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Just bought a new-to-me KLR 650 and was wondering if there is a consensus on what kind of chain lube to use. I have some that we use on ag equipment that's really good lube. Only problem is, it's really tacky and strings out a lot, making a mess. Not such a big deal on farm equipment, but would rather not sling it all over my bike. Any suggestions? Thanks.
 

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I use Belray. Good stuff. Spray on let dry, it dries like a powder. I used to use Maxima Chain Wax. Both good. Cheapo lube is fine too if you do it right and often. I choose the non-cheapo when I can cause it doesn't slop off.
 

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+1 on the Belray. I've used some cheap Castrol stuff from a big chain store and while I think it lubes ok it makes a huge mess of the bike, even if you wipe off the excess it flings everywhere! The Belray is a little more money but I think it's well worth it.

Cheers,
Stew
 

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More important than lubrication, to me anyway, is cleaning the chain. Any grit, dirt, mud on the chain mixed with any type of chain lube becomes a grinding compound. Would you throw a hand full of sand in the engine the next time you change oil?



I clean the chain and sprockets with diesel fuel. It is easier to find, has detergents in it, conditioners for o-rings and seals. A gallon lasts a long, long time.

Chain Lube. It's kinda like engine oil. More important than what oil you put in the crankcase, is how recently you did it. I think the same is true for the chain.

I lube my chains with ATF. Automatic transmission fluid. If I spot a quart of synthetic ATF on sale somewhere, I'll grab it. Otherwise, plain 'ol ATF. ATF is loaded with detergents, helping keep the chain clean. ATF has conditioners for rubber rings. I use "X" ring chains usually. At about $40.00 a foot, I put some effort into getting as much life out of them as I can. Last year I put 26,000 miles on a KLR 650. Changing sprockets and chain every six months or so offends me greatly. Many of the people I ride with are as anal as I am about their chain maintenance. One rider uses nothing but chain bar oil for chain saws. Another uses a mix of ATF and chain saw bar oil. Another buys 90w gear lube at Tractor Supply. Currently, one rider has 38,000 miles on a DL 1000 chain and sprockets, with nothing indicating a replacement needed anytime soon. He primarily uses the drainings of oil bottles.

The biggest draw back I have found using ATF has to do with an unintended consequence....it leaves the chain kind of a flowery pink. With a nice floral aroma. The sport bike guys with their gold chains suspect those who choose to create a pink chain may have less than heterosexual leanings. So I usually park over by the Buick or some where where it isn't so noticeable.
 

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I've heard about using ATF before, do you find it flings all over or do you just use it very sparingly? Totally agree with keeping your chain clean as well, doesn't take long either if you keep on top of it. My bike lift gets a lot of use these days!

Cheers,
Stew
 

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I've heard about using ATF before, do you find it flings all over or do you just use it very sparingly? Totally agree with keeping your chain clean as well, doesn't take long either if you keep on top of it. My bike lift gets a lot of use these days!

Cheers,
Stew
The ATF will fling all over the place if you don't use a rag to absorb the excess. Every few months, I pull the counter sprocket cover off and do a good job of cleaning the entire chain circuit. Some may object to that much effort to maintain the chain. With as many moving parts as there are to a chain, I find it a little reassuring to inspect the chain in this manner. I give the chain a fairly liberal dosage of ATF when I lube it, usually about every 250 miles. I lay cardboard under the chain to catch drippage. Typically, I lube the chain when I park the bike for the day, and allow it to "drip dry". I'll spin the rear wheel while holding a rag or cotton glove around the chain to wick up anything excess before taking off again. My swing arm has a continuous light oil film. Kinda like pancake syrup....some people like a little pancake with their syrup, others like a little syrup with their pancakes. I still have over half a liter left in a bottle of ATF I picked up early last fall, if that is any indicator.

It may be malarkey, but I think the chain runs quieter while damp with ATF. That allows me to obsess about and tune into all the other squeaks and rattles the KLR is famous for.
 

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I'm on my Blackberry as I write this, so can't easily link to another post, but take a look at my recent post in this sub-forum about a 'noise, possibly clutch related'.

The noise wound up being a crapped out chain. Look at the pictures.

This was a stock o-ring chain. At almost 14K miles, the lube on the pins, behind the o-rings, was gone, but the pins were barely worn. The sleeves that the rollers run on, however, were completely toasted. The effect was that the chain, though it showed no outward signs of wear(nor did the sprockets), could not properly locate itself on the sprockets and made all sorts of ugly noises. The chain was close to a point of total failure.
It is my opinion that the lubing of the sleeves and rollers is critically important - a point I missed through ignorance.
When people talk of lubing chains, they obsess over 'keeping the o-rings supple' with a proper lube, yet miss lubing the part of the chain that carries the load and does the work. At least I did.
I am now in vatrader's camp, having become anal about chain lube. I was always a cleanliness freak, but didn't recognize where the chain really needs to have lube. Get lube into the rollers. My chain, judging by the pin wear, was about half gone. Attention to the rollers could have taken that chain to 20K and beyond.
I'm now using 90wt gear oil, applied frequently and carefully.
Hopefully, I'll report back in 25k miles that it worked...

