chain cleaning - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 36 Old 05-28-2018, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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chain cleaning

My way of taking care of my chain. First of all i hate spray on chain lube, might as well spray on glue Gets on everything.
First i put on a latex throw away glove. Then i slide over it a clean old sock. Soak the sock with heavy diff gear oil. Spin the rear tire as you wipe the chain down. This cleans the chain and helps oil penetrate the o rings and also lubes the chain links. Then use a dry rag and get rid of the excess gear oil. Then with my finger i rub a little sta lube synthetic brake lube on the rollers, just a little. This stuff is tough and will stay on and protect the sprocket and rollers. My chain looks good and is protected. The brake lube for those of you that are not mechanics is put on the back side of disc pads and moving surfaces of brake caliper components.
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post #2 of 36 Old 05-29-2018, 07:54 AM
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How often do you do this?

I'll be honest, I use spray chain lube, but I use the Bell Ray stuff and never had a problem with it flinging off. Its good stuff.

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post #3 of 36 Old 05-29-2018, 12:17 PM
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Scroll Down It has pretty much everything you have ever wanted to know about chain cleaning and maintenance
ROGUE RACING ZX-10R Gearing/Sprockets Page

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post #4 of 36 Old 05-29-2018, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDH View Post
Scroll Down It has pretty much everything you have ever wanted to know about chain cleaning and maintenance
ROGUE RACING ZX-10R Gearing/Sprockets Page
Its funny that in the end he states that he uses WD40 for lubing his chain. When I raced motocross, that's all we used on our dirt bike chains. It wouldn't be something I would think to use for longevity. On a motocross bike that gets washed often, WD40 was fine for frequent applications.
But its got me thinking that why not use it on a street bike chain? The main part of concern with a chain is keeping the lube inside the o-rings and the o-rings themselves protected. WD40 would be fine, but I'm thinking it would need to be applied often.

Edit:
I should also state that I like notabiker's method and it intrigues me and I might try it. But it sounds time consuming. That's why I was asking him how often he has to lube his chain like that. Ultimately, I think the end result of his method and the WD40 solution would be the same.

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post #5 of 36 Old 05-29-2018, 06:44 PM
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So I gave it a shot tonight...
I had the Bell Ray stuff on my chain already, so I gave the chain a good spray with WD40. I then put on a latex glove and put the sock over the glove, gave the sock a spray with WD40 in the palm area and wiped the chain down to remove all the white Bell Ray stuff stuck to the chain. Once the chain was clean, I put a new sock on my hand, poured some 90W gear oil on the sock and worked it into the chain.


The chain looks better now and sounds quieter than it was with the Bell Ray lube. I also feel better knowing the chain guides have some lube on them. That was something I couldn't do a good job when using the Bell Ray spray. It really only took a few mins to do, so no biggy on how long it takes.
The test will come tomorrow when I drive it, to see how bad oil flings off.

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post #6 of 36 Old 05-29-2018, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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WD 40

WD 40 is good stuff for some things, But its limitation is it will not lubricate a motorcycle chain. It originally was invented as a water displacement fluid. WD stands for water displacement. It has no lasting lubricating qualities. I have no problem using it as a first step in cleaning the chain but i do not know if it might wash out the o ring lube in the chain being so thin.

I do my chain about every 400 miles because i am a maintenance whore . You can get[ BRAND] sta lub synthetic brake grease at most auto parts stores. It is a important last step to protect the chain rollers and sprocket. It is very thick and will stay on. It does not take much.
1. wipe down chain with sock and 90w gear oil [ i use 140 ]
2. with clean sock wipe off excess gear oil
3. with finger dipped in sta lube brake grease and lightly rub it along the top of the rollers on the bottem section of the chain. That way it goes on the sprocket instead of just flinging off when you ride it. my chain is very quiet and not much mess.

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post #7 of 36 Old 05-29-2018, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notabiker View Post
WD 40 It has no lasting lubricating qualities.



That is pretty much patently false, but don't let that stop you from an amusing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
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post #8 of 36 Old 05-30-2018, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
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My other hobby is target shooting , i do not shoot living things. we use WD 40 only to wash away residue after cleaning. If you want a misfire or jam use WD 40 as a lubricant. Spraying a gun with WD 40 and putting it in storage will not protect it from rusting.

