Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

To Clean A Chain

Recommended Posts

try going to resturaunt supply and get the concentrate that they use to clean the exhaust hoods.Wear nitrile gloves this stuff will make the hair on your arms stand up.this stuff works great as a degreaser.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no arguing that going the extra mile in chain service will extend the life of a chain and sprocket set. The question is, "Is It Worth It?"

In my case, no. My time is more valuable than the cost of a chain and sprockets every few years.

Pressure wash while cleaning bike, WD40 to prevent rust, and it is done.

If you want flashy, or if you want to spend the time "properly" cleaning and lubing a chain, that's great.

IMO cleaning and adjusting the drive chain is part of routine maintenance. For me, it takes more time and money to clean and oil air filters as that is done after every race.

You did not mention how may bikes you spread your 200-300hrs/year across but if you get two years on a single chain in mostly very muddy conditions with your cleaning ritual then I should buy shares in WD-40’s parent company!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO cleaning and adjusting the drive chain is part of routine maintenance. For me, it takes more time and money to clean and oil air filters as that is done after every race.

You did not mention how may bikes you spread your 200-300hrs/year across but if you get two years on a single chain in mostly very muddy conditions with your cleaning ritual then I should buy shares in WD-40’s parent company!!

I put over 400 hours on a 2005 KTM 400 EXC in less than 3 years, and spent quite a bit of time on a couple of other play bikes.

I ran 12/52 gearing on the KTM, and replaced 3-4? countershaft sprockets, one chain, and one rear sprocket (besides the stock chain and rear sprocket that came on the bike)

I don't know how many hours I currently have on a CRF230, but it is running the same EK Ultra-Lite chain (non o-ring) and Renthal rear sprocket that I put on it 2-3 years ago. That particular chain gets pressure washed, blown off with an air hose, WD40'd, and lubed before each ride with whatever the cheap synthetic lube is sold at Rockymountain ATV. I don't recall the name, but I bought a case some years ago.

The 230 is the bike in the background:

IMG_0800.jpg

Edited by ExploringWA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Typically a cheap o buyer here but I like Klotz chain lube. Stuff stays on the chain! Power washer/WD-40er here too but the Tide treatment looks interesting!

In the spirit of name dropping oils :bonk: I must say Maxima SuperM provides excellent motoring abilities. :smirk:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I am more confused now after reading through this thread a couple of times than before.

The simplest way is just spray on the WD40, scrub off the gunk (or wipe it with a rag) and then apply chain lube?

I only ask about the simplest method b/c I am new to the dirt bike world (well...it's been about 25yrs). I've been street/track for years and I've used the Motorex chain clean and Chain Wax on the street bikes, but the chains do not get nearly as dirty. I do not really want to spend 12 bucks a can on the chain clean if WD40 will do the trick for the dirt bikes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I am more confused now after reading through this thread a couple of times than before.

The simplest way is just spray on the WD40, scrub off the gunk (or wipe it with a rag) and then apply chain lube?

I only ask about the simplest method b/c I am new to the dirt bike world (well...it's been about 25yrs). I've been street/track for years and I've used the Motorex chain clean and Chain Wax on the street bikes, but the chains do not get nearly as dirty. I do not really want to spend 12 bucks a can on the chain clean if WD40 will do the trick for the dirt bikes.

WD40 is an excellent solvent for greasy, dirty gunk. Shout is an excellent soap that will remove the greasy, dirty WD40'd gunk with a blast of water from a garden hose. After cleaning, run the bike moderately up/down the street and the chain will be bone dry and ready to lube. The less tacky the chain lube you use, the easier it will be to clean later. I've used it all over the years, and my favorite is the $4/can chain lube from Liquid wrench. On the tackiness scale, it's somewhere between WD40 and the expensive super tacky chain lubes on the market.

To save money, buy WD40 in the gallon can and Shout in the 60oz jug.

Edited by CamP
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always just been cheap, so I always clean the chain and then WD-40 it before I put it up, and then the day of the ride I'll spray it down again, and that's it....never had a problem. I don't think I have a O-ring chain either...screw those...Although now that I've found out Klotz makes chain lube, I'm buying! Their stuff is soo nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WD40 is an excellent solvent for greasy, dirty gunk. Shout is an excellent soap that will remove the greasy, dirty WD40'd gunk with a blast of water from a garden hose. After cleaning, run the bike moderately up/down the street and the chain will be bone dry and ready to lube. The less tacky the chain lube you use, the easier it will be to clean later. I've used it all over the years, and my favorite is the $4/can chain lube from Liquid wrench. On the tackiness scale, it's somewhere between WD40 and the expensive super tacky chain lubes on the market.

To save money, buy WD40 in the gallon can and Shout in the 60oz jug.

