Chain done at 8500 miles, and a chain lube question... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2015, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Chain done at 8500 miles, and a chain lube question...

So I just got back from a 1800 mile trip down to Baja and had problems with chain adjustment when I got back.

I developed a pretty horrible tight spot- and when adjusted to 1" spec, the looser section had enough play to hit the damn swing arm.

I've been using pj blue label lube since new, but it always made a sticky mess and attracted dirt and grime like crazy. I always adjusted to the proper specs on my chain, so I can't help but think the dirt was a contributing factor. I've also been riding 2-up more often, but my girlfriend only weighs 120 lbs and my preload has been adjusted accordingly so I can't think why that would be a factor.

I'm thinking of switching to a ptfe based lube, which dries after application. WebBikeWorld has given them good reviews, but I'd like to hear if anyone else has used one.

Thanks!!!

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2015, 12:59 PM
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Here's MY opinion on chain lube...

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=70449

My chain (the ORIGINAL!) has 53,750 miles on it, and I ride dirt quite a bit....

Ed
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2015, 01:08 PM
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i personally use WD-40 and bar-oil on my chains..... but im cheap like that
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2015, 01:09 PM
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This could be almost as much fun as an oil thread.

I have a '12 that I got about a year ago that is approaching 10k miles. I have adjusted the chain once. I use 90wt gear oil in a Scottoiler. You might want to try one of these. I fill it up once ever 1,500 miles or so. It does make the back wheel a little messy.

I have a friend who just made a 10,000 mile trip to Ushuaia, tip of South America on a KLR650 with Scottoiler using 90wt. He adjusted the chain once. He met numerous other riders who had been through multiple chains/sprockets.

If you are a neat freak this is probably not the set-up for you.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2015, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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OHHHH CHAIN LUBE THREADDDDDDDD!!!!

Well my question about WD-40 is how much to use.

I like the idea of it because it is so cheap and can be found absolutely anywhere.

Do you spray it on heavy and wipe it dry or do you just leave it on wet? I sprayed some on the chain after cleaning it and it seems to keep the chain cleaner longer than the PJ-Blue sticky stuff. It also kind of acts as a solvent and makes cleaning a breeze.

Either way whatever lube I use I'm going to stick with it for the life of the chain- FOR SCIENCE! I do ride in the rain sometimes, so I think the WD-40 will be a better option.

As far as my sprockets, I see pretty minimal wear on them- do you think they should require replacement given that they only have 8K on them? I really want to prolong that front sprocket removal until I really have to...

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2015, 02:16 PM
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Front sprocket wears about three times as fast as back. Maybe front, probably not back.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2015, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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The back looks mint, but I haven't given the front more than a few glances, yet. Definitely want to maintain the cush drive up front so I guess I gotta stop by the kawi dealer for that.

Scottoiler would be nice but I don't think I can afford one after all that money I spent in Tijuana...

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2015, 06:31 PM
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I'm gonna havta get me anudder can of da wdforty spray...

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2015, 06:49 PM
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The rubber on the front isn't a cush it's to damping noise is all. But it won't hurt to have it and if you want a 16t the front sprocket from a 650 Ninja will fit.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2015, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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The rubber on the front isn't a cush it's to damping noise is all. But it won't hurt to have it and if you want a 16t the front sprocket from a 650 Ninja will fit.
Really? Any negative effects from the solid or just noise? The 16T is a bit extreme since we've got some winding roads around here and I like the gearing. I am open to debate, however...

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2015, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by lacucaracha View Post
... Well my question about WD-40 is how much to use....
.... Do you spray it on heavy and wipe it dry or do you just leave it on wet? .... It also kind of acts as a solvent and makes cleaning a breeze.
- Use quite of bit while cleaning then wipe off excess.
- Buy it in bulk and pour it into a spray bottle (get a good spray bottle rated for chemical use - only a couple of dollars). It's cheaper, but more importantly it's much easier to use. No spray all over the place and no propellant interfering with product. And no propellant pushing WD behind the rings.
- Yes, it acts as a solvent. It has the advantage of a solvent residue not interfering with your lube as they are the same product.


** The main advantage of WD is it does not pick up dirt. The anti-friction ability is good enough if you spray frequently. I switched to WD a few years ago and never looked back. The $$ lubes were killing my chain/sprockets down here in sandy Florida. WD solved that problem for me.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2015, 02:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lacucaracha View Post
So I just got back from a 1800 mile trip down to Baja and had problems with chain adjustment when I got back.

I developed a pretty horrible tight spot- and when adjusted to 1" spec, the looser section had enough play to hit the damn swing arm.

I've been using pj blue label lube since new, but it always made a sticky mess and attracted dirt and grime like crazy. I always adjusted to the proper specs on my chain, so I can't help but think the dirt was a contributing factor. I've also been riding 2-up more often, but my girlfriend only weighs 120 lbs and my preload has been adjusted accordingly so I can't think why that would be a factor.

I'm thinking of switching to a ptfe based lube, which dries after application. WebBikeWorld has given them good reviews, but I'd like to hear if anyone else has used one.

Thanks!!!

PTFE based lubes are much better for the reason you mentioned. I use Dupont Chain Saver which dries to a non sticky surface. Cleaning the chain with diesel, kerosene or WD-40 and a brush once in a while helps too. Any grit on the chain destroys the rubber seals and with out the seals the sealed in lubrication leaks out and the links seize up.

Min chain slack is 3cm, I think, which works out to more than 1 inch. 2.56 cm = 1 inch.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2015, 04:05 AM
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1in = 25.4mm = 2.54cm
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2015, 11:47 AM
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Hi, I have >22K miles on the original chain and I still haven't even adjusted it.

