Chain explanation - what it all means. - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Post Chain explanation - what it all means.

I was blasting through another Forum looking for an explanation on the various types of chains (ie. o-ring, x-ring, w-ring) and came upon this article which cleared a few things up for me. The most interesting thing I noted was that a red discoloration on the exterior of the chain links indicates that the seals are starting to fail, and the chain needs replacing no matter how new or unstretched it is. Good thing too, because that's exactly what's happening to my chain, and I'm just about to set off on a 4500km solo bike trip to Montreal and back!

Anyway, here's the link. Hopefully this hasn't been posted before!

http://www.motorcycleanchor.com/moto...mc_chains.html
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 05:40 PM
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Cheers, thanks for the link.
Quote from article
A typical lifespan for a well maintained chain should be between 8,000 and 15,000 miles (12,500 to 24,000 km). A typical lifespan for a neglected chain can be under 5,000 miles and for an ignored chain is rarely over 2,500 miles. Chains using automated oilers often get 25,000 to 45,000 miles before they need to be replaced, making such oilers a good investment.

My chain was shot at 27,000km but should of been replaced 2000- 3000 km prior.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 06:14 PM
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That actually makes me feel good kiwi. I read about guys here getting 25-30K miles out of their chains and feel like I'm really bad at maintaining mine. I think the longest a chain on my Versys has lasted is about 20k miles.

Michael
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 06:54 PM
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I got just under 20,000 on the factory chain on my KLR, not too bad I thought. I could have gotten more but it was showing the signs that it was on it's last legs and ending up on the side od the road in the middle of nowhere in NOT on my list of fun things to do. I hope to do better on the Versys.

Of course I remember the "Good Old Days" before sealed chains and 4,000-6,000 was to norm. AND the fact that the rear end of your bike (and yours as well!) was a big greasy mess all the time.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 06:58 PM
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AND the fact that the rear end of your bike (and yours as well!) was a big greasy mess all the time.
Shades of Last Tango in Paris.

Michael
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 01:37 PM
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33,500 miles (and STILL going...) on the ORIGINAL chain on my '08 on a diet of WD40.

The original chain on my '04KLR lasted 54,000 kms on WD40.

Ed
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 05:30 PM
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The sprockets are what wear out on my bike (especially the front sprocket), before the chain. But I change everything as a set. I seem to get about 25k kms out of a set, lubed every 500kms with the teflon spray.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
33,500 miles (and STILL going...) on the ORIGINAL chain on my '08 on a diet of WD40.

The original chain on my '04KLR lasted 54,000 kms on WD40.
So what's your theory on this? Is the WD40 acting to keep the chain clean or is lubing the chain and sprockets? I've read your results using this stuff before and I'm wondering if you're doing anything special or just spraying the chain regularly`?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Mt. Versuvius View Post
The sprockets are what wear out on my bike (especially the front sprocket), before the chain.
This was the case for me (although I will say that I was not all that good at lubing the chain for some periods). Since my front sprocket was shot, I replaced the chain and both sprockets even though my chain showed absolutely no signs of wear. That was at somewhat over 18000 miles.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by soreass View Post
So what's your theory on this? Is the WD40 acting to keep the chain clean or is lubing the chain and sprockets? I've read your results using this stuff before and I'm wondering if you're doing anything special or just spraying the chain regularly`?
i use WD40 as cleaning agent only. would still stick to a proper chain lube.

Just for sharing, something i read off somewhere :



Important: Wear safety gloves & eye wear and keep your fingers away from moving sprocket.
Follow these instructions when the engine is cool.
1) Place bike on main stand, fire-up engine, and shift to first gear.
2) Spray WD-40 generously between the link plates and not just on the rollers and pins.
Note: hold a cardboard in a manner that it shields the rear disc from any overspray from both the WD-40 spray can and the lubricant spray can later.
* Best position for spraying is the back of the rear sprocket, one side of the chain, at a time.
* Use the light green colored chain split link lock as an indicator for each loop cycle of the chain.
* Let the wheel rotate with engine running in first gear on main stand for a few minutes.
* This helps WD-40 to penetrate the dirt and grime on the chain.
* Using WD-40 when the chain is cool prevents it from penetrating the O-Rings.
3) Kill engine and shift to neutral.
4) Use a discarded toothbrush to scrub on, below and between the chain link plates to remove all dirt.
5) Fire-up engine again and shift to first gear.
6) Spray WD-40 generously between the link plates, this time, till it starts dripping.
7) Let the chain rotate in first gear on main stand for another few minutes.
8) You can run the engine in high gear on main stand for a few minutes.

* This will forcefully remove excess WD-40, muck, dirt, grime and slime on and in between the chain link plates.
9)Switch off the engine and put the bike in neutral.
10) Wipe clean chain with an absorbent cotton cloth sprayed with WD-40.
* The lettering in bold is for those following instructions 9-12 consecutively.

Important: Keep your fingers away from moving sprocket.
* After the static high-gear run, the engine gets hot and the chain gets warm.
11) Kill engine and shift to neutral.
12) Lubricate with your choice of chain lube, in between each chain link plate while chain is still warm.
* Best position for lubrication is the back of the main sprocket, one side of the chain, at a time.
* Use the light green colored chain split link lock as an indicator for each loop cycle of the chain.
* Let the lube soak-in as it cools overnight, the lube penetrates better.
* If you do not want to lube the chain frequently, use EP140 gear oil.
* Use EP90 gear oil if you can spare some time to lube your chain regularly.