Thanks. Sounds simple enough! :smirk:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, Wd40 is an extremely thin penetrating oil. If it gets past your o-rings or x-rings it will break down the lube inside. I used to be a chain maintenance freak(couldn't afford new,P.S. anyone remember "The Grunge Brush"?), but now realize the time spent to maintain (other than a quick lube post wash and adjustment)isn't worth my time over the life of a chain. If I use 4-6 hrs maintaining a chain(over it's life), I lose. Opportunity cost!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

these threads are laughable... all the guys saying 'wd40 breaks down the lube inside".. seriously? LOL.. the roller rides on a bushing, that rides on the pin. thats it. Spraying sticky lube on a chain does nothgin but attract dirt that gets in the roller and bushing wearing these areas FASTER than if you just left it alone and sprayed nothing, or just sprayed some wd40 on the chain to keep rust away. CHains will wear if you ride enough, period. Dirt bikes are ridden in harsh environments.. DIRT, MUD, etc. Do you really think some spray on lube is gonna help? funny stuff..!! Spray sticky lubes, don't do anything but protect from rust .. chains will last about the same length of time.

PS: i race 130 and 140 hp R6 roadrace bikes, nothing but wd40 EVER. I take these 520 chains off after a couple seasons and use on the dirt bikes. Dirt wears chains. plain and simple. those getting 4 years from a chain are not riding 20 hours a month in the woods and harescramble racing like i do.. So take posts "i get years of use out of my chain" with a grain of salt, and wonder how much the bike is ridden/raced.

WD40 before a ride, WD40 after a ride.. i assure you your chain and sprockets will look cleaner, and last longer than spooging sticky lubes on em.. :smirk:

Edited by MELK-MAN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

these threads are laughable... all the guys saying 'wd40 breaks down the lube inside".. seriously? LOL.. the roller rides on a bushing, that rides on the pin. thats it. Spraying sticky lube on a chain does nothgin but attract dirt that gets in the roller and bushing wearing these areas FASTER than if you just left it alone and sprayed nothing, or just sprayed some wd40 on the chain to keep rust away. CHains will wear if you ride enough, period. Dirt bikes are ridden in harsh environments.. DIRT, MUD, etc. Do you really think some spray on lube is gonna help? funny stuff..!! Spray sticky lubes, don't do anything but protect from rust .. chains will last about the same length of time.

PS: i race 130 and 140 hp R6 roadrace bikes, nothing but wd40 EVER. I take these 520 chains off after a couple seasons and use on the dirt bikes. Dirt wears chains. plain and simple. those getting 4 years from a chain are not riding 20 hours a month in the woods and harescramble racing like i do.. So take posts "i get years of use out of my chain" with a grain of salt, and wonder how much the bike is ridden/raced.

WD40 before a ride, WD40 after a ride.. i assure you your chain and sprockets will look cleaner, and last longer than spooging sticky lubes on em.. :smirk:

This sounds like the simplest method ever.

I have a question.....does the WD fling all over the bike? Just wondering. For the record, I've never used WD40 on a chain, but I am certainly open to options after reading thru this thread. It is pretty eye-opening to hear the perspective of guys who ride both dirt and street and their response to various topics I've read through (this forum is siphoning off much of my free time every evening). Practicality is the common theme.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This sounds like the simplest method ever.

I have a question.....does the WD fling all over the bike? Just wondering. For the record, I've never used WD40 on a chain, but I am certainly open to options after reading thru this thread. It is pretty eye-opening to hear the perspective of guys who ride both dirt and street and their response to various topics I've read through (this forum is siphoning off much of my free time every evening). Practicality is the common theme.

this is the interesting thing about wd40. THe excess will fling onto the frame by the shift lever and cs sprocket. Some dirt will collect there at that spot and stay there. Disproving the theory that wd40 "dries" quickly and thus has no lubricating property. It does seem to dry on the chain and sprockets a bit from the chain warming during use and you don't get it collecting all kinds of dirt like you do with sticky "chain lubes".

I use it on roadrace bikes.. 165mph, 140HP on my superbikeR6. The excess will fly onto the underside of the rear tail section BUT it wipes off very easily. NOT like chain lube that you darn near need brakeclean to remove. ON the roadrace bike i usually spray on before teh 1st practice session, but never again that weekend.I assure you the chain is moving faster on a roadrace bike than any dirt bike on the planet.

