How to Clean and Lubricate a Motorcycle O-Ring Chain

  • By George
  • March 7, 2016
  • Comments Off on How to Clean and Lubricate a Motorcycle O-Ring Chain
Motorcycle Chain And Rear Sprocket

Motorcycle Chain And Rear Sprocket

Modern motorcycles use o-ring final drive chains. O-ring chains are roller chains with o-rings placed between the roller link plate and pin link plate. The o-ring is used to seal in lubricant between the pin and bushing, which is placed there during factory assembly and should last the life of the chain.

This sealed lubricant will greatly extend chain life when compared to non o-ring chains. The reason an o-ring is called o-ring is its cross sectional area is round like a circle. There are other rings on the market with different shaped cross sectional areas, but they all do the same thing. For example, some rings have a cross sectional area shaped like the letter ‘x’, and they are given the name x-ring. The reason we need to keep an o-ring chain clean is because dirt contains very hard minerals which will cause chain wear and decrease the life of the chain. A few reasons why we need to lubricate an o-ring chain are:

– Prevents corrosion and rust from developing on the chain links.
– Lubricates the contact surfaces of the chain and sprocket. This will actually increase the amount of power transferred from the engine to the rear wheel. A dry, non lubricated chain will rob engine power from reaching the rear wheel and will decrease fuel mileage.
– Chain lubricant will prevent o-rings from drying out, cracking and falling off.

How often you clean and lubricate your chain depends on your own particular circumstances. A person who rides in harsh conditions will need to perform chain maintenance more often than someone who only rides in ideal conditions. A good good rule of thumb for final drive chain maintenance is every 350 to 500 miles.

The best way to clean an o-ring chain is to use kerosene and a brush. I think kerosene is probably better than any aerosol chain cleaner I have tried, and it is only a fraction of the cost and is safe for o-ring chains. Last time I bought kerosene I paid $10.50 for 1 gallon, so 10oz of kerosene is less than $1. 10oz of aerosol motorcycle chain cleaner can cost $6 or more, so kerosene can’t be beat for cost. You can buy kerosene at your local Home Depot. Pour the kerosene into a spray bottle and spray it on the chain while you manually rotate the rear wheel with your other hand. For safety reason avoid getting kerosene on your rear tire and avoid open flames or sparks. I sometimes use cardboard to prevent over spray from getting on the motorcycle. Don’t start the motorcycle and let the engine rotate the rear wheel, because getting your fingers caught between the chain and sprocket can cut your fingers off. Let the kerosene soak for a few minutes, than use a brush to loosen up the old chain lube and dirt on your chain. I like to use a brush made specifically for motorcycle chains called Grunge Brush. It fits around the chain well, and makes the process much cleaner than using a general purpose brush. After brushing the chain I usually spray the chain one or more times again with kerosene to help remove the dirt. After all the dirt is removed I use a rag to wipe and dry the chain.

For chain lubricant I use an aerosol chain lube called Liquid Wrench Chain Lube. I choose to use this particular lubricant because I like the price, it works, its safe for o-ring chains and its easy to find. To use the chain lube I attach the red tube to the spray nozzle and spray the chain lube to the inside edges of the chain as I rotate the rear tire with my other hand. I spray each pin link plate, roller link plate and end of roller on each inside edge of the chain. I can do this in two passes. Avoid getting chain lube on your rear tire. The reason why I spray the inside of the chain and not the outside is because centrifugal force will pull the chain lube to the outside as the chain rotates. You can actually feel it become easier to rotate the wheel as you apply the chain lube. Its amazing how much engine power a dry chain removes from reaching the rear wheel.

 

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 

Cardboard Used To Protect Rear Tire From Over Spray

Cardboard Used To Protect Rear Tire From Over Spray

Different Motorcycle Chain Lubricants And Cleaners

Different Motorcycle Chain Lubricants And Cleaners

Kerosene And Spray Bottle

1 Gallon Kerosene And 16 ounce Spray Bottle

Notice Pin Link Plate Removed Revealing O Ring On Top Of Roller Link Plate

LS: Pin Link Plate – RS: O Ring On Top Of Roller Link Plate

Pin Link Plate O Ring Removed From Motorcycle Chain

Pin Link Plate O Ring Removed From Motorcycle Chain

Showing How The Grunge Brush Fits The Motorcycle Chain

Showing How The Grunge Brush Fits The Motorcycle Chain

The Grunge Brush Packaging

The Grunge Brush Packaging

The Grunge Brush

The Grunge Brush

Categories: Motorcycle Repair

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