Please note:

* For really dirty chains and those who have used chain sprays and grease, use steps 1-12 just the first time.
* Thereafter, use steps 9-12 at regular odometer intervals.
* For new bikes and clean chains, follow steps 9-12 only at regular odometer intervals.
* Follow these instructions at regular intervals of your odometer reading just as an oil change interval.
* Follow this chain maintenance procedure to always keep your O-Ring chain clean and optimized.

Important tips:

* Using discarded engine oil on your O-Ring chain shows poor disregard for an important component of your bike.
* Apply chain lube after a ride, while the chain is warm, and soaks in as it cools.
* Keep in mind that the lube has to cling-on specifically to the O-Rings and the chain in general.
* The O-Rings should ideally be moist with lube for the chain to perform optimally.
* WD in WD-40 stands for water displacement, same as in moisture removal.
* WD-40 is used as cleaner and not as lubricant; when the chain is cool, to prevent penetration inside the O-Rings.
* After cleaning and thoroughly wiping off WD-40, the chain is sufficiently lubed.
* Keep the lube & cleaner away from the tire rubber, alloys, brake disc & pads.
* Do not use any abrasive solvents, detergents, scrubs or metallic brushes on the chain.
* Diesel is definitely preferable over Kerosene.
* Do not grease an O-Ring chain.
* Most chain lube sprays are, lube based super sticky glues or so they seem (in my opinion).
* Just as engine oil is changed at regular odometer intervals, the chain should be lubed too at similar intervals.
* O-Ring chains are factory lubed internally and sealed.
* Its better to follow the recommendations of an O-Ring chain manufacturer than that of a bike manufacturer.
* Any lube that is not too sticky and gummy like the Bajaj chain spray is preferable.

The above instructions, coupled with the images attached below, are simple, straight forward and donít involve any messy procedures. You don't need to use WD-40, just be certain that whatever you choose to use is an "O-Ring safe" cleaner. I have also specifically mentioned the use of any lube of your choice.
I realised I should have taken some pictures after I finished the task and took the bike for a ride. I was amazed at the difference it made. No more jingling chain sound and it seemed super smooth. Will post a picture of the drive chain atleast now. Looks like new and performs amazingly well. The only place you will find traces of oil still clinging on, is between the two links on the O-rings.

One more important point, in my opinion, this is also the safest, fastest and cleanest procedure. (Except for the dripping WD-40, a blackened toothbrush & cloth)

List of the items used:

a) Safety glasses
b) Safety gloves for Rs.51/-
c) Lint free cloth for Rs.15/- * Youcould use a large sized sponge too - same price.
d) Small WD-40 can
e) HP EP90 Gear Oil for 500ml.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 10:17 PM
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Oh no! My chain has been turning red for the last 2 weeks or so!

Does that mean I have to replace it right away?
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-28-2012, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
33,500 miles (and STILL going...) on the ORIGINAL chain on my '08 on a diet of WD40.

The original chain on my '04KLR lasted 54,000 kms on WD40.

What procedure do you use with only WD40? Would you elaborate some? Like do you just spray, soak and wipe... ? I am willing to use just WD40 too as chain wax tends to sticky up my chain.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-28-2012, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
33,500 miles (and STILL going...) on the ORIGINAL chain on my '08 on a diet of WD40.

The original chain on my '04KLR lasted 54,000 kms on WD40.
Very interesting results indeed, with just regular standard WD-40. It makes you wonder if there's a superior light (5 cps) lubricant anti-seize penetrant cleaner with which the chain and sprockets could further benefit from... It turns out there is. Your run-of-the-mill WD-40 is easily outperformed by TSI 301 high performance compound with its synthetic organic ester chemical composition.

http://www.tsi301.com/comparison.htm

http://www.tsi301.com/issynthetic.htm

http://www.tsi301.com/main.htm

http://www.detectorbuy.com/shop/cart...ategory_id=256
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by toofer View Post
What procedure do you use with only WD40? Would you elaborate some? Like do you just spray, soak and wipe... ? I am willing to use just WD40 too as chain wax tends to sticky up my chain.
First of all: I buy bulk WD40 - the gallon size, which I'm told has MORE of the WD40 and LESS of the 'carrier', and the plastic WD40 sprayer.

I spread some newspaper under, than pretty heavily squirt the WD40 onto the INSIDE of the BOTTOM run over about 6", turn the wheel for a NEW 6" section, spray. Repeat till it's all been sprayed. I then spin the back wheel a half-dozen times or more, then take a rag and wipe down the chain from the excess, and wipe any overspray off the rear tire.

At home I have the rear wheel elevated by a rear wheel stand, while on trips I lock the front brake with velcro and elevate with a section of crutch under the right side 'spool'.

And DON'T FORGET - you are NOT lubing the chain. What you're doing is lubing the O-rings so that they don't "gall" to the chain links, which causes them to tear, then letting the lubricant OUT.

Ed
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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 04-29-2012 at 03:19 PM.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 03:22 PM
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With my method you get LOTS of WD40 'fling' onto the rear wheel. So-o-o-o, every now and then I clean the rear wheel. How? Spray WD40 onto a clean rag and rub over the oily sections till clean, then rub with a dry cloth.

Ed
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