What do I do with this damn chain?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by mysticbus, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Schmokel

    Schmokel I got peed on today.

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    If there is anything I've learned in my adult life, lube is a good thing.
    #21
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  2. Bovino

    Bovino Been here awhile

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    If you over-do it though, it'll squirt out off every nook and cranny.
    #22
  3. Motomantra

    Motomantra Registered Lurker

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    For pavement riding, cleaning is over rated.
    #23
  4. Bindlestiff

    Bindlestiff Been here awhile

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    With an ADV bike that gets ridden at high speeds and on dirt, I think the key is to keep the chain clean. Lube is less important and not lubing it is better than overlubing it. Clean it any time it looks dirty and/or ASAP after a dirt ride. Do an occasional (1000 miles or so) deep lube where you can leave the chain to sit for a while and soak the stuff up, but wipe the excess off before you ride off.

    On my old chained ADV bike, I would utterly destroy chains on long trips. Looking back I attribute this to the fact that I would clean and lube the chain every night, which meant every morning I always rode a bunch of dirt (campsite back to the highway) with fresh lube on the chain. Then all the dirt got ground into the chain during the day's highway riding. I think if I'd just wiped the chain down occasionally instead of actually re-lubing it every night things would have worked better.
    #24
  5. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    This is gonna go right in with car-tire threads and motor-oil flame wars. There is no "right" answer; you pays yer money and takes yer choice.

    It's been a learning experience for me; especially since I got back into riding with scooters and a GL500 (not the one I just sold but an earlier one). Then, flush with cash, moved right into an R1200GL. Look ma, no chains!

    So, the first big chained rig I had long-term interest in, I overlubed. What a christless mess. Then, on my Wee-Strom, I underlubed it. The chain started knotting up at 17,000 miles. And since I don't have a chain riveter or wheel puller, it was a dealer item, and it was NOT cheap.

    I wanna shaft option. Or a belt option; I cannot understand why, in this day and age, they can't put some sort of guard in there to keep a belt from getting pulled off with trail dirt or sticks. The only bikes that have belts, I don't want - I'm not a cruiser pirate, and God willing, never become one.

    Barring that, I'm hoping to figure out how to make a chain last or not be an issue. Change-out every season? Every tire replacement?
    #25
  6. 3shot

    3shot Been here awhile

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    funny, i just got done commenting on similar

    get motul chain paste and a grunge brush, solvents are not needed
    #26
  7. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

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    Lube it occasionally, clean it occasionally. If you ride offroad clean it and lube it a little more often.

    I regularly get 25k out of a set of a chain and sprockets and barely do anything to maintain them except the occasional clean and lube.

    By occasional I mean every oil change or when it looks cruddy.

    Road riding is easy on chains. Dirt a little more hard. Sand and mud and submersions even more so.

    The lube of an oring chain is captured within the chain by the orings. What you spray on the outside is going to go through the teeth on the sprockets, don't use any lube that will pull or stick dirt to the chain.
    #27
  8. Johann

    Johann commuterus tankslapperus

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    Chain oilers are well proven to extend the life of a chain, the same for full enclosure. My dad´s MZs all had fully enclosed chains which seemed to last for ever with total neglect. The only other bike I can think where it was a standard fitment was the the Yamaha XV920. A really practical, good idea that unfortunately doesn´t look stylish enough for marketing departments.
    #28
  9. cagiva549

    cagiva549 whats a cagiva

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    I never clean my chains unless I ride in the rain or water crossings the water takes care of that . I might clean the wheel and sprocket when I mount a new tire . Try to lube at least every 500 miles with heavy chain saw bar oil , the same thing RK will sell you in a nice little 4 oz squirt bottle for several bucks cost me 8 dollars a gallon . it makes a mess on the back of the bikes , I can live with that since the chain on my 950 KTM has over 40,000 miles with no visiable wear and no slack at the back of the sprocket . Best I ever got with spray lubes was 30,000 miles and probly a hundred bucks worth of lube in that time . I've been working on the last gallon of bar oil I bought for several years now . Forgot to add , maybe 35 percent of that was not on pavement .
    #29
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  10. mysticbus

    mysticbus Mysticbus

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    dude... you sure that's a 950 KTM you got there... it sure sounds a lot more like a KLR 650 from where I am standing.
    #30
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  11. shinyribs

    shinyribs doesn't care

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    Chain care is 100% common sense. What lube to use comes from trial and error.

    Lubed chains will always last longer. Dry metal on dry metal will always equal destruction.

