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Chain Oiler debate


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I'm trying to find the thread discussing remote chain oilers. A couple of members presented some compelling evidence that they are a bit pointless but I can't find it.

 

Can anyone help?

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You’re right, seems very difficult to find that topic on this forum/site, lotsa discussion elsewhere if you wanna wade through all the claims of “superior system” that exist. I have 1(cameleon), but only because I’ve failed to locate a centrestand for my ‘86. Bit of a PIA to install & keep delivery system adjusted so it oils correctly. 

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Hiya Skids

Helpful facts to ponder... auto oilers lube only the external roller and
between the roller and the sprockets (red area in my drawing)... they
do not lube the X rings nor behind the X rings so any oil applied
in that effort is wasted fling off... The running oil leak lowers the
operating temp where the factory installed grease has a chance to live
longer before the first adjustment... but the fact remains adjustment
is taking up the slack cause by metal to metal wear at the critical
pin and roller junction because the factory installed grease is
beginning to fail... you can submerge the chain into a sea of oil and
not one molecule will migrate pass the effective X ring seals to
reverse this metal to metal wear...

 

What we are lubing are external roller and between the roller and the
sprockets (red area in my drawing)... we are not lubing the X rings
nor behind the X rings so any oil applied in that effort is a waste
and will only fling off...

14746956046_fb75bdf189.jpg

 

I recommend Motul Chain Paste... squeeze the white grease from the tube and load
the brush... Hold the loaded brush to the inside of the chain rollers to transfer the

white grease... After a couple of spins of the chain it's lubed like from the Factory...

 

Motul Chain Paste clings with no flings...
IFSsIxV.jpg
sNNeKhh.jpg
gaR69pV.jpg

 

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36 minutes ago, BusyLittleShop said:

Hiya Skids

Helpful facts to ponder... auto oilers lube only the external roller and
between the roller and the sprockets (red area in my drawing)... they
do not lube the X rings nor behind the X rings so any oil applied
in that effort is wasted fling off... The running oil leak lowers the
operating temp where the factory installed grease has a chance to live
longer before the first adjustment... but the fact remains adjustment
is taking up the slack cause by metal to metal wear at the critical
pin and roller junction because the factory installed grease is
beginning to fail... you can submerge the chain into a sea of oil and
not one molecule will migrate pass the effective X ring seals to
reverse this metal to metal wear...

 

What we are lubing are external roller and between the roller and the
sprockets (red area in my drawing)... we are not lubing the X rings
nor behind the X rings so any oil applied in that effort is a waste
and will only fling off...

14746956046_fb75bdf189.jpg

 

I recommend Motul Chain Paste... squeeze the white grease from the tube and load
the brush... Hold the loaded brush to the inside of the chain rollers to transfer the

white grease... After a couple of spins of the chain it's lubed like from the Factory...

 

Motul Chain Paste clings with no flings...
IFSsIxV.jpg
sNNeKhh.jpg
gaR69pV.jpg

 

What kind of mileage are you getting out of your chain with this lubrication method?

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6 minutes ago, Sparkie said:

My next chain will be the new bmw 525 chain that you do not have to put anything on.  Problem solved finally!   🙂

https://www.motorcycledaily.com/2020/09/bmw-develops-maintenance-free-chain-claims-equivalence-to-shaft-drive/

What is the price for this set up?

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You're really buying that?  Chains have to be kept clean of grit and dirt, and lubed some to keep the rollers and sprockets from prematurely wearing out.  So, if one thinks the BMW thing is going to be permanent with no lube, I seriously doubt it.  They claim this new material for the side links, well, hate to say it but good chains already have them and are way better than they were years ago.  I love marketing.  Save yer money.

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42 minutes ago, raYzerman said:

You're really buying that?  Chains have to be kept clean of grit and dirt, and lubed some to keep the rollers and sprockets from prematurely wearing out.  So, if one thinks the BMW thing is going to be permanent with no lube, I seriously doubt it.  They claim this new material for the side links, well, hate to say it but good chains already have them and are way better than they were years ago.  I love marketing.  Save yer money.