Tom
 

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I'm on my Blackberry as I write this, so can't easily link to another post, but take a look at my recent post in this sub-forum about a 'noise, possibly clutch related'.

The noise wound up being a crapped out chain. Look at the pictures.

This was a stock o-ring chain. At almost 14K miles, the lube on the pins, behind the o-rings, was gone, but the pins were barely worn. The sleeves that the rollers run on, however, were completely toasted. The effect was that the chain, though it showed no outward signs of wear(nor did the sprockets), could not properly locate itself on the sprockets and made all sorts of ugly noises. The chain was close to a point of total failure.
It is my opinion that the lubing of the sleeves and rollers is critically important - a point I missed through ignorance.
When people talk of lubing chains, they obsess over 'keeping the o-rings supple' with a proper lube, yet miss lubing the part of the chain that carries the load and does the work. At least I did.
I am now in vatrader's camp, having become anal about chain lube. I was always a cleanliness freak, but didn't recognize where the chain really needs to have lube. Get lube into the rollers. My chain, judging by the pin wear, was about half gone. Attention to the rollers could have taken that chain to 20K and beyond.
I'm now using 90wt gear oil, applied frequently and carefully.
Hopefully, I'll report back in 25k miles that it worked...

Tom

The truth about motorcycle chains

I think this guy is mostly right about chains. Chains wear at the pins/plates and that what the lube is for. Lube on the rollers is gone pretty fast and I would guess that the rollers are harder than the sprockets anyway. I haven't seen rollers wear myself and would think that something else wasn't right if they are wearing.

I don't want chain lube mess all over the back wheel so no motor oil/ATF/etc for me. I've used the Dupont teflon stuff for the last several years and my chains seem to wear normally.

I did just put a non-oring chain on my KLR to see how it does. It's what I run on dirt bikes here in the desert.
 

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The truth about motorcycle chains

I think this guy is mostly right about chains. Chains wear at the pins/plates and that what the lube is for...
That site was one that I ran across in my research on chain lubrication.

In my experience, people who put up web sites with 'statements of fact' in bold letters, mutliple colors, and such are selling some sort of snake oil. Usually their own, or at the very least the products they have chosen to sell.

...Lube on the rollers is gone pretty fast and I would guess that the rollers are harder than the sprockets anyway. I haven't seen rollers wear myself and would think that something else wasn't right if they are wearing....
From the site you cite: 'The chain “rollers need very little lubrication.' sic.

I will judge my needs based upon my experiences.



The roller sleeves are at the center of the photo. The pins, above and below the sleeves, showed barely .002" of wear.

In my case, the 'something else wasn't right if they are wearing' was that the Worlds Best Chain Lube......PJ1 Blue Label chain lube!!! didn't provide enough lubrication to the roller sleeves, at least not at the frequency or intensity that I applied it (which was pretty much in accordance with the directions and common recommendations).

Tom
 

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In my experience, people who put up web sites with 'statements of fact' in bold letters, mutliple colors, and such are selling some sort of snake oil. Usually their own, or at the very least the products they have chosen to sell.



I will judge my needs based upon my experiences.



The roller sleeves are at the center of the photo. The pins, above and below the sleeves, showed barely .002" of wear.

In my case, the 'something else wasn't right if they are wearing' was that the Worlds Best Chain Lube......PJ1 Blue Label chain lube!!! didn't provide enough lubrication to the roller sleeves, at least not at the frequency or intensity that I applied it (which was pretty much in accordance with the directions and common recommendations).

Tom

I'm not disputing you Tom and I'm not endorsing the Chain guys site like I said what he says makes sense to me even if he's selling stuff. It's not like the Sidewinder chain and sprockets junk that Krause sells now there's some hype.

Logically lube will not stay on the rollers very long, metal to metal contact and all that. I don't know why your chain wore like that but it's not normal in my experience. So take that for what it's worth (not much ha...)

Humor me a bit... looks to me that the wear is too narrow on the rollers like one of the sprockets is not machined right. Looking at my chain the sprocket rides about 1/2 way into each side of where yours doesn't show wear (less clearance between the plates and chain, make sense?)
 

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Spec -

You're misunderstanding what you're seeing.

The rollers are on end in the photo. The really worn things (between the pins) are the sleeves the rollers run on. Those grooves were worn into the sleeves by the rollers. The inside diameter of the rollers was considereably oversize, too.

The outside diameter of the rollers, and the sprocket teeth, were in perfect condition. They had been well lubed!

Tom

p.s. - Sidewinder - thanks for that! That's really good snake oil!
 

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Occasional Maxima Chain Wax, or WD40 when I remember.. Stock chain wasn't bad at 20K, but the sprockets were worn through the case hardening and were toast..

$90 for replacement set of chain and sprockets.. Lube regiment will be the same.. When I think about it.. :)
 

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Spec -

You're misunderstanding what you're seeing.

The rollers are on end in the photo. The really worn things (between the pins) are the sleeves the rollers run on. Those grooves were worn into the sleeves by the rollers. The inside diameter of the rollers was considereably oversize, too.

