My '08 WR450F has now done just under 4000 kms on the original chain, I can't believe it. I've ridden in everything from heavy dust, to sand, rocky gnarly hills, to thick mud.
The chain is just starting to show signs of wear and I think I'll probably replace it within the next few rides. Mind you, its not that bad, and I bet many would say it won't need replacing for quite a while yet because even now it hardly picks up off the rear sprocket by hand, little bend when laid out flat on the floor, amazing for it's history.
Still, sprocket life is affected by chain wear, so I will replace it fairly soon regardless.
To date all I've ever done was to change the sprockets, not because they were worn just to lower the gearing.
Before I start... there are probably 20 different cleaning/lubing methods and I'm sure people will chime in with several of them here in Replies. This is one that works for me ...... how many methods get 4000km plus from a chain?
All I can put it down to is my over-the-top (pretty anal really) cleaning/lubrication routine:
After every ride.......
1. Spin the wheel by hand and scrub all four sides of the chain thoroughly with wire brush. Along the chain on top/bottom and across the chain on the sides to get right into the gaps. (The inside side is always a challenge!)
2. Spray it liberally (all sides) with WD40 to loosen grime while the bike idles in first gear (on a work stand obviously). Switch bike off.
3. Wet a rag with WD40 and clean the rear sprocket thoroughly in and around each tooth.
4. Wash the bike and chain with "Truck Wash" detergent, high pressure garden hose (never pressure washer) on the chain.
5. Give the chain another hit with WD40 to disperse water. Start bike and idle in first, blowing high pressure air into and around the chain (carefully because I like having fingers!)
6. Let it idle in first for a few minutes more to let the chain warm up and dry a bit more, then spray all sides of the chain with chain lube.
If I'm out on a dry/dusty ride I will sometimes hit the chain with some lube at the half-way point when we stop for lunch or whatever, but not on muddy rides.
Edited by WR450FGreg, January 21, 2012 - 01:15 PM.