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I just picked up a 2014 Vstrom 650 with 6400 miles and I have no service records to know when the last time the chain was maintained from the previous owner.

I'd like to knock it out during these winter months but it is too cold to ride. I just ordered swing arm spools with front and rear stands to be able to raise the bike off the ground.

Should I do something along the lines of propping up the rear tire and holding the throttle in gear for a few mins?
Or is it best to leave it alone until spring when I can ride it to warm it up?

Btw I ordered this chain cleaning kit and it will be my first time doing this on a motorcycle. Any solid "how to" videos are appreciated, since I find different methods outlined for how to do it:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FFZU25S/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

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Don't clean the chain. It does nothing usefull at all (apart from satisfying some aesthetic considerations) and could hurt the life of the chain.


If you absolutely have to do something get an oil covered cloth and wipe the chain.

..Tom
 

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Boy, you are too anal with your new bike. This stuff will likely do more harm than good, best to send it back.

As suggested earlier you are better of reading up on the items you are concerned about here before you jump with both feet into it. If you search for chain lube you will be able to read for hours and get many opinions what to do and what not to do. In my opinion less is better. Look into getting a chain oiler. That will take care of the chain without too much of a mess in the counter sprocket and clutch push pin area.

When I got my used V2, the PO had been very anal about chain lube spray. What a mess. It took me days and ample degreaser to get rid of all that shit. I mean I had to scrape it of everything in and around the chain area, even half the shock was covered! I ended up replacing the chain and sprockets at 18k because despite all that gunk the chain did not look that healthy and I was not going to ride 8k miles with that setup.

At 6000 miles there won't be much service records. What was he to do to the bike other than oil change and lube the chain every now and then? Don't sweat it just ride it come spring. Then you will find what works for you and what needs to be changed.

Lube the clutch cable nipple pivot in the clutch lever. That's often overlooked but necessary. If not lubed it will make the clutch operate with more resistance and the clutch cable will fail prematurely by breaking strands close to the nipple. Don't lube the cable, its Teflon coated and not meant to be lubed.

PS: Check out these upcoming events to get your mind working on trip planning: NEVA 18. Romney. See if you can find the threads .. :)
 

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Clean the chain if you want, but IMHO, it's a waste of time from a maintenance perspective. But if it is a bonding experience between you and the bike, then have at it. More important than cleaning the chain is lubing it. And that is best done when the chain is warm to facilitate the migration of the lubricant. Even better, use a chain oiling setup. (I don't but will on the next bike after mucking about with Motul spray lube for years. I should have installed a Scott oiler years ago...)

I can't imagine why anyone would document anything to do with a chain other than replacement of chain/sprockets. You should lube the chain very regularly, like after every ride in the rain and every few hundred kilometers.
 

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A rag with oil or kerosene is sufficient for cleaning, then spray with any lube on the market. They all work about the same. The real lubrication is internal, so be gentle and don't damage the O rings. The purpose of external lube is to prevent rust.
 

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I take pretty good care of my bikes and cars.

I have NEVER recorded a chain adjustment or chain lube on any bike. Ever! New chain and sprockets, that is recorded.

Wouldn't worry about the previous owner. It is yours to take care of now. At that mileage, not much can be hurt even without any maintenance! While I do wipe my chain to clean the side links on occasion, I don't do that to increase how long it lives. My owners manual says to use gear oil to lube the chain. Which is what I use when home. I keep spray can lube with me on trips and at about every other fuel stop spray the chain with lube. At 23K miles on original chain and it is just fine.
 

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The usual maintenance interval depends on use. Some lube the chain every time they fuel up, others are closer to a 500 mile interval. Others will ride all day, up to 900-1000 miles and lube the chain at the end of the day.
It's highly recommended to lube the chain after riding in the rain since it will wash away the external lube.
Phooey on Spools and garage stands, get a real center stand and enjoy the practicality of it.
Oh, and the chain wants to be a bit loose. a bit over an inch of looseness with no load on the bike.
Google chain and happy reading.
 

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I am glad you are asking many questions since you are a new bike owner, there are no stupid questions!!! Take the great advice from many of us long time motorcycle owners, and many times doing less is actually more.
 

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If you do get the rear up off the slab to lube the chain(and yes, you can lube it cold) only work/touch the chain with the engine off and bike in neutral. There is a guy that put oil on a rag, then held it to a moving chain.....yep lost a few fingers. I see no issue with using a straw to spray chain lube on a moving chain as long as the bike is secure/stable.
 