ON the DIRT BIKE i spray on before every ride but im in the woods for an hour at a time minimum. Ya know that "jingle" sound you hear from a bone dry chain? you won't hear that with wd40 on the chain.. if you ride and ride the chain will eventually get that "dry sound" if you don't spray it on occasionally, but that happens with the sticky lube too! :smirk:

What i LOVE about this wd40 only method is you do not get the sticky gunk building up at the base of all the sprocket teeth and on the link plates of the chain. THUS NO NEED TO SCRUB the chain! :bonk: I literally had 2 roadrace seasons on my RK520 x-ring chain of my superbike, and i gave that chain to a harescramble buddy that was short of $ to buy a chain. He is still racing and riding woods with that chain 6 months later. Riding 20 hours a week on my crf450r in the sandy woods and harescrambles, im going through a chain about every 8 months, and was going through them at least that fast when using various sticky lubes, with all the time wasted having to clean my chains and scrape gunk off the sprockets..

I have praised wd40 for some time on this forum, and i might be a bit biased. My great uncle, Joe Taraba was one of the original salesmen for wd40 back in the 40s. He became the reginal sales rep and lived in Oregon. So i hear ALL the TRUE details of wd40 and it's use. It was ORIGINALLY designed to be used in canning factories. The cans moving down the metal chutes and being diverted into sizes would wear the metal slides the cans would move on.. the canning co. needed a food SAFE lube that they could spray on the metal canning chutes to minimise wear of the cans going over them. AND, that would stay in place when they sprayed em down with water to clean.. Word quickly spread about this "miracle product" as the workers were taking the cans of wd40 home and using it on EVERYTHING.. Great uncle Joe went on the road for the chemical co. that developed wd40. He was selling wd40 literally out of the trunk of his car in the beginning to hardware stores, "dime" stores (if your old enough and from a small town you know what im talking about), anywhere and everywhere. AND THAT IS THE TRUTH about wd40.

Edited by MELK-MAN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, Wd40 is an extremely thin penetrating oil. If it gets past your o-rings or x-rings it will break down the lube inside. I used to be a chain maintenance freak(couldn't afford new,P.S. anyone remember "The Grunge Brush"?), but now realize the time spent to maintain (other than a quick lube post wash and adjustment)isn't worth my time over the life of a chain. If I use 4-6 hrs maintaining a chain(over it's life), I lose. Opportunity cost!

I'd like to believe it's not all just about changing the chain but the quality of the shifts and not wearing down your sprockets from dirty chains. Also a clean chain looks blingbling!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WD40 is not such a good idea on the late model CRF450s. It flings and will get on the wiring right at the front sprocket. I'm not sure uncle Joe would approve!

Edited by Solid State

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I get WD40 for a dime now? :bonk:

nope.. :lol:

WD40 is not such a good idea on the late model CRF450s. It flings and will get on the wiring right at the front sprocket. I'm not sure uncle Joe would approve!

LOL. Good ol' Uncle Joe is long gone, but i use it on a pair of crf450s. Hour or more at a time in sandy woods and harescrambles. Gettin no less life out of my chains usin nothin but wd40 that i did when i had chail lube cans all over the garage, if anything i believe my chains and sprockets last longer due to the sticky stuff not attracting and holding dirt.. 20 hrs a week, i just can not justify cleaning a chain and spraying sticky lubes. Ya'll can say what you want about "wd40 penetrating and this and that.." If ya look at a chain, the roller is on a bushing, the only part "sealed" by the o-ring is the inside of the bushing and the pin connecting the links. That lube inside the bushing isn't going anywhere as it is SEALED by the o-ring. The WEAR you get and why chains get longer (chains don't stretch.. the link plates are just as long with 300hrs as they were when new) is that the roller and outer part of the bushing wear. This is why with lots of hours a roller can be moved up adn down with your thumb and forefinger but you can't when it's new. Have at it with sticky lubes, but TRY IT, it's ONE CHAIN.. next time you buy one, save hours over the life of the chain and just spray a light film of wd40 on it before each ride. You can thank me later.. :smirk:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just cleaned and lubed the chain on my yz426 but will clean again after the next ride and try the WD40 method. As far as trackday use, I will try it one day and see what happens. I have a gixxer 1000 that I have been using but I am picking up an '06 750 next week.....maybe try the WD40 method on the new ride.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Super Hunky performed a chain lube shoot out when he was the editor for Dirt Bike. They ran several new chains on a fixture they built that ran for a predetermined amount of time. They tested several lubes from super sticky chain lube to dry graphite. After they ran the chains and lubes, they broke the chains and viewed the pins under a microscope. The WD40 chain showed micro scoring and was the next worst performing lube just in front of dry graphite.

Edited by CamP
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only chain related time i use wd-40 is taking flung off chain lube from the rest of the bike(good solvent, if wd-40 won't take it off, acetone will). I own a machine shop and use wd-40 by the gallon(it is an excellent metalworking fluid for aluminum) ,yet I'm not a believer as a chain lube. A good cleaning and lube is probably better than WD40 pre,during and post ride. It is also great for removing bugs and tar from a street bike. An o-ring or x-ring chain has lubricant sealed inside, and wd40 can get in there and break down the manufacturers lube, despite what others may tout.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...