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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all Does anyone know a definitive answer for whether it is ok to use said products on an o ring chain to clean it. I have rang two local dealers and they say no and that they use 'chain cleaner'. i suspect that they would say that but hey I may be wrong. Obviously I don't want to damage my chain so it would be nice to know.
 

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My XSR700 owners manual says to use kerosene to clean the chain. I have used WD-40 for many years on o'ring chains, with no problems. Any of the aerosol chain cleaner products are fine, too.
 

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WD-40 is highly penetrable and not made from 100% kerosene, so I would be careful because it probably washes out the grease sealed inside the O-rings.
 

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At the end of the day, the questions are, what is your intention and do you know what you are doing?

The OEM chain will last about 30 tkm at least. So what can you do for it to bring it to that life cycle? In my opinion an excessive cleaning will shorten that life time.
If you use a regular chain grease it is sprayed onto the chain, the solvents will evaporate over night and a greasy layer will remain. This layer will get in contact with dirt during riding and its greasy quality will decrease and end up as a quite hard and black coating. You can see it inside the chain links and it will build up around/beside the o-rings.

Two times a year I ride to a public wash place, use some chain cleaner and use carefully the pressure washer (from both sides outside the chain) until all cleaner solvents, visible as an emulsion, are washed away. The wash place has a oil skimmer, so it is the best solution for the environment as well.
On my way back home the chain will dry up. Arrived I spray the clean chain, that's it.


Everybody knows the recipe to remove tar or bitumen spots from the exhaust pipes, for example. You use some butter to soften up the hard tar.
Same same if you use petroleum/diesel to remove the old grease. The bad is, that you will never remove all of it and the softening nature will remain, even if you re-grease the chain. Consequence is, that you will some nasty black greasy spots on your back side and all over the back of your XSR. Do not ask me, how good they fulfilled their greasing the drive chain task.
 

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I go back to the days before "O" ring chains existed and back then just about everything was used to clean the chain and just about everything from light grade motor oil to heavy duty grease was used to lube the chain. Today, with modern chains that have "O" rings to keep the factory lube in place, we have a great assortment of cleaners which help get the crud off without damaging the "O" rings and lubricant that supplies a coating of lube to the outside that offers a bit of protection to the links on the outside. In most manuals they'll say not to use gasoline because it will deteriorate the rubber "O" rings. Lubrication isn't quite as well spelled out but most chain manufacturers and bike manufacturers will tell you not to use high pressure sprayers because they can force detergents and water into places you don't want it because once in there, it won't evaporate, and eventually degrade the interior surface. I personally clean my chain after running in the rain or after a couple thousand miles, whichever comes first. I use kerosene for cleaning (with a brush) and Maxima chain wax for the lube. It works for me and I rarely have to adjust the chain. I'm sure other methods work too. I can't remember the last time I had to replace a chain on a bike I bought brand new but it had to have been back in the 80's I would imagine. About every 15,000 miles I take the countershaft cover off and work on the crap that has accumulated in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well although The manufacturer suggests that you use kerosene I have decided to use Ipone chain cleaner after watching this. In is he shows that although kerosine doesn't harm your o ring rubber it does get past it.
I like this guys videos.
 

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Although I have not used these other cleaners, I have been using Kerosene for years on chains and I have been getting around, average, 25,000 miles on a chain. I recently changed the chain and sprockets on my 2018 XSR and I had a little over 28,000 miles on it before it went bad. I think that's pretty good considering my chain gets wet virtually everyday here in Florida riding back and forth to work in the rain. I think kerosene is an inexpensive and effective way to maintain a chain. Just my 2 cents.
 
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