Chain lubricating in first gear - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 45 Old 09-02-2013, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Chain lubricating in first gear

So this is my first bike - and I hear it's good to lubricate the chain.
I picked up some chain lube along with my motorcycle-specific 10w40 at the parts shop to do an oil change (I've put 2K on the bike) - looks like a can of WD-40, little red tube that snaps on the nozzle and all.

I figured it would be easy, until I actually got to trying to lube the chain. Even with the spray tube on, if feels like only about 10% of the chain is exposed and available to spray. That chain hides good, inside the chain guard and behind the frame.

So I tried this:
1) Jack bike up on bike/ATV jack so rear wheel is off the ground
2) Start the bike in first
3) let the bike idle in first, let the wheel and chain spin as you spray lube from one location above the chain, one location below the chain


The only downside was that I got an oily spray from the excess oil on the chain that left a line in my driveway, and a big drip puddle directly under my spray locations.

There has to be an easier/better/cleaner way to do this.
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post #2 of 45 Old 09-02-2013, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geolemon View Post
So I tried this:
1) Jack bike up on bike/ATV jack so rear wheel is off the ground
2) Start the bike in first
3) let the bike idle in first, let the wheel and chain spin as you spray lube from one location above the chain, one location below the chain
We will probably catch a lot of flak over this but that is exactly how I've done every bike with a chain on it. Granted it is dangerous......lose an appendage, bike falling off stand, etc.

I always use the straw that comes with a can of chain lube and keep my hands as far away as possible / no loose clothing / no gloves.

And no, it will always be a messy affair.

Gray-haired riders donít get that way from pure luck.

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post #3 of 45 Old 09-02-2013, 11:04 AM
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i would be very careful lubricating the bike like that, you could seriously hurt yourself or damage the bike if it were to come off the jack. i also stay away from spray on lubricants, its easy to put too much on.

personally, i jack the the bike up, place a paint tray under the sprocket and spray wd-40 on the chain and sprocket while rotating the rear wheel by hand, then use rags to wipe off as much as possible, while still continuing to rotate the rear wheel. i do this several times until i get as much gunk off as possible. then i use a marine 90w gear oil and apply a couple of tiny drops on the top and each side of the chain at each pin location. after i rotate the rear wheel and with another rag wipe off as much oil as possible which also helps put a thin film of oil all over the chain. this is one of those time that less is more.

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Last edited by a4twenty; 09-02-2013 at 11:07 AM.
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post #4 of 45 Old 09-02-2013, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geolemon View Post
So this is my first bike - and I hear it's good to lubricate the chain.
I picked up some chain lube along with my motorcycle-specific 10w40 at the parts shop to do an oil change (I've put 2K on the bike) - looks like a can of WD-40, little red tube that snaps on the nozzle and all.

I figured it would be easy, until I actually got to trying to lube the chain. Even with the spray tube on, if feels like only about 10% of the chain is exposed and available to spray. That chain hides good, inside the chain guard and behind the frame.

So I tried this:
1) Jack bike up on bike/ATV jack so rear wheel is off the ground
2) Start the bike in first
3) let the bike idle in first, let the wheel and chain spin as you spray lube from one location above the chain, one location below the chain


The only downside was that I got an oily spray from the excess oil on the chain that left a line in my driveway, and a big drip puddle directly under my spray locations.

There has to be an easier/better/cleaner way to do this.

People have seriously damaged their fingers lubing chains just rotating the the tire be hand. Under power I'm not getting my hand anywhere near gears and the chain but that's just me.

The chain guard serves no purpose safety wise. You won't get sucked into the chain just riding the bike, notice dirt bikes don't have chain guards. Take it off (and leave it off) and the top section of chain is exposed for lubing. I hold a paper towel under the chain and lube a section at a time. You can lube the chain on the side stand the same way, reach over the seat and pull the back end up a bit and rotate the wheel

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9

Last edited by Spec; 09-02-2013 at 01:03 PM.
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post #5 of 45 Old 09-02-2013, 01:21 PM
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I have heard of two guys in the last year that lost thumbs while lubing/cleaning chains. One was from AVisciousCycle and the other was an inmate on ADV getting ready for a group ride. I only turn the wheel by grabbing the tire and keep my other hand with the lube can well clear. I have also removed the chain guard on my '03 and it is much easier to lube the chain.
My co worker in a previous job cut his whole hand off at the wrist in a motorcycle chain. He fell while riding offroad and his hand went through the rear chain and sprocket. He had to walk 2 miles to a neighbor's place to get help. It was reattached and he has good use of it.
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post #6 of 45 Old 09-02-2013, 02:58 PM
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I jack my KLR up using my Harbor Freight motorcycle jack. I made a skid plate to replace the OEM one. It has a nice flat surface for the 2 bars on the jack to mate to.
The bike can be lifted up so both wheels are off ground. It’s so stable, I can remove any one wheel and the bike stays right there. ( I do safety strap it when removing a wheel just to make sure. )
I haven’t tried to lift the KLR with the OEM skid plate, but with a little bracing, I’m sure it would suffice for lubing the chain.
With bike in neutral, I slowly rotate the wheel and spray my lube on exposed sections of chain until it's completely lubed.
I like using the lube sold by my Kawasaki dealer. It goes on somewhat thicker, and dries so it won’t spray on my wheels. If any does drip off while I’m applying it, I put down newspapers under to catch it.
I’m trying some stuff from Wal-Mart ( DuPont Teflon Chain Saver ) for half the price of the stuff the Kawasaki dealer sells. It does dry good with out leaving my bike a mess, but going on it’s really “drippy”. Seems to lube good, can’t decide between cost and “drippy”.
I always lube just after coming back from a ride, when the chain is still warm.

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post #7 of 45 Old 09-02-2013, 03:51 PM
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Yeah, lubing the chain in 1st gear would make me nervous. Here's what I do:
Lock the front brake (a velcro strap around the front brake lever). Put the bike in neutral. I use my speed jack to get the rear wheel off the ground.
While turning the tire by hand, I apply kerosine to the chain with a cheap paint brush. Let it soak in. Scrub with a "Grunge Brush". Wipe with a rag.
Repeat.
Let it dry.
Just like larry31, I lube with "Dupont Teflon Chain Saver" (supposed to be better for o-rings). I use the "Chain Saver" that comes in the 4 oz. squeeze bottle (I think the small squeeze bottle goes further than the 14 oz. spray can. Even though it is drippy, you can direct the lube where you want it and it doesn't spray all over the place). I turn the wheel by hand and apply the lube link by link.
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post #8 of 45 Old 09-02-2013, 05:03 PM
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post #9 of 45 Old 09-02-2013, 05:46 PM
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This genius thought it would be a good idea to wipe the excess off with a rag while it was running. Hate that he got hurt but .......... you have to use your head just a little.

Perhaps in the interest of safety for idiots I should not advocate this method any longer.

Gray-haired riders donít get that way from pure luck.

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post #10 of 45 Old 09-02-2013, 06:00 PM
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It's recommended to oil or lube the chain when it is warm, such as right after getting home from a ride. The lube is supposed to penetrate better. This is printed right on most chain lube cans.
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