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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had the same issue on my last 2 bikes where my chain and sprockets were in good shape, no bad tight spots, teeth looked good, but O rings began falling off.

The first was a Yamaha FZ1,chain had about 20,000 miles on it and was 3 or 4 years old. I noticed a couple O rings were missing and the space where they were had gotten some rust in there. I thought it was from the Grunge Brush I had been using to clean it was too rough and ripped the rings.

Second bike was an Aprilia Tuono, 5 years old, but only 13k on it before I saw rings missing. I had stopped using the brush regularly because of the Yamaha, but here was the problem again.

On both of these bikes I used Motorex Chain Cleaner, and PJ1 lube on the Yamaha and Motul on the Aprilia. I keep the chain well lubed and clean, adjusted in spec, and I always relube after riding in the rain.

Now I have a new bike with only 3500 miles so far and would make the chain last longer, so I'd like to figure out why these O rings keep falling off. I've stopped using the brush completely and have switched to BelRay Super Clean lube, but what else can I do? Or is it just something that happens?

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First guess is pre-owned bike with chain neglect by previous owner. Next would be over lubing or not cleaning excess oil off the chain. Most unlikely but still possible since you sound meticulous about chain maintenance is the chain stretched beyond spec but your tightening prevented significant damage to the sprocket. You can measure links distance with a ruler and see if the chain is out of spec easiliy.

Also, I'm no pro. All this is from my experience working with pedal bikes which clearly have similarities and differences in components and loads. Take it with a grain of sand.
 

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After Me Lucky Charms
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You eliminated the lube, so, only other possibility is Motorex Chain Cleaner

Try this. Good Ol' fashioned kerosene.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm wondering if you're cleaning too well, and actually removing the lube that's on the inside of those O-rings. I've NEVER had that happen on any bike. I also just wipe down the chain with a rag and some cleaner on it to get the grime off the surface, but dont scrub or anything.
That's what I've been doing with the new bike so far, just spray cleaner on the chain, then on some paper towels, and then wipe the chain clean. The BelRay is a lot better at staying on the chain and not flinging off, and it doesn't attract as much dirt.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
First guess is pre-owned bike with chain neglect by previous owner. Next would be over lubing or not cleaning excess oil off the chain. Most unlikely but still possible since you sound meticulous about chain maintenance is the chain stretched beyond spec but your tightening prevented significant damage to the sprocket. You can measure links distance with a ruler and see if the chain is out of spec easiliy.
That's possible with the Aprilia, I only put the last 8k on it and it was pretty old when I bought it. But the Yamaha was less than a year old when I bought it and only had 5k miles on it. Though I remember the Yamaha chain had a bunch of old crusty chain wax all over it when I got it.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You eliminated the lube, so, only other possibility is Motorex Chain Cleaner

Try this. Good Ol' fashioned kerosene.
Could be the culprit, I've been using that stuff since I got my first bike. It does say O Ring safe on it, but it is really thin, could be getting behind the O Rings.

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There is a lot of resources online about what solvents make o-rings swell and what cleaners damage the integrity of the o-rings.(Don't have access to that right now.)

A lot of cleaners and solvents really do mess up a chain. Best thing you can really do is clean it regularly using a mild soap and water to get out large pieces of dust/sand/grit use a good lube that doubles as a sealer such as the super sticky, bel-ray stuff that usually stays ghost-white on the chain.

The key is to remove the grit, dust, and sand. Not so much take the grease off and recoat completely.
 

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Mexican Hard Shell Taco
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20,000 miles for a chain is pretty good, I'd love my XT660R to go that far with a chain, but the big thumper just loves eating chains!

In fact, I've changed several chains with around 20,000 miles, all of them had their O-Rings but at that point they were of no use, chains were so worn that the o-rings were not sealing anymore.

Something I've thinking about is that the people that get ridiculously high mileage out of their chains always use chain oilers. Chain oilers just add oil to the chain, but never "clean" it, niy they use lighter oils that easily flings but takes the dirt with it...

Either way, I've been using transmission oil for my chains for a while. The last two chains that I installed clearly said to lube them with transmission oil. Chains stay cleaner, they are super easy to clean, and while it does fling, it is very easy to clean off the wheel.
 

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Actually Tod, you have a good point there. ATF is also cheaper compared to 80w90 that I normally use. and easier to clean. It's also definitely O-ring safe, and won't attract dust like a thicker lube. I might just switch to this.

NCR: I've always used a toothbrush/soft nylon brush dipped in some kerosene to clean the chain. just a quick brush on the inside/outside of the chain to get the muck and old lube off.

Lately, I've been using John Deere spray on chain lube. It's apparently o-ring safe, and doesn't fling for nothing. I also get it for free. can't complain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm going to have to try the kerosene route for cleaning then, seems like a popular thing I hear online. One of these days I'm going to get a chain oiler.

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I use Dupont Chain Saver. Teflon and wax, so it's not supposed to fling. I get no splash on the wheel so that might be true. I keep the chain at the mid point (50mm) on the slack adjustment. I also pull the primary sprocket cover off once a month and clean it out inside and check the primary sprocket.. Crud can build up in there. A rag and some simple green takes care of it. I do not use a brush on the chain. But I don't ride in the rain. If I get caught out in it, I find a place to pull over, go in and flirt with the waitress.
 

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After Me Lucky Charms
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... and so is Yamaha's manual. If only kerosene could be found in the spray can.
BTW, Motorex is an excellent brand.
Disregard that post, I can't seem to find it in my manual now. :p
 

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Skid Mark
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i thought that anything over 10k miles was a lot for a chain? i don't think i've ever put more than about 8k miles on any of my chains...


s3aturnr
 

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I have 6,000 on my current chain/sprockets and I think it has needed adjustment. . .3 times? the sprocket looks pretty stellar yet too.

And I neither ride slow, nor am I religious about chain maintenance. so you've got something funny going on.
 

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I got about 10k out of both chains on the sv, they didn't NEED replaced but I ride in the rain a good bit. The lack of power probably helped them last, looks like I'll get about 10k on the triple too. Looked mint until there was salt on the roads
 

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My first bike I tried a bunch of different chain cleaners hoping for a magic product that would make all the crap just fall off. I never found that product. My next bike I just followed the manual and used kerosene. It was cheaper and easier to find in my small town.

Maybe your cleaner is screwing up the O-rings but 20K miles on a chain is a hell of a lot of miles.
 

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I usually get about 20k out of a chain if it is the stock steel setup. Using the supersprox rear is the same I get about 20k out of it. Did on my ZX14 3x and my BMW S1k 1x so far. I am not easy on the bike really so that is not helping matters for me. I have several track days per chain as well. This time I have a different sprocket on the BMW so we will see how long I get out of it but I change the chain and both sprockets every time. I dont use a brush but do use simple green or whatever and a rag to clean the chain. I also use the Dupont chain wax and use it every 300-500 miles. Link at bottome of page...I usually just buy it at Lowes or Home Depot though... sometimes Walmart.

Dupont Teflon Chain-Saver - Compacc
 
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