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Old 12-07-2010, 08:45 AM   #1
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Oct 2006
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Off road o-ring chain cleaning

What do you guys do for chain maintenance?
On my DRZ I usually I just spray some lube on it as the wheel rotates. I usually do this as soon as I'm done riding before I park the bike or even wash it.
Just wondering if anyone is doing more than that.
I know on bicycles, they make a brusch cleaner you can hook to the chain and roll the pedal backwards to run the chain through the cleaner.
Is this necessary or possible on a dirtbike chain?

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Old 12-07-2010, 09:24 AM   #2
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For my offroad bikes I spray the chain down with WD40 then use this to clean it up:

After I brush it I use a clean rag to wipe off all the excess WD40 until it's nice and clean. I don't use lube because it attracts dirt. Your chains will last as long as you need them to using this method. Remember, chains aren't made to last forever but by keeping them clean you can stretch the replacement intervals.

Let the "WD40 is bad for the o-rings in your chain" debate begin....

I think that those who say "WD40 is bad for the o-rings in your chain" expect to never have to replace a chain again..... I've been using this method for years and thousands of miles and have never had anything bad happen to a chain. But, then again, I always replace them when they need to be replaced.
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:27 AM   #3
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I use the same brush Olas uses, but have been using ATF as a cleaner.

(I don't want to start a debate but WD-40 is too much of a penetrant for my preferences).
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Old 12-07-2010, 01:21 PM   #4
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Not a brush, but I bought some Kawasaki foaming chain cleaner/lube when on the Continental Divide Ride Trail. Stuff was amazing. Used it every day, especially after a really dusty dirty stretch. Don't see it anywhere though so you'd probably have to order it if interested in a trial. Seems like it's $8-9 per can. For a brush, I use the one in the other posts.
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:22 PM   #5
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The stock chain/sprockets on my KLR lasted about 16000 miles, with pretty regular cleaning with WD40 and a coat of chain lube. I replaced the stock with a not-too-expensive RK o-ring chain, and being tired of the mess and hassle I used only WD40 on the new set. It lasted only about 12000 miles but I was pretty lazy about keeping it clean. After replacing the set with a slightly more expensive x-ring chain I have been cleaning with mineral spirits and a small brush, wiping it down, then applying silkolene chain lube, and wiping off the excess. I miss the ease of just hitting it with WD40 but want to see how many miles I can get this time. I really don't like how the dirt sticks to the chain after being lubed and I guess we'll see if it is worth the work. I'm thinking about trying a chain wax next.
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:38 PM   #6
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I spray chain lube on it while the wheel rotates, then wipe it back off to get the grime, then a quick spray that I let dry.
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:42 PM   #7
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I use a spray called TRI-FLO. It is about the same viscosity as wd-40 but has silicone in it which is better for the O-rings doesn't fly off as fast as wd does and doesn't attract dirt. I still have the original chain and sprockets on my '06 450 exc.
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:43 PM   #8
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I goto the dollor store and get some cheap plastic brushes,and when i wash one of my bikes i use a brush to get the major dirt,mud,etc,off the chain.Then when the bike is clean spray WD-40 on the chain and hit it with a brush again,wipe the chain down with a rag.I also make sure i get all the crap off the sprockets good to.
Then use WD-40 for lube.
That method has work on everything from super bikes to the kids 50's.
I got 21,000 miles on a good chain and sprockets on my ZX11.

I try'd every lube,wax and gimmic there is,and always ended up back with the WD.It doesn't get build up like the wax's,or hold on to the dirt,and is a hell of alot easyer to clean up after.
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:45 PM   #9
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i get a sock with diesel fuel on it and grab the chain and spin the wheel. cleans all the grime off really quick. just watch out for the sprocket teeth!
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:54 AM   #10
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I have been lubing my chain with oil but found that dirt sticks to it and I need to remove it every time and wash it in a bucket of kerosene twice. The residue washed off even had small rocks in it!

I am now using Chain Wax. I think it is an American product.. The instruction on the can says allow 15 mins to tack off but in practice I found that you need to leave it overnight to get a wax finish, so nothing sticks to it.
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:01 PM   #11
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Diesel fuel

it does not harm the O-rings and breaks down the crud with minimal effort.
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:22 PM   #12
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I use Kerosene because some one at a shop recommended it. I think a bike owner's manual also recommended it.

Webbike world above said wd40 penetrates the orings and kills the lube. ATF, Diesel and kerosene are thicker and can't get by the oring.

Those sticky chain lubes (grit glue) just attract dirt and one good mud crossing is going to clean it all off anyway.
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Old 12-08-2010, 05:11 PM   #13
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Wash mine the same way I wash the rest of the bike, with a pressure washer! ( Yeah, I heard it before, you'll ruin the bearings and bla....bla....bla.. NOT! ) You are cleaning the outside of the side plates, #1 Pressure and water ain't gona hurt them, #2 they don't even need to be cleaned as no contact happens there, so no wear happens there either. Your chain rollers wear, along with your sprockets, and on the dirtiest bike there ain't gona be no dirt at the contact area. The chain also wears on the pins, but you can't clean or lube that anyway 'cause it's sealed by the "O" rings. As for lube I like Chain Wax it's not as sticky/messy as petroleum based lube (IMHO) not that I care if my dirt bike chains are icky sticky, just don't like lube all over my street bike wheels and swingarm. The wear between the chain and sprocket is an impact type wear, not rotating movement, as once the chain roller contacts the sprocket the roller rotates on the pin not the sprocket. So a thin lube won't do much good. One thing for sure if the lube you are using is not "chain lube" then it's the wrong stuff.(IMHO) Bottom line, if cleaning your chain and lubing with some home brew makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, go for it, but your chain ain't gona last any longer than the guys that take the easy route.
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Old 12-08-2010, 05:14 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by scooteraug02 View Post
I use Kerosene
+1, Then Honda chain lube as it is not sticky and does not fling off.

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Old 12-08-2010, 05:27 PM   #15
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Spin the wheel while spraying her off with WD40.
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