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You boys talking about never cleaning chains have me wondering... I'm definitely not new to this motorcycle business, and everything I've had except one has been chain drive and I've always cleaned/oiled/waxed the chain on a regular basis. #1, yes, a shiny chain looks darned sexy, #2, in my opinion if the chain is clean and not covered in dust and grit, won't the sprockets last longer or have I sniffed too much chain cleaner? :)
 

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I "clean" my chains 2-3 times a yr by over-lubing, rubbing on it with a Gunge Brush, and then using a paper towels - repeat. I "never" ran the engine / rear wheel while cleaning - too dangerous. KLR chains last about 22K miles but I'm in water, mud, dirt & dust.
 

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Chain cleaning? While you might think it makes your chain happier, there is enough evidence out there to make you rethink that. Cleaning a chain can hurt it in at least two ways. One is using a strong cleaner or solvent that will attack the rubber o-rings and wash away any lube in hard to reach areas. Next is the crud factor. Meaning that when you push the crud around when removing it, it can embed deeper into areas where it can damage the o-rings over time and infiltrate into the grease inside. It only takes this happening on one link to ruin the life of the chain ( chain is only as strong as its weakest link!).

Some of the highest mileages on chains are from those that don't methodically clean them. I do a lot less than I used to.

While it may seem hard to relate to, I have one example that backs up the no clean theory. Huge draglines and shovels that are on tracks are commonly chain driven. These operate in dust, mud, and water. These are NEVER cleaned or lubricated! More than once I asked about that. Apparently, if you clean or especially grease/oil these the life expectancy is next to nothing. Traps the dirt particles and they simply become a pasty abrasive eating the chain up.
 

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V-Tom gets the longest chain life I've seen reported here. He doesn't clean the chain and uses a lube that is oil based, Wurth HHS-2000 or HHS-K in the USA.
 

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You boys talking about never cleaning chains have me wondering... I'm definitely not new to this motorcycle business, and everything I've had except one has been chain drive and I've always cleaned/oiled/waxed the chain on a regular basis. #1, yes, a shiny chain looks darned sexy, #2, in my opinion if the chain is clean and not covered in dust and grit, won't the sprockets last longer or have I sniffed too much chain cleaner? :)
How long have your chains and sprockets lasted?

My last chain (and rear sprocket) on my DL1000 (the OEM Chain) was replaced at 76,180 km/about 46,500 miles. It had lots of life left in it. s I am aiming for about 100,000 km/62,500 miles on the replacement chain. I have had similar experiences with my chains on the two DL650's I had once I learned how to maintain the chain properly.

I have found my front sprockets are good for around 35,000 miles and generally replace them about halfway though my anticipated life of the chain. rear sprockets are normally replaced with the chain but can last longer.

I lube my chain with every fill-up (takes a total of 10 to 20 seconds) and after every ride in the rain. I use Wurth HHS2000. It's a bit messy but the results are worth it for me. I never "clean" the chain. I ride at low speeds, high speeds, on unpaved gravel roads, in hot, in cold, in every level of rain, on salt covered roads and on wet brined roads.

..Tom
 

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... I "never" ran the engine / rear wheel while cleaning - too dangerous.
...
I used to lube my chain with the bike running in first gear. I found it actually is quicker overall just to put in on the centerstand and spin the wheel with my right hand while lubing with the left. It literally takes 10 to 20 seconds.

..Tom
 

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Ok you guys, since I was almost out of my normal cheap chain lube I just bought a case(12) of Wurth 2000 for $158....from the Great White North. The stuff is $25 here so that makes it $13.6 a can which is doable.

Tom, how many cans per 20K miles do you go through? On Dupont Chain Saver about 3 for me.
 

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Ok you guys, since I was almost out of my normal cheap chain lube I just bought a case(12) of Wurth 2000 for $158....from the Great White North. The stuff is $25 here so that makes it $13.6 a can which is doable.

Tom, how many cans per 20K miles do you go through? On Dupont Chain Saver about 3 for me.
For a $158 you could have got a chain oiler and 2 quarts of ATF that would last you about 100,000 miles:surprise:. Plus you'd only have to top up the reservoir every 1,000 - 1,200 miles.
 
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