Chain maintenance ??

bro i use wd-40 before and after any water gets there and i use some teflon stuff i got for my bicycle works great only had to adjust the chain twice in 5000 miles.

I just re-oil with 90wt gear oil every week, I ride about 300 miles a week.

First chain went 20k, I'm on the second and it's gone 16k and still looks great, only 1 adjustment since new. I keep my chains on the loose side, over tightening kills 'em fast.

+1 on too tight = BAD

I run my chains at the loose end of the adjustment range. 12-15K is no problem at all with simple maintenance, an occasional wash with kerosene or WD-40, a little 90W or Boeshield, and ride for another 500-600 miles. If I've run in the rain, water, or a lot of dirt then I'll service it sooner. I replace my chain and sprockets (always as a set, hardened steel front/back sprockets) every 12-15K, usually when I'm replacing a rear tire, just for cheap insurance. Every chain I've removed definitley had more miles in it if I wanted to push it.

I just developed a great chain lubing technique. Ride at 70+ MPH and the wind will blow the oil from your leaking valve cover right in to the general region of you chain. This also helps to waterproof your gloves.

On a more serious note. I recently bought a Loobman chain oiler. It was $35 and it works pretty good. If anything, I'm probably over-oiling my chain because I'm constantly squeezing the bottle. It's a pretty good low-tech solution. I got it online through Aerostich. It's much cheaper than a Scottsoiler.

Hey Wayne,

What brand and size sprockets do you run? My expensive Sprocket specialist aluminum rear (48t) is done/hooking at about 9k.

Thanks, Dale

I put 6,000 miles on a brand new KLR250 using MX-1000 chain lube ( The chain was within deflection specs at 6,000 miles. The stock chain saw a full range of service. MX-1000 requires somewhat frequent application, so I use the re-oil time to relieve as much monkey-butt as possible and smell the roses.

For starts with my new DR650SE, I am adding MX-1000 to the dealer/manufacturer waxed chain. When the chain gets dirty, I'll clean it and go with MX-1000 exclusively based on my experience with the KLR.

As for cleaning the chain (on the bike), I spray engine degreaser (NOT Brake Cleaner) on the chain, while turning the rear wheel, to dislodge as much dirt as possible. I place on old garbage can lid under the rear wheel to catch the runoff. I also use a piece of cardboard with a cutout for the rear axle to place between the chain and the wheel/tire to protect the tire from the petroleum-based degreaser - though I never saw any adverse effects on two sets of KLR tires that got at least some of the degreaser on the sidewall. The force of the spray can be quite effective in removing dirt, etc. Once thoroughly spray-cleaned, the solvent-wetted chain can be wiped down with a lint-free cloth. I ride the bike up and down the block a few times to dislodge and dry any remaining degreaser/solvent. One more wipedown makes the chain nice and clean.

Once clean, the chain gets a good dose of MX-1000 and a quick wipedown after it dries.

I just replaced my factory chain from my 1996 DR and replaced it with a DID 525...same size. It had 10,000 miles and still appeared good. I never removed the chain for cleaning but regularly sprayed chain wax on it. The factory chain is very sturdy for a motorcycle putting out so little horsepower. Many of my miles were in the dirt so I wouldn't worry too much. I would recommend changing the sprockets if you plan on "slow going" off-roading.

Still running the chain that came on it when I bought it used. It doesn't show wear but many links were very stiff. Chain was real kinky and shuddered. Soaked it overnight in diesel fuel and worked the links individually for a hour just to get to the point that seemed reasonable. I had ridden it several thousand miles so it wasn't from sitting but this can't be good for sprockets and other driveline components. I used two kinds of spray can chain lubes before wearing myself out working out the rigor mortis.:thumbsup:

Hey Wayne,

What brand and size sprockets do you run? My expensive Sprocket specialist aluminum rear (48t) is done/hooking at about 9k.

Thanks, Dale


Sorry for the late reply. I must not have subscribed to this thread and I just saw your post.

On the DR I've gotten lots of good miles running stock sprockets with a DID X-ring chain. Depending on what type of riding I'm doing I'll run either 15/44 or 14/44 gearing. I've used AFAM and JT sprockets on other bikes with good success. JT makes a range of sprockets for the DR for a 520 chain that will give you more choices in gearing but I'm not convinced you'll get the same mileage as the 525 setup. I order the stock sprockets from BikeBandit and with my AMA membership get a 9% discount IIRC. AFAM/JT sprockets and DID chains I usually order from Dennis Kirk or the Sprocket Center depending on who has the best price. From time to time the Sprocket Center will have a package deal - 2 AFAM sprockets and DID chain for not much more than the chain cost. I always replace sprockets and chains as a set.

I've never had any luck with aluminum rear sprockets when looking for mileage. I've had aluminum rear sprockets completely trashed after 1 muddy enduro of ~120 miles.

I clean it with WD-40 and then wipe the chain down with a rag soaked with liquid wrench brand silicone spray lubricant. Anyone know of any cons with using silicone?

My DR has the original chain (no master link) just turned over 10K miles and it still passes the chain wear measurement test. Mostly street mileage though. :excuseme:

Do I need to get a chain breaker to remove my OEM chain? Why no master link?? :smirk:

Do I need to get a chain breaker to remove my OEM chain? Why no master link?? :excuseme:

endless chain, never needs replacing. ha, we wish

i use a dremel with cutoff wheel to grind off pins, then chain break tool (cheap)

If you are replacing the chain then no breaker needed. Just take a grinder/Dremel with cut off wheel and cut it off. I replaced with a D.I.D. chain and master link. 20,000 mile and no problems. A chain press is nice but not neccesary to get the the master link compressed so the clip will fit. Just easier with a press.

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