How do YOU clean your chain. - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 54 Old 08-28-2010, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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How do YOU clean your chain.

I know how the manual says to do it but I want to know how you guys do it and how often.

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post #2 of 54 Old 08-28-2010, 12:28 PM
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wait... you're supposed to clean those??? J/K... I usually just pop the bike on the swingarm stand, put it in gear, and hit it with a soapy chain brush. Then give it a good lubing...

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post #3 of 54 Old 08-28-2010, 12:49 PM
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..put it in gear...
Yeah, I did that exact thing a couple times. Them I came across this forum posting. So, um no thanks, I'll just rotate the rear wheel by-hand from now on. :)

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post #4 of 54 Old 08-28-2010, 01:07 PM
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After a 2600 mile trip through desert, monsoon rains, road construction and even some dirt roads (stupid road maintenance in Zion Ntl Park ) with no center stand and not a lot of spare time for maintenance on the chain...

I took the power washer to the lower part of my bike. Popped off the chain guard and front sprocket and blew EVERYTHING off of that chain and both sprockets.

Then took a few rags and some grease cutting cleaner and went over the whole bike, drying it off and cleaning any sling I missed with the power washer and the rims. After that I took WD-40 and a chain brush: Scrub Scrub Rotate (no...not puff puff pass). Wiped the chain down with a rag and lubed with Repsol Chain Lube then put the guards back on (cleaned the guards while off the bike).

Can't believe how much smoother it spins now than even before the trip

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post #5 of 54 Old 08-28-2010, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jscott View Post
Yeah, I did that exact thing a couple times. Them I came across this forum posting. So, um no thanks, I'll just rotate the rear wheel by-hand from now on.
that guy said he was using a rag, I don't put my hand anywhere near a moving chain. That's why I use a brush designed to clean motorcycle chains. So, if the chain grabs the brush, it just pulls it out of my hand...

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post #6 of 54 Old 08-28-2010, 01:34 PM
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I just wipe mine down every couple thousand miles with a rag.

I lube mine with 90W Gear oil about every time I get gas by opening a little valve for about 5 mins. Oil is applied from a reservoir through a brush. Been using it for about 10K miles and have only needed to adjust my chain once.


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post #7 of 54 Old 08-28-2010, 02:09 PM
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WD-40 and a rag, with the rear wheel off the ground so I can spin the tire by hand.

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post #8 of 54 Old 08-28-2010, 03:11 PM
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I love bike maintenance since it's usually an excuse to ride. My clean the chain day goes something like this:

Ride bike for 300 or so miles. *best to clean a chain when it's hot honey*
Come home and put bike on rear stand.
WD-40 and a rag while spinning the rear wheel by hand.
Drink a beer.
Spin rear wheel by hand with a clean rag to get off anything that is left behind.
Spin rear wheel by hand while applying preferred chain lube.
Drink another beer while lube is drying.
Done.

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post #9 of 54 Old 08-28-2010, 05:15 PM
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Every now and then I pop the rear end up on a stand and get out an old toothbrush and a tin of kero and brush away all the crap change out the kero every now and then so it is clean - rub with a rag several times until dry and thoroughly oil. I use a spray can of bike specific chain oil.

And kero is fine on the rubber seals if anyone is asking.

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post #10 of 54 Old 08-28-2010, 05:41 PM
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I heard somewhere that using WD-40 on your chain is a bad idea because it displaces the grease/oil in your chain... or something like that.



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post #11 of 54 Old 08-28-2010, 06:10 PM
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Every 500 miles or so, I put it on my center stand (phobman stand) and clean with WD-40 and a rag. I'll wipe it dry, the spray on PJ-1 Blue Label chain lube.

About once a year I'll use kerosene and a toothbrush.

I've been thinking about getting a Grunge Brush. Anyone have experience with it or a similar product?

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post #12 of 54 Old 08-28-2010, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HondaJim View Post
I love bike maintenance since it's usually an excuse to ride. My clean the chain day goes something like this:

Ride bike for 300 or so miles. *best to clean a chain when it's hot honey*
Come home and put bike on rear stand.
WD-40 and a rag while spinning the rear wheel by hand.
Drink a beer.
Spin rear wheel by hand with a clean rag to get off anything that is left behind.
Spin rear wheel by hand while applying preferred chain lube.
Drink another beer while lube is drying.
Done.
+1, however, you left out the most important step; when you've finished the second beer you MUST chase the wife around the house with dirty hands...

