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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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trosco,
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.
 

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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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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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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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The main thing is to keep it wet (oil film) and moderately clean.

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

Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeap


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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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! :character00201:
 

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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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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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i think no matter what you use they key is to clean it often, especially when riding off road. i use WD-40 to clean and 90w marine gear oil to protect the chain from moisture. most people try to apply way to much chain lube, all you need is a super thin coat to prevent corrosion.
 

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I agree that cleanliness is best, but also feel that some lube not only keeps the demon rust (not to be confused with the demon rum) at bay, but also eases the transition of the rollers over the sprocket teeth. I use a light shot of Bel-ray after brushing the dirt off, on a O ring chain.
 

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Anybody use diesel to clean (and lube) their o-ring chain? It's almost the same as kerosene and easier to get. Cheaper than WD-40.
 

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Nobody knows

The answer to the question "What is the best way to clean and lube a chain?" is NOBODY KNOWS.

D.I.D is the number one motorcycle chain in the nation. This is true. I copied it from their Internet site.

In their chain maintenance video here http://www.didchain.com/maintVid.html They say Never Use KEROSENE to clean a chain. But, on the back of the box for the new D.I.D. Professional Chain 520 VX2 X-ring chain I just received, it says "Clean a chain by wiping with KEROSENE."

If the manufacturer of "the number one motorcycle chain in the nation" doesn't know how to clean their chains, I doubt they know how to lube them either. So, I go with the KEEP MY LIFE SIMPLE SYSTEM. Every 300 to 500 miles or every day on a trip I pop my 15" long PVC pipe jack leg under the right swingarm to get the tire off the ground. I flip the short-to-ground switch installed on the neutral switch wire to run the engine and turn the chain in first gear at idle. I hit the chain with a shot of WD40 from the rear of the back sprocket so it doesn't get on the brake disk and bing bang boom I am done and my hands are still clean.

Maybe some other system would give me a couple of thousand more miles from the chain and sprockets, but NOBODY KNOWS and I am sure it would not MAKE MY LIFE SIMPLER.
 

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Everybody has an opinion. Here's mine. Apologies to the WD40 lovers.
I am new to the KLR but have had many chain drive street bikes over the years.
I believe you are doing a good thing by using kerosene as a cleaner. Most manufacturers have recommended that since o ring chains were introduced (yes, I've been riding that long).
I would never, never use wd-40 as a cleaner on an o-ring chain. O-ring chains are lubricated internally. purpose of the rings is to keep lube in and dirt out.
WD40 acts as a penetrating oil and can eventually wash out the lubricant behind the rings. It is a great cleaner degreaser for many applications but not for O-ring chains. If you use it for cleaning and lubing your chain you will have to do it much more often and/or replace your chain sooner.
Use any lube that specifies that it is for O-ring chains.
 

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I ask these questions every so often (usually after someone admonishes me for running a chain oiler).

On a 'permanently lubricated' o-ring chain, what lubricates the pin-to-roller interface? The rollers are in contact with the sprockets and do the job of directly transmitting power to the rear wheel. The lube that's behind the o-rings only lubes the small link pins and the inside of the bushing that the rollers ride on. These pins and bushings don't rotate against one another like the rollers do on the outside of the bushings. The pins and bushings are simply loaded in shear.

Why has every moderately used o-ring chain I've ever taken apart been dry (no lube) inside the o-rings?

Tom
 

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I ask these questions every so often (usually after someone admonishes me for running a chain oiler).

On a 'permanently lubricated' o-ring chain, what lubricates the pin-to-roller interface? The rollers are in contact with the sprockets and do the job of directly transmitting power to the rear wheel. The lube that's behind the o-rings only lubes the small link pins and the inside of the bushing that the rollers ride on. These pins and bushings don't rotate against one another like the rollers do on the outside of the bushings. The pins and bushings are simply loaded in shear.

Why has every moderately used o-ring chain I've ever taken apart been dry (no lube) inside the o-rings?

Tom
Hey Tom, I'm not trying to sidetrack the chain lube thread but just curious as to what type of oiler your running? Is it the regular ScottOiler or one of the others?
 

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650Stew -

After running my homemade oiler for a year or so I found a good deal on a used ScottOiler.

I have it set up with a large top tank that feeds the smaller oiler reservoir because the oiler's reservoir is only good for 1500 miles or so.

Tom
 

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I'm pretty anal about cleaning my chain. I use WD40. Used to use kersosene. For a long time, I didn't use any lube, just cleaned. Lately, I've been cleaning with WD40 and lubing with Tri-Flow.

25K on the stock chain (although it's about worn out).

I've used Maxima wax, PJ1, and other stuff. I like what I got going on now.

My .02
 
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