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While I think of it IMO, I will never install a Non-O ring chain, (unless it’s on a motocross bike that’s gets replaced often). O-ring chains last longer, cleaner, and will retain their lube inside, providing you don’t wash the chain in some type of solvent or chemical that would break down the o-rings. Just my 2-cents.
 

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Same issue

My chain has some stiff links as well. The sprockets look good, no abnormal wear and has the proper slack. Should I be concerned about the stiff links? Thanks
 

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While I think of it IMO, I will never install a Non-O ring chain, (unless it’s on a motocross bike that’s gets replaced often). O-ring chains last longer, cleaner, and will retain their lube inside, providing you don’t wash the chain in some type of solvent or chemical that would break down the o-rings. Just my 2-cents.
...I wouldn't even do it on an MX bike. As far as various chemicals and how they interact with O rings, here's a good read:

https://advrider.com/f/threads/chain-o-ring-wd-40-exposure-effects-study-and-results.345397/

Dave
 

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My chain has some stiff links as well. The sprockets look good, no abnormal wear and has the proper slack. Should I be concerned about the stiff links? Thanks
WD-40 seems to be the lube of choice around here. Have you tried it, and has that loosened them up?
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Hello Beamwalker

My chain's links were too stiff for me to straighten with my hands. I had about three or four links that were like that. It was an X-Ring chain, So the X rings had failed, or there was mechanical damage to the chain, (Possibly from a too tight chain) The chain had to be replaced.

Lube your chain with Chain lube designed for use on and O or X ring chain. WD-40 and other such spray lubricants will dissolve the lube off your chain. These products are ok for lubricating door hinges, but not for motorcycle chains.

I believe if you want to own a motorcycle you have to be prepared to maintain the thing, which means spending money from time to time. So I suggest you buy a can of proper chain lube. I am not suggesting that you do not maintain your bike or that you skimp on maintenance...I don't know you after all.

I don't think that a few kinks in the chain means the chain is in imminent risk of catastrophic failure. Other, more experienced and knowledgeable members may disagree, and I hope they reply accordingly if they do. However, I would not ride at a speed greater than about 40 Mph with a chain like that. I believe that the chain will continue to deteriorate and will become dangerous as it deteriorates and the risk of breakages increases. So my advice is to change the chain as soon as you can.

The Clymer manual and Kawasaki suggest that you change both sprockets when you change the chain. Some people on this forum shared that they have changed the chain without changing both sprockets and not had negative results. I changed everything when I did mine. ( I have mentioned my philosophy about motorcycle maintenance)

I suppose my bottom line is; change the chain as soon as you have the money and the time...

Cheers

Timberfoot
 

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I use chain wax. I thought that was the cause so I cleaned it up with wd-40, but there was no change. The links on my chain do move on the sprocket. Having 12,000 miles on the bike ,I feel comfortable still using it. Thanks for your opinion
 

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...WD-40 and other such spray lubricants will dissolve the lube off your chain. These products are ok for lubricating door hinges, but not for motorcycle chains...
You're right, it is not a lube, but it does clean the chain and keep it clean.

I'm at 12K miles on my chain using only WD-40 and I haven't needed to adjust it. It is a little looser than when I installed it but only a wee bit. wattman seems to have gotten 34K miles on an OEM chain. I don't know how many more chains and what mileage he has gone on WD-40. I don't know what @DPelletier's numbers are, but I believe he is successful using only WD-40.

It's bumblebee type shit, but the bottom line is that it works with an o-ring chain.
@beamwalker, if the links are a bit stiff but you can move them with your fingers I don't think I'd worry. If they are too stiff to work with your fingers it may indicate that the o-rings have failed and water has gotten in, the lube out, or both and there is a bit of corrosion in the link. At 12K miles it would be a bit of an early failure, but not terribly so.
 

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Yes, I only use WD-40 as O ring (or X ring) chains are permanently lubed and the lube is protected by the o-rings. As per the link I posted, WD-40 doesn't degrade the o rings. .....WD isn't a lube, it's a cleaner but you don't NEED lube on a sealed chain......as proven by Bill (Watt-man). My riding time is split between bikes and I don't ride as much as I like so I don't have anything like Bill's 34,000 miles to point to. Luckily he posted his comprehensive results and that's proof enough for me.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #29
That is very interesting! I am surprised to learn that you guys clean your chains, but do not lube them. I would have thought that the chain would not last long like that.

