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When did you replace or chain, and which lube?

  • Less than 12,000 miles/20,000 km using chain oil

    Votes: 10 4.0%
  • Around 20,000 miles/30,000 km using chain oil

    Votes: 73 29.2%
  • More than 30,000 miles/50,000 km using chain oil

    Votes: 8 3.2%
  • Less than 12,000 miles/20,000 km using Teflon Lube

    Votes: 7 2.8%
  • Around 20,000 miles/30,000 km using Teflon Lube

    Votes: 59 23.6%
  • More than 30,000 miles/50,000 km using teflon Lube

    Votes: 20 8.0%
  • Less than 12,000 miles/20,000 km using something else

    Votes: 4 1.6%
  • Around 20,000 miles/30,000 km using something else

    Votes: 41 16.4%
  • More than 30,000 miles/50,000 km using something else

    Votes: 12 4.8%
  • I don't understand the question/ shouldn't have answered

    Votes: 21 8.4%

  • Total voters
    250
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
With the Questions about Chain life and lubrication, I thought it might be interesting to see how long people's chains are lasting and if there is any difference with the different chain lubes.

So: how long has your chain lasted, and which lube have you been using? If something else please leave a note saying what you have used.
 

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I’ve never changed a chain although I did own bikes with 30K+ miles (before sold) using only regular motor oil…whenever I thought about it…out of my truck or car. I don’t see a category for that.

Maybe because there are too many choices and a tad bit confusing.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Discussion Starter #4

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Thanks, Pat.

I wanted to compare chain lubes.. a lot of people suggest the Teflon is wonderful but I wanted to see if there is any difference in chain life with Teflon vs. Chain oil or other.

..TOm
I'm not doing the poll, but I just came in from tightening, cleaning, and lubing my chain that has about 10K miles on it (I don't know for sure, I bought it used). I am a huge fan of the Dupont Teflon. It really keeps the "crap level" down. It has been about 4K miles since I last cleaned it and with regular Teflon applications, it only took me about 30 minutes to clean up the chain & rear sprocket with a single rag soaked in kerosene.

I ride every day, through rain or shine. The bike is garaged in the evenings, but sits out in the parking lot at work during the day. The chain still looks very nice.
 

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I voted 20K miles, but it was really more like 14. Not because it was worn out, I was just ready to change gearing and wanted to replace everything as a set.
 

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I changed mine when I changed rear sprocket size. I changed the front sprocket also about 12K miles.
 

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I'm now approaching 24,000 miles on the stock chain. I basically clean and lube every 400-600 miles, sooner if I'm riding in wet conditions. I've been using the DuPont Teflon Multi-Use Lubricant for the last 14,000 miles, before that, the Honda HP lube w/ Teflon in the red can.
 

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Hopefully I'm a long way from changing my chain (only have around 700 miles) but I did lube it the other day with the Dupont Teflon I bought at Lowes! This stuff is great! It actually cleaned off the white greasy stuff the dealer put on it. Didn't fling all over my wheels!! When the time comes what type of chain breaker/riviter do you guys suggest? I don't have to have Snap-On quality, but I don't want cheap either. Cheers-BB
 

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chain life has as much to do with riding style as it does lubricant & maintenance.


I have a scottoiler, 1 drip of Dextron III ATF every 60 seconds, no more,no less, zero chain maintenance, chain gets adjusted when I get a new rear tire, that's it

my front sprocket is always first to go, completely toast while there isn't any visible sign of wear on the rear sprocket ot chain.... I still replace as a set

about every 35,000 miles, my original 525 chain only lasted 18k, I am running 530 now

I have determined my wear is from my engine braking habits



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Discussion Starter #13
I surprised there are so few getting higher mileage out of their chains.

It's looking to me that chains in general last around 20,000 miles/ 30,000 km regardless of what lube you use to take car of them, and that a highere percentage of riders use a Teflon lube.

..Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What makes you think that? You can't use a forum poll to judge what bikers do. The average rider is not as fanatical as those that post on forums.

I actually don't care how many use which lube. I am trying to get an idea if chain life differs by lube.

..Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just a follow-up to this thread.

