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CHAIN LUBE - The best, in my book anyway

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recurveshooter
Hey - So everyone is talking about their favorite lube but what about the ones they would NEVER use again? I don't know if we can mention them by name but here goes. I'm using Silkolene on someones recommendation and it has to be the messiest stuff ever. By the way, I've been riding for over 50 years and work in a bicycle shop so I've lubed a few chains in my time. It becomes sticky fast, which would lead you to believe that after wiping off the excess you're in business. No such luck. It flings and it mixes with road grime to form a black paste which I am sure is grinding the drive train to an early death.
 
Years ago I used Bel Ray and I have to admit, it was clean. I'm going to give my chain a good cleaning and then try the Dupont Chain Saver.
 
recurveshooter

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pattonme
I realize it's fashionable to clean the chain but using a solvent (eg. kerosene) just eats the o-ring seals and dissolves the grease said o-rings are trying to seal in. When I was new to biking I did the chain cleaning thing. Total waste of time and (PJ-1 black) make a royal mess of the rim, the case, and everything else.
 
The bearing surface isn't the side plates, it's the pin riding in the inner-link's hole. Which you can't get to without a damn, thin wicking fluid. Anything tacky is your worst enemy as it holds onto dirt which someone mentioned, becomes a grinding paste. It destroys the o-rings and thus lets the inner grease wash out.
 
Hypoid gear oil 75-90w dribbled over each joint from time to time (maybe once every 2-3000 miles?) is sufficient. Yes it flings if you use too much but guess what, it wipes off with a paper towel and leaves no smeary, sticky, impossible to wipe off mess.
 
With the PJ style gunk I've literally scraped pebbles, and inches of thick, congealed gunk from out and around the countershaft sprocket cover and from the underside of the chain guard.
 
If you run a non-sealed chain on a dirtbike, then yes chain maint is something to do regularly. But on a road bike with a sealed chain? Nope.
 
For bicycle chains I use Paraffin (yes, candle wax) or graphite.

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ornery
On page 7-25 of the FZ-07 Owner's Manual, it says:
 
1. Clean the drive chain with kerosene and a small soft brush. NOTICE: To prevent damaging the O-rings, do not clean the drive chain with steam cleaners, high-pressure washers or inappropriate solvents.
2. Wipe the chain dry.
3. Thoroughly lubricate the entire drive chain with special O-ring chain lubricant.  NOTICE: Do not use engine oil or any other lubricants for the chain, as they may contain substances that could damage the O-rings.
 
Common sense tells me to keep grit out of the O-ring surfaces that rub against metal.  That would prematurely wear out the O-rings AND the metal it rubs against.  Pretty soon the lubricant it's holding inside the chain, would be able to ooze out.
 
The Lucas Chain Lube I'm using does fling out and it is REALLY tenacious!  Ordinary car wash soap will not remove it, so obviously riding in the rain will not affect it.  However, you have to wonder if it attracts dust and grit?  I believe that's the purpose of this thread.  Finding something to keep the O-rings lubricated, without attracting abrasive substances. 
 
As far as cleaning out existing grit, this Adventure Rider Forum member did an experiment to determine what cleaner worked best:  Chain O-ring WD-40 exposure effects study and results. Not particularly scientific, but a good effort.  He and a fellow member determined the O-rings were likely silicone.  If that's true, kerosene should have caused a lot of swelling, based on this Fluid Compatibility Guide.  My guess is they are not silicone, based on his results, the bike manufacturer's suggestion to use kerosene, and that Fluid Compatibility Guide.
 
All that said, I'm still looking for the "best" O-ring chain lubricant and method to clean the chain in the first place.  Not making much progress :P
 

“The real cycle you're working on is a cycle called yourself.”
— Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values)

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yamahaha
I'm trying Fluid Film now. I don't think the Dupont dry film formula gives enough lube for a sustained ride.
 
FF is easy to find and pricey at $17 a can. They do recommend it for motorcycle chains.
 
It's weird stuff. Does not dry but leaves an oily/waxy sheen on the chain. Not sticky. Really slippery rubbed between fingers. Chain looked really nice after a couple of short rides. A little did fling but a quick wipe left the wheel shiny and clean. A little of this stuff goes a long way.
 
Jury is still out till I give it a good run but initial impressions are good.

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pattonme
Silicone o-rings are not common. If you don't know what it is, 98% it is Buna-N or possibly Viton.
 
Oil-Resistant Buna-N—The most widely used O-ring material, Buna-N also resists grease, hydraulic fluids, and abrasion. They meet SAE J200. Temperature range is -20° to 250° F. Durometer is A70 (medium). Color is black.
 
Chemical-Resistant Viton® Fluoroelastomer—Choose these O-rings for their excellent resistance to boric acid, citric acid, isopropyl alcohol, fuels, and transmission fluids. They meet SAE J200. Temperature range is 0° to 400° F. Durometer is A75 (medium). Color is black.
 
