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post #1 of 22 Old 04-07-2012, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Chain lube question

I've been reading some of the chain lube threads and there seems to be two schools of thought. Lube frequently and don't clean, or clean frequently and lube as well. Personally I like the lube frequently and don't clean purely due to reasons of laziness. But is there logic behind not cleaning the chain? My neighbor who builds race cars and generally knows his shit keeps his chain spotless to the point you could floss with it if you had big shreck teeth. So now I'm thinking should I be keeping it spotless as well? Is there reasons not to have a spotless there such a thing as too clean?

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post #2 of 22 Old 04-07-2012, 09:34 PM
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I use this Chain drain - chain cleaner and cleaning system for motorcycle chain maintenance. along with their Bean Clean chain cleaner. I used it on my last bike and have been using it on my new Vstrom. Personally I clean and lube my chain every 300 miles. If you don't clean before you lube then you are putting lube over a dirty chain. I'm sure there are going to be many people that will disagree with me and that's ok. You will get many opinions on witch lube to use or to use an auto lubber. Personally I use PJ1 Blue Label and it has worked well for me and my chains last a long time with it. Just my 2 cents worth.
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post #3 of 22 Old 04-07-2012, 11:08 PM
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When people give you advice on how to maintain your chain ask them how long their chains last.

My last was close to 50,000 miles.

Lubed often (with HHS2000) and never cleaned.


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post #4 of 22 Old 04-07-2012, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by V-Tom View Post
When people give you advice on how to maintain your chain ask them how long their chains last. ..Tom
There you go asking for factual effect to validate treatment ... try this with your doctor/physician/politician/lawyer/salesman ... etc

It seems to be no different here.
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post #5 of 22 Old 04-08-2012, 12:42 AM
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The need to clean the chain depends on whether the lube is gummy and holds grit, and how gritty your riding conditions are. More grit wears the chain and sprockets faster.

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post #6 of 22 Old 04-08-2012, 08:17 AM
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IMHO the operating conditions rule more than an over arching philosophy

Ride in the rain and live on dirt roads or salt ?

Live in the desert and commute expressways to work?

Fun machine, wheelie at every opportunity, on/off throttle?

The chain life theory I ascribe to is life of the sealing ring. They wear from the inside out. When the insides get wet then corrosion occurs and lube washes out. At this point you have 2000 miles to failure.

So if you think there is a reason for stone grit to be working the "O" rings then that should be cleaned off.
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post #7 of 22 Old 04-08-2012, 08:29 AM
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I'm lazy about cleaning and lubing and my chain life reflects the lack of maint. I bought a Scott oiler for the 2012.

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

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post #8 of 22 Old 04-08-2012, 08:33 AM
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There is some guy on this forum who uses WD40 and gets more mileage out of his chain than anyone else, despite the fact that WD40 is a solvent and should be the worst thing to be using as chain lube. My point is, there just seems to be no consensus. I have read countless threads on this subject and the results always vary. All I can offer is my personal experience:
Use conventional aerosol chain lube every 1000km, never clean, and you will get average mileage. YMMV

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post #9 of 22 Old 04-08-2012, 09:16 AM
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I average about 1000 - 1500 miles a month, year round, and rarely clean my chain, but usually try to remember to spray some Dupont Multi Lube on it every week or so, sometimes I forget. I ride mostly blacktop, but some gravel or dirt/mud roads. I do spray the chain down with water when I think of washing the bike. By June, I'm planning my annual ride to Montana to visit family, and will replace the sprockets and chain, usually with 16,000 or so miles on them. I just consider it part of the cost of ownership on these bikes, and don't want my chain or sprockets to give me trouble in the middle of Idaho or Montana somewhere. It's not difficult, it's not expensive, and I never spend alot of time on my garage floor cleaning, lubing, installing oilers, etc. Yeah, I won't win the contest for most miles out of a chain or sprocket set, but I'm not interested in winning that trophy.
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post #10 of 22 Old 04-08-2012, 09:39 AM
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Original poster asked:

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Is there reasons not to have a spotless there such a thing as too clean?
I can tell you there is. I have seen people clean the "designer" O-ring chain on custom motorcycles to the point that it is truly spotless. Great for the show room. Unfortunately, there is also no lubrication left on the O-ring seals and so they stick to the side plates. When the bike is moved after sitting a while, as the chain rolls around the sprockets the O-rings crack and fall off or are at least damaged and no longer seal correctly. Excellent way to ruin a sealed chain.

Now, on the other hand, I don't believe in never cleaning the chain. I clean it, with kerosene in a spray bottle, when I can't see the O-rings any more. Its one of my least favorite maintenance chores but at least it makes me really inspect it well.

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