If you read busy little shop's post, you should know how an xring chain is permanently lubed at the critical points, and what you apply to the chain never actually gets to these points.  So I'll keep it clean, but won't have to oil it and it's supposed to last much longer.  The coatings absolutely can increase the life of a chain.  I'm a CNC machinist and I have used all kinds of tools in the last twenty five years.  A proper coating on a tool can increase tool life and efficiency in an unbelievably dramatic fashion.  So, yes, I believe this chain is a better design.  And I'm going to buy one when it's time to replace my chain.

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Getting back to oiling the chain, I think a automatic oiler would make a giant grease mess.  For that reason, even if it worked well, I would not use it.

 

When I acquired my beloved '99  22,500 miles ago, the chain was toast.  The chain was worn out at the connection pins which caused a huge stretch issue and rollers were done.  The previous owner liked to spray on a waxy chain lube, but it did not work.  After I took possession, cleaning off all of that messy build up took a little effort.

 

Correctly lubing a chain takes a little bit of effort but it is not that bad.  Looking back in my logs, on average, I remove, clean and oil my chain about every 2,000 miles.  About every 800 miles or so, I install a drop of oil at each roller to side plate intersection.  This procedure takes five minutes.

 

This is what I do to maintain the chain.  let me know if anybody has a better system.

 

Remove the master link.  I use a clip master link since the chain comes off on a fairly regular basis.  I have never had a clipped master link fail but it is very important to be sure the clip is solidly in the pin notch, rounded end facing rotation.  

 

Once the master link is off, I usually hook an old chain onto chain to be cleaned.  Then thread the old chain thru the counter sprocket about 1/3 way.  Let it hang in place.  When the time comes you will hook up to the old chain in place and thread the cleaned chain through the counter sprocket.  

 

Once I get the chain out, I put it coiled up in a pan for cleaning with kerosene.  I don't have a parts cleaner so this works.  Kerosene will not damage the x seals and is a lubricant in its own way. I spin the rollers to make sure solvent is washing out the roller to pin area.  I do this cleaning 2 or 3 times depending how dirty it is.  When I am done with cleaning, I air out the solvent,

 

Now the coiled up chain goes into the pan with engine oil.  Spin the rollers to make sure the roller/pin area is saturated.

 

I use a S hook and hang the chain off my garage door rail over night.  Wipe it down after it is done dripping and reinstall.

 

Total time for removal, cleaning, oiling, and reinstall is about 40 minutes.

 

With this method, I have never had a chain stretch problem.  Always is a roller wearing out and getting 1 -1.5 mm play is what takes the chain out of service.  My current chain is not showing significant amount of wear yet.  I am thinking it will probably make it 30,000.

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Well, it really sounds great that chains don't really need any lubricant, but I do wonder how real world that opinion is and how well it has

been documented, or whether it is just one guy's opinion. Lots of stories related about chains being shot in fairly short mileage. I don't

think I've read of any that say they get 25,000 miles out of their chain and they never lubed it. I've seen quite a few, okay lots, chains that

were obviously not lubed because they were rusty/saggy as hell. I suppose it's possible that all the ruined chains I've seen were not X-ring

chains and therefore need some lube. But almost all modern chains are O-ring, X-ring chains so that seems against the odds.

 

So I think I'll keep using my HawkOiler, and be happy with the 25,000 miles I get from my chains.

 

BusyLittleShop's thoughts sound fantastic, but how realistic they are is open to debate. When I can talk to someone who has never lubed

a chain in 25,000 miles, okay even 10,000 miles, and it's still like new, I'll take it a bit more seriously.

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I have to apply some form of lube to help mitigate against the winter weather and chemicals they apply to our road surfaces.

 

It's not even cold over here yet I went to work in the wet last week and there is already the dreaded white spots growing in various places and even some parts of the chain are showing telltale signs of external rust.

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The Ol'BattleStar burns oil. So I ran a hose from the Valve Cover Vapor-Condenser bottle to the chain;

20181021.jpg.0490afa54e04c80bb059d035e6a92d81.jpg

Can't rember last time I manually oil'd it.

