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Chain Lube (Not a brand recommendation thread)

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by intruder, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. Hey - First thread yay to me :)

    So, as per usual i am about to service my first bike and i have encountered the whole chain cleaning/lubing discussion.

    Now, i know there are many types of chain oils / waxes you can buy some better some have good reviews some not so good.
    Anyway, I want to go against the whole aftermarket support as I am using the Suzuki workshop manual and it states to clean with Kerosine (I was going to use this method anyway) and Oil the chain with a heavy weight motor oil.

    Interestingly it does note (Do not use any oil sold commercially as “drive chain oil”. Such oil can damage the “O”-rings (or seals). This made me wonder, why is everyone going out to buy aftermarket oils/waxes if they can be speeding up the wear and tear of the chain?

  2. Guess Suzuki are in the market of selling new chains and engine oil.

    Keeping it clean is certainly required however oiling it noticeably quietens it down, lubricates the o-rings and in some cases cleans it.
    My understanding of using engine oil in scottoilers is that it flings off near instantly.
  3. I probably am doing great harm to my chain but once a fortnight or every 500 k or so spray some Supercheap spray can degreaser on it hose off within a minute or two, then after washing the rest of the bike rub down the chain with the soapy water mix and a microfibre rag. I use the air compressor and blow dry the chain to remove as much water as possible then spray with a free can of chain lube I got as a sample from a rep at work CRC GelTac then leave overnight. Not a recommendation but it is an adjunct to my Pro Oiler. Which on a setting of 4 using a leftover Belray engine oil from my Vulcan does a pretty good job. My chain is always clean and has a nice smear of oil on it at all times. Bump up the setting in rain and on dirt the chain is 20000K plus old and still in excellent condition as are the sprockets. So while apparently they take a little setting up Pro Oilers or the Scott Oiler do improve the life of the chain and sprockets.
  4. one does hope you have been lubing your chain!

    how old is your bike/manual?
  5. Hawklord and I both use oil on chains and have had good results. And some Scotoiler users have reportedly had such ridiculously long life from their chains that they have had to beat the chains with sticks to kill them.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  6. I'd be concerned about the use of any light solvent used on O-ring chains. Like degreaser or WD-40 etc.

    If any of this gets past the O-rings, it will not do the grease in the inside of the chain any good. If it gets in there, then small grit might too, accelerating wear in the pin/bush area and the grease will be thinned. Subsequent such treatments can see the end of the grease.

    Light solvent chemicals such as these would be harder on the rubber compound used in O-Rings than plain oil or kero would be.

    It is Kero only for me as a cleaner, applied with a cloth or very soft brush. I would never use compressed air or a pressure washer on a chain. My chain hasn't even seen the wet end of a garden hose. Anything capable of forcing liquid or particles into or past the O-Rings has the potential for shortening the life of your chain.

    I also use a Pro-Oiler but don't see the point of supplementary lubrication. If I think it needs a clean, I'll wick it up to 8 or 9 go for a 40-50 km ride, give it a wipe, that's it, pretty much. I typically run my oiler a "little wet" (4 to 6) If you touch the chain, you will get a little oil on your finger. I have to ride on a gravel road to get to and from my house. I want to shed the dust coating ASAP. Fling is a good thing. Gets rid of the dirt.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  7. I clean with Kero and an old toothbrush, then apply a coating of chainsaw bar oil, followed by a wipe with a cotton cloth.
    A little fling for the first 50-100 km, but manageable.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. It is a 1999 workshop manual.

    I don't agree with this statement, Why would a company purposely recommend a procedure that will lessen the life of the chain for financial gain? In that case, there are so many other ways they can deceive the public.

    I am still trying to do a bit more research before i go out and buy my type of chain lubrication. I have not ruled out a product like 'Chain Wax' just yet.
  9. Yep, I change my engine oil every 3,000klms and just use the old oil.

    Free chain lube.

    Paint the oil on, leave for a few minutes and then wipe off, almost no fling and what there is just wipes off. Approx. every 500klms.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. #10 twistngo, Dec 28, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
    World has changed since then

    Good chance your manual dates from the early 90's. With many models they didn't update the manual and just put an addendum when they made changes.
  11. Yep the world has changed since then.

    Back then people drank tap water without realizing the obvious benefits of bottled water.
    • Funny Funny x 6
    • Winner Winner x 1
  12. The information must be outdated or mistranslated. Using WD-40 or strong degreasers is very bad as it dries out seals and this certainly is warned about in most manuals. If you use chain-lube you do have to clean the chain with a toothbrush to stop the dust/grit acting as an abrasive. Brand-new bikes and chains out the box come with a grease factory applied, mine even explicitly states to lube the chain every 500km.

