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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 chain...is there such a thing as too clean?
 

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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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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.

..Tom
 

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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
:green_lol:
It seems to be no different here.
 

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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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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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I'm lazy about cleaning and lubing and my chain life reflects the lack of maint. I bought a Scott oiler for the 2012.
 

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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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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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Original poster asked:

HTML:
Is there reasons not to have a spotless chain...is 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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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.
+1 Many spray lubes are sticky and gummy before and after the dry. I use Dumonde Tech BHP, wipe the chain after a while so I don't have much left on the plates. No need for lube there. My chain is clean enough and does not get gunked up or attract excessive dirt. I ride some NFS roads when I get a chance to.
 

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I use Dupont teflon chain-saver. It cleans as you lube, so get the chain warm, pop it on the center stand, give it a spray all the way around, then wipe it clean. It looks like new, and the lube is working great. It doesn't fling and fill up your front sprocket area. I use WD-40 to get it it off the rear wheel if any oversprays.

Takes like 5 minutes total.
 

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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 ;)
Check this out. Not a 'strom, but a KLR:
http://www.watt-man.com/uploads/WD40experiment.pdf

I have been using WD-40 on my bikes for a few years now. My dirt bikes chains get beat pretty hard because I ride in a lot of mud, sand, and water. I use WD-40 before rides, and the chain stays much cleaned than if I used some gooey lube. And it doesn't leave a mess behind. And, it is cheap. I wonder if you were to factor in the cost of $$ chain lube over the life of a chain and sprocket set, if the extra chain life is worth the cost.

Edit: More interesting reading:
http://www.watt-man.com/uploads/ChainWear.pdf
 

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Kind of hard not to notice virtually every chain lube study, homegrown or otherwise, ignores common variables such as temperature, vehicle weight, rider weight, etc.
 

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There is a third train of thought: put on a scottoiler (or similiar) and forget about the chain. I pretty much ignore my chain and get about 30K out of them since getting an oiler. I try to remember to wipe it off once a month or so.....
 

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I lubed my chain about every 300mi, clean and lubed about every 600mi. The chain lasted but not my rear sprocket. I got about 9K out of my last set up. Went from a 525 to a 530 this time around see how that works. I must ride a bit too hard.. Pics of the sprockets


 

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How can that rear sprocket pictured above be so hooked and yet the small drive sprocket still looks serviceable? :confused::confused:
 

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I tried a little experiment with Black label and Dupont chain saver.
Starting with a new chain using black label at the start the chain started to gum up and the links started to stick. So I cleaned the chain after 2 to 3000 miles and re lubed with black label again with the same results.
Cleaned the chain and went to Dupont. The first time I sprayed the chain the dirt stood up like metal filings on a magnet. I wiped the chain with a clean rag and went back to spraying the chain the same as before maybe more because it looked dry. The chain has not started to stick at all no collection of dirt and grime.
I did a lot of dirt this weekend and when I made it home the bike was covered with dust and the chain was still clean. I wiped it with a dry rag and the rag looked like I dusted a book shelf.
Personally I will stick with the Dupont. Less dirt less mess.
 

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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..... 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.
I read this a lot. I don't get the "it's not expensive" bit. I just replaced the chain and sprockets on my Vee and it ran ~$250 not including the cush drive rubbers I also replaced.

I did upgrade to 530 chain so that price was for a OEM front sprocket ($53, wanted the rubber cush part of it), a JT rear sprocket for about $40, and a EK X-ring chain for about $150.

Some how it didn't seem cheap to me.

How can that rear sprocket pictured above be so hooked and yet the small drive sprocket still looks serviceable? :
I think that rear sprocket was substandard. I had 9k miles on the JT 525 rear sprocket I just pulled off and it looked like new. I couldn't see any hook in it at all. The only reason I replaced it was I went to 530 chain.
 
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