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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone ... another daft enquiry from me...
As a newbie to bikes with chains how often should I be adjusting and cleaning/waxing the chain on my 2006 MS?
Book says approx every 500 miles for adjustment and approx every 100 miles for cleaning etc depending on the weather ... how does that sound to all you seasoned Ducati Multistrada owners out there? Definitely dont want to get that wrong!!
Cheers
Bobby
 

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@Bobby82176
Bottom line ( from the pros ), cleaning takes precedence over lubing. Modern chains have internal grease. Next to no lube is required and only sparingly (as in "barely") to prevent corrosion and keep the O-Rings fresh. Apply it from a rag. That's it. Anything more is a magnet for road junk. Clean after each ride day. Adjust chain tension when needed.
20200427_104628.jpg
 

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Keep it simple and fast. Each night after you removed the bugs with a hot water shammy, clean the chain too.
Run a rag doused with a mild cleaner such as Simple Green around your chain a few times, wipe it dry, repeat with a third rag that has a bit of lube on it. Save those three rags for the next day.
 

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The manual sounds like overdoing it...big time. I like DarR's approach. I probably do it 1/4 of that frequency though.

Oh yeah: Wrap the rag around the lower chain run and rotate the wheel backwards. NEVER forwards. Never, ever ever.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes that makes sense as I have watched a couple YouTube videos which talk alot about excess.
Thanks very much really useful responses 👍
 

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If the rag gets caught on a chain link you could mash your fingers between the chain and sprocket. :cry:

I've seen gruesome pictures of the aftermath. Heard one case where the guy was cleaning the lower chain run with the rag around the chain and the engine running, in gear...got his hand sucked into the sprocket...took off his fingers and never even stalled the engine. I don't know if it's true or not but the visual is enough for me.
 

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That stupidity is too gruesome to visualize indeed. Anyone who cleans his chain with the engine running probably is missing a few quarts of oil to reach his dipstick.
 

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I rode with a bunch of goofballs in H.S. You all know what I mean. Anyway, Carl saved enough to buy himself a 125 Bennelli, IIRC. Cleaned that bike everyday! One day he wasn't in school. Showed up the next day with his left hand wrapped in bandages and in a sling. He TRIED to clean the chain with a rag and the bike running on the center stand. Rag caught the sprocket, pulled his hand in and Carl spun with it until his mangled hand cleared the sprocket, narrowly missing the shock. Drs were very surprised he didn't loose use of the fingers. We changed his name to 'Spinner' after that.
True story.
 

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At least the motor wasn’t running when I did it. Just spring it by hand. Ran my thumb up in it. The sprocket tooth punched smooth through my thumbnail and folded it in. The hard part was staying conscious long enough to spin the wheel the other way to get it out.

Fuck yes, you only do that once. :)

Also a true story. :)


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Discussion Starter #12
That reminds of a shout we attended from our fire station to the local prison where a guy decided to put his hand in a food processor so he could get some time off the wing in the medical block with the nurses! We had to disable the machine to get his hand out ... he didnt make a noise throughout then fainted when he saw what was left of his fingers ... 🙄
 

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As DarR said, just keep it clean and not dry looking. WD40 is all you need. Using this only since the last 20 years, I get great life out of my chains (more than when I used chain wax).
 

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I just keep some spares all cleaned and lubed and when the one in the bike gets nasty I swap it out. :)



Just kidding. In the box are the original o-ring that came on this bike, one used short length and one new long length. That’s a used long one on the bike. Different lengths for different gearing.

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Bobby, First of all welcome to the site! You will find lots of useful info on this site. To clean my chain I find good ole kerosene used in a spray bottle to very effective, simple and cheap. You can either spray it directly on a rag and wipe it over the chain or spray it directly on the chain while holding a piece of carboard behind the chain to catch overspray. Works quite well and is o-ring friendly unlike some other harsh chemicals. You will find ChainWax brand chain lube works really well applied to a warm chain ( applied after the ride) also and does not "fling" off the chain nearly as badly as other brands. Also this lube works safely with o-ring or x-ring chains. BTW, the more frequently you lube the chain the better......lube is a whole lot less expensive than the chain and the sprockets! Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you for the welcome and the great advice!
It's only been a few weeks as a Ducati owner but am learning bucket loads!!
😁👍
 

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Here's where I and many others will disagree with MoRider's above. Less lube is better than more. In fact, the least the better. Sand ,dirt and road contaminant are the enemy #1 of a chain, not water. A micro film of oil is all your chain requires to prevent rust and keep the rubber seals moist. If you use paste, apply only a little and to the rag. Then hand spin the chain/wheel.
Keep it clean and it will last a lot longer than a fully greased chain that will just invite road grime. Moreover, your bike will stay cleaner longer as well. One of the veteran motorcycle tester/ reviewer addressed that very topic recently. I'll try to find it.
 

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While I'm sure there is little merit to "overlubing" a chain, from the professional reviews I've accessed over the years lubing the chain and wiping off the excess seems to result in few issues. However, there are those professional reviews out there that recommend against using products like WD40 and Simple Green as cleaning agents due to the detrimental effects to the "rubber" components of the o/x rings of the current top chains. Years ago prior to the advent of the o/x ring technology it made no difference. For clarification.
 

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I use both sealed and non sealed chains. I treat both pretty much the same. I use the same DuPont wax type spray lube after cleaning. I like the lube on the sealed chain mainly because it make the rollers quieter and prevents rust. On the non sealed chains the same except it also gets into the pins where it’s really needed. Of course the non sealed chain gets lubed after every days ride on track. The sealed chains get lubed when ever they look dry or after every time getting caught in the rain.




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However, there are those professional reviews out there that recommend against using products like WD40 and Simple Green as cleaning agents due to the detrimental effects to the "rubber" components of the o/x rings of the current top chains.
WD-40 is Safe for Cleaning Your Chain

All motorcycle chains currently being manufactured use Buna-N (nitrile) rubber for their o-rings and x-rings, and all chain manufacturers recommend kerosene as a cleaner.

WD-40's formula is a trade secret. The product is not patented in order to avoid completely disclosing its exact proportion of ingredients.

To meet fire safety regulations however, WD-40's main ingredients, according to NFPA Material Safety Data Sheet information, are listed as:

• 60-70%: Stoddard solvent (i.e. mineral spirits, somewhat similar to kerosene)
• 2-3%: Carbon dioxide gas propellant
• 15-25%: Mineral oil (light lubricating oil)
• <10%: Inert ingredients (wetting agents that emulsify water, and fragrance)

Consequently, WD-40 is safe and effective as a chain cleaner and corrosion inhibitor.

eFunda: O-Ring Materials Compatibile with Chemical Stoddard Solvent

If you clean with a soft brush and WD-40, and plan to follow-up with a chain lube, you can reduce chain lube sling-off if you first remove the oil residue that WD-40 leaves. This residue seems to prevent some chain lube formulations from sticking well to the chain.

Brake cleaner has been used to remove the WD-40 but its effect on the o-ring seals may vary between brands, so I suggest following the chain manufacturer's recommendation to use inexpensive kerosene as the cleaner.
 
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