    This is what one of the largest chain manufactures has to say about chain-care
    D.I.D Racing Chains & DirtStar® Rims

    If you decide not to oil the chain then be sure order a replacement and chain breaking kit. In 5-10k the chain will stretch and gradually make scarier and scarier noises.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Just an update. Ended up buying Bel Ray Chain Lubricant. Seems to do the job.

    This thread was not about whether i should or should not oil the chain but why aftermarket options are better than the factory recommended one.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  14. Belray is a good brand. Make sure you spray it on the inside of the chain. I can't get it locally now so switched to Motul.
  15. auto oiler vs any other form of lubrication

    The ideal principles of chain lubrication - Keep it clean to minimise abrasive dirt exposure. Effectively lubricate mating metal surfaces - little and often - maintain lubrication. Maintain integrity of O-Rings, X-rings to keep sealed in grease sealed in.

    An auto-oiler does this beautifully.

    People can spend an awful lot of their lives cleaning and maintaining their chains if they want to get the best life out of them, and if you own a motorcycle to spend lots of time and effort lubricating and cleaning chains, that's fine, but I'd rather spend that time riding. The equation is not helped by the fact that many bikes are not fitted with centre stands. As a result, the care of many chains does not come close to the ideal. Lots of riders consistently under lubricate or over lubricate, and when they do, but don't do it often enough, so the effect is that of under lubrication, with the frequent chain adjustment interval and short chain and sprocket life as a result. Face it, how many of you will stop and give your chain a squirt in the middle of a day long recreational ride of say 6-800 km. I don't know if I've ever seen someone doing this at a cafe stop in the middle of a ride. There are a lot of chains out there, sacrificing their lives to keep their owners bikes clean, and prevent inconvenience. "Just wait up a bit, That's the second (or third) tank of fuel I've used since my last chain lube application, time to give it a squirt." These are words I never hear. There are a lot of dry chains getting around the country. Most people, when they think about it will admit to having their chain do it tough about 1/5 of the time, maybe as much as 1/3.

    No, an auto-oiler does not match the performance of a totally enclosed chain in an oil bath (and where will you find one of those?) , but it does ensure that your chain is well lubricated, always. There will be a lower input of time into chain maintenance, and greatly improved chain and sprocket life. They are a good investment - but with all things, you get what you pay for - do your homework.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. Mildly senior moment, belated, excuse em moi please.

    Wax sticks are fkn excellent if your going long distance over extended time without workshop facilities. Apply to warm chain every thou or so.
    If your doing dirt, gravel or out in the Sahara just carry a spare chain/ master link ;)
    I trialed Silkolene Chain Lube (before it was bought out by Fuchs)... with the usual preparation & maintenance. Was hard to get in Oz at one stage but after 15 years & a few hissey fits, Supercheap now have it on the shelf.
    A chainsaw lube (a good one, Huskie or Stihl) as mentioned by Mick M, Dec 28, 2015 is the good gear.

    I've still a soft spot for a non 'O' ring DID's for older bikes & don't forget, if your replacing the chain do both sprockets as well.
    We used to use & recommend 'The Chain Gang' but heard on the grapevine that due to BHP & more effing corporate BS they couldn't get the steel quality they needed. Anyone know?

    While on this learning curve: one of the better bikes I've owned, & apart from the electric start shenanigans, is (& still have it :) a TR1 o XV920. Enclosed chain renders the chain capable of doing well over 15,000 clicks with out servicing, & I haven't had to buy a new one in approx 70,000 despite the extreme abuse dished out.

    Carry on .....
  17. Bingo! that's the one I was thinking of. - I think MZ had one too. They make a lot of sense.

    Despite mine hanging out in the air, I'll expect to get at least 50,000 kays, but probably more likely around or upwards of 70.

    We've come a long way since the 2 chain system where you pulled the chain off weekly, cleaned and "cooked" it in the waxy grease, hang it up to drain, fit the one done last week, and put it on the bike. Used as a weekly regime for a commuter (I commuted 100km daily) it gave great longevity in them pre-O-ring days. I never noticed chain adjustment interval as a indication of wear rate because I was adjusting it weekly as a part of swapping chains.

    Spray - ons were for weekends away or unexpected, impulsive rides.

    I'd heard something along the same lines about Chain Gang, but not from any authoritative source. You hear a lot of things.
    • Agree Agree x 1