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You can the entire collection of Safety Tip articles in a 33 Megabyte PDF Portfolio

 All Forums
 How To ...
 Preventative Maintenance
 Cleaning the chain
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gdickelman
Male Advanced Member
1205 Posts
[Mentor]


Annandale, VA
USA

Moto Guzzi

California Vintage

Posted - 07/02/2009 :  1:40 PM                       Like
Which are good, safe cleaners to use on a chain prior to lubricating? My Ducati Multistrada manual says that I should not use certain kinds of solvents that could eat away plastic seals in the drive train.

That said, what are "safe" cleaners? I have been told that there are kerosene/detergent cleaners and that gasoline is acceptable also.

I have a bottle of Griot's Oil and Grease Cleaner (purchased for other purposes), but I am thinking that this could be used safely. I've written to the manufacturer, but would be interested to hear your opinions and advice. FYI, this forum turned me on to Griot's (great products), but I don't know if the Oil & Grease cleaner should be used on my Duc's chain.

Night Train
Male Advanced Member
1668 Posts
[Mentor]


Sydney, Nova Scotia
Canada

Kawasaki

2006 VN900

Posted - 07/02/2009 :  2:51 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
I found this video during a "google" search which shows the cleaning and lubrication of the chain with a product called Maxima Chain Wax.
You might find it to be of some interest.

http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to/v...hain-169160/

There are a number of sites that discuss chain lube vs. chain wax, just "google" chain wax.
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greywolf
Male Moderator
1484 Posts
[Mentor]


Evanston, IL
USA

Suzuki

DL650AL2

Posted - 07/02/2009 :  3:07 PM
Kerosene and a Kettenmax chain cleaning kit do it for me. No muss, no fuss, no mess. http://www.vstrom.info/Smf/index.ph...c,821.0.html will start a video you can kill early if you want. Using a lube that does not attract dirt like Bel-Ray super clean or Dupont Multipurpose dry wax lube with Teflon go a long way toward keeping the chain and sprocket area clean. From http://www.vstrom.info/Smf/index.ph...2854.30.html

Dupont Multi




Maxima chain wax

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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6948 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 790 Adv R

Posted - 07/02/2009 :  3:16 PM
I agree with Greywolf except that an old toothbrush works perfectly well to loosen any dirt on the chain. Kerosene is the best thing I've found to clean a chain with, as well as many other parts of the bike. I also prefer DuPont Teflon Multi-Use Lubricant. Although it isn't "better" than chain wax, it's just as good at keeping the chain protected, according to my own tests, and it attracts less dirt and is less likely to fly off and get all over your wheels and other things. I buy it at Lowe's. You can also use it to lubricate throttle cables, turn signal switches, and other things that you can't use normal chain lubricant on.

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greywolf
Male Moderator
1484 Posts
[Mentor]


Evanston, IL
USA

Suzuki

DL650AL2

Posted - 07/02/2009 :  4:22 PM
A toothbrush, grunge brush et al are fine for cleaning the chain. The bristles flick dirty solvent when they snap back though. The Kettenmax contains all the flick off inside the box. I don't have the clean the bike and the garage after I clean the chain.
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gdickelman
Male Advanced Member
1205 Posts
[Mentor]


Annandale, VA
USA

Moto Guzzi

California Vintage

Posted - 07/02/2009 :  4:43 PM
Thanks everyone!

I picked up a Grunge Brush



and some chain wax from the Ducati dealer and I was good to go.

Thanks for the tips!

BTW, the Ducati mechanic said that he avoids kerosene etc. for cleaning and recommends using the chain wax for cleaning and lubing. His rationale was that there is then no chance of damaging O-rings.
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6948 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 790 Adv R

Posted - 07/02/2009 :  5:02 PM
quote:
Originally posted by gdickelman

BTW, the Ducati mechanic said that he avoids kerosene etc. for cleaning and recommends using the chain wax for cleaning and lubing. His rationale was that there is then no chance of damaging O-rings.

There is no chance of damaging the O-rings with kerosene either. I've seen tests on what sort of chemicals damage O-rings and kerosene is pretty safe. There are several chain manufacturers who recommend it.

The problem with using chain wax is that you have to rub it back off right away or whatever dirt you loosened up with it won't want to come off. I've cleaned with chain wax before and had to do about six links at a time - spray, scrub, wipe off as carefully as possible. With Kerosene you can scrub the whole thing then wipe off the whole thing. It also happens to be a bit cheaper for the cleaning part.

Feel free to use chain wax as a cleaner. I'm just trying to let you know what works best for me.

Link to one O-ring test: http://www.advrider.com/forums/show...php?t=345397
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gdickelman
Male Advanced Member
1205 Posts
[Mentor]


Annandale, VA
USA

Moto Guzzi

California Vintage

Posted - 07/02/2009 :  6:28 PM
quote:
Originally posted by scottrnelson



Link to one O-ring test: http://www.advrider.com/forums/show...php?t=345397



Thanks, Scott. Great resource!

One of the YouTube resources used chlorine-free brake cleaner. I decided not to go that route.

The recommendation for using the chain wax as a cleaner is consistent with what you said: Wipe it immediately when using it as a cleaner. The rest of the advice: Once the chain has been cleaned with the chain wax, take the bike for a short ride to heat up the chain, then apply once again, but as a lubricant.

