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Thread: Chain Cleaning and Lubing

  1. #1
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Question Chain Cleaning and Lubing

    Howdy.

    So I was over looking at the FAQ on cleaning at f650.com and still not feeling 100% comfortable on the whole cleaning and lubing processing.

    So to paraphrase here is what I was planning on doing and please tell me if I am wrong as I am guessing.

    1) Used compressed air to blow off the bigger chunks of schmeg on the chain.

    2) Towel down the chain

    3) Spin the chain across a toothbrush (no longer being used)

    4) Relube with spray on chain lube recommended by BMW Dealer.

    Did I miss anything?

    Thanks!
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  2. #2
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Oh boy. Chain maintenance can border on religious beliefs. I'll tell you what I do and you can take it from there. I'm sure you'll hear all kinds of different things.

    1. Take bike for a ride - 5 minutes or so

    2. Spray some WD40 on a shop rag and wipe the chain clean. You should only need a brush if you've been mean to your chain.

    3. Put the bike on the centerstand and wrap the rag around the chain with your hand, about halfway down the lower run.

    4. With your right hand, rotate the rear wheel in the usual direction of travel. Keep your cotton pickin' hands outta the rear sprocket.

    5. Make sure the chain is clean and free of lumps of crud.

    6. Spray a light application of your favorite chain lube or wax. Be sure to get both of the runs of Orings, both inner and outer.

    7. Let the goo dry for a while before you ride it again.

    In short, compressed air ain't gonna do it. Use a solvent like WD40 to get the old crud off.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  3. #3
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Originally posted by KBasa
    You should only need a brush if you've been mean to your chain.
    Well it is a GS
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  4. #4
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Makes sense

    Thanks for the advice. It is kind of like the hair dryer warning label to not use it in the tub....
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  5. #5
    WD-40 was good back in the 70's when we didn't have much of a choice in good lubricants,and cleaners. WE now have some extremely good synthetic lubricant/cleaners. Best thing to do with WD-40 is let it set on the shelf.
    Other Lubricants that are better, are:

    Rem oil, Made by Dupont ,"Remington".

    Mobil 1 spray lubricant,
    many more.

    WD-40 will infact gum up and promote sludging on your chain.
    That's from trail and error.

    Also you might look in the hunting secton of Wal-Mart. They sell a can of Gun Cleaner that eats through dirt like magic,Can't remember the name of it. But it will take the oil and ikk off.

  6. #6
    maggie1
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    Originally posted by KBasa
    4. With your right hand, rotate the rear wheel in the usual direction of travel. Keep your cotton pickin' hands outta the rear sprocket.
    Pretty good advice except for this one. The chain on the F-650 is on the RIGHT hand side of the bike, so unless you are a contortionist, it might work better to spin with your left hand.

    F650.com is probably a good place to check on this topic.

    The professor on F650 uses automatic transmission fluid on his chain, and had over 38,000 miles on his chain at the 2003 Rally.

    I was using that with great satisfaction, but installed a Scottoiler, so I'll use their oil for now and decide if I want to switch back to ATF later on.

    I can definately say that the chain is very quiet and stays very clean with ATF. If you do any off road or ride in dirty conditions the oil is far superior to the heavier chain products which retain the dirt and grit on the chain.

  7. #7
    dlearl476
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    Originally posted by Gnome
    WD-40 was good back in the 70's when we didn't have much of a choice in good lubricants,and cleaners. WE now have some extremely good synthetic lubricant/cleaners. Best thing to do with WD-40 is let it set on the shelf.

    WD-40 will infact gum up and promote sludging on your chain.
    That's from trail and error.
    Wholeheartedly concur. I've found the best cleaner is the one recomended by mfrs and has been since bikes began: Kerosene. (parafin to youse across the pond) Cheap, easy, and relatively non-toxic. (Just don't smoke while you're cleaning your chain!)
    If you DO use WD, make sure you do as K suggests. SPRAY onto a rag and WIPE. Spraying WD-40 on a chain will ruin it faster than you can say WATER-DISPERSING PENETRATING SOLVENT, as it will penetrate the O-rings and dissolve the lube therein.

    Oh, and nice freudian slip, Gnome: "trail and error'!

  8. #8
    Retired from riding rad's Avatar
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    You can get a lot of opinions on chain care, it's just like talk'n oils.

    I treat my street bikes different than bikes I take in the dirt.

    I have a street bike chain driven and a dual sport chain driven.

    My DS is a KTM640 Adventure, a lot like a BMW650, just in a very fast and tall Orange color.

    If yur ride'n a lot of dirt I have found it best to go with no lube, just WD-40.

    O ring chains are already lubed so nothing else is really needed, they just need to be kept clean. In the dirt most all lubes and waxes attract a lot of dirt.

    Clean well with WD-40, wipe of the excess and go ride.

    If yur 650 is really just a street scoot, then most of the lubes work well,. The trick is that cleaning a lubed chain is more difficult. Take yur time and get off all the old lube and crud before you relube. As said, a warm chain is better to work with. And as said, do not do this with the bike run‘«÷n. Turn‘«÷n by hand is just fine. I found it best to let the lube sit overnight before I ride the bike, less splatter all over my wheels.

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