Chain maintenance ??


31 replies to this topic
  • breweryrat

Posted April 19, 2007 - 07:01 PM

#1

What are you guys doing for regular chain maintenance on your DR? I know it will vary depending on how the bie is ridden, but how long are your chains lasting before you have to replace them? I've been a little spoiled with shaft drives on GS's. Thanks.

  • lmcdonald

Posted April 19, 2007 - 11:04 PM

#2

You'll get as many answers here as there are members!
I clean my chain regularly with kerosene. I lubricate with WD40 if I'm being lazy and 90wt gear oil when I'm being responsible.
I get great life out of my chains (15-20,000 kms) and rarely have to adjust. Mind you, I ride fairly conservatively. No wheelies, hard on the throttle occasionally.

  • Bikesmark

Posted April 20, 2007 - 03:56 AM

#3

I use the BelRay wax for chains since you don't need the oily stuff on there collecting dust and it keeps the bike clean. It does lubricate a little but dries to a wax which repels water and lasts quite a while. I do clean once in a while with kerosene. Don't use anything harsh since you could wash out the factory grease if you get past the "O" rings.

  • velosapiens

Posted April 20, 2007 - 07:15 AM

#4

i mostly ignore my chain. i'll shoot a little wd-40 on it after i wash it just to keep it from rusting, but it's pretty sandy where i ride, and most chainlubes don't play well with sand.

i have no idea how it'll hold up, but i get 3000-4000 miles on a chain and sprockets on my pure off-road bikes with this regimen. probably spend a total of 20 minutes on chain maintenance in that time. my streetbike (bandit 1200) seems to go around 12,000-14,000 miles on a chain and sprockets with the same regimen.

i have never taken a chain off the bike to clean it for any reason and i never will. my time is worth more than that.

  • mxrob

Posted April 20, 2007 - 07:31 AM

#5

I use the BelRay wax for chains since you don't need the oily stuff on there collecting dust and it keeps the bike clean. It does lubricate a little but dries to a wax which repels water and lasts quite a while. I do clean once in a while with kerosene. Don't use anything harsh since you could wash out the factory grease if you get past the "O" rings.


+1 on the Chain Wax. I've used it for years on my MX bikes. It does not magnetize sand and dirt and it's easier on the o-rings than solvents. 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. :thumbsup:

  • bluetiger

Posted April 20, 2007 - 09:24 AM

#6

I seldom clean the chain on my road-bike ('00 Tiger), just lube at every gas fillup. On my dirt bike (DRZ400), I clean the chain with WD-40 and a large nylon brush after every off-road ride (the Jersey Pine Barrens is mostly deeeep sand interspersed with water holes) and lube it with Dupont Teflon Dry Wax lube from Lowes (about $4 per large can). While I'm waiting for the WD-40 to dry prior to lubing, I check the air filter (I use FilterSkinz and change them after every 3 or 4 outings so I only have to clean the DRZ's air filter 3 or 4 times a season), nuts & bolts, and lube the other friction points. For the in-between DR650, I'll probably clean/lube the chain after every off-road excursion and otherwise lube it at each fill-up.

  • Bikesmark

Posted April 20, 2007 - 09:30 AM

#7

The Belray leaves a white film when properly applied. When it's gone it's time to reapply. That can be many hundreds of miles or just a few hundred depending on conditions. I'm an old fart and was used to the non "O" ring regimen of oiling the crap out of the chain (and the bike and my legs in the process) but newer chains are pretty simple. Don't waste money on a Scott Oiler or other such since they're a waste and may actually shorten the life of the chain by attracting every piece of grit within reach of the chain.

  • bluetiger

Posted April 20, 2007 - 09:38 AM

#8

In the 60s, to get really serious, we used to remove the chain from the bike and boil it is a tray of axle grease to fill the rollers. This was before spray chain lubes and o-ring chains. Most post-ride cleanup was removing the grease from the rear of the bike. God what a mess. Today is so much better.:thumbsup:

  • mxrob

Posted April 20, 2007 - 10:05 AM

#9

In the 60s, to get really serious, we used to remove the chain from the bike and boil it is a tray of axle grease to fill the rollers. This was before spray chain lubes and o-ring chains. Most post-ride cleanup was removing the grease from the rear of the bike. God what a mess. Today is so much better.:thumbsup:


LOL! Man, I've done that in our garage when I was a kid with a Coleman stove and a camp pan after my mom told me I couldn't do it on her range in the kitchen! :ride: I was trying to make my mini bike #35 chains last longer. I was using some of the oil my dad put in the lower unit on his 50 HP Sea Horse Johnson outboard. I don't even remember who put that idea in my head. :worthy: :ride:

  • Craase Fox

Posted April 20, 2007 - 10:06 AM

#10

Lowes sells Dupont Teflon Multi-use lubricant which I use on my chains - it goes on wet but not oily, not greasy and it keeps dirt, water, dust from sticking to the chain - and it only costs $3-4 a can.

