Can I clean stock chain with brake clean?
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Thread: Can I clean stock chain with brake clean?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Holdnon72's Avatar
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    Can I clean stock chain with brake clean?

    Time to clean my stock chain on my 2013 tw
    I dont think it has Rubber o rings so brake clean ok
    I have some chain cleaner but it says to rinse off the chain cleaner with water. Really didnt want to get chain that wet
    Thanks for any tips
    2013 TW200 Ims super stock pegs,zeta pro bend xc hand-guards,manrack,zeta muffs,Gerbing ultra light heated gloves

  2. #2
    Senior Member scotti158's Avatar
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    I usually will pull the chain off and wash it in a container of kerosene. Easier to buy an o-ring chain!
    2013 Yamaha TW200

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Adam-n-nevada's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've used it for the stock chain. Just find a really good lube to use after. The Teflon, or white lithium based stuff worked pretty well be a good, long lasting lube. Best chain cleaner I've used is kerosene...seems kind of hard to find though in bulk, these days.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Holdnon72's Avatar
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    I have the maxima chain wax
    2013 TW200 Ims super stock pegs,zeta pro bend xc hand-guards,manrack,zeta muffs,Gerbing ultra light heated gloves

  6. #5
    Senior Member GaryL's Avatar
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    You can use just about any grease cutter you can imagine to clean a non ringed chain! Your stock chain is NOT a ringed chain! Cleaning it off the bike is a better option but time consuming. The object is to get dirt and grit off and out from behind the rollers. Good luck with that! A super hot, high pressure spray would probably be the very best method.

    As far as sprocket wear from the chain this has a lot to do with two variables. One is dirt and grit on the outside of the rollers and between the side links plus the grit that gets under the rollers that acts as an abrasive and wears the pins down. The more serious sprocket wear comes from chain stretch. As your chain wears it stretches and the teeth on the sprockets wear accordingly. Failure to keep the chain adjusted exasperates this wear.

    There is no sin and nothing wrong about running the stock chain. You can clean, adjust and lube it to your hearts content. Those of us here who harp on the benefits of O and X ring chains are simply passing on valuable info from learned experiences. You can get from 2000-5000 miles from your stock chain and both sprockets, maybe even more depending on how much maintenance you put in to it. You could easily triple that, 15,000 - 25,000 miles with a ringed chain and with lots less maintenance.

    One rule of thumb with chains is when ever you install a new chain you also install both sprockets new so they all wear together. If you don't you are just accelerating chain stretch and sprocket wear.

    On our TWs the front sprocket is not an easy change. The side cover must come off so you must replace the cover gasket which is not all that expensive but a real PITA to clean the old one off. You must either dump the oil or lay the bike on its side. While you are in there and all the seals are right there you might as well do them too. Inner and outer main shaft seals and the shifter seal. OK, do the math. About $30 for the seals and cover gasket plus the front and rear sprockets, around $40 plus the new chain, around $30 plus shipping for it all and a full afternoon of labor. I figure close to $100 - $120 and you could get around 5,000 miles if you stay on it. On a new TW you could buy a new O or X ring chain for around $60-$70 and install it on new sprockets. You will get up to 25,000 miles if you adjust it once in a while and do some minor adjusting, cleaning and oiling. Even if you get 8,000 miles from the stock parts you are still doing this three times and spending way too much time jerking around when you could have been riding.

    The one and only benefit I can attribute to a stock roller chain is a $30-$40 manufacturing savings in the pocket of Yamaha by installing a cheap chain from the factory. If a roller chain was used in a controlled environment where it never got wet with dirt and mud behind the rollers it could probably last a very long time. On our TWs it is ridiculous not to go with the best chain your money can buy right off the showroom floor. Argue the validity of our collective wisdom if you must but get your wallet and wrenches out! I am as cheap as any member here and that's exactly why I spend my money wisely and buy the best chains I can find and don't have to do it very often at all.

    GaryL
    Last edited by GaryL; 05-05-2014 at 08:27 PM.
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    Be Decisive! Right or Wrong just make a decision. ​ The road of life is paved with flat squirrels that couldn't make a decision.

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  7. #6
    Senior Member Holdnon72's Avatar
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    Great info Gary Thank You!
    Sounds like I should have went o ring when mine was new...I have 600 miles on her now. Chain slack is still within specs.
    Cleaned and rewaxed chain tonight. Used a bunch of cardboard to cover my rear wheel
    All went well
    2013 TW200 Ims super stock pegs,zeta pro bend xc hand-guards,manrack,zeta muffs,Gerbing ultra light heated gloves

  8. #7
    Senior Member TWrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scotti158 View Post
    I usually will pull the chain off and wash it in a container of kerosene. Easier to buy an o-ring chain!
    This is what I do after every off road ride, bath of kerosene...1987 6500 miles original chain. O-ring chains will still wear if you don't wash them after off road or water crossings...the fine dust is like sandpaper on the rubber.

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    Senior Member fandango's Avatar
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    WD 40 works great on stock chains!!!! Cleans and lubricates. . Use an air compressor first to get off loose sand..

  10. #9
    Senior Member GaryL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Croatoan View Post
    What's wrong with using a power wand at the car wash to clean the chain off? Seems to me to be the easiest way to clean a chain after a day of dirt riding. The ride home from the car wash dries it off then I just lightly oil it with pj1 black label heavy duty chain lube. I use an o-ring chain so do you suppose the water is harming the chain some how?
    For a stock roller chain I say the high pressure spray is great and get right up close and personal so the spray goes in and under the rollers. Not so good for an O or X ring chain, keep the spray back and all you really want to do is knock the external dirt off. Too close with high pressure and you could blow the rings out and force water in.

    I just saw a real sweet chain cleaner with a sharp bristle brush and the solvent at the Honda shop. Looks like a pigs tail and you wrap it on to the chain and rotate the rear wheel as it brushes all sides and the rollers. It was out of stock but they had it for demo on the counter.

    GaryL
    Be Decisive! Right or Wrong just make a decision. ​ The road of life is paved with flat squirrels that couldn't make a decision.

    Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
    If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

    1987 Yamaha BW350 Big Wheel
    2017 Snowdog Track sled tow motor for ice fishing
    Kubota BX2370 Subcompact tractor with snow blower
    Wilderness System Ride 115 fishing Kayaks

  11. #10
    Senior Member Xracer's Avatar
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    If your chain is not super grimey,Dawn dishwashing soap and a good stiff brush works well. If it's caked with gunk then Simple Green sprayed on full strength with some brush work will get it clean. Also I use Du-Pont multi-lube. Goes on wet and dries to a non stick film.

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