High-Temperature Silicone—O-rings stand up to temperatures from -60° to 400° F. They resist weather, detergents, and salt water. They meet SAE J200. Inch O-rings are made from FDA-listed materials for use with food and beverage. Durometer is A70 (medium). Color is red.
 
Steam-Resistant EPDM—In addition to steam, these O-rings also resist water and brake fluid. Inch O-rings meet SAE J200 and withstand temperatures from -70° to 250° F. Temperature range is -65° to 300° F for metric O-rings. Durometer is A70 (medium). Color is black.
 
 
Yes, I know every owners manual says to use Kerosene or some other solvent. You need the solvent ONLY if you use the PJ/Maxima crap that sticks and won't come off and has to be dissolved off. The only thing special about O-ring chain lubricant is that it shouldn't be so thin as to get past the o-rings and dissolve out the oils in the grease inside. You want a medium that will flow enough to migrate dirt and keep the o-rings supple. Oil works fine. Engine oil is just damn fine too if a bit thin and thus tends to sling off more. I've done 100,000 miles with a Scott-oiler system and I fed it 30w engine oil. Chain lasted forever. Auto-trans fluid, no I wouldn't use that.
 
> I'm still looking for the "best" O-ring chain lubricant and method to clean the chain in the first place.
 
Quit worrying about it. Don't use anything that's sticky, tacky, needs a solvent to remove. If it looks and feels dry, hit it with some oil. Otherwise just go ride. (exception, you cross rivers and sink your axles into mud or ride in the desert with fine/powder like dirt)
 

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ornery
Awesome info on the O-rings available, but any idea what O-ring material Yamaha's chains use?

“The real cycle you're working on is a cycle called yourself.”
— Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values)

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cndnmax
Nothing should be getting past the o-rings, that's why they are there. I don't believe the whole let the lube seep through the o-rings. The grease on the inside of the o-rings is a red/rusty color- if you start seeing that on your chain it's time for a new one. Also, don't use a brush on your chain, they will damage the o-rings. The longest lasting chains I've had were cleaned with kerosene and a Teflon based lube, I'm talking 20,000 miles and adjusted only 3 times.
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wickedtwister
This is the method i have always used for dirtbike and motorcycle chains.  I even use kerosene for really dirty bicycle chains.
 
[video src=https://youtu.be/7H5hgVbTvhg]
 
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amycyclenut
I use WD-40 to clean the chain, then use the Dupont Teflon Multi-Use Lubricant mentioned by the OP.

2015 FZ-07
1986 FZ600
1974 CB450
1973 RD350
sold: 1970 CB350, 1972 CB175, 2009 Vespa S 150

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rowdy
This is the method i have always used for dirtbike and motorcycle chains.  I even use kerosene for really dirty bicycle chains.  

That's the best chain lube video I've seen!  ...and now I have to buy a GreaseNinja! 

Why can't left turners see us?

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cassecou
This is the method i have always used for dirtbike and motorcycle chains.  I even use kerosene for really dirty bicycle chains.  
[video src=https://youtu.be/7H5hgVbTvhg]

That's a good video to watch. Thanks wickedtwister  
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yamahaha
I'm all about Bel Ray Super Clean Chain Lube. Goes on White so you can see where you've sprayed. Doesn't fling.
After testing out several products, this stuff seems pretty good. Kind of a thick waxy finish. Does not fling and does not attract dirt.  It is messy to apply.  Still looked decent after a 500 km ride. I might have found the winner!
 
Fluid Film was a fail because of fling.
 
 
 
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databyter
I just always used diesel on my bicycle chains, never had a motorcycle or an o-ring chain before, but the advantage of the diesel fuel is that it cleans AND lubricates and you can find it anywhere in any Country.
 
Now for MOTORCYCLES, I guess we are supposed to use Kerosene, and then a seperate lubricant. The Dupont looks good. I think WD is designed to penetrate and I don't want it to do that to O-rings.
 
I'm tempted to use diesel on the motorcycle chain as well, it's basically less refined Kerosene, having a light solvent action for cleaning and a much more oily parafin residue.
 
The only problem is that it kinda smells, and Kerosene probably doesn't, especially since you're probably wiping it all off and lubing with something else.
 
If I was touring in Africa or something I would just use the diesel and call it a day. Here, I might try the DuPont or Motul tho since you guys love it.
 
Anybody else use to use diesel and nothing else? It left the perfect amount of residue on a bike chain after cleaning it, and the excess evaporated leaving a very light film of lubricating material.
 
Databyter

Databyter

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garrim
I'm new to chain drive, so forgive me if this is a dumb question. I just got my FZ on Thursday and the dealer checked/adjusted the chain tension before I took it home (was used with 400 miles on the clock). I'm not sure if they cleaned/lubed it but I am sure they wouldn't let me leave unless it was acceptably lubricated. I've been noticing the whizz sound of the chain when riding around under 40mph and it is pretty annoying sometimes. The stock exhaust is so quiet that the whizz of the chain/sprocket really sticks out.
 