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post #9 of 36 Old 05-30-2018, 07:27 AM
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So just dip your guns in gear oil then wipe them down with a sock, works like a charm

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post #10 of 36 Old 05-30-2018, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDH View Post
So just dip your guns in gear oil then wipe them down with a sock, works like a charm
I wipe my guns with a oily rag, Some old WW2 rifles i use warm soappy water then mineral sprites to clean corrosive powder. then i spray it down with WD40. After that i oil all metal parts with oil.
I use WD40 but not to prevent friction between metal parts. No way WD 40 will prevent wear between a sprocket and chain roller for very long. It has its place.
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post #11 of 36 Old 05-30-2018, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notabiker View Post
I use WD40 but not to prevent friction between metal parts. No way WD 40 will prevent wear between a sprocket and chain roller for very long. It has its place.

Appreciable wear between the sprocket and chain rollers is prevented by proper chain slack and the alignment along with tolerance of the parts as they make contact. If you think a thin coating of oil on the outside of the rollers is doing anything at all when it is squished against the hinge center of the sprocket you might need to rethink your strategy a bit
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post #12 of 36 Old 05-30-2018, 11:33 AM
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WD40 is all I use to clean and prevent rust providing that your "O" rings are in good shape.



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post #13 of 36 Old 05-30-2018, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ST-DocLizard1 View Post
WD40 is all I use to clean and prevent rust providing that your "O" rings are in good shape.
From everything that I've read and experienced with chains, that is the key...preventing rust and keeping the O-Rings in good shape.

On the dirt bikes we didn't use o-ring chains, just plain roller chains, so we could blast them with the pressure washer to keep them clean and the apply WD40.

But yeah, the lubing of the chain is done with the grease that is packed in and held by the o-rings.
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post #14 of 36 Old 05-30-2018, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gammer View Post
From everything that I've read and experienced with chains, that is the key...preventing rust and keeping the O-Rings in good shape.

On the dirt bikes we didn't use o-ring chains, just plain roller chains, so we could blast them with the pressure washer to keep them clean and the apply WD40.

But yeah, the lubing of the chain is done with the grease that is packed in and held by the o-rings.

Yes, notabikers method would work well on older style chains, but technology has changed things.
This link explains it all pretty well, although I'm using Bellray and applying it after a ride.
https://www.revzilla.com/common-trea...torcycle-chain

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post #15 of 36 Old 05-30-2018, 04:27 PM
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I use two methods to clean my 919 chain. I will mention I live down a 2km gravel driveway so my bike chain regularly gets gravel dust on it.
The quick. I put bike on centre stand on spray diesel on chain, wipe off with rag. The I apply oil to chain. Give it a few turns and wipe of excess, which is usually most. Any excess just gets flung off or collects more dust. The oil I use just depends on my mood. I've used spray chain lube, WD40, motor oil, gearbox oil and even chainsaw bar oil. I found WD40 or light motor oil the best. Both penetrate well and I end up wiping most off the chain exterior anyways.
The slow. Every couple of months. I remove the chain intact. Wash it in diesel, lube it and put it back on. The back end of the bike gets a good clean at the same time. My current chain has been on the bike for about 2yrs now and hasn't stretched at all. I tend to run it loose and am anal about lining that mother up.
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post #16 of 36 Old 05-30-2018, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gammer View Post
But yeah, the lubing of the chain is done with the grease that is packed in and held by the o-rings.
Not quite.
The internal grease only lubes the pins and roller IDs.
That grease does nothing in terms of lubricating the roller ODs and the sprockets, nor the inboard of the sideplates outside of the O or X ringed zones.
Where the grease is not in a position to able to lubricate, chain lube is required.
Motorcycle chain lube is an engineered lubricant, to suit the particulars of the application.
There is nothing else engineered to the same breadth as motor cycle chain lube, as other types of lubes have been configured for other services.
Sure, one can have success with other lubes, but a superior dedicated motorcycle chain lube can't be equaled, let alone beat, for all of the parameters involved.
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post #17 of 36 Old 05-30-2018, 08:01 PM
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I clean my chain with Simple Green, using a rag, then get all up in there with a toothbrush. Once I'm satisfied, I hit that nonsense with some Maxima Synthetic Synthetic Crystal Clear Chain Guard. Never had a problem. Rinse, repeat, every 200 miles (riding in the wet or general grossness) to 350 miles (if I'm lazy).