It repels water and its great on hinges, locks - anywhere metal comes into contact with metal. I've used it on my mountain bikes for years and when I got my vstrom started putting it on that chain so now it goes on the DR also. If you use it make sure you thoroughly clean all old oil, lube from chain with kerosene.

  • artguy

Posted April 20, 2007 - 11:36 AM

#11

In the 60s, to get really serious, we used to remove the chain from the bike and boil it is a tray of axle grease to fill the rollers. This was before spray chain lubes and o-ring chains. Most post-ride cleanup was removing the grease from the rear of the bike. God what a mess. Today is so much better.:worthy:



Ah, the good old days. I learned this from the "bike guru" that lived in a garage across from my buddy's house. He rode an Ariel square four and imparted much wisdom on us. We would coil the chain up in a Folger's 1/2 lb. coffee can and boil it in 90 wt. gear oil. You could always tell the bikers 'cause they all had little black stars on the back of their cloth jackets. :thumbsup:

  • breweryrat

Posted April 20, 2007 - 02:44 PM

#12

Thanks for the replies. I've gone 2000 miles and haven't done much to the chain but look at it. Time to clean and wax I think.

  • MapIt

Posted April 20, 2007 - 07:49 PM

#13

+1 on the Chain Wax. I've used it for years on my MX bikes. It does not magnetize sand and dirt and it's easier on the o-rings than solvents. 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. :thumbsup:



I can attest to this as well. My DR has 14k. Mostly high speed miles on dirt roads and the street. Just keep it routine.

  • DoubleD650

Posted April 20, 2007 - 08:03 PM

#14

I beat the crap out of my chain, wheelies,dirt,water, ect.......
I'm using the white stuff as well,,, 'bout every other fill up, or like they said when you don't see much of the white stuff. I have a bike lifter upper and will jack it up and start it up, spray it,, and let it sit for awhile to harden up...

And, yea.. back in the 2-Smoke days, did we all have shirts with little black stars on them ? I did !:thumbsup:

  • SSHANK42

Posted April 21, 2007 - 11:48 AM

#15

Every other Sat., about 400 miles, I clean the chain and lube with 90w oil. I us dawn and small scrub brush to clean the chain. 8,000 miles and going strong. Mostly road miles.

  • bigboy292000

Posted April 22, 2007 - 08:03 PM

#16

Lowes sells Dupont Teflon Multi-use lubricant which I use on my chains - it goes on wet but not oily, not greasy and it keeps dirt, water, dust from sticking to the chain - and it only costs $3-4 a can.

It repels water and its great on hinges, locks - anywhere metal comes into contact with metal. I've used it on my mountain bikes for years and when I got my vstrom started putting it on that chain so now it goes on the DR also. If you use it make sure you thoroughly clean all old oil, lube from chain with kerosene.


+1 on this one!

WD-40 to clean.
Then this on.

= goodness

I used this spray on my DR's chain. I used it on squeaky doors in the house. I used it on semi-locked zoom mechanism of my digital camera. They all feel great. I love that stuff! :applause:

  • sandblaster

Posted April 23, 2007 - 04:40 AM

#17

I lube my chain before every ride, clean and lube the chain when I do oil changes (500-600mi:eek: ). The Dupont lube works great.

  • bluetiger

Posted April 23, 2007 - 05:03 AM

#18

I lube my chain before every ride, clean and lube the chain when I do oil changes (500-600mi:eek: ). The Dupont lube works great.


500-600 miles is too long an interval. I believed the owners manual for my first Transalp that recommended a 600-mile interval. Chain wore out in 3000 road miles. For my road bikes, a quick lube at every fill-up seems to work well. I get about 12,000 road miles out of chains on my Tiger, and about 4,000 for my DRZ400S ( almost all off-road). On both the Tiger, and DRZ400S, I usually only have to adjust the chain once during its life. For the '06 DR650 (50/50), I've only put a few hundred on the new chain, so who knows?. The PO destroyed the original chain in less than 1000 miles by not lubing it at all. Anybody can f-up, but it amazes me how little thought some people put into the condition of their bikes, given how catastrophic the consequences of neglect can be. I'm not talking about keeping it shiny, but checking, adjusting, and lubing on an aggressive schedule and paying attention to known trouble spots.

  • DR650Keith

Posted April 23, 2007 - 06:30 AM

#19

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.

  • bluetiger

Posted April 23, 2007 - 08:27 AM

#20

DR650Keith: If my arithmetic still works, that means you have about 36000 on a DR650? That's impressive. Other than chain maintenance, any advice on longevity? (I hope it's not: "don't screw around with the jetting")




 
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