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I know of riders who don't lube or clean their O/X ring chains and replace at about 20K. The chains look terrible, but that's their way of doing things. From one extreme to the other.
 

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DuPont's Chain Saver and Degreaser products are produced by Finish Line, a bicycle lubricant company. I have used Chain Saver in aerosol and liquid form for a while - 30K miles from a chain and sprocket set is a breeze. Very high-quality products that you do not need to use a ton of to get great results. The bicycle folks that I know are far, far more fastidious about chain cleanliness and general maintenance than the motorcycle folks I know. Some of those bicycles are also far, far more expensive than many motorcycles.

http://www.finishlineusa.com/

http://www.performancelubricantsusa.com/files/DuPont Chain Saver Aerosol_US GHS SDS_English_15 April 2015.pdf
 

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I have been cleaning motorcycle chains for 48 years or so.........

All these fancy and expensive products - well if that spins your wheels go for it.

Me - I use a shop rag with some Kero poured onto it. Just wipe it down, then the sprockets.
Any oil is good for lubing, better than none at all.

I lube my chain on return from a ride while its warm.
In recent times ( read decades ) I am using Maxima chain wax.

Its much easier if you can get the rear wheel off the ground - c stand or lift - whatever.
 

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the recommended 200 miles interval to lube the chain is ridiculous and impractical, whats that 320 kilomters. pfft, I'd have to carry a tin of lube with me all the time

the only reason DID recommend to lube the chain is to shield the x/o rings thus preventing deterioration caused by ozone or ultra violet light

for me all I do is is give the chain a wipe with a kero moist rag or wd40, then maybe a bit of gear oil applied with a rag on the odd occasion, probably every 1000-2000 kilometers

chain life for me has been the original = 50,0000, the next 35,000 and 35,000 kilometers again having replaced them early (preventative maintenance) as going on a long trip; and the current DID with Esjot sprockets has about 30,000 and is still good, having just inspected them

tacky chain lubes in my view are marketing gimmicks. they allow the pick up of grit, sand and dirt creating a grinding paste that destroys sprockets. remove the primary sprocket cover and check out the crap that's lodged in there

also power cleaning the chain is not a good idea, as the cleaner can bypass the x/o rings and get in there between the pins and rollers dislodging the internal lube

there have been thousands of threads regarding this, but always good to bring up this topic again :Not again
 

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I didn't intend for the thread to get into chain maintenance, but I'm not surprised it did. Reminds me seat threads or tire threads. Everyone has their way - and everyone's right!

Anyway, all good comments. There's a guy on the Stormtrooper forum who knows a lot more about bikes than me and I respect. He's in the "don't bother cleaning" camp and, though I take a grunge brush out once in a while, I can see his point. He's also the one that claimed to have doubled his chain and sprocket life with an auto oiler. I haven't proven that claim myself as I sold my Vstrom and moved the oiler onto another bike before it would have shown a benefit.

I don't mind lubing from a can. It's pretty painless. The only thing that's annoying is getting a hand or glove dirty spinning the wheel from a squat. It IS nice have the chain constantly getting fresh oil on it while riding with an auto oiler and not doing that post-ride ritual.

I've tried a few different chain lubes in cans. I'd rather deal with the fling not to have a sand-grabbing "no fling" formula. Silica is what's on sand paper after all. The proprietary oil for my Tutoro looks like tranny fluid.
 

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I used to clean and lube chains on a regular basis, I have never worn out a chain or a sprocket, including on a Kawasaki ZX-14 with 19k miles on it. And other bikes with 5k to 10k miles on them.

But no more. When I bought my T120 a year ago, I really wanted a bike with shaft drive, so I decided to treat the chain like a shaft. I lube it with PJ1 from a spray can about once in 1000 miles and I have adjusted it once in 6k miles. All still looks good. I'll replace the chain and sprockets when they wear out, at whatever mileage that is, and I will be happy that I didn't spend all that time cleaning the chain and the rear wheel and fender.

O-ring chains rock!
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I didn't intend for the thread to get into chain maintenance, but I'm not surprised it did. Reminds me seat threads or tire threads. Everyone has their way - and everyone's right!
Yes, it is definitely starting to look that way!

I've decided to be in the "clean and lube camp".

Thank you all for your responses...

Keith
 

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He's in the "don't bother cleaning" camp ... He's also the one that claimed to have doubled his chain and sprocket life with an auto oiler.
Seems to me, that the guys who say I don't clean my chain, but I oil it, are actually keeping the chain clean through their oiling process. And they guys who clean but don't lubricate are lubricating when they clean.

The I-don't-do-anything folks are weekend coffeeshop riders, or fair-weather clean-road riders. Or are oblivous to their bikes, and don't mind the clunking of a tight link. Few things bother me more than that noise though.
 

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Seems to me, that the guys who say I don't clean my chain, but I oil it, are actually keeping the chain clean through their oiling process. And they guys who clean but don't lubricate are lubricating when they clean.