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post #18 of 36 Old 05-31-2018, 01:00 AM
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I'm concerned about using something that really doesn't "rinse off" or might not mix well with the actual lube. I just use a rag and brush, then apply fresh gear oil.

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post #19 of 36 Old 06-01-2018, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gammer View Post
Its funny that in the end he states that he uses WD40 for lubing his chain. When I raced motocross, that's all we used on our dirt bike chains. It wouldn't be something I would think to use for longevity. On a motocross bike that gets washed often, WD40 was fine for frequent applications.
But its got me thinking that why not use it on a street bike chain? The main part of concern with a chain is keeping the lube inside the o-rings and the o-rings themselves protected. WD40 would be fine, but I'm thinking it would need to be applied often.

Edit:
I should also state that I like notabiker's method and it intrigues me and I might try it. But it sounds time consuming. That's why I was asking him how often he has to lube his chain like that. Ultimately, I think the end result of his method and the WD40 solution would be the same.
There was a guy on here that put on tons of miles that rigged up a can of wd-40 in a saddlebag type thing and had it routed to the chain and could activate it while riding... Would just give it a quick spray while riding every couple hours or so and he was good to go for the long haul.

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post #20 of 36 Old 06-01-2018, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badmoon692008 View Post
There was a guy on here that put on tons of miles that rigged up a can of wd-40 in a saddlebag type thing and had it routed to the chain and could activate it while riding... Would just give it a quick spray while riding every couple hours or so and he was good to go for the long haul.



Shhhh! Nobody wants facts on here they just want validation that their own way is the best way.
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post #21 of 36 Old 06-01-2018, 10:29 AM
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Nothing wrong with killing stuff. I shot about 400 prarie dogs one day. That's a good day, right there!

I can come out of the "I use WD-40 on my Chains" closet. I never said much because I figured I'd get flamed into oblivion.

WD-40 was designed to leave a gummy film behind. It's a decent degreaser. It's cheap, and it's everywhere. It will gum up a S+W model 41, if you leave it sit idly by, for a few months. I know, when doesn't shoot their model 41 for months?

LDH, I appreciate you taking the time to write down your experiences. I appreciate the link, and the blunt style. I don't always agree with all your opinions. The KTM 390 is NOT. A turd! Lol.

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post #22 of 36 Old 10-13-2018, 04:00 AM
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Chain maintenance came late in my biking journey! Yet I have come to regularly, say every 3 months, scrub the chain with kerosene and a grunge brush, which gets inside the chain and all sides, then spray on some degreaser, hose the thing down with water (mind the electronics!), ride for five minutes to get the water flung off. Let it dry out...not for too long. Then apply evenly on the top and bottom side Motul road chain lube. Its ready to go not long after, and I have tried plenty of lubes, and this stuff...never fails to stick, fling nothing off and last a fair while with the chain kept smart.

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post #23 of 36 Old 10-13-2018, 02:43 PM
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I pretty much just use WD40 only now. For cleaning and lubing. Once I was
a die hard chain lube fan. Where I ride I have found chain lubes are messy. They fling off and make a mess and they cause road grime to stick to everything including the chain. For me WD40 is so much cleaner, but it does need to be applied often. It acts as it's own cleaner and is much easier to clean the chain now. The grime practically washes off with a garden hose. The tough grime comes off with a little WD40. I'm thinking of buying a 4l container of the stuff just so I can put it into a squirt bottle and avoid the whole spray pack solvent issue.
Occasionally I remove the chain intact for a super clean with diesel.

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post #24 of 36 Old 10-13-2018, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandboy View Post
I pretty much just use WD40 only now. For cleaning and lubing...
Occasionally I remove the chain intact for a super clean with diesel.
I love these discussions concerning WD40. Everyone seems stubbornly opinionated with some folks clinging to the idea that WD40 has some lubricating properties. Well, in this case 'notabike' was right and, in one of the few cases, 'LDH' was wrong.
WD40 is a solvent. It's mostly like kerosene but with some added nasty chemicals. It is great for cleaning but you'd be better off using kerosene since kerosene doesn't add the nasty stuff. Spit has more lubricating performance than WD40.
If you've convinced yourself you have to use WD40 to clean then make sure you follow it up with a lubricant.

