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Discussion Starter #1
Finally got around to a bit of overdue maintenance on my '72 T100R; cylinder head bolt torque, tappets and chain cleaning.

The first 2 are self-evident I suspect. But for chain cleaning I used a method I've used for many years on my bicycles, and until a couple of years ago I was cycling up to 100 miles a week.

Chain cleaning is, for cyclists, just as big a topic as it is for motorcyclists, and cyclists have the same (but smaller) brushes, baths, foam pads, cleaning solutions and rituals as do motorcyclists.

But, there is one method, and cyclists of a certain forum, here in the UK, call it the Mickle Method, after the forum name of the guy who passed it on. It's quick, dead easy and it works.

After a ride, simply take a rag, ideally soaked in paraffin (kerosene if you are LeftPondian) or your solvent of choice, wrap it in your hand, around a few chain links, and continually pull the chain through the rag. You'll need to change the rag frequently, but after a short while the rag will stop picking up the black muck, and the chain will look a bit cleaner. Clearly, the more often you do this, the less time it takes as the chain will be cleaner overall.

Then apply your favourite chain lube to the chain and, with a clean rag, wrap it around the chain again and pull the chain through a few times. This will take off the excess lube. It's doing no good anywhere other than inside the rollers. On the outside of the links it's only picking up muck.

If you are really keen, you wipe down the newly-oiled chain using the method above until no more black stuff comes off. At that point, the chain should have lube inside the rollers, and little or none outside.

The more you do this the quicker it is to do. I used to ride recumbent bikes (still do occasionally) and their chains are 3 times the length of a 'normal' bike, and the chains usually run through plastic tubes, so keeping everything clean is essential otherwise it all clogs up.

The Mickle Method. Try it. It works. Quick, simple, effective.
 

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Andy, IMHO you're only removing the grit that's on the surface. There's much more inside the rollers and in all the little cracks and crevices.

After cleaning your chain with the Mickle Method do this: remove the chain from the bike and place it in a 4-quart pan with 1-1/2" of kerosene (paraffin on the right-hand side of the pond) and then make like you're panning for gold. After a bit, gently pour the paraffin off into another container where it can settle and be reused the next time. Then put more paraffin in the pot and "pan for gold" again. The first time you pan you'll find up to a tablespoon of very very fine silt-like grime. Wipe the sludge out with a rag each time and repeat. Each time there will be less and less sludge until around the fourth-of fifth time there will be only a tiny bit left.

Now the chain's clean.

To lube it, put in the same pot but with 1" of heavy (summer grade) chain saw bar oil. Let it sit for at least an hour and then hang up to drip dry for 8-10 hours and then wipe it down using the Mickle Method but with a clean cloth.

Your chain is lubed.

When I ride exclusively on gravel roads I clean the chain this way every 500 miles.

Happy trails
 

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They both look like good methods but looking at the location of the gearbox sprocket on my 500 I don’t fancy my chances of re-threading the chain if I remove it for cleaning. For that reason I’d have two chains, one on the bike and one cleaned and ready to go on. Come changeover time join the two, use the dirty one to thread the clean one and then clean the dirty one at your leisure.

I’ve fitted Scottoilers to previous bikes which I’ve ridden for many more miles than my Triumph. It almost eliminates chain adjustment and makes looking after the chain so much easier, just a periodic clean. Pic is of one fitted to a W800 with panniers so easy to locate the components and source the required vacuum, not quite as easy on an old Triumph twin but doable with a bit of thought.
720090
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Hermit 47, Maybe I wasn't clear. The Mickle method as used in cycling is the everyday wipe of the chain after a ride of any significant distance. Deep cleaning as you describe is also necessary depending on the environment you ride in.

On a fairly clean chain the Mickle method quickly removes the external muck and reduces accumulations of grit-bearing grease, extending the times between deep cleans.

When I was commuting between Reading and London (before I grew up and saw the light) I'd have the chain off on my Daytona and then paraffin soak and LinkLife it every weekend - or about 600 miles. What a chore that was.

What happened to LinkLife? It's a wonder I'm still married as the pan of that black, waxy stuff was melting on the kitchen hob every weekend.
 

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I have two chains, one fitted, one clean, when its time to change, fit new chain to old, pull through and refit clip. Take the manky old one , put it in a 4 pint milk carton with an inch of parsene, shake , rinse , dump, repeat till no longer black.Hang chain to dry.
Boil in chain grease, store for refit, this lasts about 1,000 miles if the roads are not too wet. This more than doubles the life of sprockets, and more than halves retensioning frequency. Not as good as a Scott oiler, but not as obtrusive either.
 

