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Go Back   FZ1OA Message Board > FZ1 & Fazer Owners Association > General Motorcycle Discussion

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Old 08-30-2017, 10:34 AM   #1
grommet
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The no chain lube thread

Firefly just posted about some lube he found and liked. So as to not keep hijacking that thread, I'll post up here about using NO chain lube.

Copying my post from the other thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by grommet View Post
As a datapoint to consider, I just changed out the chain on my KTM at 20K. The chain had a few tight spots and the red mist was coming out, so it was nearly done. I think 20K is reasonable for this bike, with 160hp and 95-100 lbft of torque.

Sprockets had very little wear. I lined them up with the new ones to check, and there is almost no difference.

The thing is that I did not use a single drop of chain lube on that chain. I cleaned it twice with WD40 and a chain brush, and wiped it off a few times. That's it. Nothing else. Many miles in rain, I ride all year round in temps ranging from teens to 100's, some dirt roads.

Is 20K life with that much effort worth it? Your call, but it is to me.

And by the way I'm not trying to convince anyone this way is better. I don't care much at all about it. Just offering another viewpoint.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:36 AM   #2
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:36 AM   #3
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:44 AM   #4
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grommet,
Other than when changing out the tire, did you have to make adjustments the slack?
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:47 AM   #5
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Also need a thread for never replacing chain and sprockets at same time That is, I don't replace as a set if they are all hard steel components. I just inspect and replace as needed. Zero difference from when I replaced everything as a set.

Back to lube or lack thereof, have gone through a couple chains with just occasional wd40 wipe downs. Not much different life than the chains that I religiously cleaned with kerosene and lubed with motorcycle chain specific lube. Have also experimented with dupont stuff, tri flow, gear oil, etc. Won't have an oiler on any motorcycle ever.

QuietRider, who has gone through more chains than the average joe, insists lubing rollers where they contact inside of the plates has extended life on bikes that are hard on chains (eg SuperDuke 990).

My chain slack adjustment is usually once after the initial shake down ride then usually not again until it's starting to wear (there is no stretch!). Once I have to adjust twice within several hundred miles usually place an order to have new one on hand.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:51 AM   #6
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No need to adjust when changing the tire. Single-sided swingarm means you don't even mess with the chain at all when changing tires.

It was super tight when I bought the bike, so I loosened it up, probably a little too much. A couple of people mentioned to me that it looked really loose. So I had tightened that up, but otherwise no. And doing the 'pull it back from the rear sprocket' test, it would barely move at all.
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:02 AM   #7
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lol.... I forgot about the SSSA.

Where's Mark? Figured he'd be on this like a fly-on-stink with his driveshaft-powered Viffer, lol.
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotfz1 View Post
Also need a thread for never replacing chain and sprockets at same time That is, I don't replace as a set if they are all hard steel components. I just inspect and replace as needed. Zero difference from when I replaced everything as a set.

Back to lube or lack thereof, have gone through a couple chains with just occasional wd40 wipe downs. Not much different life than the chains that I religiously cleaned with kerosene and lubed with motorcycle chain specific lube. Have also experimented with dupont stuff, tri flow, gear oil, etc. Won't have an oiler on any motorcycle ever.

QuietRider, who has gone through more chains than the average joe, insists lubing rollers where they contact inside of the plates has extended life on bikes that are hard on chains (eg SuperDuke 990).

My chain slack adjustment is usually once after the initial shake down ride then usually not again until it's worn. Once I have to adjust twice within several hundred miles usually place an order to have new one on hand.
With the minimal wear on the sprockets, I almost just put the old ones back on. But this time I want to baseline with a new set of everything, then next time depending on wear I'll see what happens with re-using the sprockets.

As for the maintenance cost/benefit, the savings in extended chain life is not worth all the effort and time involved, not to mention the additional cost of the lube.




Now, giving credit where credit is due - I got this idea from JohnnyLfromCT, in this post. He may have been joking, but once planted, the idea took root and so here we are.
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neanderthal View Post
lol.... I forgot about the SSSA.

Where's Mark? Figured he'd be on this like a fly-on-stink with his driveshaft-powered Viffer, lol.
Naturally I'll be needling him about it next time we are there
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:10 AM   #10
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Getting ready to change out my drive chain, on my 2002 FZ1.

Right now, the bike is showing 25K miles, on the current drive chain.

This drive chain was removed from a 2012 CBR1000RR, with almost zero miles. Only cost me fifteen bucks, with free shipping! So, one cannot complain. Not completely shot yet, but with yet another ride up north, to Oregon/Washington state, starting on 9/9, a new chain would be a good idea.

So, my next chain of choice, came from a 2014 R1, with exactly 638 miles on it! This drive chain, was not cheap! Yet another $25.00 i will never see again! lol! 114 links, but i run a 43 tooth rear sprocket, with a o.e.m. 16 tooth, front. Will be able to slide the rear axle forward, slightly shortening the wheel base.

I will fit a new o.e.m. front sprocket, and reuse the rear steel sprocket. That is what i normally do. New front sprocket, every drive chain change, and replace the rear steel sprocket, every other drive chain change. Seems to work just fine for me.

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P.S. Oh yes, i use Chain Wax when the rollers start to look shiny. Every few months, i wipe off the outside of the chain, with WD-40. Thats all i do.
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:49 AM   #11
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I clean and lube the chain on my KTM 1290 SA every 250 miles. If I don't, the chain and chain guide squeak non-stop. It's like a family of sparrows took up residence in my lower left fairing panel.

