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Discussion Starter #1
In the '80's I cleaned my Suzuki's chain with kerosene and a toothbrush. I just had a new chain installed on my RR and cleaned the factory grease off easily with kerosene and a toothbrush, but...it stunk. Now my garage smells like it. I don't recall this happening when I had the Suzuki. Maybe there's a low, or no, odor kerosene?

The stuff works great at easily cleaning a chain, but that smell...

Any alternatives? Thanks.
 

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I use WD40. it works great to remove that mess too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Lot of people seem to use WD-40, and the only thing stopping me are the articles I've read saying it is bad for O-ring chains. Thoughts?
 

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Lot of people seem to use WD-40, and the only thing stopping me are the articles I've read saying it is bad for O-ring chains. Thoughts?
I'm new here so I don't know the history of this site specifically but I've seen forum threads devolve pretty quickly when it comes to chain cleaning and lubing preferences. Not dissimilar to motor oil threads... But I use WD-40 exclusively and swear by it.
 

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I've seen a video where it didn't appear WD-40 damaged the O-rings, BUT, any light penetrating oil and even kerosene will certainly cut excess grease/oil/lube. The problem is, it does exactly that, and also washes the chain lube and grease in the o-rings away. I used kerosene on my chain once in the mid-'80's on my GS1100ES, and it destroyed my chain in short order. Never again. Me, I use PJ1 Blue Label, and I just spray a lot on the chain and use it to wash off grime, because when the solvents in that (or any other chain lube) evaporate, it leaves nothing but chain lube behind, and you know that the volatiles are specifically made to not degrade the lube or the o-rings and their grease. I'll also spray a rag heavily with the lube, and use that to wipe grime and excess lube off after I lube it really well. Works great and I don't need 2 different chemicals, AND it leaves the proper lube behind and nothing else. I've got over 20,000 miles on my chain now, and typically get 20k-25k miles on chains and sprockets. With this set in particular, I've been lubing/cleaning the chain every 400-500 miles and the set looks awesome, plenty of wear left. I'd REALLY like to see a belt drive that could handle the hp/tq of modern sportbikes so that this becomes a moot point. Ah well...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
CM...I also used kerosene in the '80's on my Suzuki GS550ES and never had an issue. What exactly did it do to your chain to destroy it? Anyway, I've decided to stick with Motul chain cleaner and hope the one shot of kerosene I used to remove the factory chain grease won't negatively affect my chain. I used it with sparing amounts applied with a soft toothbrush and wiped off the residue immediately, followed a couple hours later (when all was dry completely) with Motul chain lube.
 

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I've seen a video where it didn't appear WD-40 damaged the O-rings, BUT, any light penetrating oil and even kerosene will certainly cut excess grease/oil/lube. The problem is, it does exactly that, and also washes the chain lube and grease in the o-rings away. I used kerosene on my chain once in the mid-'80's on my GS1100ES, and it destroyed my chain in short order. Never again. Me, I use PJ1 Blue Label, and I just spray a lot on the chain and use it to wash off grime, because when the solvents in that (or any other chain lube) evaporate, it leaves nothing but chain lube behind, and you know that the volatiles are specifically made to not degrade the lube or the o-rings and their grease. I'll also spray a rag heavily with the lube, and use that to wipe grime and excess lube off after I lube it really well. Works great and I don't need 2 different chemicals, AND it leaves the proper lube behind and nothing else. I've got over 20,000 miles on my chain now, and typically get 20k-25k miles on chains and sprockets. With this set in particular, I've been lubing/cleaning the chain every 400-500 miles and the set looks awesome, plenty of wear left. I'd REALLY like to see a belt drive that could handle the hp/tq of modern sportbikes so that this becomes a moot point. Ah well...
The latest Zero's have more torque then any superbike and their belts do just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Belt drive = nice. Got an F800GT to ride when the RR is taking a break and it's nice not to have to clean ANOTHER chain!

I don't think the problem with kerosene is that it hurts the o-rings directly; it's a problem if you use it liberally and don't wipe the excess off, then fail to lube the chain after. Then I could see it drying the o-rings and damaging them, over time. But, I'm not going to use kerosene again...it's too damn toxic and smells like crap...

I don't recall what I used on my Suzuki in the '80's. I thought it was kerosene, but I don't remember a smell. Maybe it was turpentine. Whatever it was did a great job with just a toothbrush and the chain always looked new.

Sticking with Motul chain cleaner. It does the job, just more expensively.
 

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I use engine oil. Apply it to inside of the moving chain. Let it spin and work into whatever it will.

Get a cloth and rub off excess. I adjust chain when I change tires. Even at that I dont really adjust much at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I use engine oil. Apply it to inside of the moving chain. Let it spin and work into whatever it will.
I've heard of lots of riders using that. Can certainly see how it would work well into the chain, but it doesn't seem as if it'd provide anywhere like 500 miles before re-lubing. How often do you do it, and how do you apply?
 

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I've heard of lots of riders using that. Can certainly see how it would work well into the chain, but it doesn't seem as if it'd provide anywhere like 500 miles before re-lubing. How often do you do it, and how do you apply?
It's not often I'd do it. More often in wetter weather. But still if you done it 2 or 3 times life of tire which for me depending on bike is 1500-2k miles.

2 ways depending. You can run the bike on a stand and use a very slow drip to inside of chain, focusing on the inside and outside rather than middle. And then leave it moving for a few mins then rag to clean excess.

Or for a dirty chain use like a 1" paint brush to apply and move stuff on outer links. And same after leave it moving and after rag to clean.

Most of the time I buy a bike I end up buying a chain and then it lasts till bike is sold years later. One thing tho is every once and a while change the front sprocket they wear mich faster than rear or chain and has a knock on effect
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've seen video reviews of chain cleaning with kerosene (including a Revzilla video), and never have seen anyone using a gas mask while doing it. There must be a low-odor kerosene. The regular kerosene I used was just ghastly, odor-wise...but it was plain kerosene. Worked great, but not worth the toxic fallout!
 

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Kerosene has always smelled awful, if you use it just make sure that it’s in a well ventilated area. I use gloves, and rags to clean my chain with kero no issue. The biggest issue I find is getting the smell off my hands.
 

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CM...I also used kerosene in the '80's on my Suzuki GS550ES and never had an issue. What exactly did it do to your chain to destroy it? Anyway, I've decided to stick with Motul chain cleaner and hope the one shot of kerosene I used to remove the factory chain grease won't negatively affect my chain. I used it with sparing amounts applied with a soft toothbrush and wiped off the residue immediately, followed a couple hours later (when all was dry completely) with Motul chain lube.
It destroyed all the o-rings, and the chain didn't last long after that. Dunno why.
 

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I've seen video reviews of chain cleaning with kerosene (including a Revzilla video), and never have seen anyone using a gas mask while doing it. There must be a low-odor kerosene. The regular kerosene I used was just ghastly, odor-wise...but it was plain kerosene. Worked great, but not worth the toxic fallout!
It's like low odour petrol. Doesnt exist. It is what it is
 

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Discussion Starter #18
CM...that's interesting. Can't see how that would have happened, but obviously it did. Whatever, I'm not using kerosene again. The smell permeates everthing - garage, clothes, etc., despite taking care when using it. And smells are caused by particulate matter, so if you can smell it, then it's in your body, and on your clothes. I can still smell the residue in my garage, even though the bike has been out for a ride and the kerosene is no longer on the shelf.

Works great, though, for cleaning. But using it is kind of like using a bullet to remove a tumor. Might get it, but the after-effects linger...o_O
 
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