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I used to use plain oil on chains . They did not wear badly. Once chain spray grease arrived, i just use a squirt over about 10 links after each ride. The chain is lasting a very long time ans so are the sprockets. About once a year, i spray a solvent degreaser on the chain which removes a lot of dirt and spray with the chain oil /grease. My chain is lasting a very long time and adjustment is not often needed. Could be the good quality chain i have which is far better than previous ones. possibly could be the spray on oil/grease which has some form of solvent which allows the grease to penetrate and get into the rollers before re-setting.
I would not doubt that chain removal and thorough cleaning would be better, but i rarely get a lot of dirt and dust on the chain.
 

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I think which method works best depends a lot on the conditions in which you ride. In 70,000 miles I went through 14 chains so that makes for an average of 5,000 miles per chain and that's with frequent and thorough cleanings and frequent oiling. A great deal of my riding is on gravel backroads - nearly a 100 percent some years.

If I rarely got a lot of dirt and dust on the chain like rambo i'd probably be attracted by his or the Mickle method. But with the type and amount of riding I do I'm pretty much stuck with the deep-clean method. Sigh, just one of the prices paid for the joys of the gravel. Sprockets are another.
 

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Hi, A few months ago I got a small spray can of PJ1 Black Label to test. It's important to know PJ1 has different formulas. Black & Blue Label. On can Blue Label is recommend for O-ring chains, Black Label is safe for O-ring. It was recommend to me to use Black Label on normal chain which I have. (Renold).
Used it for about 500 miles.

Started by cleaning chain with solvent & dried well. This removed old oil & dirt etc.

I did a bench test of Black Label on my cat iron drill press table. I keep it oiled to stop rust. Wiped oil off well & applied squirt of lube. On other side of table, cleaned with same solvent as chain & dried well. Shot of lube.
The solvent in lube is very thick like water, but evaporates very, very quickly. Seconds really. Flashes off & leaves a very sticky film that pulls off in strings if you touch with finger. Let dry overnight. It got sticky/gooier as last of solvent evaporated. Next day: Interestingly where oil was wiped well, the blob of lube pulled oil from table & left a dry spot behind taking oil film with it. The spot I cleaned table lube stuck tighter, but pulled off leaving only a very slight film behind.

Now to real life. I started by a small squirt at every roller/pin. Not easy to throttle lube. Very close exam showed the lube flashed off before it penetrated pin. I used master link as a control. Next I floated a very heavy coat & wiggled chain about. (I have spare chain to use when removing chain). This seemed to work quite well in getting lube in pins & rollers, side links. Attempted to wipe excess, which is nearly impossible due to sticky nature. Did best I could to remove excess.

Reinstalled chain & did brief road test next day. 2 miles. Looked really good & stayed on well. So did a hundred mile coffee ride. Hmm... By coffee stop 30 miles chain was very warm, but could still touch it easily. All over rear wheel, mufflers, side of fender was a sticky gooey mess. Chain was already gathering lots of dirt. This is all paved roads mind you. By end of ride, much of lube had flown off. Wiping the lube off bike was very hard. Needed solvent. Gas on rag worked well.

After 100 miles chain was covered with dirt bad. I wiped off dirt with dry rag with chain installed.

Next ride again 100 miles more lube flew off, more dirt stuck on. I wiped chain again after. Looking a links very closely & removing master link, looked like lube was being pulled from pin & side plates leaving pin nearly dry.

I lubed again with chain on bike. Wiped dry. Another hundred miles. Same scenario. I decided to go 200 more without lube. Pins were very dry, but chain was still sticky mess.

I went back to using GL5 80w90 gear lube for car differentials. (I have lifetime supply). I didn't remove chain & clean. Just wiped & added GL5. Finally GL5 rinsed all the PJ1 Black off & I'm back to normal.

Good friend of mine used PJ1 Black Label exclusively on new chain (Renold) '69 Bonnie. Had no improvement in wear over me, actually seems worse. He didn't keep applying often due to mess though. Since he's converted to GL5, mostly due to mess.

I wipe chain in place with dry rag. Paint GL5 on inside of chain as I slowly rotate wheel. Rotate wheel about 10 times or more. Wipe excess. It certainly will fly off, but easy to clean off. Doesn't attract much dirt. After checking master link at 100,200,300 mile intervals it's still oily. Chain life has been pretty good?? 50% wear after 12-13k miles. I change then.

Scott oiler is reported to give excellent chain wear. I've never seen one in person, but don't want to install one at this time.
However.... What about painting on Scott chain lube?? If done regularly as I do anyway is it the best lube??

I ride bicycles too, off road. Thing is bike chain doesn't get hot. Not near the pressure. I use White Lightning because it's dry white waxy & doesn't make my leg black & dirt doesn't stick. It'd melt off on motorcycle.

