Chain time again - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-11-2016, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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Chain time again

I got 14k out of my first chain using Maxxim chain wax. I did not like the wax build up around the front sprocket and I read a lot about the WD40 controversity, so when I replaced my chain and sprockets I went to a 16t and an x-chain and used only WD40 to clean and lube. Now I don't want to start a war over this, just share my experiences.
Most of my rides are 250 to 350 miles because of where I live ( it's 45 miles to get off the beach, so 90 miles of each ride is a drag, I have a groove worn in the pavement ). So My chain is cleaned and lubed every ride, I tend to run my chain slightly loose, closer to 1 3/4" play and I am not inclined to hard acceleration or hard shifts. Today I noticed a link beginning to kink at 13k. I think next chain I will try Belray chain lube. I think my next bike will be shaft drive. I like my Versys but I am not becoming fond of chains. Just my two cents.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-11-2016, 10:43 AM
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I put a 16T front sprocket on and used Dupont Chain Saver Lube and the original chain was on the bike when i sold it at 22,000 miles. Only had to do a few adjustments on the chain.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-11-2016, 05:10 PM
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This is my first bike with a chain. My first was shaft, my second was belt. Pros and cons, all of them.

Shaft is toughest, no work, its a shaft. But change that oil every time you get a new tire, right?

Belt is only very very rare adjustments. 30-60k mile life. But they cost a small fortune to replace!

Chain, well you gotta clean and lube. This is my first, so you guys say 15k-22k? I'm not used to cleaning and lubing, I don't like it. I don't know what a new chain cost. But my regular rides are 200-500 miles. I don't like cleaning/lubing every ride, or nearly.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-11-2016, 05:49 PM
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This is my first bike with a chain. My first was shaft, my second was belt. Pros and cons, all of them.

Shaft is toughest, no work, its a shaft. But change that oil every time you get a new tire, right?

Belt is only very very rare adjustments. 30-60k mile life. But they cost a small fortune to replace!

Chain, well you gotta clean and lube. This is my first, so you guys say 15k-22k? I'm not used to cleaning and lubing, I don't like it. I don't know what a new chain cost. But my regular rides are 200-500 miles. I don't like cleaning/lubing every ride, or nearly.
I'm in the same boat. I'm pretty lazy about it. I do try and hit 500 mile intervals, which is often just a couple of rides. I never adjusted my last one. It actually still looked really good at 21k miles. I could see a couple links that were beginning to kink, so I went ahead and replaced it. Much purdier one on there now. It's gold. I thought I might get a necklace, grille, and Trump toilet to go with it.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-11-2016, 06:32 PM
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I got 14k out of my first chain using Maxxim chain wax. I did not like the wax build up around the front sprocket and I read a lot about the WD40 controversity, so when I replaced my chain and sprockets I went to a 16t and an x-chain and used only WD40 to clean and lube. Now I don't want to start a war over this, just share my experiences.
Most of my rides are 250 to 350 miles because of where I live ( it's 45 miles to get off the beach, so 90 miles of each ride is a drag, I have a groove worn in the pavement ). So My chain is cleaned and lubed every ride, I tend to run my chain slightly loose, closer to 1 3/4" play and I am not inclined to hard acceleration or hard shifts. Today I noticed a link beginning to kink at 13k. I think next chain I will try Belray chain lube. I think my next bike will be shaft drive. I like my Versys but I am not becoming fond of chains. Just my two cents.
WD 40 is not a lubricant. It is a Water Displacement product. Very good at what it does, but never intended as a lube.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-11-2016, 06:39 PM
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WD 40 is not a lubricant. It is a Water Displacement product. Very good at what it does, but never intended as a lube.


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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-11-2016, 06:51 PM
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WD 40 is not a lubricant. It is a Water Displacement product. Very good at what it does, but never intended as a lube.
Tell that to the MILLIONS of people who use it as a lubricant every day! SURE it was originally designed as a Water Displacement product but honestly, who actually uses it as one exclusively?
Oh yeah, here we go............
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-11-2016, 07:00 PM
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WD 40 is not a lubricant. It is a Water Displacement product. Very good at what it does, but never intended as a lube.
Chains don't really need to be lubricated. The vital moving parts are sealed in grease. What they need is to be kept clean and dry so they don't oxidize. A specialized water displacer is actually just what the doctor ordered.
Thing is, all oils displace water. It's why they no mixy mixy. The biggest issue I have with WD40 in such an application is that it flings off immediately. I spray mine with the engine spinning it and I see how fast it gets displaced...all over everything EXCEPT the chain.
Be that as it may, if one is disciplined about applying it on the daily, I'm sure it's as good as anything else.
As I'm not terribly disciplined about such things, I prefer Lucas spray lube. When I spray that on, it doesn't fling off. And it also doesn't seem to have the magnetic attraction to grime that chain waxes do.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serx View Post
WD 40 is not a lubricant. It is a Water Displacement product. Very good at what it does, but never intended as a lube.
Quote:
Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
Oh Jesus....Wait till fasteddie see this.
Got 56K MILES from the original chain on my '08, ONLY lubed w/ WD40.

It's YOUR $, and YOUR chain. Do whatever "floats your boat"!
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 03:11 PM
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Got 56K MILES from the original chain on my '08, ONLY lubed w/ WD40.

