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Discussion Starter #1
OK, really stupid newbie question here.

The Suzuki manual says to wash the chain with kerosene, allow it to dry, and lube it. Does this mean remove the chain and wash it or just use an old toothbrush and clean it with it still mounted (I do have a centerstand on the bike)? I guess it's results that count so either way should presumably work, but I'd appreciate your opinions.
 

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Moose makes a chain cleaning solution and a nifty little black box with brushes. Put the cleaning solution in the box, slap the box on the chain and spin the rear tire. Easy and not messy.
prof
 

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I've got the moose cleaner and it is nice! However, SCraig, you are correct, you can clean the chain while it is on the bike. Just put it on your center stand and wipe it down with some kerosene-soaked rags, maybe hit it in some rough spots with a tooth brush -- let dry and then lube. Should be good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, guys. That's pretty much what I expected but when I see the word "Wash" the first thing that comes to mind is to dump it in a bucket and wash it. I think I'll take your advice and do it the easy way ;)
 

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What about using WD-40? I've heard that's good to clean the chain. I was going to buy kerosene but it only comes in huge cans. Don't want to buy 5 gallons!
 

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I use WD40, OK, let the thrashing begin....
Some are deadset against it, others swear buy it.

I myself have used, in no order,
-gas
-WD40
-Diesel
-Kerosene
-degreaser
Probably a few others I do not remember.

Don't tell me about the gasoline, I know. It was necessary and unavoidable.

I second the vote on the moose cleaner. Haven't used it on the Strom yet, but it is a snap, and cuts down on some of the mess and enviormental issues.
 

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I wipe down the chain with a kerosene-soaked rag and spray with lube every 500 miles because it's easy to remember.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just did mine ;) I picked up a Grunge Brush at the bike shop and it made it real easy. Luckily I already had a big can of kerosene here for my "Emergency" kerosene heater. I did use the Suzuki chain lube. It isn't expensive so I didn't see a reason to take a chance.

I also checked the play while I was at it, and it was a little sloppy. I expected it to stretch a bit since it was new (400 miles on the bike) so I wasn't real surprised.

Thanks again for all the help.
 

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I go as far as 500 miles between chain cleaning and lubes, but usually 300 miles. It pretty quick and easy.

Something to make your cleaning/lube easier: I use a piece of card board about 14" wide and maybe 2 feet long, bent at the bottom, that I tape some newspaper to it. This "assembly" fits nicely in back of the chain, rests on the floor, and doesn't move when I spin the tire. This makes it a nice clean job with no lube on the wheels or floor. :) Throw out the newspaper after.
 

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The Suzuki lube in the blue can? This stuff seems to be ok if you don't use too much. The sling from this stuff is terrible to clean off anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Something to make your cleaning/lube easier: I use a piece of card board about 14" wide and maybe 2 feet long, bent at the bottom, that I tape some newspaper to it.
Good idea. I'll give that a try next time. Of course my basement floor has so many stains from everything I've worked on over the years that it would be hard to tell a new stain from an old one ;)

I have never cleaned my chain since it arrived April 1 2005 and now and it has almost 22,000 miles on the original chain. I should mention I am using a Loobman chain oiler
You've gotten good service from that one then. I had a '67 GTO that was that way. It burned so much oil I never worried about changing it, it got a fresh quart every day! I guess it's the same sort of situation. Since your chain is always getting fresh lube from the oiler it doesn't really need to be cleaned.

The Suzuki lube in the blue can? This stuff seems to be ok if you don't use too much. The sling from this stuff is terrible to clean off anything.
Yep, that's what I used. I washed my bike last night and did notice a bunch of oily grime on the rear wheel and it was probably caused by sling from the lube. I didn't think much about it though, a shot of Meguier's Wheel Cleaner made it disappear.

Thanks for all the advice guys. Having experienced people like you to lean on sure makes it easier on us new owners, and I for one really appreciate all the help.
 

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Lamp oil is kerosene with a little dye and fragrance. You can buy it in quarts for a few bucks.

Ed
 

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I always thought it might be nice to have my chain smell like roses and have a pink hue to it. :roll:

No, just kidding. That is a good source if someone is having trouble finding it. We used to have a gas station that sold Kero from a pump just like gas, that's gone now. The hardeware stores no longer sell it either.

That's why diesel works good for me, easy. By the way that engine degreaser in a spray can, made by Gunk I think, is diesel and detergent. WD40 works too if I don't have diesel, but I seem to go through it pretty fast, then when I need it it all been used on the chain.

Straying a bit but have you guys ever used that Castrol degreaser in the purple bottle? That stuff is the king of degreasers in my opinion. Try it once.
 

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I wouldn't use a degreaser on a chain. If any of the detergent gets past the O-rings, the chain won't last long. Kerosene or WD40 would have to wash the grease out to have that kind of effect. A little will just evaporate. I don't think you are advocating it either but I want to make sure people don't get the wrong idea just because you mentioned it in this thread.
 
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