Kerosene or not? What gives?

Last year I obtained a new 2013 DR-650. The DR-650 owner's manual indicates it has an O-Ring drive chain and specifically says not to use kerosene to clean the chain. This year I obtained a new 2011 DR-Z125/L. The DR-Z125/L owner's manual indicates it has an O-Ring drive chain and specifically says to use kerosene to clean the drive chain. The question is why would one owner's manual say to use kerosene and the other not when both chains are O-Ring designs. Is there a difference in drive chain O-Ring design between a dual sport and a dirt bike where one O-Ring can be damaged by kerosene and the other not?

To my knowledge, all sealed chains are fundamentally the same design, but there are a number of different rubber compounds used in the seals, and those have different strengths and sensitivities.  Personally, I prefer to use a chain lube that can be easily washed off with low pressure soap and water to the use of any sort of petroleum solvent, and I try to avoid as much as possible any scrubbing with a brush, too.  

Here's my 40 year cleaning chain thoughts. If you want to go buy kerosene and deal with all the added mess go for it.

Other wise , spray the chain with some wd40 and wipe with a rag and lube. The whole point of oring chains is to reduce maintenance, time and add life, which they do very well.

Again, thanks for the inputs. Based on the inputs I've received on Thumpertalk as well as other sites, I've formulated a game plan for both the DR650 and DR-Z125/L. I've seen varying opinions on chain cleaning and lubrication but I've got to make a decision. I'm going to use WD-40 for chain cleaning and Maxima Chain Wax for lubrication. Now there's a third issue which I planned on addressing in a separate topic but I'll address it here. And that issue is surface rust on the chain links (not the rollers) for both bikes. The DR650 has a small amount of surface rust on the links. I know this occurred as a result of what I call the "5 feet from the telephone pole spill". I've developed descriptive names for each spill I've had. When I spilled the bike I traveled with it on the shoulder of the road and kicked up a cloud of dust. Both me and the bike were covered with dust. When I got the bike home I rinsed off all dust with a garden hose. I knew then that I should have let the chain dry in the sun but I put it in the shed before the chain dried. A few days later I noticed a small amount of surface rust on the links. But the DR-Z125/L is a different story. Even though I purchased the bike new, there is a greater amount of surface rust on the DR-Z125/L links then on the DR650 links. I suspect the surface rust was caused by the dealer putting the bike in unheated storage for the winter with some moisture condensation so he could put more ATV's on the showroom floor. As far as how bad this surface rust is on damaging the chain, I don't know. But my plan is to manually scrub the links on both bikes with a soft cloth soaked in WD-40. Whatever rust comes off, comes off. Whatever remains, right or wrong, remains. And that's it as far as the rust goes. If anyone has a different opinion on the surface rust issue, I would appreciate hearing it.

As far as chain rust goes, whenever I wash my bike I dry it off with a towel then take it out for a 10+ mile pavement ride to dry everything out.  Back in the garage I lube the dry chain and change the warm engine oil.

Kerosine is a light distillate just below gasoline, is a heating fuel, makes a great solvent, but is useless as a lube. Kerosine use to be No 1 Diesel but fuel specs have tightened over the years so they are no longer interchangable.

 

I pressure wash my bikes after every ride with an electric low pressure washer. I then spray my chain with a dry film teflon lube approved for ring chains, displaces water and lubes the rings.  The chain doesn't attract dirt, doesn't rust, and I get multiple years of chain and sprocket life.

Edited by Chuck.

Your game plan of WD-40 and chain wax is a winner.

But why worry about some minor plate rust? Cover it with wax. I use Maxima and it's white, covers imperfections nicely and gives the chain an obviously-cared-for appearance.

Be anal retentive on your next chain.

Edited by sandlvr69

Your game plan of WD-40 and chain wax is a winner.

But why worry about some minor plate rust? Cover it with wax. I use Maxima and it's white, covers imperfections nicely and gives the chain an obviously-cared-for appearance.

Be anal retentive on your next chain.

I'm not concerned about the surface chain rust on the DR650 chain links but the rust on the DR-Z125L chain links is greater, at least for some of the links. Whether or not the rust will affect the integrity of the chain, I have no way of knowing.   

If it's an o-ring chain you'll probably be fine. The actual working surface of pin-to-roller is critical to keep lubed and rust free but keeping the plates pretty is just aesthetics.

If it's an o-ring chain you'll probably be fine. The actual working surface of pin-to-roller is critical to keep lubed and rust free but keeping the plates pretty is just aesthetics.

Thanks. The DR-Z125L is a new 2011 that was probably moved to enclosed fall and winter storage each year, picking up some condensation along the way. The rollers don't appear to have any rust and the bike would have been ridden minimally, if at all. It was ridden about 50 ft. from the dealer store to a loading ramp outside the store.

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