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RESIDENT ASSHOLE
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Discussion Starter #1
This is probably one of the most often asked questions I get via pm. There seems to be a controversy on how a chain should be maintained but Im going to show you how I do it.

I just picked up a bike from a friend of mine for a pretty good price.........or so I thought. It needs more than the money I saved in basic repairs to get it up to my standards. The front tire's valve stem was hanging on by a thread.......litteraly about to blow off the rim. I decided it was a good time to get rid of my last 208 rear and put on a new front seeing as the tire on it sucked anyways.

Im going to walk you thru how I clean and lubricate and adjust a chain. There are plenty of differences on how to do this but with all the time Ive spent doing my line of work...........this is the best way as far as Im concerned.
 

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RESIDENT ASSHOLE
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Discussion Starter #2
Step One...........Clean that nasty thing!!!!

Im short some good stands and I didnt have spools for the newly aquired 636 so up on a Lockhart Phillips rear paddle stand it went. For sake of ambiguity I decided to just use chemicals that are easily found at any auto parts store and my personal favorite MOTUL off road chain lube.

Lets clean this dirty, obviously never cleaned or adjusted pig of a chain. I start off with a penetrating lube...........WD40, silicone spray........whatever you want to use. I like it because its easy on the orings and will displace any water that may have gotten trapped somewhere.
 

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RESIDENT ASSHOLE
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Discussion Starter #3
A Safety Note!!!!!!

Now I want everyone who reads this tutorial to have their fingers later on in life. For everyones safety..........please use common sense. NEVER GRAB YOUR CHAIN WITH YOURE ENGINE RUNNING IN OR OUT OF GEAR There is absolutely no reason to be so lazy that you purposely start your bike and use the engine to turn the wheel moving the chain for you. Its dangerous and stupid and I personaly know one guy who lost half a thumb and have read at least 20 stories of people losing fingers.

Always, always and I repeat ALWAYS use better judgement. Keep the motorcycle on the rear stand, in NUETRAL and grasp the chain with a towel in hand on the BOTTOM RUN (underneath the swingarm) and turn the wheel CLOCKWISE (assuming your chain run is on the left side of the motorcycle) BY HAND. Pull the chain thru your towel and keep spinning it.

This may take several applications of penetrating lube and several towels before its clean enough for the next step. A clean chain is a happy chain.
 

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RESIDENT ASSHOLE
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Discussion Starter #4
Lithium..............Not Just A Medication For Vietnam Vets!

No...........we arent really using pills on chains.

I love "sprayable white lithium" this is the secret to my chain setup. Its an absolute powerhouse when it comes to lubrication. It is my absolute must do step to chain maintenance. You can choose to omit it but I think youd be sorely dissapointed with the long term results of not using it.

The second verse is the same as the first in application minus one small detail. If you notice, I only sprayed from the inner side of the chain on the penetrating lube..........I did this because Im trying to flush out the dirt and debris from the inside.........out.

With the white lithium I start in the same place but also go to the outside of the sprocket and spray the outer edge as well.

Im not so much trying to spray the link plate faces but to get lubrication around the oring and between the links and rollers. I want to protect the oring as it is sealing in the factory grease inbetween the roll pins and the rollers. This is paramount for longevity. A link missing orings may as well be a dead link.........its only good so long as you keep constant maintenace on it.

I let the white lithium sit for approximately 15 minutes to set up and become tacky before wiping off the majority of it...............YES I SAID MAJORITY OF IT. Like I stated before I want the innards to be lubed not decorated.

Youll see that when your done........your chain will look like the recieving end of a bukkake party. This is a messy job and if you do it right youll be cleaning up after yourself to finish the job.
 

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RESIDENT ASSHOLE
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Discussion Starter #5
Another Note On Safety.

In case I wasnt clear the last time.............let me reitterate.............

NEVER EVER START YOUR ENGINE OR USE IT TO HELP WIPE YOUR CHAIN DOWN

Hopefully some of you monkeys understand what Im saying and take this as the gospel for keeping your fingers on your hand.

Grasp the chain with a towl in your hand and gently squeeze it while turning the back wheel clockwise (again if you have left side chain drive) and pull the chain thru the rag for 1 to 2 complete cycles. This will have removed most of your lube but left a good majority of it on the needy parts. AGAIN.........GENTLY SQUEEZE THE CHAIN FOR THIS WIPE DOWN.

Notice how much happier my chain looks compared to the first picture:beer
 

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RESIDENT ASSHOLE
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Discussion Starter #6
Jeez That Looks So Pretty.............UGLY!!!

