How do you clean your chain?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by HappyForNow, Jul 11, 2013.

?

How do you clean your chain?

  1. Leave it on the bike

  2. Remove it from the bike

  3. I ride an expensive import and let the mechanic clean it while I ask for Grey Poupon

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  1. HappyForNow

    HappyForNow Banned

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    #1
  2. KX50002

    KX50002 NooB, my ass

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    When I go really fast... the dirt just flies off:D
    #2
  3. mitchapalooza

    mitchapalooza Rider is Air-cooled

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    ...like an idiot...

    Or at least I used to.
    #3
  4. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day.

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    Hit it with the pressure washer, with the engine running, trans in gear, bike on a stand, while washing bike. I clean it when I clean the bike. Really why clean a chain other than just vanity? The pivot points are lubed and sealed, so dirt ain't getting in there. Dirt never stays on the rollers where they meet the sprocket, note how they are always clean and shiny even on a dirty chain. So what are we cleaning? The side plates, so what will that hurt, if they're dirty?
    #4
  5. joexr

    joexr Banned

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    I just lube mine when the rollers look shiny and wipe it with a rag. A pressure washer can force water thru the O-rings.
    #5
  6. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day.

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    If you point it at the O-rings and not the side plates.
    #6
  7. joexr

    joexr Banned

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    And what do you think happens when the water hits the inner sideplates between the outer? It still < hits > the O-rings at pressure.
    #7
  8. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day.

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    I think it is at such a reduced pressure and at such an angle that it does not go past the o rings. All I know is I've been doing it for years and have not had a premature failure with a chain. I'm not saying it can't happen but that's the way I wash mine, and that's what the OP ask. Do you personally know of anyone that ruined a chain with a pressure washer? Me either.
    #8
  9. PalePhase

    PalePhase Humour Noir

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    That's neither here nor there
    :y0!I picked up a tip in another forum and now use a pesticide sprayer (the kind with a pump handle to pressurize the entire container) with kerosene in it and then use the spray from the wand to wash the dirt from the chain as I rotate the rear wheel, taking care to wash out the interface between chain and sprocket. The kerosene will not attack the o-rings and the pressure is low enough that it will not force kerosene past them and risk washing out the lube on the links.

    The down side is that it can be very messy and you want to keep the kerosene off your tire and brake rotor and pads. Also, disposing of dirty kerosene is a bit of problem so... reuse it! :nod Most of the particulate contaminant will settle out if you pour it into a container (I use blue plastic container made for the stuff) and wait until the next chaining cleaning to pour it out. You don't need it to be as clean for washing chains as you would for burning it in a kerosene lamp inside your house.

    Oh, and it works great for taking off chain wax. :deal
    #9
  10. oldxr

    oldxr Long timer

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    I dont.I do not use commercial chain lube anymore.2 years ago I did rebuild/upgrade job on my plated xr650r.I used Ironman sprockets and a RK x-ring chain.I have been using only triflon or dupont dry film lube only.Chain is clean and all parts look good with 7k of on-off road use.The grit that the chain lube attracts is bad for the chain.If I had to clean a chain I would use wd-40 or kerosene on a rag.I started using triflon on my street bike chain and its clean now.
    #10
  11. Vertical C

    Vertical C Long timer

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    Take the rear wheel off and then through a bath of kero. Its quicker in the long run.
    #11
  12. hippiebrian

    hippiebrian Long timer

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    What is this "clean your chain" you speak of?

    Seriously, the last time I cleaned a chain was in the old pre o ring days. Nowadays, I spray it with lube when I fill the tank (center stands rock) and ride the thing. Chains always still last longer than advertised.
    #12
  13. Vertical C

    Vertical C Long timer

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    I think that you are going to get different answers on this forum than you would a sportsbike forum
    #13
  14. Smoke Eater 3

    Smoke Eater 3 Long timer

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    Kerosene and then wipe it off.
    #14
  15. GoUglyEarly

    GoUglyEarly Boots Still Clean

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    I recently cleaned and lubed the chain on my XR400 for the first time.

    Took it out in the sandy Pine Barrens and it quickly started to ssssttttttrrrreeeetttccchhh.

    Picked up new chain, sprockets and rollers yesterday.

    Interested in hearing more evidence for the "no cleaning" theory. :hmmmmm
    #15
  16. Navy Chief

    Navy Chief Long timer

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    We are supposed to clean these things??

    :D
    #16
  17. RideDualSport.com

    RideDualSport.com TPB all the way

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    Spray a rag with some WD40, lift the rear wheel and spin the chain through the rag. I don't spray WD 40 directly on the chain.
    For a really dirty chain covered in lots of road grime and old chain lube I may go a step further and use some simple green and a brush then hose the chain off.
    My bike equipped with a Scott Oiler, almost never needs the chain cleaned.
    #17
  18. Jan from Finland

    Jan from Finland Been here awhile

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    I would like to see one more option. Mechanics do it occasionally with the pressure washer. Which I don't approve.

    4. Never, but the mechanics do it without consent. So does a rain and river crossings.


    No, we are not. I only lube the chain when it's new or after a rain. Just to prevent rust. No need to clean it.

    I would like to hear how long your well oiled chains last? I typically change the chain after 2-3 rear sprockets. Usually at the same time with the front sprocket.
    #18
  19. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    I run O-ring or X-ring chains and they don't need to be cleaned. :1drink
    #19
  20. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    Cleaning

    Tools: stick + Rag and/or brush
    Material: Kero or diesel (if kero not available, e.g. on a trip)


    Use stick to remove gunk from sprockets + chain .. the big bits.
    Use rag/brush + kero to wash dirt off chain/sprockets.

    -----------------
    The next question is lube?

    For wet weather (raining/mud): oil - chain lube or gear box oil if not available

    For sand/dust ... a wax type lube .. or nothing .. grit + oil = grinding paste.

    For road riding - either of the above.
    #20