Best way to clean and lube chain? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Best way to clean and lube chain?

I have a T-Rex stand that I can get my back wheel up on. I do not have one of those 3 sided brushes, probably not going to get one.
What is the best solvent?
1. Kerosene, or WD-40?
2. Use a heavy bristle brush?
3. Go back with what kinda lube? White lithium grease?

Thanks
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 01:38 PM
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I use WD-40 to clean with only a rag to clean. This may be good or bad not knowing what is in WD-40. After cleaning I use Bel Ray Chain Oil for O ring chains, because I perfer a heavy chain oil. As a result I have had some splatter but no wear!

Some of the guys use WD-40! Some how it doesn't evaporate on them as it does for me!





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Last edited by MTS; 10-28-2012 at 01:42 PM.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 03:44 PM
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Pro honda chain cleaner, grunge brush, bel-ray superclean chain lube.

Manual says kerosene or diesel and SAE 90 if you don't want the purpose made stuff..

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtwodogs View Post
I have a T-Rex stand that I can get my back wheel up on. I do not have one of those 3 sided brushes, probably not going to get one.
What is the best solvent?
1. Kerosene, or WD-40?
2. Use a heavy bristle brush?
3. Go back with what kinda lube? White lithium grease?

Thanks
I have one of those three sided brushes, cheap and works well makes the job go a bit faster and I don't get as messy.

I use WD-40 does and good job and you can buy a 1 gallon jug at the auto parts store.

I use Maxima Chain Wax, sticks like glue and lubes well. Very little fling if you let it dry over night. I just stick a slab of cardboard between the chain and tire to keep the over spray off the wheel and tire and I'm good to go for 500-600 miles.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 05:15 PM
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Cleaner - use diesel fuel, stove oil or kerosene - they are all pretty much the same thing, cheaper than WD-40 and do an excellent job + paper towels or shop rags

Lube - prefer dry type lubes as they don't fling off and make a mess and or attract grit - mostly use Dupont Chain Saver also Maxima Chain Wax

Grunge brush is handy to have and saves time as you can get 3 sides of the chain at once but any stiff bristled brush will work. Try dish pan brush or even old tooth brush.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 05:28 PM
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NOTHING but WD40 on my chains, then wiped off with a rag. So far my '08 - Big Red - has 36,500 miles on the ORIGINAL chain, second front sprocket, rear sprocket reversed once. Just rode 1501 miles last week, quite a bit on gnarly dirt in Death Valley.

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 11:39 PM
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Kerosene with a thick bristeled brush of some sort (not metal!). WD-40 is a bad idea as while it's great at cleaning, over time it breaks down the lubricant in the O-rings (if you ride the bike occasionally this is worse).
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 03:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashex View Post
Kerosene with a thick bristeled brush of some sort (not metal!). WD-40 is a bad idea as while it's great at cleaning, over time it breaks down the lubricant in the O-rings (if you ride the bike occasionally this is worse).
Was just wondering do you know what is in WD-40 that breaks down the lubricant in the O rings?





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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by MTS View Post
Was just wondering do you know what is in WD-40 that breaks down the lubricant in the O rings?
It won't.
Just don't scrub da hell outta the chain and force cleaner down past the o-rings.
Be gentle.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtwodogs View Post
I have a T-Rex stand that I can get my back wheel up on.
The manual says to put the bike on the sidestand and then
clean and lube the chain. How do you possibly clean the chain
without being able to rotate the back wheel?

If I go ahead and buy a stand is it possible to use alone? I
live by myself and don't like any of my neighbors so don't
have an assistant.
CaMoTe!!! likes this.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
The manual says to put the bike on the sidestand and then
clean and lube the chain. How do you possibly clean the chain
without being able to rotate the back wheel?
You clean a part of the chain, then roll the bike to get to the next spot.

Quote:
If I go ahead and buy a stand is it possible to use alone?
Yes. Spool stands are simple to use.

