will skip over the teeth?

If your motorbike chain is loose, then your motorbike chain will skip over the teeth. It means you’ll experience uneven power transmission without your intervention.

How motorbike chain will come out from the sprocket?

Like skipping teeth, your motorbike chain will come out from the sprocket if your motorbike chain is loose and you accelerate your motorbike. 

How motorbike can experience jerky movements?

Because of loose chains, your motorbike will experience variable power transmission, which will cause jerky movements along with noise.

Which is easy to figure symptom of a loose motorbike chain?

Low hanging motorbike chains are a common and easy-to-figure symptom. Even beginners can figure their motorbike chain status by simply looking at the motorbike chain. 

Is the uneven power transmission is the sign of a loose motorbike chain?

If you ever experience uneven power transmission, then you should at least pay attention to your motorbike chain. 

Final Verdict: 

What happens if the motorcycle chain is loose? If your motorbike chain is loose, then you’ll experience jerky wheel moments more frequently. 

You’ll also see your motorbike chains skipping and coming from the skyrocket, and in this case, you’ll lose rear motorbike control.  

Additionally, you’ll experience motorbike chain lash creating too much noise when you accelerate your motorbike. 

I’ve mentioned some reasons and symptoms of loose motorbike chains, which you must keep in mind to avoid any unfortunate situation.