    Sealed chains handle neglect better than standard chains, but only half of the area that needs lube is sealed on a sealed chain. It's still up to us to lube the rollers, which is what keeps friction off the sprocket teeth.

    Sticky lube holds dirt, which makes grinding compound, and some lube flings and makes a mess. Some lubes are a pair in the ass to wash away to ensure that you're not making grinding compound when spraying on later after layer of lube.

    If you lube a chain and never clean it, you'd be better off never lubing it at all.

    I like BelRay Super Clean chain lube. Dries extremely fast with zero fling off, and doesn't remain sticky. Rinses away fully and quickly with a small spritz of kerosene. A $12 aerosol can lasts me about a year lubing one road bike and two dirt bikes.

    Road bike gets lube when it acts/look dry ( like was mentioned earlier), which is typically around 600 miles, or three tanks of fuel. Chain gets cleaned when it no longer just looks lubed, but starts looking a little dingy. Easy to monitor with the stuff I use since it dries white.

    Recently used some Motul spray lube in a pinch. It's awful. Very sticky, drippy mess that flings everywhere. One trip to town and back and I had to scrub the bike. And my left pants leg and boot heel. That shit never dries.
    #31
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  12. mysticbus

    mysticbus Mysticbus

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    Sounds perfect, just ordered a couple of those funny brushes and a bottle of this!
    #32
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  13. cagiva549

    cagiva549 whats a cagiva

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    Yep , bought it new , 70,000 miles on it now and bought another one just like it from a friend . Second chain has had bar oil on it from new , first one had spray lube on it the first 20,000 miles . It has been rode hard and put up wet on many occasions . Used to get long mile days but not so much anymore , bike can handle it but not the rider .
    #33
  14. gmiguy

    gmiguy You rode a what to where?

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    I don't understand the obsession with chain maintenance and longevity in the motorcycle world. I suspect that (like tires and oil) it's a bit of recurring wrenching that accessible to almost anybody so folks feel the need to make it more complicated than it actually is in order to feel like "real motorcycle guys" or somesuch.

    Consider the following:
    1. A set of quality JT/DID combo of 525 chain and sprockets costs less than $150 on Amazon
    2. You can change that set in about an hour; two if you're really taking it slow
    3. Even if totally neglected a decent chain will probably last years of typical riding
    4. Chains and sprockets typically give you plenty of warning before a wear-induced failure
    Even if it only makes it 5,000 miles that's still a whopping $0.03 per mile. Unless the rider is completely flat broke it just doesn't matter.

    My recommendation is adjust tension as needed, buy new parts when the old ones start to display significant wear, change them the next rainy day you have a few hours free, and otherwise forget about it. If you're going on a big cross-county ride or something like that I guess go ahead and put a new set on then, too.
    #34
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  15. CA Stu

    CA Stu Big bike friendly, home by noon Super Moderator

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    I lube mine after I ride home, usually about every 500 miles or so.
    Slap it on the center stand and have at it with some Maxima Chain Wax.
    That way the chain is warm and the lube can sit there and dry.
    And I can have a beer before going in the house. :D

    If I'm on a multi day trip, lube it at the end of every other day. Same drill, only outside a hotel or in camp.

    I'm hesitant to use any kind of cleaner on my chains outside a grunge brush and a garden hose because I don't want to degrease the rollers. If it got muddy or sandy, sure. If it just looks oily / dirty, who cares?
    #35
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  16. mysticbus

    mysticbus Mysticbus

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    Yeah, well... I'm working on that, honda doesn't give you a center stand anymore.
    #36
  17. CA Stu

    CA Stu Big bike friendly, home by noon Super Moderator

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    http://www.endurostar.com/

    Made by a member on here.

    I use a similar product on my KLR and Husky 610 on the road. At home, I either use my ATV jack or just a jack stand. Easy peasy.
    On my bigger bikes, I bought the factory center stand kit.
    #37
  18. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

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    My bike runs a 520 o-ring chain. I can get a cheap shitty one for $30, or a DID one for $60. A bottle of chain lube runs about $10. Over the life of the chain how many bottles would you go through to properly lube the chain. FOr only %25 increase in life; you do the math.

    Still I lube my chain about twice every oil change. I like the lube that smells like pina colada. Makes me think of sun bathing girlies. My owners manual says to use gear oil to lube the chain. Talk about a foul smelly mess.
    #38
  19. mysticbus

    mysticbus Mysticbus

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    Just bought one.. .genius!
    #39
  20. rdtrvlr

    rdtrvlr Been here awhile

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    #40