How often should I lube/oil my chain? [Archive] - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums

: How often should I lube/oil my chain?

06-24-2001, 06:17 PM
I've got a f4i with only 250 miles and was wondering how often do you guys oil/lube your chains? and with what? Is the stuff at Honda ok, or is there something better. Also what kind of oil do you recommend for it? thanks for any help.

06-25-2001, 10:04 AM
My rules: Lube every 300 miles, clean and lube every 600. This may vary depending on riding conditions. I'll hit it more often if I've ridden in the rain, or traveled down dusty roads.

There are gadgets out there for cleaning and lubing, such as the Grunge Brush and Z-Oiler, respectively (check out to see these). I have heard people speak highly about both of these.

The most often recommended do-it-yourself method entails cleaning the chain with a rag soaked with kerosene. With the rear tire up, on a stand, hold the rag around the chain with your left hand and spin the tire backwards with your right hand. Done this way at respectable intervals, there is usually never a need for brushing. If there happens to be some stubborn crud, a toothbrush will work well. Just rinse it off really well before using it on your teeth again. The chain will clean up easier if it is warm, so do this right after riding. Don't ever try this method of cleaning with the bike running and in gear; there's a few people around who can no longer count to ten because of the outcome.

For lubing, take your pick. There are specialty chain lubes and waxes galore. Some people prefer lube, some wax. Buy one of each and make up your own mind. Or, follow the Honda manual and use gear oil (just use the soaked rag method to apply it to the chain - you don't want any lube getting on the rear tire).

You'll hear a lot of people telling you to never use WD40 on an o-ring chain because they claim that WD40 will seep past the o-rings and dissolve the packed grease. Probably not bad advice given all the options.

Serial Thriller
06-27-2001, 10:25 AM
I use Maxima chain wax but I'm embarrased to say the intervals:D.

06-28-2001, 10:29 AM
Ok, here we go.....

If you have an "O" ring chain it will need lubing.... never. The high impact and high temp grease installed in the factory will last the life of the chain. In fact, using a chain lube on an "O" ring chain can have just the opposite of the desired effect because many contain solvents that attack the O rings. Even if the lube is O ring friendly it can catch real small bits of dirt and carry them into the chain's innards along with any lube that gets in. Also, anything that is thin enough to get past the O rings is thin enough to wash out that super good grease put in at the factory.

If you must clean yer chain (if ya don't spray it with gooey lube dirt won't stick to it) the rag with kerosene is a good option as mentioned before. But never use any kind of a brush! Not even a toothbrush! Those bristles damage the O rings and even push bits of dirt into the chain's innards.

Ok, I know I'm flying into the face of current thought and conceptions about chain lubing. And I don't care... I've got over 10,000 miles (many of them track miles) on my little Ninja and it hasn't even needed adjusting yet! I do NOT lube or clean my chain.

Of course, if you have a bike with a non O ring chain..... buy a new bike!!!!!
:D :D

06-28-2001, 10:58 AM
I have an 01 12R, and I have to lube my shit every 400-500 miles. Damn it.

06-28-2001, 03:50 PM
Originally posted by DragonSlayer
I have an 01 12R, and I have to lube my shit every 400-500 miles. Damn it.

Try eating more green veggies? Or become a mathmatician and work it out with a pencil?????
:eek: :D :D

Need More RWHP
07-03-2001, 12:02 AM
Bikenut, interesting. . .

What do you do to your chain after it rains or gets wet and washes the factory super lube off?

07-03-2001, 05:12 AM
Do you or anybody know if the 01 F4i has this "O ring chain" you're telling us about?

07-03-2001, 06:18 AM
Originally posted by Need More RWHP
Bikenut, interesting. . .

What do you do to your chain after it rains or gets wet and washes the factory super lube off?

Please understand that I'm trying to say this in a non derogatory manner? It is a common misconception that because no lube is seen on the outside of the chain the inside of the chain also has no lube. With an O ring chain there can be no lube evident on the outside yet the O rings sealed the grease inside the chain so the chain is still full of lube.

