What solvent to use to clean chain (gasoline)? - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2001, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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Question What solvent to use to clean chain (gasoline)?

Sorry for this common sense question, but I really needed to know.

I am cleaning and lubing my chain for the first time in my life! My manual says to clean the chain with a non-flamable, high-flash point solvent for cleaning the chain. I have read several time in this board that people are using kerosene to clean the chain. What I don't understand is that high-flash point solvent are in definition "flamable" right? If kerosene were safe to use on the chain, isn't gasoline just as good?

What solvents do you all use to clean your chain? I've heard people using automotive brake cleaner spray, carburator cleaner, kerosene, special $$$ cleaner sold in motorcycle dealers.....etc. Which is the best? Pros and cons given would be greatly appreciated.

BTW, I am using MAXIMAS spray chain lube. Anyone knows a better lube?

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2001, 03:54 AM
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I use kerosene. Works great.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2001, 04:26 AM
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My Method

(If you do a search of the forums, you are sure to find this topic discussed at length.)

To clean my chain, after putting the bike on a rear stand, I soak a rag with WD40, and holding the rag tightly on the lower run of the chain, I spin the tire backwards. I keep doing this until I have all the gunk off the chain. LOTS OF PEOPLE will tell you that WD40 is not good for use on o-ring chains, because it can seep in past the o-rings and dissolve the packed grease. Whatever. When my chain needs replacing, I'll replace it. I'm not trying to make it last the life of the bike. Secondly, I'm not heavily spraying it on, so I don't think it's use is all that detrimental. I have seen o-ring chains cleaned and lubed with nothing but WD40 last for 15,000 or more miles. Use your own judgment.

To lube the chain, I use gear oil, applied in the same fashion as my cleaning method. I use a clean rag to remove the excess oil.
post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2001, 04:36 AM
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Re: My Method

Quote:
Originally posted by Pete
(If you do a search of the forums, you are sure to find this topic discussed at length.)

To clean my chain, after putting the bike on a rear stand, I soak a rag with WD40, and holding the rag tightly on the lower run of the chain, I spin the tire backwards. I keep doing this until I have all the gunk off the chain. LOTS OF PEOPLE will tell you that WD40 is not good for use on o-ring chains, because it can seep in past the o-rings and dissolve the packed grease. Whatever. When my chain needs replacing, I'll replace it. I'm not trying to make it last the life of the bike. Secondly, I'm not heavily spraying it on, so I don't think it's use is all that detrimental. I have seen o-ring chains cleaned and lubed with nothing but WD40 last for 15,000 or more miles. Use your own judgment.

To lube the chain, I use gear oil, applied in the same fashion as my cleaning method. I use a clean rag to remove the excess oil.
That's not how I heard you clean your chain

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2001, 05:01 AM
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When I clean my chain I soak the chain in WD40 or kerosene. I like WD40 better because It's easy to apply. When I use kerosene, I use the toothbrush method. Takes a little longer but the outcome is better. Kerosene is also cheaper.
Again, I really soak the chain in whatever solvent I am using. It create a big mess but this is the way to get the chain clean. Old dirty lube is worse for you chain than no lube at all. (That's just my opinion, I have no scientific evidence to back it up )

When you lube you chain it's basically to inhibit corrosion and it does add a wear barrier. So you can use a lot if you want. Most will just fling off anyways. Just be sure to get the sides of your chain also.

Proper maintenance is key, use gear oil and keep your chain clean, lubed and adjusted.
post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2001, 05:51 AM
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Kersone is what my manual recommends.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2001, 06:53 AM Thread Starter
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Gear oil as lubricant

Will gear oil fling and attract dirt like feces do to flies?

What about acetone as cleaner? I have a full can of it.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2001, 08:15 AM
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Re: Gear oil as lubricant

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Originally posted by SpeedRacerF4i
Will gear oil fling and attract dirt like feces do to flies?

What about acetone as cleaner? I have a full can of it.
If you use a lot, yes. As a rule of thumb clean your chain every 200miles.
post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2001, 04:38 PM
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Re: What solvent to use to clean chain (gasoline)?

Quote:
Originally posted by SpeedRacerF4i
What I don't understand is that high-flash point solvent are in definition "flamable" right? If kerosene were safe to use on the chain, isn't gasoline just as good?
Just about everything has a flash point. The flash point refers to the temperature at which it will ignite. I made the mistake of using gasoline to burn some brush once, when I thought it was kerosene. THAT was interesting to say the least. So anyway, gasoline is probably just as good, but it is NOWHERE near as safe (it ignites nuch easier and much more violently than kerosene).

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2001, 11:18 PM
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Re: Gear oil as lubricant

Quote:
Originally posted by SpeedRacerF4i
Will gear oil fling and attract dirt like feces do to flies?

What about acetone as cleaner? I have a full can of it.
Don`t use Acetone.It will dry out your O rings.
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