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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think my chain needs a good cleaning and lubrication. I've never done it before. I've read on the manual to use kerosene to clean the chain and SAE 80 or 90 gear oil to lube it afterwards. I watched the video on Revzilla showing how to do it too... doesn't seem complicated, but it looks like it could get messy, plus I have neither kerosene or that type of oil on hand, so I'm thinking about having it done in a shop nearby. Surely cleaning and lubricating a chain doesn't run past $40, does it? Probably includes adjusting too? Do you guys do it yourselves?
 

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No need for kerosene. I use WD-40 for this. Just spray on let it soak for a bit then scrub with a stiff brush to clean the chain. Then I use a chain lube which can be bought at any bike shops (even NAPA auto parts store)
Why pay a shop to do this?

If you want to keep the mess to a minimum just take the chain off and lay it on some card boards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I thought a stiff brush was a no-no with an o-ring chain?
 

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This year I started to use PJ1 Blue Label for my chain lube. I usually just put the bike on the center stand and spray it down with WD-40 (or any not-too-harsh solvent [don't want to damage the o-rings]) while rotating the chain. Next I wipe it down with a clean rag before applying the PJ1.

As 76TWIN said any decent quality chain lube will suffice. The only benefit I have noticed with the PJ1 is a little less flinging, which is important when you're not using a chain guard. Also I don't think a stiff nylon brush will harm the o-rings. Obviously don't rub metal against rubber bits.




EDIT: Spelling.
 

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I just put it on the center stand and spin the tire while spraying continuously into the chains joints. Do it often enough that it doesn't go dry.
 

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I've always used paper towels and wd-40 to clean the crud off my o-ring chains. First take the bike for a short ride, just a mile or two to warm the chain up, park the bike in neutral on the center stand if you have one, and remove the keys from the ignition. Gently turn the rear wheel while gently adding a little wd-40 to the chain, start and end at the master link so you know you've only gone around once. Clean the grunge off the chain, bottom run between sprockets where you can reach easily with your left hand. When your paper towel comes off the chain clean, the chain is clean in that spot, rotate the rear wheel a little to expose a new, dirty section of chain and repeat. You'll need many paper towels. Afterward apply your chain lube of choice, but apply it conservatively so it barely drips off the chain. Slowly turn the rear wheel so that the chain makes a few revolutions, then hold a paper towel on the chain and turn the rear wheel one revolution of the chain in order for your paper towel to absorb any excess chain lube that would fling off while riding.

For best results this is done every 300 miles or 3 tanks of gas, but doing it regularly is key. You'll become familiar with your chain the same way you became familiar with your carburetor, and by inspecting it with your eyes and hands, you'll know its condition.

Watch a few YouTube videos and formulate your own routine.
Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh cool, so just use WD-40 (instead of kerosene) to clean the chain, and then PJ1 Blue Label to lube it (just ordered some on Amazon). Easy enough! :p So I guess I won't take it to the shop after all... thanks!
 

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You're totally welcome, its a regular maintenance thing, as important as checking your engine oil, or tire pressure or remembering to buckle your helmet strap.
 

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WD-40 is not an optimal thing to use on an o-ring chain, you don't really want wd40 to penetrate past the o-rings and dilute the grease that is supposed to be sealed in. Kerosene I think is what's recommended for cleaning, you could probably google the manufacturer of your chain and see what their website says to use. Although apparently every manufacturer differs so who knows. I'd gently use a low volatility preferably non hydrocarbon cleaner to minimize the chance of damaging the o-rings

I use the Dupont chain lube, I've only seen good things about it on the internet (very rare)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Well the o-rings should keep the WD-40 from the sealed-in grease, right? If it happens then the seal is failing and I've guess you've got another problem...

(...) park the bike in neutral on the center stand if you have one (...) You'll become familiar with your chain the same way you became familiar with your carburetor
Yeah my NH doesn't have a central stand. Cheap, Honda!! I kind of would like to have one but I guess maybe a jack would work too because so far I haven't felt I needed a center stand except for this (cleaning the chain - and yeah you can just move the bike but it's not as practical IMO, so if I'm going to do it, might as well make it as easy as possible). So I guess I'll eventually go with whichever is cheaper.

This time the gas smell is pretty much gone. Maybe it's in my head but overall the bike feels like it's running much better too...
 