Just my 2 cents.

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post #25 of 36 Old 10-14-2018, 04:12 AM
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My situation is probably not typical. I've got several kms of gravel driveway, first pic, and very dusty sandy quartz tracks. Every chain lube including gear oil I've tried has caused the chain to gather large amounts of fine grit. WD40 doesn't. I've used chain lubes my entire life and only recently moved to WD40. My chains have never been so clean and grit free. So far I like it. I haven't had to adjust my chains once since using it and they never run hot. But it's only been a few months. I will admit its only good for short runs which suits me since I rarely ride for more than an hour or so. I'm willing to keep an open mind on this subject and will continue to trial WD40 on my chains.
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post #26 of 36 Old 10-14-2018, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandboy View Post
My situation is probably not typical. I've got several kms of gravel driveway, first pic, and very dusty sandy quartz tracks. Every chain lube including gear oil I've tried has caused the chain to gather large amounts of fine grit. WD40 doesn't. I've used chain lubes my entire life and only recently moved to WD40. My chains have never been so clean and grit free. So far I like it. I haven't had to adjust my chains once since using it and they never run hot. But it's only been a few months. I will admit its only good for short runs which suits me since I rarely ride for more than an hour or so. I'm willing to keep an open mind on this subject and will continue to trial WD40 on my chains.
Quartz and quartz like sands are nothing short of vicious on exposed chains. ANYTHING that reduces the amount of pickup can be one thing, and one thing only. Good!

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post #27 of 36 Old 10-14-2018, 09:43 AM
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I thought they did a full study on this subject a few years ago and compared WD40 to other things and WD40 did not fair bad IIRC.

Am I wrong? Does anyone remember that study?

I thought they actually took out O rings and soaked them and other things.

One the dirt collection, wouldn't wax be the best choice? WD40 makes a wax lube for chains.

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post #28 of 36 Old 10-14-2018, 11:24 AM
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This thread got me thinking and I looked at the WD40 website and found they have a line of motorcycle specific products called WD40 Specialist Motorcycle.

WD-40® Specialist® Motorcycle

Four wheels move the body ... two wheels move the soul.
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post #29 of 36 Old 10-14-2018, 01:00 PM
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I've considered getting some of those WD40 chain products.
Karl, this one's for you.
The Phenix Oiler https://www.wristtwisters.com/forums...ad.php?t=52514
The quartz sand that covers this place I live and ride on is brutal on running gear. It combines with chain lubes and forms a nasty black grinding paste. You can hear it crunch as you spin the rear wheel by hand. An awful sound. WD40 just doesn't pick up anywhere near the same amount of grit as a heavy oil or sticky lube does.
I just hope I've chosen the lesser of two evils. A clean, under lubricated chain vs a grit covered lubricated chain. At this point I'm assuming a chain covered in a gritty paste is worse than a clean chain barely lubricated.

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post #30 of 36 Old 10-14-2018, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
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A clean, under lubricated chain vs a grit covered lubricated chain. At this point I'm assuming a chain covered in a gritty paste is worse than a clean chain barely lubricated.
Aye tae tha'!

Better yet, beyond the O rings, as in into the pin/roller zone, your sealed chain is still lubed and lubed well.
The only zone affected by your primary concern is the roller ODs and sprocket teeth.

As for the quartz sand/liquid lube combo, I'd rate that grinding paste to being akin to old school valve lapping compound - grade coarse at that.
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post #31 of 36 Old 10-14-2018, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
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I've considered getting some of those WD40 chain products.
Karl, this one's for you.
The Phenix Oiler https://www.wristtwisters.com/forums...ad.php?t=52514
The quartz sand that covers this place I live and ride on is brutal on running gear. It combines with chain lubes and forms a nasty black grinding paste. You can hear it crunch as you spin the rear wheel by hand. An awful sound. WD40 just doesn't pick up anywhere near the same amount of grit as a heavy oil or sticky lube does.
I just hope I've chosen the lesser of two evils. A clean, under lubricated chain vs a grit covered lubricated chain. At this point I'm assuming a chain covered in a gritty paste is worse than a clean chain barely lubricated.
I wonder if you can take that plastic chain guard and extend it around the rear sprocket lower run of the chain to reduce the problem.

