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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently replaced the chain on my 916 with a RK X-ring chain and got to thinking after reading all the pros about the X-ring as opposed to the O-ring chains. Now the seals are meant to keep all the crud out of the chain and after I installed the rivots with new seals, I would think that that seal is pretty tight and that it would keep the grease in between the seals. My question is , does oiling a chain actually penetrate past these seals or does oiling a chain just keeps it looking pretty? I don't use fancy sprays, I'm still useing gear oil.:confused:
 

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lubeing any x or o-ring chain is only useful for the roller to sprocket contact area
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
lubeing any x or o-ring chain is only useful for the roller to sprocket contact area
If that's the case then many of us are probably using way too much lube because that shit is flinging everywhere and attracting dirt. If it's just for sprocket contact, maybe I should apply the lube to the spocket, it's much easier to clean.
 

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Your thinking is correct. Oiling a sealed chain is a waste of time. Just a wipe down with a very lighly oiled rag is all you need to keep the rust bugs away. I just wipe it down with WD40, which also does a great job of getting the road grime off!
 

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Is WD-40 safe to use on your chain?

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

Here's the formulation of WD-40:

80% Stoddard Solvent (that is similar to kerosene)
20% light lubricating oil, and a bit of fragrance.

Here's the compatibility of Stoddard Solvent with rubbers and plastics:

Good Compatibility (OK for both static and dynamic seals)
Buna-N (Nitrile)
Chemraz
Epichlorohydrin
Fluorocarbon
Fluorosilicone
Kalrez
Nitrile, hydrogenated
Polyacrylate
Teflon, virgin

Mixed Compatibility (OK for static seals, but not for dynamic seals)
Neoprene
Vamac

Fair Compatibility (OK for some static seals)
Polysulfide
Polyurethane, millable

Poor Compatibility
Butyl
Ethylene-Propylene
Hypalon
Natural rubber
Silicone
Styrene Butadiene

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

Link:

http://www.efunda.com/designstandards/oring/oring_chemical.cfm?SM=none&SC=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.

Should I also use a chain lube afterwards?

The answer depends on whether external chain lubrication is beneficial for a chain with internal grease sealed with o-rings, and perhaps how often you clean your chain.

One school-of-thought believes that no additional lubrication is needed. The other believes that the sprocket and chain surfaces that do not have permanent grease also need to be lubricated.

The chain manufacturers tell us that also lubricating the chain and sprocket surfaces will extend the life of these components. But a chain lube will sling-off unless designed to stick to the chain, so it needs to stay tacky. Consequently, it will also attract grit and road debris that, in turn, will accelerate wear faster than if you just have a clean unlubricated chain. Chain lube will also reduce power losses due to friction and shed water that leads to rust (and wear). If you live in a wet climate, you should probably use chain lube to prevent rust.

A chain newly-cleaned with WD-40 will have a coat of light oil that will effectively displace water and reduce surface corrosion of the links. It's a low viscosity oil so any excess will sling off easily, but will attract very little grit - much less that any chain lube - and it will have the same rolling friction as a number of chain lubes on the market.

WD-40, used as a one-step cleaner and lubricant is sufficient. Because it is a light oil, some fling-off will occur, so any excess should be wiped-off. USED REGULARLY, it provides good corrosion protection, low (but not the lowest) rolling resistance, and attracts less road grit than waxy chain lubes. So your chain stays very clean.

If you aren't inclined to clean and lube your chain regularly, or often ride in wet conditions that promote corrosion, there are chain lubes on the market that are designed to stick to your chain to resist fling-off and provide longer-lasting corrosion protection. Some remain tacky and attract grit, some stay slippery to the touch. All of them need to cleaned off and renewed at some point.

If you’ve decided to use chain lube after cleaning your chain, then it’s best to use straight kerosene as your cleaner because the light oil that WD-40 contains will make it difficult for the chain lube to stay attached without flinging-off.
Copied from another excellent post from the sorely missed Shazaam, from the Hall Of Wisdom.
 

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A little chain lube also helps keep the o-rings in good shape as well as the items mentioned above. In my opinion, WD-40 is OK for cleaning you chain, but it's not much good for lubrication since most of it evaporates after application.
 

