When to wash and lube the chain? - Honda Rebel 300 & 500 Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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When to wash and lube the chain?

So a thought crossed my mind here.
Since the Rebel is a beginners bike, there will be a lot of new things to wrap the head around and to learn from scratch.
And there are wast, and splitted, opinions on how to do a lot of these things.
One of them being the chain on an mc.
When to clean it, when to lube it, can you lube it without cleaning the chain every time, etc, etc.
Some say every two times you fill the bike with gas it's time to clean and lube it again.
Some say after riding X distance.
Some say one number in regards of the climate, and a completely other number for a different climate..

It's a mess.

So how about we fight it out here to try and come to and agreement here?
Que the debate!

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 03:53 PM
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For those like me who ride very few miles, at least once per year.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 04:22 PM
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I think normally 500 miles of road riding without dusty conditions is the accepted time for chain lubrication. I have sold bikes with 15,000 miles on the chain and the chain and sprocket still looked good.

For cleaning I just wipe the chain with a rag soaked in diesel fuel or kerosene. (Diesel fuel is less expensive than kerosene, usually.)

I usually use Dupont Chain Lube, which is a wax based lubricant, suspended in some kind of fast evaporating solvent. This lube seems thin enough to dissolve the dirt and grunge on the chain and it drips onto newspapers I put on the floor under the chain..... I seldom ever have to adjust a chain. I have about 3800 miles on my Rebel at this point and the chain has not yet needed adjustment.

I do not ride in dusty conditions, off road, or in rain storms....

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyoko-Code View Post
So a thought crossed my mind here.
Since the Rebel is a beginners bike, there will be a lot of new things to wrap the head around and to learn from scratch.
And there are wast, and splitted, opinions on how to do a lot of these things.
One of them being the chain on an mc.
When to clean it, when to lube it, can you lube it without cleaning the chain every time, etc, etc.
Some say every two times you fill the bike with gas it's time to clean and lube it again.
Some say after riding X distance.
Some say one number in regards of the climate, and a completely other number for a different climate..

It's a mess.

So how about we fight it out here to try and come to and agreement here?
Que the debate!
It's far more complicated than that. For instance, I live in the Northeast US and we get a fair amount of rain and snow. After it snows, there's a film of salt on the roads...that film builds up and corrodes my chain. So I may need to clean and lube my chain more often than others.

I also ride everyday that I can to and from work, and also take the bike out on weekend excursions. Rain or shine. I give my chain a glance everyday, as part of my pre-ride inspection.

During the summer I cleaned and lubed the chain maybe once every 6 weeks or so. It doesn't harm anything, it extends the life of your chain, and it feels good to work on the bike.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 05:52 PM
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I wouldn't commit to a particular mileage for cleaning and lubing the chain. It is heavily dependent on if the chain is dirty or dry. Quick guide:

If its dirty (like after riding in muddy/dusty roads) - clean and oil it.

If you've been doing a whole lot of riding in wet conditions, or maybe long distances where the chain gets hot and the lube dries up a bit- oil it.

Just remember a good chain maintenance program, inclusive of adjusting, cleaning and lubing will give you a much better ride and save you money.

Ride Safe!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan View Post
It's far more complicated than that. For instance, I live in the Northeast US and we get a fair amount of rain and snow. After it snows, there's a film of salt on the roads...that film builds up and corrodes my chain. So I may need to clean and lube my chain more often than others.

I also ride everyday that I can to and from work, and also take the bike out on weekend excursions. Rain or shine. I give my chain a glance everyday, as part of my pre-ride inspection.

During the summer I cleaned and lubed the chain maybe once every 6 weeks or so. It doesn't harm anything, it extends the life of your chain, and it feels good to work on the bike.
There are days here as well where I could be driving the bike, but I won't due to the salt. I work with winter maintenance, and does such work as spreading salt on the roads, so I know the damage it can do.
Just not worth it for me, or the bike.
So yeah, with the salt eating away on it, it should be cleaned and lubed quite frequently.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 03:15 PM
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Is it ok just to spray chain lube without the whole chain cleaning part ? or is that bad... chain looks good but I'm not sure if its okay just to give it a spritz... or will it trap dirt?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jhillestad View Post
Is it ok just to spray chain lube without the whole chain cleaning part ? or is that bad... chain looks good but I'm not sure if its okay just to give it a spritz... or will it trap dirt?
At one point, sooner or later, you _have to_ clean it. That much is certain.
But yes, if the chain isn't directly dirty then it can be ok to just lube it up again for the time being.
Just don't do this all the time.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2018, 01:47 AM
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I think it all depends on your riding environment. As here in Malaysia, it rain on daily basis, I clean the chain every 500km.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2018, 04:56 AM
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I clean my chain every 500-700km, depending on how it looks. I use motor oil to clean it and rub off all the gunk and dirt (the oil contains chemicals that remove & dissolve dirt), and then lube it with a teflon based spray lubricant. Whenever the lube start disappearing off the chain, it's time to clean and lube it again.

Riding conditions here in Israel are mostly dry, and I don't ride in the rain, unless I really have to, so that routine seems to work for me. As for chain adjustment, I have an agreement with my mechanic that every ~3000km I come over for a quick coffee one morning and they check the bike and adjust the chain if needed.

I use this jack to lift the rear wheel - https://www.ebay.com/itm/Portable-Mo...-/192243858048 and an ordinary trousers belt to clamp the front break and lock the front wheel.
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Last edited by zohararad; 02-17-2018 at 04:59 AM. Reason: add link to swingarm jack
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