 

I have a Scott Oiler on the Adventure Bike, it gets real dirty.

It gets Power Washed after, then I go for a ride with Oiler turn'd UP, till the chain gets wet with Oil, then turn'd OFF, till it needs oil again.

It gets pretty ugly at the Primary Sprocket, like an Alien Lifeform in there.

I remove that cover for Power Washing, in the backyard, where I need the water on the lawn anyway.

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When I got my first VFR800 in '06 I became quite lazy regarding lubing the chain. A new one lasted less than 8,000 miles. That was about a half year's worth of riding for me in those days. The cost to replace a chain and sprockets put that lazy attitude right in the poorhouse trash can. Careful lubing every 500 miles has me going a couple of years (~15,000 mi.) on a chain. That is a guess on my part because they have become a rare occurence lately.

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The unofficial offical claim about the Regina/BMW no-lube chain is that you DO still need to clean your chain, but don't need to lube it, and should get 30k+ miles from it.

 

But if someone is interested in a Scottoiler, I think I still have one that's never been installed.

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I've never used an oiler, but I've seen bikes where the oiler malfunctioned, releasing too much oil, and coated the rear of the bike with oil.  No thanks.

 

I was never great at chain maintenance as far as cleaning went, but I did apply spray-on chain wax every 300-400 miles, applying it just after getting off the bike so the chain was still warm, and then letting the bike sit for 10-15 minutes for the wax to stick.  This worked well for me.  I probably replaced my chain and sprocket sets a little earlier than necessary, but usually do so at 18-20K miles, usually with a Regina or DID set.  I never had any issues of any kind, other than the wax buildup in a couple places.

 

But no more chain lube or maintenance for me, as my new bike is shaft drive.  😉 

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On 11/14/2020 at 1:55 PM, Fritzer said:

What kind of mileage are you getting out of your chain with this lubrication method?

 

Mileage is a loose standard because wear depends on so many variables...

A more accurate standard of chain wear is after the 3rd adjustment because that
is undeniable evidence that the factory installed grease is beginning to
fail to lube the critical pin roller junction hidden behind the X ring... the
length of the chain is growing because of this metal to metal wear... I can
not call a chain serviceable that is grinding metal... it's like saying that a
dry bearing that runs ruff is acceptable... the net result is another 2 to
3% drop in RWHP as more energy is lost grinding metal behind the X
ring...

 

This is what we don't see behind the X rings... metal to metal wear
every time we adjust the chain that eats into our engine's available
HP... a new pin measures 206.5 and wears down to 205.5 at the 8K mile
mark... looks good to the naked eye but multiply that 1 thousand of an
inch times 108 links and you have 108 thousands of an inch wear or
about the range of the  green marks provided by Honda's wear gauge...
202.8 show the very visible wear at the 12K mile mark... the pins are
turning red from extreme heat of grinding dry metal... a chain in this
condition may consume up to 6 to 8% of our RWHP... not to mention it
may snap into and cause case damage...

 

gallery_3131_51_50064.jpg

 

Honda provided a handy guide to monitor chain wear... stay with
in the green and you'll be looking for a new chain and sprockets at the 8 to
10K mile mark...

gallery_3131_51_39609.jpg

 

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On 11/14/2020 at 4:24 PM, Fritzer said:

 

Correctly lubing a chain takes a little bit of effort but it is not that bad.  Looking back in my logs, on average, I remove, clean and oil my chain about every 2,000 miles.  About every 800 miles or so, I install a drop of oil at each roller to side plate intersection.  This procedure takes five minutes.

 

This is what I do to maintain the chain.  let me know if anybody has a better system.

 

 

 

Chains are pain to maintain... only a belt spells relief...

 

I've removed my X ring chain and thoroughly cleaned in an gas bath...

But lubing an X ring chain in an oil bath was not successful  because

What we are lubing are external roller and between the roller and the
sprockets (red area in my drawing)... we are not lubing the X rings
nor behind the X rings so any oil applied in that effort is a waste
and will only fling off...

 

If you wish to lube the critical pin and roller junction just cut and remove all the X rings...