It's YOUR $, and YOUR chain. Do whatever "floats your boat"!
Mebe I'll try WD40 on my bikes instead of the wax spray stuff

Like I said, I'm new to chains, but from what I've read, any product you're using on these sealed chains, just keeps the surface from rusting up.

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 04:56 PM
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I have used both, "glube" type spray lubricant (PJ1) and Silicon-based clear lube (Chain Guard). Both work pretty well keeping the chain noise down, but glube is a PIA to remove without kerosene & brush (sometimes I like to use just a rag), while silicon clear lube cleans well but makes a bigger mess faster and needs more frequent applications. I like to keep by motorcycle immaculately clean and lubed every time.

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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 07:50 AM
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WD40 is a penetrating oil....

If you don't think it has lube properties, and think it just "flings off"...... spray your brake rotors up good with them and go for a brisk ride.

(and you might change your mind).
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 05:14 PM
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W D stands for?

WD 40 does have lubricating qualities, but not as its primary chemical function. Use it if it works for you, but I might suggest a product that is primarily a lubricant. I have had good luck with silicone lubricants. A lot depends on how much wet riding you do (wet weather, just to be clear). All together now...WHAT DOES WD STAND FOR? Lol
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 06:23 PM
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If you go to the site for "2000 uses for WD40" you'll see several about lubing chains....
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 06:58 PM
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WD40 is a penetrating oil....

If you don't think it has lube properties, and think it just "flings off"...... spray your brake rotors up good with them and go for a brisk ride.

(and you might change your mind).
Gasoline evaporates quickly too, that doesn't mean I'm going to pour it on my cheeseburger bun.
Yes, some may stay on for a short time, but MOST flings off PDQ. If I remember, next time I lube my chain, I'll clean it with WD and show you it fling off, then I'll show you the purpose made stuff...not fling off.
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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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This is an old thread but I think an update might be needed. At 13k I noticed a small kink and changed from wd 40 to Dupont chain saver. I am now at 18k on the same chain and I still feel the small kink, no worse, no better. Chain looks like it will go several thousand more with only one adjustment
I don't think the lubricant makes a lot of difference and now I'm questioning whether I would know a kink until it is very pronounced.
Fasteddie....I believe ya but I still yearn for a shaft drive again.
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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 10:08 AM
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My last five bikes had shafts............not much maintenance required. All the previous bikes (6-8 of them) were chains. I never did much maintenance on them either. Clean once or twice a year on the street bikes and hit with regular 30 weight motor oil like any piece of farm equipment with a chain. The dirt bikes were a different matter..........cleaned and re-lubed every time I got in the mud. These bikes were all old enough that sealed chains weren't even available.

I have a bit over 2K on the Versys and have cleaned (with a petroleum base cleaner) and oiled lightly with "tractor fluid". For long trips I intend to take a spray bottle of cleaner (probably WD40) and a squirt bottle of tractor fluid and do the cleaning/lubing about every 1000 miles unless I get in some mud. I expect the chain to last several years (~ 15K miles).
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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by BEACHBUM View Post
I got 14k out of my first chain using Maxxim chain wax. I did not like the wax build up around the front sprocket and I read a lot about the WD40 controversity, so when I replaced my chain and sprockets I went to a 16t and an x-chain and used only WD40 to clean and lube. Now I don't want to start a war over this, just share my experiences.
Most of my rides are 250 to 350 miles because of where I live ( it's 45 miles to get off the beach, so 90 miles of each ride is a drag, I have a groove worn in the pavement ). So My chain is cleaned and lubed every ride, I tend to run my chain slightly loose, closer to 1 3/4" play and I am not inclined to hard acceleration or hard shifts. Today I noticed a link beginning to kink at 13k. I think next chain I will try Belray chain lube. I think my next bike will be shaft drive. I like my Versys but I am not becoming fond of chains. Just my two cents.


I don't think there is any magic elixir to lubricate your chain with, only different products with different properties and different tradeoffs. Been happy these last few years using Dupont Chain Saver as it does not fling off, is not that messy, and is easier to clean off compared to Maxim chain wax - my only complaint with the Maxim product. My least favorite products are grease/oil based, they may lubricate fine, but they also make every piece of road grit stick to the chain and they make a mess of the rear rim and tire with fling off.

WD40 is a fine chain cleaner however even WD40 as a company recommend against using it (in their product literature) as a chain lubricant. They make an entirely different product for lubricating motorcycle chains.

I do find using a chain brush when cleaning the chain makes the job quicker and easier. Also the Grease Ninja makes applying lube easier and less messy and more precise which means I use less of it as less is wasted in overspray.

A chain kink is easy to verify. Put the bike up on a pit stand in neutral and rotate the rear wheel by hand, slowly and with minimal pressure, four turns (roughly the number of turns it takes to make the chain go round once. Feel for changes in resistance to rotation. A kink will show up as very slight resistance when it hits the front sprocket.

Last edited by twowheels; 11-29-2016 at 10:52 AM.
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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 04:50 PM
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Just had to replace my chain at less than 9k.

Used WD40 to keep it clean, but it just didn't last. There has been some talk about the DiD Vp2 chains from Taiwan giving out way early (on factory bikes assembled there) on other forums.

I am trying this Amsoil stuff now... seems to really stick, definately will not fling off, very slick stuff.
So far I am impressed, but need a few thousand miles to see if it holds up.


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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 01:51 PM
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I've been happy with other Amsoil prodicts, will probably give it a shot as I like experimenting with different products.

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