It's mainly because of catching the grit in the air. Something like a 2" ABS pipe with a cut and some mounts could really change things.

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post #32 of 36 Old 10-14-2018, 07:03 PM
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This sand gets everywhere. As far as chain cleaning and lubing goes I'm stuck between a hard place and a rock. Think I'll just stick to cleaning and lubing with WD40. At least until the novelty wears off.
I hardly take my beloved 900 Hornet down any sandy roads but every ride involves several kms of gravel road. Which is basically the same quartz sand just less decomposed. All comes from the granite bedrock around here.
I suppose if my 900 Hornet was a strictly street bike and I didn't ride on crappy dusty roads I'd still be on the chain lubes/gear oil for it. The DRz400e on the other hand gets a regular flogging down very sandy tracks. There is sand flying everywhere.
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post #33 of 36 Old 10-15-2018, 02:46 AM
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This sand gets everywhere. As far as chain cleaning and lubing goes I'm stuck between a hard place and a rock. Think I'll just stick to cleaning and lubing with WD40. At least until the novelty wears off.
I hardly take my beloved 900 Hornet down any sandy roads but every ride involves several kms of gravel road. Which is basically the same quartz sand just less decomposed. All comes from the granite bedrock around here.
I suppose if my 900 Hornet was a strictly street bike and I didn't ride on crappy dusty roads I'd still be on the chain lubes/gear oil for it. The DRz400e on the other hand gets a regular flogging down very sandy tracks. There is sand flying everywhere.
I get the problem, but what I'm saying is that if you do something like what they do with dirt bikes on the forks or off-road trucks with the shocks. They make a boot that flexes and covers the exposed shaft of the shock so that dust and dirt doesn't destroy the seals.

You can do the something like that with your chain. Take an ABS pipe, cut it, heat it, bend it and add brackets and you can make a cover that attaches right where the regular chain cover attaches.

Look at the front sprocket, it has a cover, make something like that for more of the chain and you can keep out a lot of that sand and dirt. The rear suspension moves with the chain, so it wouldn't be very hard to make a cover for it, just allow for the chain to move around.


https://www.vstrom.info/Smf/index.php?topic=6123.0

https://www.google.com/search?q=moto...wKwI9_aliDb2M:


Looks like Honda did this from the factory:
https://mechanics.stackexchange.com/...e-chain-covers
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post #34 of 36 Old 10-15-2018, 04:43 AM
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I'm not too sure about covering the chain up. I'd imagine it would hinder chain maintenance, act as a mud and junk collection device and have some PITA factor. I guess it would be possible (anything is possible), but it would have to be dust/water tight and chain still be easily accessed. Wonder if you could 3d print something?
Plenty of my friends have completly removed all factory chain guards from their dirt bikes. Mostly so there isn't somewhere for mud and grime to build up and for ease of cleaning.
Reckon I'll just suck it up. Good news is I'm taking the morning off work to ride through a mountain trail. I should have it all to myself.
And I'll give the chain a squirt of WD40 before I go... 😉

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post #35 of 36 Old 10-16-2018, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandboy View Post
I'm assuming a chain covered in a gritty paste is worse than a clean chain barely lubricated.
I'm with you on that one.

Lots of my past off-roading was done on sandy soil in pine forests close to our coasts...anything was better than the paste....
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post #36 of 36 Old 10-16-2018, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlJay View Post
I thought they did a full study on this subject a few years ago and compared WD40 to other things and WD40 did not fair bad IIRC.

Am I wrong? Does anyone remember that study?

I thought they actually took out O rings and soaked them and other things.

One the dirt collection, wouldn't wax be the best choice? WD40 makes a wax lube for chains.
You are correct on the WD40 being safe for "O" Rings. The rings were soaked in different cleaners and de-greasers for various lengths of time and WD40 did not degrade the rubber or cause any distortion over time.

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