I don't do anything to my chain after it gets wet. And there isn't any rust on it either. However, if ya are concerned about exterior rust, you could carefully (keep yer fingers the hell out of the sprocket!!! and don't use the engine to spin the rear wheel!!) wipe the chain down with a rag soaked with motor oil.

Riding in the rain doesn't wash out the grease that is sealed inside the chain by the O rings. When washing the bike care must be taken to not direct high pressure water onto the chain since the pressurized stream of water can force it's way past the O rings. Most home water pressure sent through a garden hose has enough pressure to force it's way past the O rings.

Ok... all the stuff I just said pertains ONLY to O ring chains. If ya have a non O ring chain I suggest ya lube the snot out of it about every 3rd gas stop in good weather and more often in wet weather.

Rather than try to answer several inquiries about what kind of chain specific bikes have let me suggest just calling your dealer and asking.

07-03-2001, 09:38 PM
Originally posted by MGordon
Do you or anybody know if the 01 F4i has this "O ring chain" you're telling us about?

so, anyone know the answer to this...?

07-03-2001, 09:41 PM
Originally posted by F4i

so, anyone know the answer to this...?

found it... O-ring sealed chain... off Honda's website...

07-13-2001, 03:17 PM
Most new bikes have O-Ring chains. You can look at the chain and see the rubber O-Ring on each side of the link ( it is thin ). Honda recommends using SAE 80 or 90 weight gear oil on a 500 mile interval or if chain is dry or showing rust. and Sress to NOT USE commercial chain lubricants that contain solvents. They will damage the O-Ring in the chain.

07-15-2001, 04:05 PM
Lets start with F4i,
yes your bike has an o-ring chain

Now lets move on to Bikenut,

You are partially right, but also partially wrong.

An o-ring chain still needs lube but not for the reason everyone thinks. The o-rings hold the grease within the rollers of the chain, so they dont ever need to be lubed.....this is where your right.

Where your wrong is in the fact that the interface between the sprocket and the chain also needs oil to prevent premature wear to the sprocket and the exterior chain rollers. Also, a little oil will prevent corrosion....but that depends on your riding condintions.

So what do you do.....soak a rag with gear oil and spin the tire while holding the rag to the chain or spray any type of o-ring safe lube (whatever one you like best) on the chain.

Just remember that you dont need to saturate, just a very thin film is required.

Tale this advice and your chain will live a long and happy life. Just ask my 18000 km chain that has been wheelied to death. Its still got a whole lot o' life left.

09-08-2001, 08:31 AM
i managed to get 19500 miles out of a OEM chain on my F4. amazing considering that most people get about 12k out of it and it's toast. for the first 5k, i think i only lubed it twice, as it was good, never saw rain or excessive dust (that and i pretty much forgot about it!) didn't adjust it the first time until 5k, and i prolly could've waited another 1k to do that. after that first adjustment, the chain took wear faster, but i was learning to wheelie, which i'm sure had a major factor to it. i NEVER cleaned my chain (besides the soap and water that got on it when washing the bike), and i lubed it every 500-1000 miles after i started having to adjust it periodically. i've heard many different opinions on lubing and maintaining chains, and it's all just a personal preference. some people never lube it, they just adjust it when it needs it, and they get good milage out of it. others lube it every 250 miles (even with WD40) and get good milage. my reccomdation is to lube it every 500 miles, more if you live in a wet climate, less if you live in a dusty climate (which would make it either 250 or 750 miles, respectively), and do it with a lube of your choice. i personally have switched to MAXIMA chain wax, as it is fling resistant, therefore less mess (the belray stuff i used to use was damn messy). find your own preference and stick to it. it'll need replacement eventually, and that'll more depend on riding style than chain maintenance.
(btw, when i replaced my OEM chain at 19.5K, it had been threatening to fall off the sprockets for about 500 miles, but i was stuck w/out an option, and i HAD to get where i was going, in the middle of the night, NOT fun!) i'm rambling on again......

09-08-2001, 10:59 AM
Get a Scottoiler. You will never have to lube or clean the chain again.