My reasoning for using the MOTUL™ "OFF-ROAD" formula is simple. Its bright and ugly. Its the perfect candidate for showing you when you need to touch up a chain lube. The hideous "Hi-lighter" green look to it is there for dirtbikers to see that the chain is still lubed. If its good enough for a dirtbike, its good enough for any streetbike.

Now I know alot of you are asking questions like.........."Does it fling?" or "Cant I just use CHAIN WAX?" and my answers are "Yes it can, if youre in a big hurry to ride after a good maintenance." and "I hate chain wax because it actually traps the dirt and sand in it and acts like a tiny chainsaw on your chain."

I apply the MOTUL™ chain lube very liberaly. I like to see it completely saturated and I also do the same pattern as I did with the white lithium. First on the inner side and then on the outer side.
 

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RESIDENT ASSHOLE
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Discussion Starter #7
Can I Just Say SAFETY One More Time????

After letting the MOTUL™ set up for about 15 minutes I again grab a clean towel and clean the excess of the chain.

I know some of you arent listening so Im gonna say it one more time........

NEVER USE THE ENGINE TO TURN YOUR REAR WHEEL AND HELP YOU CLEAN THE CHAIN! YOU HAVE 8 FINGERS AND 2 THUMBS.......LETS KEEP IT LIKE THAT!

You know, having an opposable thumb is one of the really cool things about being part of the ape/primate species. I love mine.:cheers

Gently grasp the chain with the new towel and slowly turn the rear wheel CLOCKWISE (again kids, this is for left side drive bikes) and rotate 2 TIMES.

The chain should have quite a bit of "ectoplasm" left on it as a really sweet indicator of chain lube conditon.
 

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RESIDENT ASSHOLE
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Discussion Starter #8
Gee Hybrid.........My chain is slapping the swingarm now.

Yup, its true..........clean a chain so that the links arent binding...........and you now probably have what I had................WAY TOO MUCH SLACK.

Notice I measure at the bottom run.........in the middle of the swingarm.

How much chain slack do you want? Whatever the manufacturer recommends or my number is..........roughly 1and 1/4" from full up to full down. Remember to measure from the same side of the chain ie. Top or Bottom.

The secret here kids is that you should have your tightest spot at the recommended chain slack.........or you guessed it...........you run the risk of further harming your chain.
 

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RESIDENT ASSHOLE
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Discussion Starter #9
Well How Do I Properly Adjust It, Hybrid???

I only needed a slight adjustment..........I loosen up the rear axle just enough that the nut will spin off by hand with a good grip on it.

I crack the lock nuts loose (some adjusters are different so read your owners manual for your bikes details) and slowly thread out the adjusters until I know that Im pretty close to money.

Now here is the fun part..............

Stick your least favorite wrench between the bottom run of the chain and the sprocket.........Rotate the rear wheel COUNTERCLOCKWISE (do I need to say what side chain drive Im talking about still? LEFT SIDE ) and crush the wrench in there.

Slowly back off the wheel and remove the wrench. Remeasure your slack.

Whats the purpose of this? Well simply it puts torque on the wheel so that its pushed up on the adjuster block. Lots of people fail to realize that there may be slight gaps here and there and when they tighten up the axle..........the adjustment is all off.

Do yourself a favor..............always do this step and save yourself a headache.

I replace the wrench into the chain and sproket area and rotate the wheel (assuming I was right with my initial adjustment) and when its pushed tight I tighten the axle nut again. This makes sure that you dont lose your adjustment.

Now slip the wrench back out and put one wrench on the adjuster and take another to lock up the lock nut. Dont go crazy with the torque.....its a small bolt.

Oh and if you ask me what torque for the back axle................Buy a service manual........its your best friend.

Remember to clean up your mess and wipe off your tire of any overspray. Lubrication is not a good idea on motorcycle tires.

As always, the reader assumes all responsibility if they so choose to duplicate my practices themselves. SBN and I are not responsible for anyone that isnt qualified to do this hurting or killing anyone due to mistakes. I strive to be as clear and concise as possible. If you have questions...........ask.

OH AND KIDS, I DO THIS WHOLE PROCESS ONCE EVERY MONTH. FOR THE THREE OTHER WEEKS I JUST LIGHTLY SPRAY ON THE MOTUL™ TO KEEP A LUBE ON IT. YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO SEE THE NEED BY THE COLOR OF THE CHAIN, or LACK THEREOF
 

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