The I-don't-do-anything folks are weekend coffeeshop riders, or fair-weather clean-road riders. Or are oblivous to their bikes, and don't mind the clunking of a tight link. Few things bother me more than that noise though.
I dont do much to my chain.

a clean every 5,000 kilometers when I service the machine and a few drops of diff oil every 1 - 2,000 kilometers and thats it

certainly not every 300 kilometers as the service manual states

not only that, I ride every day to work as dont own a car and have put 30,000 kilometers on it since buying it just over a year ago

the bike has now reached close to 40,000 kilometers (was a low mileage bike owned by a weekend coffeeshop rider) and the chain and sprockets are ok, but I'm preparing to replace them in about another 5,000k

I'm also a mechanic and would know the feel of a worn chain. besides the chains are internally lubed and sealed with x rings, so no amount of external lubing is going to make a difference to the rollers and pins that would wear and make a tight link
 

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I don't do much either. The occasional squirt of chain wax and after a ride while the chain is warm, then wipe it down with a rag after. Honestly, it's mostly a bonding experience. Wife goes inside, I put the bike up on it's stand and do a little maintenance in quiet, murmuring to the bike how well it did on today's ride. More a ritual than a necessity.

98k on my bike and it's still looking good and running strong. These maintenance rituals pay off in the long run. I know those ADV guys who brag on never washing their bike or lubing their shafts/chains. I'm not into that, maintenance has it's own rewards.
 

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I'm also a mechanic and would know the feel of a worn chain. besides the chains are internally lubed and sealed with x rings, so no amount of external lubing is going to make a difference to the rollers and pins that would wear and make a tight link
All true. Lubes must keep the o-rings conditioned. Rollers and sprockets are still subject to wear depending on their environment. Lube which attracts grit makes a fine grinding paste. Lube which reduces metal-to-metal contact between the rollers and sprockets extends chain life as it is worn rollers and sprockets which can cause chain stretch and premature failure, all else being equal.

DuPont Teflon waxed-based tends to clean as it lubes if applied properly and it's inexpensive and creates little mess vs most other products on the market. YMMV naturally...
 

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All true. Lubes must keep the o-rings conditioned. Rollers and sprockets are still subject to wear depending on their environment. Lube which attracts grit makes a fine grinding paste.
:agree Spot on that man, keep the O/X rings soft & supple so they do their job & keep the crud away from the pins. Rubber on metal without lube aint going to last long is it.
 

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Complete Video

I thought this video on youtube from the mc garage has useful info:


There's another video on revzilla where Lemmy takes takes a spray bottle and fills it with kerosene. He just keeps rotating the back tire with one hand, and spraying the chain with the other. The process works fine as far as the chain goes, but what to do with all the dirty kerosene?

I recently talked to a guy who makes his living as a motorcycle mechanic. He said he uses a grunge brush if the chain really needs it, but hates the splatter. He thinks it's easier to just spray good chain lube on a shop towel, and apply to the chain for a couple of rotations around the chain. The key is good cloth shop towels.
 

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If the chain is dirty then you'll clean it. As simple as that. If it's clean, then obviously there's nothing to do. Common sense comes a long way.

In dry clean pavement I doubt the chain really gets that dirty. However in wet and/or dirt roads it's pretty critical to clean the sand off the chain. If I've driven few hundred km in wet dirtroad then obviously I'll put it on center stand and clean the chain with old towel and some CRC.

As for lubricant/protection I'll just use what ever silicon based spray happens to lay around.
 

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I had a Scotoiler fitted to two of my bikes, both ZRX1100s. I really liked the unit, but I don't ride enough to benefit. I ride 1,000 miles average, maybe 3,000 miles on a good year. A little bit of oil and keep it clean ... never an issue.
 

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I recently picked up a 2018 T120 with 2,300 miles. I was surprised at how dirty the chain was - probably never cleaned. And I got a low whining sound when pushing the bike or rotating the rear wheel when on the center stand. All my other bikes are 60s and 70s vintage so no "O" ring chains. So I did some research and used kerosene and a chain brush (the "U" shape type that gets 3 sides at once) to do the cleaning. Since I was planning to adjust the chain as well I removed the mufflers and passenger pegs, which also gives you better access to the chain. And of course I cleaned behind the front sprocket cover (a surprising amount of crud was in there). A tip - cut a piece of cardboard to fit between the rear sprocket and the swingarm to keep crud off the wheel and tire. So with the brush and the kerosene I cleaned the chain both from the inside and the outside. Wiped with a rag and used an air nozzle at LOW pressure to blow some more crud off. This also aids in drying, you just have to use very low pressure so you don't blow any contaminants past the "O" rings and contaminate the inside of the rollers. And of course wipe the sprockets too. Then it's a simple matter of applying your favorite chain lube by spraying on the chain as you rotate the rear wheel. I used Motul C2, but I'm sure any quality lube will do. And what do you know - the whining sound was gone. I'm sure it's all in my head, but the bike seems to like it too!
 
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