Well, this is something that has been mentioned before, but since i just cleaned mine today, i figured why not remind my fellow newbies?
I was oiling my chain today, and since i'd just be lazing around anyways, i figured i might as well clean under my front sprocket cover as well. I have owned my bike since Feb./2003 and this is the third time i have cleaned under there. When i first bought my bike, the chain had been lubed by the shop with that black spray-on glue that most of you guys enjoy using. When i took the front cover off the first time, i almost had a fucken heart attack. Since then, i have been using chainsaw bar oil on my chain, and although the bastard still gets dirtier than a muthafucka, it's easily cleaned off with some WD-40, a rag, a toothbrush and some good old-fashioned elbow grease.
Ok, now, not all covers are created equal. Mine has all kinds of nooks and crannies for shit to call home, so i just do my best with the rag and toothbrush. You may not be able to get it as clean as TeeTee (see pic) but i just do my best as long as i have made a visible improvement, i am happy.
So there you have it. A worthless post? Perhaps, but it's something that i KNOW gets overlooked by many people, and when it comes time to change my chain/sprockets, it'll be all that much nicer.
P.S. here's my rendition of what my cover looked like, and i bet many of yours are just as bad: