Chain Maintenance and Lube; Advice Needed

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by nnamssorxela, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. thorning

    thorning n00b

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    I ride a BMW F650 classic with 13500 miles. It is a year 2000 model and I ride only on road. The chain is original and I lube it well with ATF about every 500 miles. The chain has a couple of tight spots but it is still in usable condition. If you want a chain to last very long you will need to use a lube that does not hold dirt. even the best lubes will retain some dirt however. The rear sprocket of this model F650 is reversible and I turn it about every 2500 miles. The front cannot be reversed however. A chain in a dirty environment will not last very long no matter what you lube it with and you should not expect it to last very long. The front (smaller) sprocket is going to wear out faster so watch this one for excess wear.
    #21
  2. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

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    These guys (linky below) have "affordable" chains and chains+sprocket sets.

    Just a thought. I get gold X ring chains +front and rear sprocket kits for the KLR for like $89.00

    I order some extra master links and about twice a season I take the chain off and give it a decent scrub in a bath of kerosine. Once it no longer "blackens" my kero bath, I figure its clean. I hang it on fence to drip dry, reinstall and relube. But I use new master links when I do that. It does get some less fussy cleanings in between, but it seems to enjoy the major dunk, rinse and repeat procedure.

    Related, it's tough to beat WD40 for cleaning chain lube mess off swing arms and stuff. Works great, price is right. I also keep some kerosine in a refillable spray bottle. Handy!

    http://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/
    #22
  3. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

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    No offense intended (and I truly mean that)...but,...you average 1038 miles per year and have experience enough on chain maintenance? That equates to 4 chain lubes per year. That's like 43 miles per week during a 6 month riding season. I do respect you for reversing your sprocket, though I think you do it too often.

    I prefer the dry lubricants, goes on wet, and dries to a film. We all used to use DuPont Multi-use Dry...until over a year ago when they changed the formula. I changed to the DuPont Chain Saver, it's as close as you can get to what the original Multi-use formula once was. I don't ever clean a chain anymore. Spray on chain saver, run the wet chain through a rag (the solvent softens up the old layer) so old wax and dirt come off the chain...then spray on another coat and let it dry. I have not cleaned my last 3 chains (one per year) at about 20K miles each.
    #23
  4. ChromeSux

    ChromeSux Plated and screwed

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    I read this and have been doing it his way, so far so good, chain/sprockets have went 11,000 miles and still look great, i use the bike quite often off road too.
    Go ahead guys and flame on, i suspect my chain and sprockets will go another 11,000 miles.

    http://www.watt-man.com/uploads/WD40experiment.pdf
    #24
  5. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    Just cleaning and chain lube about 20,000km.

    A chain oiler loaded with ATF, around 60,000.

    One of the other posters hit it, dirt and sticky lubes == grinding paste and will get the chain eventually. You do want something that will let grit fling off and ATF seems to be right in the sweet spot there.

    Pete
    #25
  6. scottalot

    scottalot Blank Space

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    I'm trying out some sort of new Motul pasty white stuff. So far so good. Its weird that you spread it on the chain instead of spreading it. Less messy in the long run. I picked it up at the BMW dealer a while back when I was getting some parts for an R11RT that I have since sold. Of course it was shaft drive & the lube was for my Vee chain..
    #26
  7. KingOfFleece

    KingOfFleece SplitWeight(tm) waterproof seat covers

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    #27
  8. Laconic

    Laconic Anodyne

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    You can still buy that stuff at the Lowe's where I live, I don't know if it's still in production or they just haven't run through their inventory. I keep the little squeeze bottles to take on trips and use the aerosol at home.

    I clean my chain with diesel fuel and a brush maybe three times a year. I use the dry lube every 300 to 500 miles and make sure to keep plenty of slack in the chain (about a 1/2" more than the Wee owner's manual recommends). Riding 12-15k a year.
    #28
  9. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

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    It's not the same stuff, sorry. The old stuff was labeled "dry, wax lubricant" on the front of every label. DuPont says the new formula is "semi-dry" though it is not on the label. It's decent, but not as good as it was.

    Read through all this for more details.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=795627
    #29
  10. Laconic

    Laconic Anodyne

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    :lol3 You're right. I just went and looked at my stock; some of it is the old and some of it is the new but the labels appear the same at a glance.

    I noticed the "new-old" formulation in the orange bottles is $1 more than it used to be.
    #30
  11. nnamssorxela

    nnamssorxela ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    Thanks again for all the input guys! I'm becoming less skeptical of the dry and wax style lubes due to how highly you all regard them, and I might give them a try if my auto oiler doesn't work.

    Something to note however; I was reading around about the Dupont stuff, and they said that using it on a motorcycle chain will require application every 50-75 miles. Because of this, I think I'm leaning towards an auto oiler of sorts as that is a continuous application and I won't have to remember to do it. I refuse to support my local motorcycle shop and would much prefer to get something I could use from my local hardware store so it's good to know there are alternatives.

    -Alex
    #31
  12. CycleDoc59

    CycleDoc59 Wrench Rider

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    You can buy chain lube under the Liquid Wrench name at
    Walmart and hardware stores, or even Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/Liquid-Wrench-Chain-Lube-Aerosol/dp/B004HSDAI0
    Use every 500 miles or so is usually
    adequate. Auto oilers make a mess.
    #32
  13. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    Not all oilers make a mess.

    Start with one of these, and make a semi-automatic oiler.
    The link below is just a generic for the picture. eBay and search for "fuel primer".

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/ryobi-ta...10?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item35c40c8baa

    Couple of hints if you do that. Tygon tubing is the clear winner for 'tough', you need some sort of resevour near the bottom so the thing will drip rather than dump large splurges of oil when you push the button, and you may need an air bleed in the 'out' line, to prevent flexing tubing acting as a pump.

    Otherwise, some easy fabrication and about $20 and you have a near perfect chain oiler, and one which will get around 10,000k's/100ml of oil capacity.

    Pete
    #33
  14. nnamssorxela

    nnamssorxela ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    Thanks for the tip. Originally I was going to use a big syringe mounted to my bars with a tube running down to my sprocket, but I think I'm going to put a vacuum operated check valve/switch between an oil reservoir and sprockets with a petcock of sorts to control flow. That way the system only opens up while the bike is running. Basically a cheap scottoiler.
    #34
  15. showkey

    showkey Long timer

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    Moderen, Quality o-ring chain needs very little lube, DuPont stuff every 300 to 500 miles is more than enough.

    Auto oiler is over kill making a mess and adding to the grit/dirt problem which can easily do more harm than good.
    #35
  16. nnamssorxela

    nnamssorxela ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    I thought the whole deal with the auto oiler is that the constant supply of oil flushes the dirt and grime off? I suppose I will find out.

    I was looking into it a little more, and bar and chain oil has additives that keep it "more" on the chain compared to motor oil, and is designed to prevent absorb shock. I have yet to look into the advantages of using automatic transmission fluid that everyone seems to be filling up their oilers with.

    The good news is that I just got the last of my parts to make a vacuum operated oiler yesterday, and I think I will attempt to install it today. It's a little bit ghetto, but it will be hidden and hopefully do the trick. I'll throw up some pictures if there's any interest. It cost me about ~$16 and I have plenty of spares and leftovers for other projects or adjusting this one.

    On a side note. I re-oiled my chain yesterday. There was still an oil film on it from the first oiling 6 days before, and I've ridden in the rain a couple of times too. I was delighted to see that the chain was pretty darn clean! I know it's only been a week, but my PJ1 would already have built up a thick coating of grime all over the chain. I've been using fresh 10w-40 and in the colder weather, it's pretty tacky. Can't wait to try out some different oils and see how this thing works.

    -Alex
    #36
  17. dirty_sanchez

    dirty_sanchez Dirty_Sanchez

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    The original version of the Dupont lube everyone loved had Jeff Gordon's Nascar #24 in the top left of the label. The new recipe lube doesn't feature Gordons number.

    Dirty
    #37
  18. nnamssorxela

    nnamssorxela ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    So a little update. I installed the oiler and was quite pleased with the fit and how everything went together and works...for the most part.

    The issue I have is when I turn the bike off, oil drips out all over my sprocket like crazy. I'm not sure if this is due to bubbles in the line/fuel tap from the initial installation, but I think it is due to the diaphragm and spring in the vacuum fuel tap I used to stop the flow when the motor is off. I'm thinking that when the vacuum stops, the spring pushes the diaphragm closed, forcing the oil in the tap out along the path of least resistance which happens to be down onto my chain.

    I'm wondering if I increase the vent size on my reservoir, and place the tap closer to the reservoir, I can turn the path of least resistance to the reservoir instead of the chain. Suggestions?

    That said. My chain is still clean and the bike feels super smooth, quiet, and easy to shift smoothly, but I'm sure that's all psychological.

    -Alex
    #38
  19. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

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    What kind of valve did you find that opens when a vacuum is applied? There are electrical solenoid valves that can be used to make a 'electrical oiler' in contrast to the electronic version but otherwise operate just like a Scott oiler. Unless the reservoir is not vented, the fluid should go into the reservoir instead of the line. One thing you can try is to reverse the direction of the valve and see if that makes a difference. Good luck!
    #39
  20. nnamssorxela

    nnamssorxela ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    I used a vacuum operated fuel tap like this one, but with only 3 ports:
    [​IMG]

    I went to the shop and played around with another one that wasn't soaked in oil :D and it does not matter what direction it flows. The reason I say it will go to the chain and not the reservoir is because the chain is down hill and has two outputs, where as the vent in the reservoir is just a pinhole in the cap and in order to flow back to the reservoir, gravity has to be overcome as well.

    I got a little carried away with the adjustment of flow and I was practically pouring out oil, so I'll have to adjust the flow a bit with my inline ball valve and see if that helps. I'm wondering if somehow the nipple on my throttle body I tapped into to get the vacuum is holding vacuum for a little bit after the motor is shut down?

    Still less messy than pj1!
    #40