WD40 could be a fine product for a chain lube, but I've read pros and cons about it so I never bothered trying to find out.

Here's what I do. Every 600-800 miles I clean the chain with DuPont "Motorcycle Degreaser for Chain & Sprockets" available at Lowe's or at Amazon. I have a Grunge Brush but I just use paper towels as they work fine. Bean Clean also works but it's messier.

Then I lube it with the former DuPont "Teflon Multi-Use Dry, Wax Lubricant." You can't get this formulation anymore because DuPont changed it and not for the the better. It's substitute, called DuPont "Teflon Chain Saver Dry, Self-Cleaning Lubricant", is not the same and does not work as well (sets us wetter). But you can now use Original Bike Spirits Chain Lube, which seems just like the former DuPont Teflon Mulit-Use Dry, Wax Lubricant.

I've just noticed a slightly stiff link but I expect to get at least one more riding season out of this chain, maybe two. My Versys is a 2008.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2015, 11:49 AM
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Here's my $0.02...

I too used some really gummy sticky lube that the mechanic swears by...hated the stuff and went with one of Web Bike World's suggestions.

I know the WD-40 debate is a big one and that plenty of people swear by it, and some have gotten amazing mileage out of their chains using it, but check out the photo in the replies at the bottom of the page in this article.

http://www.webbikeworld.com/t2/motor...ain-lube/#wd40

This is the internet, of course, and you never really know what you're getting out there, but I think I'll stick to recommended chain lube.

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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2015, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lacucaracha View Post
...Do you spray it on heavy and wipe it dry or do you just leave it on wet?...
I spray from the inside, about 6 to 12" in front of the rear sprocket, so that there's GOOD coverage, then I spin the rear wheel three times, pretty hard w/ my foot, to get the WD40 thru the chain.

THEN, if I have the time I wipe the chain down w/ a rag. My rear wheel gets dirty looking, so every now-and-then I'll spray some WD40 onto a clean rag and clean the rim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lacucaracha View Post
...As far as my sprockets, I see pretty minimal wear on them- do you think they should require replacement given that they only have 8K on them? I really want to prolong that front sprocket removal until I really have to...
On BIG RED (53,800miles on the ORIGINAL chain), I changed the front sprocket at 29,xxx miles, and then REVERSED the rear one, and it's still ON the bike. Just looked at it - NO sign of 'hooking' on its teeth. I'll be changing the front sprocket pretty soon, tho'.

Ed
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-05-2015, 10:12 AM
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I can't see anything wrong with using WD40 to clean your chain.

Open chain and sprocket with a highly variable load in unpredictable conditions - from dry to wet, hot to cold, sandy to mud - is pretty severe service for a lubricant to begin with, right?

WD40 is formulated from a reasonably benign light non-polar (oil-based) solvent and light oil and some additives, so it will dissolve most oil-soluble organic grime, and physically carry away any inorganic/water soluble grime. And shove water out of it's way - hence the WD part of the name, I'm sure you all know it stands for "Water Displacement".

The vast majority of the liquid is solvent, just a carrier for the tiny bit of actual ingredients to dissolved in, and carried to where they will be deposited when the solvent evaporates.

The actual oil in it has very low lubricity, almost no 'pressure' resistance - it will just press out from between surfaces that come into contact with much pressure between them - like the tooth on a sprocket and a roller on a chain.
Most of the oil in it has a very low evaporation point, so it's not going to hang around on your chain very long. Spray some on a piece of shiny aluminum and set it out in the sun for a bit, and see what remains... a thin film - and I mean molecules-thick - will remain. This is a bit of additive film, some surfactant to help spread out the corrosion inhibitors, which are mostly nitrosamines. And tiny bit of light oil and 'wax'.

So, be aware of what you are using, and what it's actually doing.

Do I use it? Ya, to clean the gunk off my chain. I use a spray bottle of it, not the aerosol can, I don't want to pressure-blast anything in between the o-rings. Then I brush off the chain, and wipe everything off with a rag.

I use fresh 10W-30 motor oil to lightly oil the chain after it's clean. It's got a good pressure and adherence rating, good enough for a timing chain, so it's good enough for me. Then I wipe most of that off, too, after an hour or so. There are additives in motor oil that give the oil 'creep', so it will spread out and cover surfaces better if you give it some time.

I'm not hard on the chain, and where I ride, it's pretty clean. More severe service might require a different regimen.

(Now that I think about it - I may try mixing some 10W-30 motor oil in with some WD40 - maybe 50/50 mix - and using that on the chain after I clean it with straight WD. The solvent in the WD will help carry the motor oil, and penetrate and cover better than just the motor oil alone. The additive packages look to be compatible. Can't hurt.)
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-05-2015, 05:29 PM
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Visitor Zero, thanks for the info on WD-40! You're the one with the oil industry background right, the one that has the answers in the back of text book?

Its helpful to know more precisely what WD-40 does. Sounds like there may be some actual scientific support for WD-40 being a great cleaner, but perhaps not the best the lubricant for our chains...

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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-05-2015, 06:00 PM
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Lightbulb Lubeman anyone?

I have a Lubeman gravity feed. I think I have 40K miles out of the last chain. I have had it for a year and a half. Feed 10-W40 through it when I leave on any trip by just pressing the button before I take off for about 10 seconds.

After reading about the Scott oiler and using 90 weight gear lube I might consider upgrading.

Cheers!


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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-05-2015, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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There will always be a ton of opinions on this, and everyone has good points. I know WD-40 isn't a good lubricant, but given some peoples good history with it- and consistently so- it's seems like a better option than my past experience with dedicated chain lubes. The dry lube PTFE based stuff would be fine if I didn't ride in the rain much, but unfortunately I do.

Maybe I should go with an automatic oiler.

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