WD-40 as chain lube

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Rut Row
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WD-40 as chain lube

Post by Rut Row » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:54 am

For you experienced riders, what is your opinion of WD-40 as chain lube? Yes, this is a loaded question. :brows:
Ken
2016 EM Sport Electric Trials :drool:
1972 Honda CL350 Scrambler (project)
Die young as late as possible, remember who you were before the world told you how it should be. -- Barry Morris

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mdubya
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Re: WD-40 as chain lube

Post by mdubya » Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:44 am

Typically, WD 40 is all I use.

Occasionally, if I know I will be storing the bike outdoors in a wet environment (like the DAMN campout) I might use Maxim chain wax as a protectant.

Otherwise, for any type of same day riding, I only use WD.

Back when I was running my Ducati 748 on the track and also racking up an average of 12K miles a year on it, on the street, I tried both the Chain wax method and the WD only method and I found no advantage to using the chain wax. The WD method is much cleaner, and I got the same chain life.
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Roadracer_Al

Re: WD-40 as chain lube

Post by Roadracer_Al » Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:03 am

IMHO, the single biggest function of any chain product is to prevent rust. The secondary function is to make the chain/sprocket run quietly. WD-40 is a piss-poor lubricant, being a light oil suspended in mostly kerosene, so it's value as a chain product isn't lubrication. Ken, as a farm-raised guy can tell you that farmers wash down their tractors with straight kerosene to prevent rust.

In an industrial environment, chains ( of similar design/construction to MC chains) which are run continuously in an enclosed oil bath can be expected to last decades, whereas a MC only lasts a year or so. The difference, IMHO, is not the lubrication, but the exclusion of dirt. Removing dirt from a chain (i.e. maintenance) is very important to chain life, as is avoiding washing the chain with a pressure washer -- this drives water into the rollers, and causes rust.

Anything that damages the o-ring shortens the life of a chain since it allows the built-in lubrication to get out, and damaging abrasives to get in. This could be sand/mud, rust, or a chemical that attacks the rubber o-ring.

It should be pointed out that when a chain wears, it's not the *links* that wear, it's the pins and rollers. It literally wears on the inside, which you can't get to by lubing the outside. IMHO, chain lube is a hold-over from non-o-ring chain days. When I was a kid, it was common to remove the chain, wash it in gasoline with a scrub brush, and soak it overnight in 90-wt gear lube before reinstalling it. You'd get pretty decent life out of a chain if you did that *every* weekend. :whip:

RRob has an interesting way to lube a chain, perhaps he'll chime in.

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mdubya
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Re: WD-40 as chain lube

Post by mdubya » Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:36 am

OK, I wasn't recommending the WD as a lube, simply as a good way to keep the chain clean. It does have some light protective properties and keeps things from getting squeeky.

I have used a light film of sythetic grease on the rollers at the track to provide some glide between the chain and sprocket, but for the most part, all it did was make everything greasy.

I see now the title is WD "as lube". So, not as lube, but as cleaner and light protectant.

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Laoch
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Re: WD-40 as chain lube

Post by Laoch » Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:31 pm

WD-40 :thumbup:

I use it to clean and for daily street riding. I also use 90 wt oil when I want to lube the chain for longer periods. But I'm not an expert on anything. Hell I use diesel oil in my bikes :screwy:

It's only a chain
Bruce
'17 183RRS/'16 Freeride/'13 CB500X/some trials bikes

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