Next time I'll use kerosene to clean it, then use the chain wax.
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greywolf
Male Moderator
1484 Posts
[Mentor]


Evanston, IL
USA

Suzuki

DL650AL2

Posted - 07/02/2009 :  7:16 PM
Really, use Bel-Ray super clean or the Du Pont stuff. Look at the difference in the front sprocket areas between the Du Pont lubricated chain and the Chain Wax lubricated chain. I shudder to think what it would look like in there if chain wax was used for cleaning too.
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2083 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 07/02/2009 :  8:30 PM
I am starting to feel as if NYC is not part of this world. I could not locate the Dupont Teflon (tomorrow I am off to find a Lowes), I could not find Bel-Ray chain Lube (Amazon 11.30 + 9.23 shipping ).

After trying the logical places, unsuccessfully, I suspect I am now on every watch list in this country. Where do you buy your kerosene?


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greywolf
Male Moderator
1484 Posts
[Mentor]


Evanston, IL
USA

Suzuki

DL650AL2

Posted - 07/02/2009 :  9:04 PM
Some Lowes and Ace Hardware carry DuPont lube and some do not. http://www.derbycycles.com/cgi-bin/...uct=&count=1 for one has aerosol or small squeeze bottles for traveling. I get kerosene at Home Depot. It's marketed as lamp fuel so camping supply stores often have it.
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2083 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 07/02/2009 :  9:20 PM
quote:
Originally posted by greywolf

Some Lowes and Ace Hardware carry DuPont lube and some do not. http://www.derbycycles.com/cgi-bin/...uct=&count=1 for one has aerosol or small squeeze bottles for traveling. I get kerosene at Home Depot. It's marketed as lamp fuel so camping supply stores often have it.



Thanks for the link. I almost ordered it from Amazon at the same time but the can did not look the same.

The places I went to here mumbled something about a fire code prohibition. They all had propane but no kerosene. I may head into the burbs and look for lamp fuel. Thanks again.
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CanuckSV
Male Starting Member
5 Posts


Calgary, Alberta
Canada

Suzuki

SV650S

Posted - 09/01/2009 :  5:11 PM
I know everyone is looking for that ultimate cleaner.
For more years than I dare to say; Kerosene is King.
It is recommended by the mfg and it is dirt cheap.
I use a long plastic tray (kinda like what you would steal from the post office) and drench the chain with a small paintbrush.
Then use a toothbrush to get into the nooks and crannies.
One more drenching with the paintbrush, a quick wipe down with a rag, a short ride, and you're ready to lube.
The realtively clean kerosene soaked rag is also great for wiping splatters and bugs off the rest of the mechanical parts around your rear wheel.
Do Not Use Gasoline. It will eat the O-Rings.
Has anybody in Canda been able to find the Dupont stuff?
Sounds great but tough to locate.
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rkfire
Advanced Member
1716 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Peer Review: Blocked

Posted - 09/01/2009 :  5:27 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
quote:
Originally posted by CanuckSV
Has anybody in Canda been able to find the Dupont stuff?
Sounds great but tough to locate.



I'm in Ontario at the moment, and just picked up a spare can of Dupont Teflon stuff at the local Lowes. Unsure whether they are in your parts or not.
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CanuckSV
Male Starting Member
5 Posts


Calgary, Alberta
Canada

Suzuki

SV650S

Posted - 09/01/2009 :  5:32 PM
Thanks Roger,
Our Lowes are just coming I hear.
So does the stuff work like I hear?
Dry going on? No fling? Cleans great also?
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6948 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 790 Adv R

Posted - 09/01/2009 :  6:23 PM
quote:
Originally posted by CanuckSV

So does the stuff work like I hear?
Dry going on? No fling? Cleans great also?

It goes on wet, but dries in just a few minutes. Very little fling. And it doesn't tend to collect dirt like Chain Wax does.

Doesn't clean nearly as well as kerosene. But you can use it to lubricate other things like cables and clutch/brake levers where you would never want to use a normal chain lubricant.
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CanuckSV
Male Starting Member
5 Posts


Calgary, Alberta
Canada

Suzuki

SV650S

Posted - 09/01/2009 :  6:35 PM
Scary how far we've come.
Used to oil with 30 weight out of a drip can.
Now we're saying chain wax collects too much dirt.
Who ever called them "the good old days"?
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Dnc
Standard Member
132 Posts


Edmonton, Alberta
Canada

Honda

CBR250RA

Posted - 09/01/2009 :  8:11 PM
quote:
Originally posted by rkfire

quote:
Originally posted by CanuckSV
Has anybody in Canda been able to find the Dupont stuff?
Sounds great but tough to locate.



I'm in Ontario at the moment, and just picked up a spare can of Dupont Teflon stuff at the local Lowes. Unsure whether they are in your parts or not.



I ordered a couple of cans off the 'net. 2 spray cans and 2 of the smaller drip bottles, close to $80CDN though including duty. Duty/brokerage was a bit much, so next time I'm getting a relative in the US to send it marked as a 'gift'
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CanuckSV
Male Starting Member
5 Posts


Calgary, Alberta
Canada

Suzuki

SV650S

Posted - 09/02/2009 :  12:31 AM
OUCH!!!
I had read in other forums our American friends were getting for $6-$8 for a large aerosol can.
I heard it was effective but it was the price(?) that really excited me.
If you can save $60, that really is a gift!
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gymnast
Moderator
4260 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 09/02/2009 :  9:48 AM
Dnc, What happened to the "North American Free Trade Agreement"?
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