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post #13 of 54 Old 08-28-2010, 06:40 PM
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I have an abundant supply of cardboard Pampers boxes. I'll soon have two kids under 14 months old. The supply is just starting.

Using these boxes, I break them down and fold them so they stand up between the tire and the chain. Keeps things cleaner.

How do YOU keep the lube or WD-40 from spraying all over while you are spinning the tire by hand?

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post #14 of 54 Old 08-28-2010, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmurphy84 View Post
I have an abundant supply of cardboard Pampers boxes. I'll soon have two kids under 14 months old. The supply is just starting.

Using these boxes, I break them down and fold them so they stand up between the tire and the chain. Keeps things cleaner.

How do YOU keep the lube or WD-40 from spraying all over while you are spinning the tire by hand?
Why didn't I think of that... That's a great idea, I'll be cutting boxes tomorrow.

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post #15 of 54 Old 08-28-2010, 08:43 PM
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maryland mike were'd you get that chain oiler?

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post #16 of 54 Old 08-28-2010, 08:50 PM
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+1 on the card - I have a A4 sized bit that I fold into a L shape - it allows you to slot it behind the chain and spray oil directly onto the chain - any over-spray hits the card not the tyre, ground etc.

After a few beers in the shed on a Friday night I swear that I can see tiny naked dancing girls made of over-sprayed oil on the cardboard. I cannot quite make out what they are saying to me but it sounds like 'more lubrication' ..........

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post #17 of 54 Old 08-28-2010, 09:15 PM
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Wd-40 and a chain brush at least once a week then heavy gear oil. I do it so regulary becuase I live over a mile down gravel and it gets very dirty very quickly And the bike is my daily commuter. I have a phobman stand. and put it in first and use a brush. CB919er is right it just pull the brush out of your hand if you make a mistake the brush is a good 18 inches long. Only my quad has ever opulled it out of my hand The single cylder big cam motor hick ups alot more and makes the whole quad bounce and likes to steal the brush.

Every so often about once a month of so it gets kero and some chain wax. The quads get a new chain every year since I have to much invested in there motors to let a chain break and take out a case. plus quad chains make kick ass braclets my wife sells to pay for the new chains.instead of those little bycycle chains from ahrley dealers.

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post #18 of 54 Old 08-29-2010, 04:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schrock86 View Post
maryland mike were'd you get that chain oiler?
I made it myself. Here's a thread from when I did it.

https://www.wristtwisters.com/f322/ch...azy-21939.html

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post #19 of 54 Old 08-29-2010, 04:23 AM
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I have a cheap parts washer that I keep kerosene in just for my chains. I ride a dirt bike in eastern woods and often in mud. I consider it bad to hit an o-ring chain with a pressure washer. It may drive water past the o-rings. I remove the chain and put it in the kerosene while I wash the bike. I then work it over with a parts brush and blow it off with compressed air. I clean the sprockets while I am washing the bike. I put it back on and apply spray synthetic chain lube with the bike running in first gear. I replace my master link about every third or fourth cleaning.

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post #20 of 54 Old 08-30-2010, 11:05 AM
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I used to be an obsessive chain cleaner but I stopped about 4 years ago (on my dirtbike, my 919, and my girlfriend's 1988 CB450) and I don't think it makes a difference. Almost anything you can do that will get rid of crud on your chain will also damage the O-rings: pressure washing drives water behind the o-rings; WD-40 displaces the grease, giving a really smooth chain motion for about an hour and then you have bare metal running against bare metal because there's no grease; a wire brush can damage the o-rings and force crud behind the o-rings. I worked in a bike shop for a couple of years and we followed this chain care routine on big dualsports (KTM Adventure 950s and 990s) and never had a problem.
Honestly, if you are running an o-ring (or x-ring) chain, what can you gain by cleaning it? I wipe mine down with a rag if there is actual mud on it, but otherwise, I just lube it (weekly) and check the tension and leave it. I can see how regular cleaning of a non-o-ring chain might be useful, but there are about 440 separate o-rings on an o-ring chain: do you really think you can get all the old lube out from each 0-ring, then get rid of the solvent (water or WD-40) you used to clean it, then cram lube behind each o-ring?
Incidentally, those of you who are still using motor oil are living in the past. There are some really nice, sticky clear or white chain lubes that are much less messy and much more likely to stay on your chain than 90W motor oil.

The 'easy rolling' feeling you feel after cleaning a chain with WD-40 is not a good thing; it's the equivalent of cleaning all the grease out of a grease fitting. The grease fitting will feel really loose and easy to move in your hands, but it won't last a week under load.
The chain on the 919 is vastly over-engineered; it could handle twice the horsepower and I don't think I will ever need to replace the chain on my bike, unless I stop lubing it for a couple of years. Chain tension is very important, too.