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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by skatefriday View Post
If I go ahead and buy a stand is it possible to use alone? I
live by myself and don't like any of my neighbors so don't
have an assistant.
the front and rear paddock stands should be able to use alone.
check youtube for vids on how to do it.
not bad once you get the hang of it.
maybe have someone nearby the first time you use it.


for the rear, my tip is to keep the stand down and be on the opposite (right) side of the stand, that way you can keep the bike from tipping over to the right side.
keep the bike in gear.
put a piece of wood underneath the side stand to make it near vertical....probably an inch high.
be careful not to scratch your swingarm.
i use the harbor freight aluminum rear stand.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 12:05 PM
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I use this pitbull it easy to operate alone, just be sure when you drop he bike not to scratch the swingarm as it was mentionned, you could even put some rags around the metal parts to be 100% sure. My MT-01 weighs 570lbs and it's a breeze...so with the Versys it should be a piece of cake, just waiting for the Versys spools to arrive. Be warned once you've tried these stands, you will never want to go back to oiling/cleaning your chain without it.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 12:25 PM
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Rear stand, Grunge Brush with Kerosene, wipe dry with towel, then Tri-Flow Chain Lubricant. Minimal fling and no sticky residue to hold dirt. I have been trying to lube every 300-400 miles, although if the riding is dry pavement I can skip a cleaning or two.
I was a WD40 guy, but never got very good wear from street bike chains with it. Usually about 8-10k.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 01:05 PM
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I've used either kerosene or WD-40 for cleaning, both work fine, but WD-40 smells better to me. [If you can afford a $7,000 toy to ride around on, I bet you can afford $3 per year for a can of WD.] The 3-sided brush is the best I've come up with in 40 years of riding. +1 on the cardboard (or a paper grocery bag folded flat) between the chain and the tire. The best lube most of us on the V Forum have found is the Dupont Teflon Lube in the blue spray can, carried by Lowes, Ace Hardware and others. The Dupont works great for offroad motorcycle chains also, as it doesn't attract dirt, because its so slippery.
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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 04:15 PM
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As was said once yo try a set of Pit Stands you won't go back. I have a set of T-Rex stands, a cheaper set than the Pit Bulls. I've used on my Buell, KLR and now the Versys.

You only really need the rear to do the chain but both to do tires without having to rig something up.

I have the front set up to lift from under the triple tree now and it's best to pull the tail trunk to make it easier to do.

I stand on the left and brace the saddle bag with my knee. Looking down I line up the lift with the spools and roll the bike back to pop the lift points into the spools the simply push down on the handle.

Remember to always make sure the side stands down or it going to be fun when you drop the bike of the lift.


Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashex View Post
Kerosene with a thick bristeled brush of some sort (not metal!). WD-40 is a bad idea as while it's great at cleaning, over time it breaks down the lubricant in the O-rings (if you ride the bike occasionally this is worse).
Guess you must have MISSED my post (just before YOURS...).

Ed
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by trialsguy View Post
The best lube most of us on the V Forum have found is the Dupont Teflon Lube in the blue spray can, carried by Lowes, Ace Hardware and others.
+1
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 08:33 AM
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I use this pitbull it easy to operate alone, just be sure when you drop he bike not to scratch the swingarm as it was mentionned, you could even put some rags around the metal parts to be 100% sure. My MT-01 weighs 570lbs and it's a breeze...so with the Versys it should be a piece of cake, just waiting for the Versys spools to arrive. Be warned once you've tried these stands, you will never want to go back to oiling/cleaning your chain without it.
Boy that's a nice bike ...

The dealer who sold me the V has one and has being trying to sell it to me ever since ... Tough to resist

I'm lucky to pull high 40 mpg and to have a big fuel tank, otherwise, I don't think I would resist ...


LOP
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 08:42 AM
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Boy that's a nice bike ...

The dealer who sold me the V has one and has being trying to sell it to me ever since ... Tough to resist

I'm lucky to pull high 40 mpg and to have a big fuel tank, otherwise, I don't think I would resist ...


LOP
Thanks, I did a few mods to put it to my taste (paint, turn signals, mirrors, etc) but of all the bikes I've had it's my favorite and I don't think I'll ever consider selling it. Just has loads of character. But I bought a Versys cause touring on the MT isnt really an option. It's got a 15L tank but keep in mind that the 1700cc V-twin revs at about 2500rpm on the highway (redline is at 5500rpm, on the versys it revs at that at highway speeds)...so it's pretty decent on mpg...it's more the size of the tank that puts it in the 240km range. With a 19L tank it would be very close to the Versys in terms of range. Only downside since I have the versys is the handling on the MT now feels so heavy hehe

Don't want to hack the thread, but I just love the engine side too with it's big headers, that fat rear tire and big exhausts

Last edited by Kawa007; 10-30-2012 at 08:48 AM.
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