I think I'll splurge & by some Scott oil & try it. Not cheap.
Don
 

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My preferred chain spray grease is rockoil motocross formulation. I must have about 6 cans of various types. I had been using PJ1 but some time ago, it was taken off the market in the UK. Maybe a health risk ? I get some fling no matter what i use but it just gets on the rear wheel and mudguard. Solvent gets it off later.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Interesting. This discussion is beginning to follow the lines of a typical bicycle chain thread!

FWIW, I 'Mickled' the grubby chain on my T100R, which was a new chain 600 miles ago. Other than being grubby, it was fine. The chain manufacturers soak their chains and so the rollers are well lubed to start with. It's the deep clean that's the problem as it washes the roller lube out. That then needs to be replaced. The cyclists have the same problem, particularly the off-roaders.

In rebuilding my TR7RV over the winter, I thoroughly soaked the mucky chain in paraffin, then washed it in a water-soluble degreaser, rinsed it and hung it up to dry. It's clean, but dry as a bone - but it's not going anywhere until I get my new reg no from DVLA anyway. I used WD40 spray chain lube on it when I put the chain back, but like Don says upthread, the solvent semed to flash off quickly and I'm not convinced much lube got into the rollers - it still sounds quite dry. I'm wary of overlubing the chain as that just makes a mess. This needs a bit more thought and work. Chain off and soak in a lube would be good, but as yet I don't have a spare old chain to pull over the gearbox sprocket to re-thread the chain back on. Maybe a spare chain would be a good idea anyway.
 

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Hi Don,

What about painting on Scott chain lube?
If done regularly as I do anyway is it the best lube?
Not how Scottoiler oil is formulated to work.

Any Scottoiler is set up to deliver oil to the inside of where inner and outer chain sideplates meet on a roller/pin just as the chain is about to go around a sprocket (usually the rear). Then, as the chain rounds the sprocket, the centrifugal and centripetal forces push the oil between the sideplates and then between the pins 'n' rollers. It does work, all my bikes have split-links in the chains; however, for the anal unbelievers, Scottoiler sell a forked delivery pipe that deposits oil on both pairs of inner/outer sideplates at the same time.

The point of a Scottoiler (or similar system) is it supplies oil droplets all the time the engine's running and the oil should move from the delivery point to the other parts of the chain. The vacuum-operated Scottoilers I use have a link to the carburettor manifold, changes to the manifold vacuum by the rider opening or closing the throttle cause the pump to deliver a droplet of oil to the chain; strange as it might seem, the rider does make small variations to the throttle, and therefore the manifold vacuum, even when riding at a notionally 'steady' speed.

Because the chain gets tiny quantities of oil all the time, fresh oil pushed between sideplates and pins-'n'-rollers pushes previously-delivered oil to the outside of the chain. There it lubes between rollers and sprocket teeth before finally flinging off; however, unless the Scottoiler is delivering too much oil (rider operated), ime very little sticks to the rest of the back of the bike because it clumps and flings off the dust and grit that lands on the outside of the chain. (y)

As an indication, after trial-and-error with my first Scottoiler on a bike I used on a daily 70-mile round trip, I use Scottoilers set to "1" (zero is off) in the dry and "2" in the wet.

One advantage of a Scottoiler is I never have to indulge in arcane rituals like "painting", "boiling" and "panning" the chain in various highly-flammable liquids, nor do I have "spare chains". I get home after a ride, I shove the bike in the garage and go and make myself a refreshing cuppa, I can leave the bike 'til concern about its chrome drives me to clean it. Nor do I have any concern about the chain if I don't use a bike for weeks or months, the chain was fully-lubed when I rode or pushed the bike into the garage at the end of its last ride. As another indication, I've been using Scottoilers for nearly thirty years; I've never had to replace a chain lubed by a Scottoiler from new, (y) the oldest chain has covered about 12-13 Kmiles and the wheel adjusters are about half-way along their travel.

All that said, I have "painted" Scottoiler oil on the T150's chain, but the bike has the deep pre-'71 chainguard so fling-off landing on the rear of the bike is negligible.

Hth.

Regards,
 

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At the risk of sounding very old-fashioned (I am) and contentious, there used to be things called 'fully-enclosed' chain guards. Don't seem to see them these days. These wonderful items protected the chain from all that nasty grit and road muck so they didn't need cleaning or adjusting so often and chains/sprockets lasted almost indefinitely. They also contained any 'fling-off' from the chain thereby protecting the back of the bike (trouser leg, girlfriend's expensive coat) from turning a sticky black colour. The disadvantages were that, if you had to do something to the chain or rear wheel, they made it all a bit more laborious and of course most of them looked a bit pants. The best (least ugly) ones to my mind were those found on the Silk and MZ. Funny how many good, practical ideas are standard on the little MZ (dedicated earth cable from headlamp being another).
So, while we're all moaning about chains, remember that it's all in the name of our aesthetic choices.
Otoh, if I was at all cynical (I am) I might also suggest that the manufacturers of chain had something to do with the demise of fully enclosed 'guards - but perish the thought.
Scott oilers work fine as well; had one on a Suzi and it's going on my T100A.
 