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post #21 of 54 Old 08-30-2010, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crakerjac View Post
I heard somewhere that using WD-40 on your chain is a bad idea because it displaces the grease/oil in your chain... or something like that.

Using WD-40 to clean your chain isn't all that hard on it, using it to lube your chain is horrible. That's why after you clean with the WD-40, hit it with some good chain lube, and you'll be fine...

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post #22 of 54 Old 08-30-2010, 01:30 PM
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I haven't cleaned the 9'er chain yet but my dirtbike chain gets soaked in a trey of Jet-A (basically Kerosene) and then wiped off and re-lubed.

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post #23 of 54 Old 08-30-2010, 01:43 PM
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Kerosene. Soft brush. Blow off excess with compressor. Let stand overnight or so if I can. Spray both sides on o-rings and rollers at the chain plate. Let sit. Wipe away excess.

Above is the treatment I do with the rear wheel pulled. It's a part of my routine maintenance.

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post #24 of 54 Old 08-30-2010, 03:15 PM
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Soft tooth brush and laquor thinner somewhere between every 1000 and 2500 miles. Then chain lube.

Unless its winter time, then I use gear oil. Its cheaper for daily lubings on salty days.

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post #25 of 54 Old 08-30-2010, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prtsimmons View Post
I don't think I will ever need to replace the chain on my bike, unless I stop lubing it for a couple of years.
Good luck to you. Hope you don't ride much.

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post #26 of 54 Old 08-30-2010, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
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I used to be an obsessive chain cleaner but I stopped about 4 years ago (on my dirtbike, my 919, and my girlfriend's 1988 CB450) and I don't think it makes a difference. Almost anything you can do that will get rid of crud on your chain will also damage the O-rings: pressure washing drives water behind the o-rings; WD-40 displaces the grease, giving a really smooth chain motion for about an hour and then you have bare metal running against bare metal because there's no grease; a wire brush can damage the o-rings and force crud behind the o-rings. I worked in a bike shop for a couple of years and we followed this chain care routine on big dualsports (KTM Adventure 950s and 990s) and never had a problem.
Honestly, if you are running an o-ring (or x-ring) chain, what can you gain by cleaning it? I wipe mine down with a rag if there is actual mud on it, but otherwise, I just lube it (weekly) and check the tension and leave it. I can see how regular cleaning of a non-o-ring chain might be useful, but there are about 440 separate o-rings on an o-ring chain: do you really think you can get all the old lube out from each 0-ring, then get rid of the solvent (water or WD-40) you used to clean it, then cram lube behind each o-ring?
Incidentally, those of you who are still using motor oil are living in the past. There are some really nice, sticky clear or white chain lubes that are much less messy and much more likely to stay on your chain than 90W motor oil.

The 'easy rolling' feeling you feel after cleaning a chain with WD-40 is not a good thing; it's the equivalent of cleaning all the grease out of a grease fitting. The grease fitting will feel really loose and easy to move in your hands, but it won't last a week under load.
The chain on the 919 is vastly over-engineered; it could handle twice the horsepower and I don't think I will ever need to replace the chain on my bike, unless I stop lubing it for a couple of years. Chain tension is very important, too.
Wow, best post ever!

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post #27 of 54 Old 08-30-2010, 05:53 PM
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There are about as many threads out there for using WD-40 on a motorcycle chain as there are about best oil, filter, etc. The link below is one that I remember from my days with the FZ1 - pay attention to Desmo's posts - he is a smart cookie. I know many people, including me, who have used WD-40 alone for tens of thousands of bike miles without a single issue. Today's chains are damn good and so is WD-40.

WD-40 reply - FZ1OA Message Board

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post #28 of 54 Old 08-30-2010, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Not sure I would use ONLY WD-40 for my chain but to each his own.

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post #29 of 54 Old 08-30-2010, 07:34 PM
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Exactly, to each his own. There are many schools of thought, and like I said, many examples of high mileage chains out there that have never seen a $12 can of dealer chain lube or kerosene and 90W.

Here's another WD-40 "science" thread for anyone who cares:

Chain Cleaning, Waxing and WD-40 - Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum

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post #30 of 54 Old 08-30-2010, 07:43 PM
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It's a great cleaner and rubber treatment but not a good lubricant

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post #31 of 54 Old 08-30-2010, 08:05 PM
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Yeah you're right, WD-40 is a horrible lubricant. *Thinks* Hmm, maybe if fewer people buy it the price will go down for me.

