Am I out of my mind? Chain maintenance. - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 26 Old 08-24-2009, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Am I out of my mind? Chain maintenance.

Howdy all....

In a rare moment of lucidity, I remembered to do this thing called "oiling the chain" the other day. Coming from a C10 Concours with shaft drive the whole chain-thing is a bit of a mystery still. But I digress....

Took the bike for a spirited ride, about 40 minutes at highway speed. Arrived home and got out the can of spray oil (can't recall the brand) then proceeded to lube the chain. Gave it a good spray while rotating the rear tire (bike on centre stand) then took a shop cloth and gently rubbed off the excess oil. Then I let it sit for a day.

Riding in to work this morning, everything seems smoother. Previously, I'd wondered if the chain was too loose (about 1.5 inches of free play +/-) because the transmission would "clunk" something awful. BTW, 2007 Wee, 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). Transmission shifts smooth now.

Is chain lube some sort of miracle working wonder that solves all of a Wee's aches and pains? I know it's subjective, but I swear that the gears were running smoother after oiling the chain.

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post #2 of 26 Old 08-24-2009, 06:56 PM
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I just came off a 1000 mile trip and have not oiled my chain yet. First thing though before I hit the road again.

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post #3 of 26 Old 08-24-2009, 07:24 PM
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A chain that sticks and binds will rob you of 50 miles per tank of gas. DAMHIK

-Tom (DL650AL2) (KA1TOX) (E-I-E-I-O)

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post #4 of 26 Old 08-24-2009, 07:39 PM
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Is chain lube some sort of miracle working wonder that solves all of a Wee's aches and pains?
No, but it works wonders on the chain. Highly recommended. Check the chain more often - it is a rather significant part of the system.

If you get to it...
and you can't do it...
then there you jolly-well are,
aren't you?
---Lord Buckley---
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post #5 of 26 Old 08-24-2009, 09:08 PM
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Go to WalMart or the hardware store and get some kerosene and clean the chain first. It looks better and it will remove a lot of the build up, then oil that puppy good. It will make a difference.


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post #6 of 26 Old 08-24-2009, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by goinssr View Post
Go to WalMart or the hardware store and get some kerosene and clean the chain first. It looks better and it will remove a lot of the build up, then oil that puppy good. It will make a difference.
+1 on this.

I just came off a three day tour of New England with my daughter. We did about 830 miles in high humidity and on and off rain. Both nights it was parked outside, it rained. This morning, leaving New York, I started picking up some chain slap. I knew what is meant, my master link gets sticky after a few days of rain and no lube. We found a scooter/bike dealer in the back woods of Vermont who lent me a can of silicone lube. That did the trick, but I had to completely clean the chain when I got back (with kerosene) as I don't like the silicon lube (and it really needed to be cleaned).

Just a little lube, and the chain noise pretty much goes away. My chain is right at the end of its life, I am waiting for my rear Trailwing to go on me so I can do the tire, sprockets, bearings, and chain at the same time. Possibly another 1 - 2k or so a few more weeks and I will be good to go.


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post #7 of 26 Old 08-25-2009, 12:32 PM
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I never go on a long trip without a can of chain lube, and every evening when I get to my campsite (or whatever) I put the bike on the center stand and lube the chain.

Got over 20k now on the original chain and it's still in good shape.


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post #8 of 26 Old 08-25-2009, 12:45 PM
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You're not nuts. A properly adjusted, healthy chain does improve shifting.

I can also attest, through personal experience and a public making an ass out of myself on here, that a chain with a nasty stiff spot will make the bike appear to run like complete hell.

Like somebody else said: It's all part of the system.

[I]If you're not moving forward, you're probably in somebody's way![/I]

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post #9 of 26 Old 08-25-2009, 01:11 PM
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Smile Chain love

On a good weather week I can rack up 600 miles, so I clean and lube mine weekly, or at least every 1k miles. 10k in my one years ownership and no grabbing or other type of chain misadventures. It is a good way to inspect your rear tire, and everything else that keeps the smile on your face! Show the bike some love and you can let the bike show you the road!

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post #10 of 26 Old 08-25-2009, 02:36 PM
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I use Dupont Teflon Chain Lube and like it a lot. It does not attract any dirt, so the chain stays clean a long time. I carry a can on trips and spray the chain every evening. Eventually, after a long trip for example, there will be some waxy buildup on the sprockets.

For occasional cleaning, I use WD-40, which is largely kerosene (technically it is Stoddard Solvent, which is a highly refined kerosene) with some light machine oil.

I actually got 18,000 miles out of the stock chain using WD-40 alone without any actual chain lube.

Take Care,

Mike Brown

2011 DL650 ABS (white) Fully farkled and going strong.
2004 DL650 (blue) sold to Blair Layton for use as a project bike.
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