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Hi,

'fully-enclosed' chain guards. Don't seem to see them these days.
Back in the 1970's and 1980's, guy called Peter Furlong made chaincases for various then-popular Japanese bikes, Two basic styles - full GRP enclosure or a GRP enclosure around the rear sprocket and two moulded synthetic rubber 'tubes' attached to the enclosure and covering the two chain runs up to the rear of the engine. The 'tubes' had an H-section cutaway inside so they essentially just sat on the two chain runs - didn't seem to do the chain any harm. I fitted one of the latter to a 400 Honda I used first for dispatching and later for commuting in London, the bike covered most of its 80-odd thousand miles with Pete's chaincase fitted. (y) It worked so well, Pete subsequently helped me adapt the largest of his 'sprocket enclosures' with 'tubes' for one of my T160's, think I've still still got the bits somewhere ...

standard on the little MZ (dedicated earth cable from headlamp being another).
Lucas put similar in wiring looms certainly from sometime in the 1950's, a standard wiring loom for your bike should have Red wire connections to battery +ve from at least rectifier and nacelle, the latter so it could act as the "earth cable" for all the lamps around there.

Lucas was constrained by BSA's unwillingness to pay anything but pennies for electrical parts but still gradually added Red wire connections to almost everything electrical - the rear lamp finally got one during '71, but indicators without Red return wires had been added already ... :rolleyes:

Hth.

Regards,
 

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I'm older than you perhaps think (thanks for that :giggle:) and I remember the Furlong items. They looked nicely made but, as I've mentioned in another thread, I decided that a shaft just avoided the problem completely. I had thought about an MZ chainguard for my little RE but not sure even they are available now. I shall have to have a look online.

As to wiring looms, mine had been 'customised' long before I got it, so in fairness I cannot say what was originally fitted. However the topic of sensible improvements to the wiring on our old British bikes (including said earth wire) has come up sufficiently often (in this and other forums) that I had to conclude it was an omission. For this reason, among others such as fusing, I have decided to construct my own harness. Can you advise, please, where in the nacelle was the 'earth' stud? I was going to use one of the handlebar 'U' bolts.
As an aside, we all used to scorn the little MZs for being ugly, crude, unexciting - except for the PTFE 'Pneumant' tyres - but once I started to work on my Dad's TS125, I had to revise my opinion; good fundamentals.
 

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Hi,

decided to construct my own harness. Can you advise, please, where in the nacelle was the 'earth' stud?
'Fraid I couldn't with any certainty - the earliest I had anything to do with nacelle parts, they were already twenty-plus years old and their PO hadn't appeared to care about their condition or preservation. Nevertheless, if you've read much on rewiring British bikes, you've come across some of my earlier posts? Assuming standard 'positive earth', I'd connect return ("earth") wires from each individual electrical component in the nacelle to a 6- or 8-way bullet snap connector also in the nacelle, a single 28/0.30 thinwall return wire from there to the other 6- or 8-way snap connector under the seat, then another 28/0.30 thinwall return wire through the main fuse to battery +ve.

Hth.

Regards,
 

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Hello Stuart and thanks again. Yes I've read a few posts on this subject and I initially became a member of this forum precisely so I could contact BucksFizz about some of his mods. No joy yet on that score but I have since seen advertised some automotive connectors similar to the WAGO blocks he used - although not WAGO blocks. If they can withstand the conditions in a nacelle, rather than inside a cosy headlamp shell or the comfort of a car interior, I'd be interested in those.
I have not found any obvious place inside the nacelle where Triumph may have mounted a stud for the collation and onward connection of the return '+ve earth' hence the handlebar 'U' bolt presented itself. I deduce (having seen no images to confirm) that the bracket for the horn (H1420) mounts on one of these, so a similar tab should be possible under the other. btw, my machine came with a 8H horn not a HF1441, even though it is pre engine H25252.

I seem to have taken us away from chain cleaning, sorry; I shall stop now.
 

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GEE.....has anybody mentioned that as soon as a rides over and the chains till warm from friction.....that's the best time to lube it as the hot/warm chain links will suck in the lube easily ! just have ever thing setting ready for the lube job when you get back from a ride !
 
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