I must admit that my own experience with my old chain (The one I recently replaced) supports your stance on chain maintenance. You may recall that I suggested my lax attitude towards chain lubrication was the cause of its short life. I lubricated that chain fairly regularly, though, not as often as the owner's manual suggests.
However, I am embarrassed to admit that I only cleaned it once in about 14600ish miles. The day I cleaned it was the day I realized it was in bad condition. My experience supports the opinion that cleaning is more important to these chains than is lubricating!

Thanks again guys

Matthew
 

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Mostly wet and cold. The bike has been taken apart and put back together several times while it pours.
 

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That is very interesting! I am surprised to learn that you guys clean your chains, but do not lube them. I would have thought that the chain would not last long like that.

I must admit that my own experience with my old chain (The one I recently replaced) supports your stance on chain maintenance. You may recall that I suggested my lax attitude towards chain lubrication was the cause of its short life. I lubricated that chain fairly regularly, though, not as often as the owner's manual suggests.
However, I am embarrassed to admit that I only cleaned it once in about 14600ish miles. The day I cleaned it was the day I realized it was in bad condition. My experience supports the opinion that cleaning is more important to these chains than is lubricating!

Thanks again guys

Matthew
While chain lubrication is indeed beneficial, when it comes to motorcycle chains and dirt roads not so much. The key if riding in dirt is keeping it clean not oiled up. The oil in the dirt is only beneficial for about a mile or two before the chain gets coated with grit and starts the erosion process. If going on a long hwy ride then I might be using chain lube, but never if going in any trails or on gravel roads.
 

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While chain lubrication is indeed beneficial, when it comes to motorcycle chains and dirt roads not so much. The key if riding in dirt is keeping it clean not oiled up. The oil in the dirt is only beneficial for about a mile or two before the chain gets coated with grit and starts the erosion process. If going on a long hwy ride then I might be using chain lube, but never if going in any trails or on gravel roads.
That makes total sense. An external lube will actually attract dirt to the chain. If it is only cleaned well, the chain “should” be less likely to get dirt between the plates.....that is to say, when riding mostly or all dirt. The same should apply to the sprockets.
 

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I will say that lubing, combined with continual cleaning is better than cleaning only when it comes to chain life. My 74 CB750 has an oiler built into the countershaft that depending on how far out you have the setscrew in the end, bleeds engine oil out onto the drive sprocket and chain. This keeps the chain extremely clean and WELL lubed. The drawback is the left side of the wheel also is well lubed and a real pain in the ass to keep looking good. You also need to park it over a drip pan or you'll get oil spots on your nice new concrete floor. I will add that this bike still has the original sprockets and is currently only on it's second chain during it's 45 year life. Sprockets have almost zero visible wear on them too.
 

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Prior to converting over to the use of WD-40 I had a chain oiler on the bike. The continual flow of oil kept the chain clean because the oil would pick up the dirt and then it would all be flung all over the rear wheel, the swing arm, the engine cases, my left leg, the windshield of every car following me, most of the roads in California, and roadside animals and small children.

The chain and sprockets lasted almost forever, though. There was that.
 

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Prior to converting over to the use of WD-40 I had a chain oiler on the bike. The continual flow of oil kept the chain clean because the oil would pick up the dirt and then it would all be flung all over the rear wheel, the swing arm, the engine cases, my left leg, the windshield of every car following me, most of the roads in California, and roadside animals and small children.

The chain and sprockets lasted almost forever, though. There was that.
LOL; well said!


I will never argue that an O-ring chain won't last longer with the application of an external lube (in addition to cleaning and maintenance), it's just that the extra life isn't worth the hassle and mess for me......I'll be happy with even half Bill's 34,000 miles as long as I don't have to deal with the gigantic mess that lube makes. My Scott Oiler permanently resides in my "spare parts bin".

Wear is dependent on many things; maintenance, conditions, climate, usage, riding style, etc. etc. ......my WAG is that adding lube to my chains maintenance routine may add 10 - 20% to the lifespan which just isn't worth it to me.


2 cents,
Dave
 
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