The outside diameter of the rollers, and the sprocket teeth, were in perfect condition. They had been well lubed!

Tom

p.s. - Sidewinder - thanks for that! That's really good snake oil!

Oh... well nevermind then!
 

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From EK Chain

MAINTENANCE: Lubricate your chain every 300 to 350 miles (480 to 560km) with a quality lubricant such as SAE 80-90 wt. motor oil or aerosol lubricant designed specifically for motorcycle chains. When operating in hot, dry and/or dusty conditions, you may need to lubricate more frequently. Apply a moderate amount so lubricant penetrates between pins, rollers and bushings (fig. 5).

CLEANING: Do not use harsh solvents or chemicals, such as gasoline or benzene. EK recommends using a biodegradable degreaser with a soft (non-wire) bristle brush or clean cloth for removing dirt. Use kerosene (paraffin oil) if necessary, let dry and lubricate immediately within 10 minutes.

From RK Chain:

Q How should I maintain my O-ring chain?

A. Doing routine maintenance on any chain is a crucial step to getting the maximum wearlife out of your chain. You should clean and check its adjustment every 400 miles (sooner if the chain gets excessively dirty). Use formulated O-ring chain cleaner or other similar product to keep dirt from building up around link plates and rollers. Don’t use a wire brush or pressure washer. If your chain comes in contact with water, be sure to use a moisture displacement (like WD40). Lubing an O-Ring chain is vital for maximum wearlife. All RK O-Ring chains are injected at the factory with a lifetime supply of internal lubricant. The purpose of an O-Ring lube is to keep the chain from rusting and the O-rings from drying out. Use a lubricant specifically designed for O-Ring Chains.

From D.I.D. Chains;


The motorcycle drive chain must be kept clean and lubricated regularly. The life of the chain can be extended and maximum transmission efficiency can be achieved through simple maintenance with a dedicated cleaner and lubricant. Our chain maintenance products are specifically designed for high performance motorcycle drive chains.

Regina Chain:

To obtain good performance and long life, chain must always be lubricated when in service.

All well lubricated chains keeps the friction between the working surfaces to a minimum by creating a protective surface between the sliding surfaces of the pin and bushing and also between the bushing and roller. A lack of lubrication increases friction between these surfaces, resulting in an increase in friction resulting in a higher absorption of power, therefore an increase in the working temperature of the components. This higher than normal temperature will result in the lubricant burning and becoming less effective, therefore increasing chain wear.
Signs of poor lubrication are rapid elongation of the chain, rust (reddish areas on the chain surfaces), and squeaks when operating.

In the O-Ring chains, lubrication is provided by grease sealed in the working area by O-Rings.However, it is still necessary to provide periodic lubrication to the chain. Lubricant between roller and bushings will decrease friction and heat, and will improve the efficiency of the drive, extending chain and sprockets life.

Lubrication also keeps O-Rings in good condition and protects the metallic components from rust and corrosion.

Tsubaki Motorcycle Chain:

LUBRICATING SEALED CHAINS
TSUBAKI Sealed chains are pre-lubricated at the factory with special grease. However, external (Rollers, inner- and outside plates) need re-lubrication every 500Km. (300 miles) or sooner, depending on usage and conditions, will help keep the chain clean, corrosion free and ensure maximum performance. Use O-ring safe lubricant.


Any rationalizations from neighbors, unemployed relatives and toll booth operators should outweigh manufacturers recommendations.
 

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Just bought a new-to-me KLR 650 and was wondering if there is a consensus on what kind of chain lube to use. I have some that we use on ag equipment that's really good lube. Only problem is, it's really tacky and strings out a lot, making a mess. Not such a big deal on farm equipment, but would rather not sling it all over my bike. Any suggestions? Thanks.
Bel-ray,,I clean with wd-40,,,works good,,,23,000+ miles.
 

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Found this while doing a search on chain lube before I posted my question. Figured I'd give this great thread a bump to the top for review, follow up, just to be seen by anyone new.
 

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Just bought a new-to-me KLR 650 and was wondering if there is a consensus on what kind of chain lube to use. I have some that we use on ag equipment that's really good lube. Only problem is, it's really tacky and strings out a lot, making a mess. Not such a big deal on farm equipment, but would rather not sling it all over my bike. Any suggestions? Thanks.
I use kerosene to clean the chain and primarily use gear oil to lube it. I have used chain waxes before but the gear lube is works and is cheap. I tend to clean and lube the chain regularly as it's easy to do and I take the time to looke the bike over anyway while I'm doing it:32a:.
 

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I tend to clean and lube the chain regularly as it's easy to do and I take the time to looke the bike over anyway while I'm doing it:32a:.
Since he's too busy cleaning his chain, he never rides with his friends, anyway..:animal0034:
 

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Since he's too busy cleaning his chain, he never rides with his friends, anyway..:animal0034:
I spend all of my time thinking of how I can turn bacon grease into chain lube, that's not waisted time. Who wouldn't want to smell hot bacon while riding?:28:
 
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