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For the non-o-ring chain that hasn't been cleaned in a while (or the unknown length of time, as in the purchase of a used bike with a decent chain on it), I've always taken the chain off the bike and hung it up vertically, then use chain lube to spray it heavily from the top down, working your way to the bottom of the chain letting gravity run the buildup of lube all over the chain and rinsing it down as it goes. It's amazing how much stuff comes off with the lube as it nears the bottom end of the chain, and once finished you let the chain lube sit up until thickened and sticky (I use an old can of PJ-1 I've had since my last CBX in the early '90s, still great lube that thickens up in a few minutes). I've had a clean/lube like that last hundreds of miles
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I may do that, I just need to figure out how to take chain off :p Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
See pic. Looks dirty to me...

IMG_20181104_091953770.jpg
 

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Looks rusty too, you might want to make sure it turns freely still. I removed a lot of the rust from my original one with kerosene and a wire brush (just on the edges, not the rollers. It was still too far gone though.

The wd40 in theory shouldn't get past the o-rings but on an old chain I wouldn't risk it if you're trying to prolong its life. Do you know what type of master link it has?
 

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For the non-o-ring chain that hasn't been cleaned in a while (or the unknown length of time, as in the purchase of a used bike with a decent chain on it), I've always taken the chain off the bike and hung it up vertically, then use chain lube to spray it heavily from the top down, working your way to the bottom of the chain letting gravity run the buildup of lube all over the chain and rinsing it down as it goes. It's amazing how much stuff comes off with the lube as it nears the bottom end of the chain, and once finished you let the chain lube sit up until thickened and sticky (I use an old can of PJ-1 I've had since my last CBX in the early '90s, still great lube that thickens up in a few minutes). I've had a clean/lube like that last hundreds of miles
Is the crazy OCD dad coming out?

Actually, you are correct, this is the best way to clean and lube a drive chain. You can even take it to a parts washer. When the chain is off the bike it is a good time to inspect for frozen links. Hang it on one end and drape it over a screwdriver, the run the length and any sticky links will be very apparent. This is critical for a smooth running drive chain. Chain lubes have come a long way since Honda wrote the manual. The old 80/90W gear oil will sling off the chain and make a mess of the back wheel. My FSM for a '64 BSA Lightning said to soak it on a coffee can of gear oil. Leave it to the Brits to get the job done!
 

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Is the crazy OCD dad coming out?
Yeah, probably... :D it's just something I learned long ago when my cousin and I had our Honda repair shop, not sure if I picked it up from someone or just figured it out myself. I used to wash chains in the parts washer and then hang it up if the chain was nasty enough with dirt and old grease (enduro/motocross bikes) but the soaking in of a constant flow of chain lube is cumulative and does a good washing for you as you go, plus it soaks into no-o-ring chains nicely that way too. Wait - me, or MY Dad...?? probably both the same :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Looks rusty too, you might want to make sure it turns freely still. I removed a lot of the rust from my original one with kerosene and a wire brush (just on the edges, not the rollers. It was still too far gone though.

The wd40 in theory shouldn't get past the o-rings but on an old chain I wouldn't risk it if you're trying to prolong its life. Do you know what type of master link it has?
Can I use steel wool for the rust? I'm ordering some to deal with the rust under the frame so... not sure about the master link, I think it's riveted, but I don't know much else, sorry...
 

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No steel wool. Stiff brush only to get old crud out. You could use a brass brush or similar to address the rust , but only use it on the outside of the links For the record, I use Pj1 Black on my chains (because I once found it on sale..lol).
 
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See pic. Looks dirty to me...that's called neglect olivier.

Chain lube comes in very handy aerosol cans these days, a case of little and often, you can even get gloves !

If you don't know how to take the chain off then you don't know how to keep it in adjustment ! From the picture you don't know how to look after the chain either.

You have a manual, yes ? Its the best place to start.

We all started from somewhere so don't dispair. As you can see I cnat spell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
See pic. Looks dirty to me...that's called neglect olivier.

Chain lube comes in very handy aerosol cans these days, a case of little and often, you can even get gloves !

If you don't know how to take the chain off then you don't know how to keep it in adjustment ! From the picture you don't know how to look after the chain either.

You have a manual, yes ? Its the best place to start.

We all started from somewhere so don't dispair. As you can see I cnat spell.
Woah, easy there, I just bought that bike and am slowly learning how to maintain it ?. You can ask my wife and she'll tell you I'm not neglecting that thing...
 
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