A lot of people swear by Teflon lubrication, but what sparked this thread was the issue of chain life. I have never heard of anyone getting very long chain life with Teflon. It may be because the product itself is fairly new and most people don’t put on a lot of mileage. I have friends using Teflon and they didn’t get any different life vs. me using oil based products, and some have reported rust on the side plates. It might be that lubing the chain doesn’t really do anything, at least if you follow the instructions in the manual. Perhaps 20,000 miles of chain life is normal regardless of what you do.

The only people I am aware of that get real long chain life has been those using automatic chain oilers or who lube the chain a lot.



I ride unless there is snow on the road so given the amount of salt and stuff up here in Ontario Canada that can be a factor. I have had my Strom for a bit over 4 years and currently have over 135,000 km or about 84,000 miles. Last year was a very rainy year and I rode through lots of rain plus I rode more into this past winter than I have in the past so it would be expected my chain life would be less than my previous chains.

My first chain was maintained as per the manual with the chain cleaned with kerosene and lubed every 1000 km/600 miles. The chain lasted 33,900 km or about 21,000 miles.

The mechanic works on my bike (like tires and chain) told me that he thought cleaning the chain was highly overrated and that people didn’t lube enough. He suggested I don’t worry about cleaning and lube the chain after every tank and also after every ride in the rain. He also suggested that I use a product by Wurth called HHS2000. I didn’t take his advice on the second chain.

My second chain (DID X-Ring) was lubed slightly more often and cleaned less often and lasted 37,900 km or about 23,500 miles and was shot at that point. Realistically it lasted the same length of time as the first chain as it was pointed out to me near the beginning of a 5,500 km/3,400 mile ride that it had the red dust of death on it. Thankfully chains tend to fail gracefully as I made it home on that chain. I used chain lubes in both cases although I started the first chain with chain wax and once I cleaned the chain with wood stain instead of kerosene.

After my second chain I decided to listen to my mechanic. I didn’t listen quite well enough for while I lubed after each tank of gas and after rain riding, I was aiming slightly incorrectly. (I thought he said to aim between the plates but he said to aim at the area between the rollers and the inside plate) I didn’t realize that until he put on my last tire about 10,000 km or 6,000 miles ago but when I lube it tends to get over everything anyway.

Here are my results so far: ere HMy current chain has 63,500 km or about 39,400 miles on it. It has never been adjusted (he put it on slightly tight and said it would loosen up to be perfect. He was right.) It is a DID X-ring chain same as my second chain. The front sprocket shows wear but has life left in it. The back looks fine. What I have done is completely given up on cleaning the chain and I lube it when I fill up the tank or after a ride in the rain. I have thought it over and in my opinion cleaning the chain does nothing useful apart from cosmetic. It might be that the HHS2000 is the best lube, but I think the longer life has more to do with lubing it much more often.

I think the bottom line is that I you want your chain to last a long time then you might have to not do what the manual and “everyone” else is doing.

I’m sure your mileage will vary!

..Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Tom, at what point did your 16T front sprocket get installed?
At 9,710 km.

I didn't change the chain then, just the sprocket. I did replace sprockets (16 up front ever since) with my second and third chain although admittedly just because conventional wisdom suggested I should.

..Tom
 

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The Real Chain Lubricant

I only have about 16,000 miles on my K7650 and the chain and sprockets are in good shape. However, I have 116,000 miles on my 1974 Kawasaki Z900 and am on my third chain/sprocket set. The first 2 chains were not "O-ring" chains - - those types of chains were not easily available back in the 70's & early 80's or, at least, I never heard of them.

I use any 10W30 cheapo motor oil that I can find. Although, for my Suzuki, I do use 10W30 synthetic oil motor oil. I squirt the oil on every 200 to 300 miles or whenever I remember to do it.

Yes, motor oil slings off somewhat - - what's the big deal. If you do not slop on gallons, there is very little sling.

What I like best is, as I turn the back wheel, I can hear the chain/sprocket metallic noise but as I squirt on the motor oil, everything becomes quiet. I do not hear the same silencing effect when I used any of the fancy lubricants that are prevalent in this forum.
 
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