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Chain maintenance & cleaning 101

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by ResmeN, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. Hi Guys,

    As title states just took delivery of a new near bike and couldn't be happier however then comes the duties of keep it looking nice & shiny and also keeping the chain in tiptop condition.

    General clean:

    Now could you please give me some tips, pointers and product recommendations to do & use in cleaning the motorcycle. By the way I have a Honda CB400 SF naked bike. Please advise how best to clean the bike in general wheels, discs, paint etc.

    Chain maintenance:

    This, I have no idea about whatsoever apart from what I can understand the need to spray on some lube on the chain every 500km. Then I read about also prior to lubing having to clean the chain with blue kero and this is where I am lost. What products do you use to clean the chain with and is it a hard to do job?

    Thanks in advance and as always awaiting your friendly service.


  2. Re: Cleaning new bike & chain maintenance

    Yep, use the search button.

    Has been covered many times, there is even a sticky at the top of this section called "How To Clean Your Bike"....
  3. Re: Cleaning new bike & chain maintenance

    Will check the sticky out.
  4. Re: Cleaning new bike & chain maintenance

    Yeah heaps of info on this throughout the message boards, just use search mate and you'll find it...

    I've used plenty of different type chain lubes and the best i've come across is MAXIMA chain wax. Heres a bit of a write up with pics on how to lube and clean your chain - http://www.ducatitech.com/info/chain.html

    Your right, the blue kero is the best and safest way for cleaning your chain and removing all old lube, road grime and gunk.

    have fun!
  5. Re: Cleaning new bike & chain maintenance

    Hey ramjet thanks for the reply.

    So is the Maxima chain wax used both for cleaning & lubing the chain at the same time?

    Also what do they mean by hosing down the exposed run of chain.
  6. Re: Cleaning new bike & chain maintenance

    If used in the method shown in the link above, yes you can use maxima chain wax to lube and clean at the same time using a rag to work the lube into the chain while at the same time removing built up grime. If your chain is really filthy, best to clean it with kero first.

    Hosing down the exposed run of chain simply means spray the lube along the chain. Try to aim for the inside of the chain though, this is where it makes contact with the sprocket teeth. Maxima chain wax doesnt fling much so it wont hurt getting extra wax on the outsides of the chain. If your chain is relatively clean just spray it directly on the chain making sure to use cardboard behind your chain to stop any oversrpay getting on your wheels.

    hope this helps.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Re: Cleaning new bike & chain maintenance

    Chain wax cannot go where you need and that's under the roller. You need a lube with a light carrier oil like Motul Road. Spray it on a warm chain, let it soak, then wipe off the excess.

    Having lube on top of the roller and sprockets is important but less so than in behind the roller. Check out a thread kicked off by Cejay for the low down on why you need to lube chains.

    By the way, NEVER leave chain lubing only to your mechanic... they'll never clean the chain like it needs and it'd never be at a sufficient frequency.

    There are well respected NR's who with good cause reckon that a good X ring or O ring chain already has sealed lube in the most critical place (the pins)*, so they rarely clean the chain back to OEM condition and use lube sparingly if at all...

    But, they tend to be mechanically apt and have no qualms replacing a chain at 15K-20K kms... whereas someone with a good chain regime should be able to get 3 - 4 times that life. Someone like the non cleaner types save on regular chain cleaning time, but would need to adjust chain tension more often. They instead put in a fair effort one arvo to replace the chain, and perhaps every second time, also replace the sprockets. So on balance, the effort expended is about the same between maintaines and non maintainers. Also, non maintainers put up with a crap surging ride at the end of the chain's life more often.

    If chain lubing was such a furphy, then why do bikes fitted with scott oilers get 100K+ km from their chains??

    * DON'T USE WD40 to clean your chain. It perishes the O / X rings and dries out the sealed in lube... chain wear happens not long after.
  8. Re: Cleaning new bike & chain maintenance

    ramjet: thanks for your reply and shedding further light to my question.

    robsalvv: Now that was the information I was after. Can any harm be done if I were to use both the Maxima wax and a lube like Motul road to lube the chain?

    I would rather go down the path of being a maintainer and put in the time & effort to regularly clean/lube the chain and I don't have the mechanical know how of changing a chain and getting 100000km per chain sounds like a good idea.

    Yes definitely would rather clean/lube the chain myself rather than leaving it to a mechanic as I fully agree with what you mean.

    Do you have a scottoiler on your bike? If so would you recommend it? So I guess if you have a scottoiler on the bike all that's left to do is every now again to clean the chain with kero or whatever and that's it then. No more lubing as it gets done auto.

    WD40 noted.

  9. Re: Cleaning new bike & chain maintenance

    by the way could you please provide a link to cejay's thread as I couldn't find it.
  10. Re: Cleaning new bike & chain maintenance

    Why use both? If you overlube, it ends up flinging off onto your rim.

    No and yes, but I'm too tight to fit one.
  11. Re: Cleaning new bike & chain maintenance

    Sorry for the newb questions as I am still very new to the 2 wheel world.

    How much do one of those systems cost by the way?
  12. Re: Cleaning new bike & chain maintenance


  13. Re: Cleaning new bike & chain maintenance

    That's not too bad. Is that inclusive of fitting etc or just the device. Also how does it determine when to lube the chain, does it have like sensors that detect when the chain requires lubing or something?
  14. Re: Cleaning new bike & chain maintenance

    Just called and apparently the new scott oiler system costs $200 and another $150 to get it installed by a bike shop.

    I'm confused though because I called one bike shop who boasts about how useful and recommended the system is and then another bike shop was adamantly against the system saying it makes you lazy and rely on it and therefore less tlc on the bike. Also he said not to do it because it won't make you adjust the chain as frequent.
  15. Re: Cleaning new bike & chain maintenance

    If the chain doesn't wear, then what is there to adjust?
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Re: Cleaning new bike & chain maintenance

    You're right.

    I'm thinking instead of paying $100 – $150 for just a bike stand, then $25 per can of lube and not to mention the time and effort spent on lubing and cleaning the chain might as well fork out $350 for the scott oiler + installation and be done with it for good.
  17. Re: Cleaning new bike & chain maintenance

    You will find that a paddock stand is useful for other reasons anyway - but maybe keep an eye out for a sale and buy one cheap. Welcome to the money pit that is the enthusiasts pursuit of motorcycling.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Re: Cleaning new bike & chain maintenance

    You're not wrong there. I thought the only costs would have been bike, gear, rego & insuiance but I was wrong.

    Now I want/need:

    scott oiler
    paddock stand
    rad guard
    disc lock
    oggy knobs - are these worthy of their price tag?

    Probably in the near future I'll want exhaust etc. God knows what else.
  19. Re: Cleaning new bike & chain maintenance

    Summer jacket + gloves
    Winter jacket + gloves
    Cool day jacket + gloves
    kevlar lined pants
    Wet weather gear
    Leather pants
    Boots (track/road/touring)
    A better helmet
    Back protector
    Knee pads/shin pads
    Dark visor
    Tank bag
    Rear rack
    Double bubble screen
    K&N filter
    Heated grips

    and it goes on...
    • Agree Agree x 2