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The way I understood it, a little chain lube on the rollers helps cushion the metal-to-metal contact of the roller on the sprocket. That's the theory I use when lubing the chain.

I do clean it with WD40 and LOT'S of rags, though.
 

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There's another spot on a chain that needs lubrication: the area under each roller. Those rollers ride on the outside of the bushings, and even on a sealed chain that area is dry. Some people will (incorrectly) state that the rollers don't actually roll on the bushings, they just contact the sprockets and rotate with the bushing - with no movement between the roller and sprocket. I don't think so.

The chain is slamming into the sprockets, hard. Just listen. All that noise you hear is coming from the collision of the roller with the sprocket, and at speed that's happening many hundreds of times a second. A good extreme pressure lubricant such as molybdenum disulphide or zinc works great there. Teflon is worthless in that application.

The roller slams into the sprocket, and the bushing slams into the ID of the roller and then rotates 180 degrees. You have to have a lubricant in there to absorb and dissipate some of that energy.

Lubing the chain is good for the roller-to-sprocket contact, and the roller-to-bushing contact.

O-ring or X-ring chains have a permanent lube inside, between the bushing and the pin, but no lubricant between the roller and the bushing, and no seal there either.

Here's a diagram of a roller chain. The o-ring is between the side plates, and it seals the area between the pin and the bushing.

 

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I don't use fancy sprays, I'm still useing gear oil.:confused:
Really? I had a friend that used to do this back in the early 90s, and the entire rear of his bike was always filthy and covered with the oil that was flung everywhere. Not to mention that his chains usually lasted about half as long as mine. Seemed like he always needed a new one. What do you have against special-purpose chain lubricants? I've had really good luck lately out of both Maxima ChainWax and Belray Super Clean. They are both the same type of lube, and tend to stay on the chain while not ending up all over the wheel and the rest of the bike.
 

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Bel-Ray Super Clean - great stuff. It uses zinc as the extreme pressure lubricant.



I also use a chain cleaning device called a Kettenmax - it's overkill but it sure does clean the chain. All I use is some kerosene and the chain looks like new in 5 minutes. But you can get the same results with a brush and some elbow grease.

 

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Chain oil

Lube it often or not at all. Anything in between is good too. Keep tabs on your chain and sprocket change intervals and find what is acceptable to you. WD-40 melts chain lube off a rim like hot butter. No wisdom at all in my post, every chain manufacturer will have a reccomened procedure.
 

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lube

I admit it, I lube. I lube often. However I ususally lube After I ride, after brushing off the dirt with a nylon brush, when the chain is still warm.
When I clean I use WD 40 and clean the chain and the sprockets, front and back as best I can without removing them. Let the WD evaporate over night then lube and let stand till propellant solvent evaporates. I prefer MOTUL , the light green goes good with the gold, til it turns black of course.
 

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wax it!

I use Maxima Chain Wax at whatever intervals. Only put it on with chain still warm. Slings hardly any. WD40 for cleaning chain as well as a little off the wheel. Good for getting road grime off pipes,rear shock and other smutty places.
 

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Do not use WD 40

Your thinking is correct. Oiling a sealed chain is a waste of time. Just a wipe down with a very lighly oiled rag is all you need to keep the rust bugs away. I just wipe it down with WD40, which also does a great job of getting the road grime off!
Do not put WD 40 on a chain with Orings unless you want a chain with out Orings.

Im all about the Bellray on a warm chain.
D.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Really? I had a friend that used to do this back in the early 90s, and the entire rear of his bike was always filthy and covered with the oil that was flung everywhere. Not to mention that his chains usually lasted about half as long as mine. Seemed like he always needed a new one. What do you have against special-purpose chain lubricants? I've had really good luck lately out of both Maxima ChainWax and Belray Super Clean. They are both the same type of lube, and tend to stay on the chain while not ending up all over the wheel and the rest of the bike.
The reason I use gear oil is because I find it much easier to clean off compared to the sticky spray lubes. As Shazaam indicates you only need a light coating. If WD40 has a enough of a coating when it is sprayed and wiped off, the amount I use is very little because I apply it after a ride and then wipe it off immediately and then continue to wipe it again and again until there is nothing on the rag.
 
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