A large family of sparrows.

It's maddening.

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Old 08-30-2017, 11:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buccleuch View Post
I clean and lube the chain on my KTM 1290 SA every 250 miles. If I don't, the chain and chain guide squeak non-stop. It's like a family of sparrows took up residence in my lower left fairing panel.

A large family of sparrows.

It's maddening.

W.A.


Better hearing protection

I checked the upper chain guide on the swingarm. No noticeable wear.
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Old 08-30-2017, 12:03 PM   #13
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Cleaning the chain often with WD40 is keeping the links from rusting and or sticking. No need for chain lube if you do this often. However, lots of folk are rather negligent about chain maintenance and for them a lube like Bel-Ray is a good preventive measure.

BTW I have a little over 25K miles on my OEM chain on a 2012 FZ1.
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Old 08-30-2017, 12:08 PM   #14
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Old 08-30-2017, 12:14 PM   #15
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Who's firefly?
http://yamahafz1oa.com/forum/showthread.php?t=144144
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Old 08-30-2017, 04:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grommet View Post
As a datapoint to consider, I just changed out the chain on my KTM at 20K. The chain had a few tight spots and the red mist was coming out, so it was nearly done. I think 20K is reasonable for this bike, with 160hp and 95-100 lbft of torque.

Sprockets had very little wear. I lined them up with the new ones to check, and there is almost no difference.

The thing is that I did not use a single drop of chain lube on that chain. I cleaned it twice with WD40 and a chain brush, and wiped it off a few times. That's it. Nothing else. Many miles in rain, I ride all year round in temps ranging from teens to 100's, some dirt roads.

Is 20K life with that much effort worth it? Your call, but it is to me.

And by the way I'm not trying to convince anyone this way is better. I don't care much at all about it. Just offering another viewpoint.
Key takeaway for me here is how you've proven that purposely neglecting the chain allowed the rust to go unchecked, killed some o-rings, and the chain died prematurely at only 20k miles.

I know you normally keep up better and more correct maintenance, but it does show that neglected you can still get 20k out of a chain. A few more squirts of some type of iron oxide inhibitor and you could have gotten 40k. Even with 100lb/ft of torque.


Quote:
Originally Posted by grommet View Post
Yes, that is 100% true. Not kidding, not stirring the pot.

I did it as an experiment to see how long the chain would last. Everyone says the lube is inside the o-rings, and spray lube can't get in there anyway. OK. I put that to the test. If it's true, chain life should be relatively similar whether using lube or not.

The new chain I got is an EK X-ring, ZVX3. I'm going to do the same with it and see how it goes.
I don't think the chain life will be similar. Once those bare metal plates begin to rust, they will begin grinding away at the o-rings. All you'll need to ruin the chain is 1 of the 232 little o-rings to get damaged and allow water/grit in, and the nice greasy stuff out. Bind-O-Matic, tightspots, time for a new chain.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Neanderthal View Post
In my case, the flip-side......
I cleaned (kero) and lubed (DuPont Chain Saver/Wax) religiously approx every 300-400 miles and got 27,000 miles out of my 525 chain before the chain got to the high-limit side of the measurement spec. The rear sprocket still looked new, but the front sprocket teeth were getting a very noticeable "wave".

I am inclined to side with Grommet, that from the effort and money required to maintain the chain, your chain maintenance investment probably really isn't worth the time/money/hassle.

That being said, a clean chain does look nice, and might spool a little more quiet. When I replaced the chain and sprockets, I went with a black rear sprocket, which required a lot less work to keep it looking clean, lol. A black chain might have the same benefits as well. Now days, I pretty much just lube the chain with the DuPont about every 500 miles, maybe clean it with Kero once or twice a year and just say 'eff it, lol. The DuPont does have a cleaning agent, and I do believe that cleaning the chain (more specifically between the plates around the rings, is far more important than the lube part.
Just keep it mostly clean and rust free. I've looked at the nickel plated chains, which should provide a nice slick surface finish while also providing excellent protection from rust. Would not be into a bright chrome looking chain, so that's out. Not too mention, I'm sure that adds quite a bit of weight to an already heavy chunk of steel.

Ultimately, if a chain maker had all the steel bits subjected to a nickel boron coating, you could most likley run without worry of the side plates rusting and causing o-ring damage.
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Old 08-30-2017, 06:25 PM   #17
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Grommet, your findings are inconclusive! You have a V-twin chain. Totally different than our Inline 4 chains! Come on man! Don't try to fool us
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Old 08-30-2017, 06:59 PM   #18
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I believe the chain on my bike was the OEM, the bike had 13,000 miles when I bought it. I have been greasing it with Motul wax every 300-600 miles on average because if I don't, the chain rusts and gets noisy. I usually avoid getting in the rain but this is Florida and even if it does not rain, ambient humidity is always high.
At ~26,000 miles, I had it replaced (with the sprocket) with a quality X ring chain. It was not done yet but the bike was in the shop so I took advantage of the opportunity and I was getting a little worried so I did it mostly for peace of mind. I forgot the brand but it was about $130 with the sprockets on Amazon. Have not felt the need to grease that one yet after about ~1500 miles. Looks good and does not sqeal.
I am curious to see how far it's going to go like that.
On the other hand, knowing what a broken chain can do to my lifestyle, I am not going to try and beat Grommet's record
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:11 PM   #19
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I miss cleaning my chains, that Motul stuff smelled great. Nowdays:
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Old 08-30-2017, 08:07 PM   #20
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Chains are for sissy's!
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