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post #32 of 54 Old 08-30-2010, 10:19 PM
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Wow, best post ever!

I thought that was one of the best posts in this thread...

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post #33 of 54 Old 08-31-2010, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
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I usually just pop the bike on the swingarm stand, put it in gear, and hit it with a soapy chain brush. Then give it a good lubing...
freaky.

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post #34 of 54 Old 08-31-2010, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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So hardly anyone really uses the Kerosine method describe by your OM......interesting. Well I am going to try the "WD-40 Cleaner" method but I will still use a purpose Chain Lube once it is clean. Now it's time to go ride so I have a nice warm chain to clean!

New question do you think the Kerosine Method was meant for PRE O-Ring/X-Ring chains and manufactures have just kept the same process in the OM because why mess with what works?

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post #35 of 54 Old 08-31-2010, 12:25 PM
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I get mine warm, get a old towel wipe all the grime off real good then lube whenever it looks dirty 5-700 miles

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post #36 of 54 Old 08-31-2010, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07919Dave View Post
So hardly anyone really uses the Kerosine method describe by your OM......interesting. Well I am going to try the "WD-40 Cleaner" method but I will still use a purpose Chain Lube once it is clean. Now it's time to go ride so I have a nice warm chain to clean!

New question do you think the Kerosine Method was meant for PRE O-Ring/X-Ring chains and manufactures have just kept the same process in the OM because why mess with what works?
The kerosene is meant for O-Ring chains (the kerosene doesn't mess with the seals).

Using the power washer was a one time - OH MY GAWD MY BIKE IS FILTHY after a long trip cleaning. Normally I use WD-40 and a brush/rag to clean it while rotating it by hand, then lube with Repsol.

I don't use the kerosene method because, as far as I know, no one makes a spray bottle of kerosene that is handy to use like WD-40 and dealing with storing it and disposal would be kind of a pain with the limited amount of free garage space I currently have.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that the Phobman stand is the shit for all this stuff. Use to use a Pitbull stand, but ever since I got my Phobman, I never use the pitbull on the 919. Easy to put on/off, and I can get the 9'er on the stand with one foot on the stand extension and one hand on the grab rail - push/pull and POP it's up on a rock solid stand that is going nowhere!

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post #37 of 54 Old 08-31-2010, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xraso View Post
I don't use the kerosene method because, as far as I know, no one makes a spray bottle of kerosene that is handy to use like WD-40 and dealing with storing it and disposal would be kind of a pain with the limited amount of free garage space I currently have.
You can pick up a spray bottle from any lawn/garden and many kitchen sections of the big box stores. Also grab a 1 gallon gas can and you are set for a LONG time.

I purchases 3/4 gallon of kerosene (stupid vent-less cans...fill 'em up all the way and you are asking for trouble) 2 years ago when I first got my bike. I still probably have a half gallon left.

Disposal? Just use it to kill the weeds in your driveway or along a fence row.

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post #38 of 54 Old 08-31-2010, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmurphy84 View Post
You can pick up a spray bottle from any lawn/garden and many kitchen sections of the big box stores. Also grab a 1 gallon gas can and you are set for a LONG time.

I purchases 3/4 gallon of kerosene (stupid vent-less cans...fill 'em up all the way and you are asking for trouble) 2 years ago when I first got my bike. I still probably have a half gallon left.

Disposal? Just use it to kill the weeds in your driveway or along a fence row.
Hmmm - I did not know that...very interesting! I will be looking into this in the near future now. Or at least I did not think of it that way. I always pictured a turkey pan full of kerosene. This is a much better way of thinking about using kerosene.

My comment about noone making a spray of it was kind of tounge-in-cheek and I had not thought about putting kerosene into a spray bottle!

Thanks!!

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post #39 of 54 Old 08-31-2010, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xraso View Post
The kerosene is meant for O-Ring chains (the kerosene doesn't mess with the seals).
Okay, riddle me this; My 81 GPZ did not come standard with an O-Ring chain, however, you can buy them for them and I did, and yet it called for the Kerosene method as did my 67 Norton.

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post #40 of 54 Old 08-31-2010, 04:56 PM
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One of the best cleanout methods (according to old school folk) for old engines was to replace the oil with kerosene and run it for a short hop. The longer term preferred method was kerosine and oil mix. If it's good for an engine then it's good for a chain huh?

"Towards the end of the vid, it looks like she may have had a bafflectomy." - MarylandMike
HondaJim is offline  
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