Chain cleaning and lubing - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 04-24-2019, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Chain cleaning and lubing

Hey everyone. Looking for some tried and true cleaning routine, brushes, products to keep my chain in top condition. It’s an O ring style. Thanks.
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post #2 of 18 Old 04-24-2019, 09:21 PM
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post #3 of 18 Old 04-24-2019, 09:30 PM
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I'm currently using "WD-40 Specialist Motorcycle Chain Cleaner" and a cheap Chinese knock-off of a "Grunge Brush" for cleaning. I've been using that Motul Chain Paste that comes in a tube with a brush applicator as a lubricant and I kinda like it. Do these products work any better than any others? Nah. I'm just one of those people who always tries something different when what I have runs out. With all the offerings out there, I'll most certainly be dead before I get a chance to try them all.

I like the WD-40 stuff because it comes out as a foam and is easy to control. While the paste lube in a tube is more time-consuming to apply than a spray, you can see it on the chain to ensure good coverage and it seems to last a good long while.

Since neither of these products stinks or makes a big mess, I don't get the "you're poisoning my children and all the animals" looks from people in motel parking lots or campgrounds.

Only actual recommendation I have for you is to clean/lube after a ride when your chain is still warm instead of when it's cold.
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post #4 of 18 Old 04-24-2019, 09:49 PM
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I've become a WD-40-only adherent, too. I spray the chain liberally with WD-40 and wipe it off. That;s it. Current chain is at 22K miles and has not been adjusted since new. It is a little slacker than when it was new, but not too much.

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post #5 of 18 Old 04-25-2019, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
I've become a WD-40-only adherent, too. I spray the chain liberally with WD-40 and wipe it off. That;s it. Current chain is at 22K miles and has not been adjusted since new. It is a little slacker than when it was new, but not too much.
Since I have not owned a chain drive bike since the early 80s, I was debating what to use. I used gear oil on my Kawasaki 100 dual sport and 400 street bike, but it was messy to apply, slung off on the wheel and fender and collected dirt like a magnet. When I read Watt-man’s article, I said “that was easy” and went and got my can of WD40.
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post #6 of 18 Old 04-25-2019, 08:58 AM
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Yep, WD-40 here, too.

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post #7 of 18 Old 04-25-2019, 09:31 AM
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Grunge Brush with Kerosene for cleaning. Wipe the Kero off and then spray with chain lube and ride.
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post #8 of 18 Old 04-25-2019, 10:10 AM
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Lube can offer superior wear for the bushing interface (the rest is sealed and doesn't require lube) but I find that avoiding the mess from gear oil or most chain lubes to be too compelling to ignore for a potentially small increase in wear so I'm firmly in the WD40 camp as well. I'm fine to get half the chain/sprocket life that Bill (Watt-Man) did.

.....after spending several hours cleaning my engine, frame, swingarm, hub and suspension components due to a ScottOiler, I tossed it in the bin and have been using and loving WD40 ever since.

Dave
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post #9 of 18 Old 04-25-2019, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by DPelletier View Post
Lube can offer superior wear for the bushing interface (the rest is sealed and doesn't require lube) but I find that avoiding the mess from gear oil or most chain lubes to be too compelling to ignore for a potentially small increase in wear so I'm firmly in the WD40 camp as well. I'm fine to get half the chain/sprocket life that Bill (Watt-Man) did.

.....after spending several hours cleaning my engine, frame, swingarm, hub and suspension components due to a ScottOiler, I tossed it in the bin and have been using and loving WD40 ever since.

Dave
I think this is not a true statement for a motorcycle chain. Lubricants only really reduce wear when in a clean environment. Lubes contaminated with dirt often cause wear rather than prevent it.

Just as with bulldozers that don’t lube the pins and rollers in the tracks since they are in constant contact with dirt, I think that the main thing to do with a sealed chain is to keep it clean and prevent rust. A product that mostly evaporates to a dry film is likely the best option and I think that is what watt-man found with WD-40. I am sure other similar products will work also, but WD is cheap and readily available.

When I used gear oil on my chains after cleaning with kerosene, I never got more than 14,000 miles on a chain. When I saw people getting 20K+ with a sealed chain and next to no lubricant on the outside, I was more than willing to ditch the gear oil mess and give it a try. Time will tell if I have as good an experienced as have had others here.
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post #10 of 18 Old 04-25-2019, 10:27 AM
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I had a Scottoiler and found that it resulted in similar performance to WD-40. It provided enough oil to flush contaminants off of the chin and out of the roller/bushing interface, which is what I believe causes the most wear in the chain. Those contaminants were conveniently deposited on my left leg, all over my rim and swing arm, and on the windshields of following cars. Very good chain life bt an awful mess.

I think WD-40 works because it flushes grit quite readily and allows the rollers to operate in a clean, nearly dry, environment. It's not as good as a clean and lubricant-flooded environment, but it is better than a sticky, gritty environment. Sticky grit is sold in little green cans labeled "Clover Compound - 'The Fluid Abrasive Of 1,001 Uses' ".

I was skeptical about WD-40 chain treatment, but then I also know that it has been scientifically proven that bumblebees can't fly.

Tom [email protected]

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“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


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