I just received a can of Maxima chain cleaner and a can of DuPont Chain Saver lube. Would it be ok to just spray some of the DuPont on there to try and make sure it's as lubed as it can be to alleviate some noise as a possible outcome? Or should I wait to do a chain cleaning first? Just unsure if it's going to be a waste of product and time or maybe has some adverse effect since there's some unknown lube on there now and want to check with you guys.

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wickedtwister
My chain also makes this noise. I think it's from the chain guide on the swing arm. I think what's happening is the chain guild raises the chain from its normal path of travel between the 2 sprockets and then when the guide ends the chain snaps downward making noise that then is amplified by the hollow swing arm. If you have a way to lift the rear or bike you can rotate the rear tire by hand and you should not hear a high pitch squeek. If you do I would clean and lube the chain. I use kerosene to clean mine personally. Motorcycle chain lubes for o ring chains should not be so specific the they react with other lubes. To get rid of my sound I installed a akra exhaust and removed the baffle. May not be gone but I can't tell if its there....
 
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garrim
Haha, yes it seems like the best solution is to just get an aftermarket exhaust. I plan on doing that in the future for sure. In the meantime I suppose I'll try just adding some lube and then next weekend I'll do a clean and lube as well.

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yamahaha
My quest for the ultimate and cheapest chain lube continues.
 
Belray Superclean is awesome stuff.  It will not fling or attract dirt and lasts. It does what is says and that is keeping the chain clean. Not having to clean the chain constantly is a huge bonus.
 
It does have some drawbacks. It is very expensive (20 bucks a can here), messy to apply, and hard to find. A can does not last long.
 
My method for most lubes is to spray it into a small container and brush it on a clean and warm chain. This does result is some waste.
 
My next venture will be wd40 specialist products. They make a spray-on lithium grease that dries and hardens. I've read one source that compared it to Belray. They also make a dry lube that may work well too. They have some test comparisons against some other brands I found interesting.
The best part about this stuff is it is widely available and cheap. 8 bucks a can or less on sale.
 
I doubt I will get to test it till next year as the season is almost over here. If anyone has tried it please post.
 
http://www.wd40specialist.com/products
 
I know Dupont products are well loved. Mulit use and Chainsaver are not available here. 
 

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yamahaha
I've been using wd40 specialist dry lube for the last few thousand kms. Its easy to spray on. Goes on clear. Cheap and easy to find. Seems to leave a waxy coating on the chain after a couple applications. There is no messy buildup or intensive chain cleaning. I do find a little black residue on the chain after a while which I wipe off with paper towel. I've not noticed any excessive wear and have not had to adjust chains.
 
Wife road her bike home in heavy rain yesterday. I thought for sure I would wake up to a rusty chain but not one spot of rust on the chain so I'm pretty happy.
 
I do spray it on quite often and pack it with me on longer rides.

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peteinpa
Lots of good reviews: https://www.walmart.com/reviews/product/16672659 I bought some yesterday, dries almost instantly on a hot chain.
 
Some bigger Walmarts have a motorcycle section. Have chain lubes, motorcycle oil + filters, gloves, seat covers, etc. Wish my closest one had it. Oh well, bike ride!

Got new red 2015 FZ-07 on 7/22/16!
Black 2006 Honda ST1300 53K miles.

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Beemer
I was using a wax type chain lube but I just read this article and according to it wax based chain lubes are not ideal for what appears to be a good reason. If your cleaner is leaving a film your lube may not be sticking to the chain as desired also. I think I'll go with PJ1 Blue in the future for lubing and use their Super Cleaner as well.
 
 
http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/chain-lube-101?image=1
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Beemer

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pattonme
 the dealer checked/adjusted the chain tension 
check your tension. Good chance it's wrong.

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sorkyah
 the dealer checked/adjusted the chain tension 
check your tension. Good chance it's wrong.
Just realized mine was well overtightened by a bunch...
All tension... very littpe slaklck

ATGATT... ATTATT, two acronyms I live by.
 

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ssdawood
Are you guys referring to checking the chain slack.
 
Or is this chain tensioner something new.

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thomascrown
I've tried a couple of different chain lubes, my favorite thus far is the Dupont Chainsaver. My least favorite is all motul chain products. All of them. That wasn't a typo.

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sorkyah
Are you guys referring to checking the chain slack. 
Or is this chain tensioner something new.
Chain slack/tension
mine.is way too.tight atm
i think the dealer set it to fz09 spec
 
Put my new gilles adjusters on this morning... gonna tackle the chain slack during lunch

ATGATT... ATTATT, two acronyms I live by.
 

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