Chain Lube - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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Old 01-29-2015, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 14
Chain Lube

Hi, after 20 years of Shaft Only bikes I picked up a 2014 New Edition. Have been using a Silicon Spray Lube that had around garage and had ben very generous with the application so thought was fine. Then a couple of my mid sized Vstrom riding friends said all the new chains require a special lube compatible with their new O ring design??? So, educate this dinosaur. Do we have special chains and if so what kinds of lube do we need to use. And if you have a preferred brand what is it and why do you prefer it? And which kinds are easy to carry? And can I still use Kerosene to clean the chain or do I need something special there too?
Don't want to start a argument so not asking what's the best, just want to know a bit about what folks use and like. Thanks
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:54 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
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Kerosene is the preferred cleaner of 'o'-ring chain manufactures, to the best of my knowledge. Cleans the chain, doesn't hurt the 'o'-rings.

My preferred chain lube is Maxima Synthetic Chain Guard. Lots of riders use nothing but 90W gear oil, some use nothing but WD-40.

I use WD-40, for the cleaner.

Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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Old 01-29-2015, 09:57 PM
1st Gear
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 58
Perhaps the most mind-boggling chain lube article ever:

Go to watt-man's site, click on articles, and scroll to the bottom. Read "WD-40 experiment"

Hard data that suggests lube is pointless, because it's the o-rings that lubricate the chain, and that chain longevity just comes from keeping the chain (and thus the o-rings) clean.
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Old 01-29-2015, 09:57 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Kansas
Posts: 1,205
Chain lube questions are about like what kind of oil questions.
I have tried about everything on my numerous chains and every time I try something new I think its going to be the ticket.
I have the Maxima chain lube, KLR chain lube (which is real nice), WD-40, white lithium grease, and motor oil.
When my chains get real funky I remove them and clean them with gasoline. I've heard its horrible, but haven't had an issue.
Here lately after I wash the bikes I have been using WD-40 on the chain, and then an hour or so later I have been spraying white-lithium grease on it before I put in away in the garage. When I get a bike out to ride a week or 2 later there is no fling-off.

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Old 01-30-2015, 07:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NW MO
Posts: 5,344
I've used everything from automotive grease to gear oil to automatic transmission fluid and a half-dozen or so specialized "lubes" or "waxes."

My uneducated opinion, at least in my riding, is that cleaning the chain with anything regularly is more important than what you use as a lube as long as what you use doesn't damage the o-rings and I'm not really sure my cleaning regimen contributes much to the life of the chain. I'm still on my stock chain at 13K miles, so it's still a teenager and I can't predict how long it or my sprockets will last.

80% of my riding is in the dust and dirt. The only thing any kind of lube does is attract dirt and dust to the chain, thus acting as an abrasive. I don't know: maybe a lube helps trap the contaminants on the outside surfaces of the chain and prevents them from migrating down to the outside of the o-rings: maybe it makes it worse.

I've been using a spray can of WD-40 and a Grunge Brush for both cleaning and lube for quite awhile because it's cheap and easy. I'm too lazy to remove the chain to clean it.

I spray it on, hit it with the Grunge Brush, "rinse" it with more sprayed WD and when I'm done I wrap paper towels around the chain and run the chain through them until it's pretty much dry on the outside, anyway. I made this a lot easier and less messy by permanently removing the stock plastic chain guard, the "safety" guard on top of the swingarm.

After I go ride 2 miles the chain looks just like it did before I cleaned it, anyway. I still do it regularly and if nothing else the WD keeps the chain side plates from rusting.

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Old 01-30-2015, 08:24 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Indiana/ Michigan line at the Lake
Posts: 1,585
The main thing is to keep it wet (oil film) and moderately clean.

WD-40 to spray clean it, white lith afterwards.


A few things ALP said too.
The WD is to get the grit out. I feel that lube helps the chain to slide a bit in the tooth notch.
This would decrease the scrubbing that makes shark fins of the sprockets. Then again it can
catch dust and grit to accelerate wear. I just clean it after any decent amount of dirt riding.

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Last edited by CheapBassTurd; 01-30-2015 at 08:51 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:55 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 2,480
I've tried all kinds of commercial chain lubes and waxes as well. They all seem to work, but some have a nasty tendency to fling everywhere and pick up all kinds of grunge making it harder to clean the next time around.

I used automatic transmission fluid for a while at vatraders recommendation, it seemed to work well and didn't make as much of a mess. Still caught the dirt though.

For the last while I've been using WD40 for the cleaner and lube. Chain cleans up nice and has no rust. Once it's dried it doesn't seem to catch dust and dirt either so I think I'll keep using it. Fairly cheap and very easy to find as an added bonus!

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Old 02-15-2015, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 9

All I use. IMHO spray lube just attracts dirt, which is the bane of chain.

There's a good article posted by Watt-man on his site

Being a noob I cannot post the link.....but you'll figure it out.


Last edited by 650Stew; 02-15-2015 at 01:30 PM. Reason: Added full link.
DooMickey is offline  
Old 04-12-2015, 07:11 PM
1st Gear
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 31
I clean my chain with kerosene and lube it minimally with PJ1 Blue Label...minimally at best and normally get 18000-20000 out of a good quality chain/sprocket set.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:01 AM
2nd Gear
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 387
Back in "the day" Harleys came with a rear chain oilier that dripped engine oil on the chain. The trick was to adjust it so the chain had a flat carbon black look to it. Shiny meant too much oil and rust meant too little oil. Even so, the correct adjustment caused enough oil to fling off the chain onto your back to paint a big black stripe on you jacket. But my non o-ring chain lasted for years.
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