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MCN  says:

You Ask/You Answer: Keeping a bike clean

"I am new to biking and I want to keep my machine in good condition but my chain is already looking worse for wear. Everyone seems to be giving me different advice on how to keep it clean such as: WD-40, paraffin, engine oil, cleaners, specific chain lubes and Scottoiler. What works best?" Your answer could help. The best will be...

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  • Posted 2 years ago (25 March 2013 15:52)

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Dec 11

Posts: 1

Fleegle65 says:

Chain Maintenance

I have a Scottoiler on my VFR800 with 19500 miles on the clock and the chain and sprockets are still as good as new. If you keep it lubricated properly as with any mechanical device it will last longer and give you less hassle.

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Oct 11

Posts: 2486

Piglet2010 says:

What is Cleaning?

I ride a Honda Dullsville with shaft drive. If the bike gets really filthy (other than the windshield, lights and mirrors, which I clean with Plexus and a micro-fiber cloth), I will spray it down with a garden hose.

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Feb 05

Posts: 223

Bob_1 says:

After a ride......

....when you return home with a mucky bike - go indoors, change out of your riding gear and have a cuppa' while your bike cools off. Then go back outside and give it a good wash, dry it off and lube the chain. If you have the time first clean the chain with a rag and some paraffin, then dry rag and finally chain lube of the non-fling variety.

Just as important and often overlooked is your riding gear. Dry stuff off properly and clean your helmet and boots before putting them away.

I've always found that putting my bikes away clean is the best way to preserve their appearance. Get the crud and salt off before it can do its evil work! Also it's so much better next time I want to ride if my bike is spotless and ready to go. Of course if you have another means of transport and can avoid riding in poor weather that's even better.

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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Apr 11

Posts: 109

bikerpete51 says:

bikeproud biker

Keeping it nice and shiny makes you ride better as well! Bucket of warm soapy water, wash off the salt and mud, bugs etc, then a bit of "pledge" and a good polish up, followed by WD40 or ACF50 on the parts which need it and 80/90SAE oil and a paint brush on the chain. I usually squirt a bit of polish on the exposed parts of the fork legs, I think it prolongs the life of the fork oil seals. Take care not to get anything on your brake discs. job's a good 'un. Takes all of 20 minutes. Some say do the chain while it's still warm after riding helps the oil soak in better, I've never really noticed a difference.


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Oct 12

Posts: 64

Room101 says:

Just cheap and cheerful

Motorbike shops will sell you all sorts of expensive cosmetics and snake oil. My main ride (a Suzuki GSX1400) is ridden all weathers, it gets a powerwash once a week and everything non metal gets cleaned with supermarket furniture polish about twice a year max (yes really), all the metalwork gets sprayed with wd40, including the chain. I’ve put over 70k miles on the bike and its on its third chain and sprocket set – just lubed with wd40. Some people love cleaning and polishing – I’d rather be riding. (my Guzzi has lovely shaft, my Kwak dirt bike is meant to be dirty and my classic Honda Cub enclosed chain its cheaper to replace the chain once a lifetime than to bother oiling it)

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Jan 12

Posts: 53

Preadator says:

Chain Care

Spray the chain with WD40 and give it a good rub with a cloth and that will get all the dirt and rust off. Then apply chain lube, oil based or PTFE which ever you prefer and it should look as good as new, if it dosen't then you haven't done it properly.

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Aug 02

Posts: 28

wwdph02 says:

Lubeman Chainoiler

Best thing for the money - check  under £20 and it works. Doublesided replaceable contacts rub oil onto rear sprocket and keeps the chain clean. I used it onKawasaki ZRX1100 and ZRX1200's and both did near to 20,000 miles and both chains were nowhere near  worn out. I  used 80/90w gear oil but any engine oil seemed ok. Fiting is easy provided you follow the instructions - mounted mine on the front fork so easy to operate. I had a loop/air lock as advised and just a couple of pumps kept the chain clean on daily 40 mile commute.

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Apr 10

Posts: 115

tim8061 says:

Tutoro AUto

Works on vibrations, so no wires or vacuum tubes needed.

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TST Mark


Aug 08

Posts: 2

TST Mark says:

WD40 on the oily parts, Mr Sheen on the plastic parts. Don't bother with a chain lube spray, there so sticky thay attract and hold the dirt, once you've cleaned the chain with WD40 us LM grease applied with your finger

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Nov 07

Posts: 180

bird1050 says:


Dont use WD40 on your chain its a water dispersant. Use it only to clean your chain

Scotoiler is the best by miles its designed for the job requires little cleaning and trebles the life of your chain

Rinse your bike with water first to wash off the dust then use a good quality car shampoo ( washing up liquid contains high levels of salt ) wash from top to bottom risnse with clean water , dry then polish.

Never use a jet wash it will damage certain parts like radiators etc  and force water into electrics

Other wise enjoy

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