 

14746956046_fb75bdf189.jpg

TalkingChain08.JPG

TalkingChain09.JPG

TalkingChain06.JPG

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On 11/14/2020 at 7:24 PM, Fritzer said:

Remove the master link.  I use a clip master link since the chain comes off on a fairly regular basis.

 

Every chain manufacturer recommends you use a riveted master link and avoid a clipped on master link.  Maybe you would consider their advice?

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11 hours ago, BusyLittleShop said:

I've removed my X ring chain and thoroughly cleaned in an gas bath...

But lubing an X ring chain in an oil bath was not successful  because

What we are lubing are external roller and between the roller and the
sprockets (red area in my drawing)... we are not lubing the X rings
nor behind the X rings so any oil applied in that effort is a waste
and will only fling off...

First of all, I would never use gas to clean my chain,  It is very dangerously flammable, has ethonal in it, so any amount getting through the x seals will degrade the lubrication (they are not a perfect seal).  Kerosene is a lot safer and is a lubricant.  Any that makes it past the seals does not degrade the lubrication.  I feel confident about this since I have not had a problem with the critical pin wearing out and the chain "stretching".  I never have to readjust my chain.  

 

The point of wear on my chain with my method is always the wear between the outer in inner roller.  That area is not sealed, gets grit in there and the roller gets the most pressure put on it from the sprocket torque.  So cleaning is about getting the grit out of the inner roller area then saturate it with oil.  After letting the chain drip out, very little oil gets flung about.

 

As far as the clipped master link goes, I know that the manufacturer advises a riveted ML.  I feel the clipped ML is just as strong as the riveted but leaves room for clip installation error by the mechanic.  It is easy to think the clip is in the pin notch when it is not.  This would potentially cause the plate to come off and have your chain wad up at the counter sprocket area making for automatic chain lube system.

 

I have been doing this method for 35 years and the same results described above have been the outcome.

 

But, everybody has there own way of doing things.  If you are happy with your outcome, stick with it.  

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1 hour ago, VF1000Fe said:

Back in the '70s, we would take our (non-O-ring) Dirt Bike chains OFF and Boil them in Grease.

That and the smell of castrol....   Those were the days🙂

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44 minutes ago, Fritzer said:

That and the smell of castrol....   Those were the days🙂

 

Castrol R.....😎

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8 hours ago, Sparkie said:

Every chain manufacturer recommends you use a riveted master link and avoid a clipped on master link.  Maybe you would consider their advice?

True but consider this... chain manufactures are advised riveted by
their liability lawyers not by their engineers... speaking as a
engineer I believe clipped ML on a X ring chain are safe... that is
because X ring links are pressed on... but the one step home mechanics
miss doing is side loading the clip once it is homed in the groove...
this step insures it will stay put... I've witnessed many customers O
or X ring chains missing their clips... they have no idea just how
many thousands upon thousands of miles covered in this unsafe
condition... but if a clip is tossed on a non O ring chain... the
chain it tossed all most immediately...


For some riders clip ML are unsafe... they would spend too much
attention on the clip and not enough on where they're going and what
they're are doing... it short it's a barrier for which only a riveted
link can solve... so even thought they may not find the right words to
express their fear... I urge everyone to respect their choice...

 

I also forgot... you may FIPG the link clips to keep it being tossed...

 

HomeMadeLinkJPG.JPG

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2 hours ago, Fritzer said:

First of all, I would never use gas to clean my chain,  It is very dangerously flammable, has ethonal in it, so any amount getting through the x seals will degrade the lubrication (they are not a perfect seal).  Kerosene is a lot safer and is a lubricant.

 

I mainly employ gas because its handy... I've used K but its goes bad and stinks...

 

If there is one chemical our chains can handle its good old gas...
petroleum products have no lasting effect on the X W or O rings
because instead of rubber chain manufactures today actually use a
highly fluorinated fluoroelastomer known commercially as Viton or
Kalrez... very tough stuff... It has a excellent resistance to most
chemicals including sulfur... sulfur chloride... sulfur dioxide...
sulfur hexaflouride to name a few... most important it doesn't need
protection from drying out... they will far out last a chain's life...
 

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