The "Circle of Chain Cleaning" - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 67 Old 05-11-2010, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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The "Circle of Chain Cleaning"

How do you guys clean and lube your chains without making a mess? I have been cleaning my chain with kerosine, a small brush, and a pan to catch the drips. With my best efforts I still end of with crap all over my rear wheel and swing arm. I clean the mess up with paper towels, but usually end up wanting to wash the bike when I am done - which in turn makes feel I need to lube the damn chain again. ARGH!
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post #2 of 67 Old 05-11-2010, 01:18 PM
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Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s

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post #3 of 67 Old 05-11-2010, 01:19 PM
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You can get a Kettenmax, which will keep the residual kerosene at bay.

Or, you can clean it once, and then go to Dupont dry silicone lube, which will gereatly negate a need for cleaning; at least for longer durations.
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post #4 of 67 Old 05-11-2010, 01:54 PM
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I Hate using a little brush. I'm not too fond of kerosene either. Then there's the part where I really don't want to spend much time or effort on chain cleaning.

Usually I spray a little WD40 on the chain while it's warm after a ride, then run the chain through a cloth. The added benefit is that the WD40 impregnated cloth is handy for cleaning any splatter on the wheel or swingarm. The chain looks and feels clean(ish) and then gets a spray of something like the BelRay no-splatter chain lube - the stuff that looks white and waxy. Abnormal or early chain wear has not been an issue.

For Christmas my secret Santa gave me a Tirox chain cleaner kit. It's a can of chain cleaner with a spiral wire brush that you wrap onto the chain. It even includes some rubber gloves. I tried it the other day. The chain is similarly cleanish looking and feeling. The chain cleaner smells suspiciously like WD40 and has the same consistency. I sprayed on the Tirox chain lube, It's very light, feels like WD40 and smells a little more oily - it seems very splattery like 1980s-ish Castrol chain lube.

I think what I'll be doing is using the chain cleaner and spiral brush thing until the can runs out, then WD40 and the spiral brush. The Tirox chain lube can collect dust on a shelf until I'm out of everything else. Until then I'll stick with the non-splatter stuff.

The spiral brush works well. It's still pretty messy. If I ever lose it I'll go back to the cloth method.

'04 650, and goshdarnit it's fun - matte silver (#9 in the Silver 'Strom Club)
farewell to an '81 KZ550, '83 GPz750, '83 V45 Sabre, R-Reg GT380, '84 GPz550, early '70s DT175, and a '72 Peugeot 102
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post #5 of 67 Old 05-11-2010, 02:06 PM
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How are you applying the kerosene? Just soak a rag with kerosene, grasp the lower portion of the chain, get it nice and damp, (doesn't need to be dripping wet) Then either use a old tooth brush or get yourself a Grunge brush. (even better)

Let the chain go maybe 3-4 revolutions passing over either the TB or GB, clean the chain with a clean rag removing all remaining kerosene, apply the lube of your choice and your GTG. This should take maybe 15 mins with virtually no mess.

I'll tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn.
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post #6 of 67 Old 05-11-2010, 04:13 PM
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Just cut a piece of cardboard to fit between your wheel and chain and a rag on the ground - see attached video clip.
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post #7 of 67 Old 05-11-2010, 05:30 PM
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+ 1 for the Kettenmax. Quick, very un-messy, plus you can do it in a reasonably environmentally friendly way. I put a a couple of pages of newspaper down under the chain, burn these later in the fireplace. Cleanup is easy - I catch the overflow in a clean empty container, which I then walk over to a nearby oil change shop for recycling. I clean up the brushes in hot soapy water. Whole thing, excluding the walk to the oil change shop, takes no more than 15 minutes.
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post #8 of 67 Old 05-11-2010, 05:58 PM
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I use a mix of kerosine and oil in an old WD-40 spray bottle. (Very little oil).

Chain gets a light spray, then I damp down a paper towel with the kero/oil mix, spin the rear wheel backwards and let the paper towel do the work. Repeat 3 or 4 times until the paper towels aren't coming off thick with dirt. Another light spray and another quick wipe.

This only happens every couple of months. I have a chain oiler so the chain doesn't get particularly dirty, and I don't bother to lube it after - there's a small amount of oil in the kero and that's enough until the oiler picks up the load.

Again, easy cleanup. I usually wear disposable gloves - but mainly because I usually clean out the front sprocket area as well.

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post #9 of 67 Old 05-11-2010, 07:14 PM
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Spray it down with Bean clean, scrub with a grunge brush and hose it off. Looks like new!
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post #10 of 67 Old 05-11-2010, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ghostrider66 View Post
Just cut a piece of cardboard to fit between your wheel and chain and a rag on the ground - see attached video clip.
That's a hellava idea!
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