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I thought a sealed chain was supposed to be maintenance free. Of course, we also know that is way too good to be true, at least on a motorcycle.

Page 120 of the Versys 650 Owner's Manual says to use "a lubricant for sealed chains to prevent deterioration of chain seals." Is there a special chain lube for sealed chains and if so, where do we get it? The local Kawasaki dealer parts guy here in Reno had no clue.

Or will any chain lube do?

-Don- Reno, NV
 

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Don we all wish that was true but it couldn't be further from the truth! Gear oil, spray on lubes, and automatic oilers are all great options to consider to use in a proper chain maintenance process. Lube is vital to chain life even modern sealed chains. I've read several Kawasaki manuals and can't recall the interval being different from 400 miles for cleaning/lube. Also don't forget chain slack inspections too, generally 600 miles and chain wear inspections periodically as well.
 

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The best thing you can do for your chain is clean it. Kerosene is commonly used for that. Then your choice of something to keep sand away from the seals. Some use wd40, some chain wax, some chain oil. What works best for you also has to do with how fastidious you are about clean sprockets and wheels.
For me chain bikes are a pain for long trips. Lubing and adjusting in a hotel parking lot after a long day of riding is the last thing I want to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The best thing you can do for your chain is clean it. Kerosene is commonly used for that. Then your choice of something to keep sand away from the seals. Some use wd40, some chain wax, some chain oil. What works best for you also has to do with how fastidious you are about clean sprockets and wheels.
For me chain bikes are a pain for long trips. Lubing and adjusting in a hotel parking lot after a long day of riding is the last thing I want to do.
I have three other bikes for longer trips. All shaft driven. My Versys is for the day trips only, which are the majority of my cycle rides.

But what I am trying to ask is if there is any difference in care between a "sealed" drive chain such as on the Versys 650 compared to other chain driven bikes that are not "sealed" such as my Suzuki DR200SE. Can the same type of chain lube spray or whatever be used on both bikes?

IOW, are all normal chain lubes okay for a sealed chain? The Versys Owner's Manual makes it sound like a sealed chain requires a special chain lube for sealed chains.

-Don- Reno, NV
 

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I have three other bikes for longer trips. All shaft driven. My Versys is for the day trips only, which are the majority of my cycle rides.

But what I am trying to ask is if there is any difference in care between a "sealed" drive chain such as on the Versys 650 compared to other chain driven bikes that are not "sealed" such as my Suzuki DR200SE. Can the same type of chain lube spray or whatever be used on both bikes?

IOW, are all normal chain lubes okay for a sealed chain? The Versys Owner's Manual makes it sound like a sealed chain requires a special chain lube for sealed chains.

-Don- Reno, NV
The owner manual list what to use. Either use spray on lubes, such as the product Kawasaki sells, or gear oil. If you want to use a Scott Oiler, basically consider that gear oil or whatever. Whatever lube you use for your standard chained bike(s), read the instructions to see if it's compatible or recommended for sealed chains.

Don, seriously, this isn't this difficult.
 

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I did not know any bikes aren't using 'sealed ' chains. Even my '93 Honda used a sealed O-ring chain. How old is your 200?

Make sure the product says 'Safe for O-ring chains' I like Dupont Teflon lube.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I did not know any bikes aren't using 'sealed ' chains. Even my '93 Honda used a sealed O-ring chain. How old is your 200?

Make sure the product says 'Safe for O-ring chains' I like Dupont Teflon lube.
While I have seen some say they are okay for o-ring chains, I have yet to see a can of chain spray that even mentions sealed chains.

-Don- Reno, NV
 

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What type of chain lube says it's okay for sealed chains? And the Kaw dealer here in Reno I have checked. None mention "sealed chains".

-Don- Reno, NV
The original link you provided, what are the applications they mention their chains are maintenance free for? Why would you check some appliance chain provider site and NOT A MANUFACTURER OF MOTORCYCLE CHAINS? It's like you found what you want to hear and are going by that then arguing with Kawasaki and forum users who are telling you different. If nothing else, I'm pretty sure the brand and model are stamped onto your OE chain in which you could look up the specifics of that chain itself and manufacturer recommendations.

Depending on your year your manual may state one thing or another. If you have a 2016, your owner manual will state "lubricant for sealed chains". The illustration depicts a spray can correct? If you had a 2012 Versys, on page 126 it specifies SAE 90 gear oil and the illustration shows an oil dispenser. However, it's important to note "lubricant for sealed chains" includes gear oil and some other lubricants that are available. What model year Kawasaki switched from specifying gear oil to "lubricant for sealed chains" I don't know. Also you should note that Kawasaki market's it's own lubricant for sealed chains, they do not market gear oil that I know of. My guess is Kawasaki itself is probably invested in company's that also offer similar spray lube products. So keep that in mind considering what they recommend although I recommend following the manufacturer's recommendations.

The Service Manual may provide more insight. My bike's service manual verbiage is slightly different than that in the owner's manual. It indicates using a "special lubricant or heavy oil". By "special lubricant" they are referring to spray on lubes (probably specifically their own) and heavy oil they are referring to gear oil, although any regular "heavy oil" will do the job.

My experience is anything heavier than 90W doesn't work as well and will cause more dripping.
 

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"Sealed chains" are o-ring and x-ring chains AFAIK. There's plenty of debate about which lubes are best, and whether WD-40 is harmful or not. webBikeWorld has tested many chain lubes over the years, so that's a good place to check for real-world experiences/recommendations. I think the overall important thing is to regularly clean and adjust, and lube the chain with just about anything; I try to use whatever lube flings-off the least.
 

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The chain seals- O or X-rings- keep grease in the rotating joints of the chain, but you need to lube the outside of these rings to keep them from drying out and cracking, to help seal them better, and you need to lube the sprocket teeth and the chain surfaces where the sprocket teeth push on the chain.

I use two spray cans- first Dupont Teflon Chainsaver from Walmart to soak into the O or X-rings, then Fluid Film from Lowes to give the chain the "wet look" longer than any I have tried, and it does a good job of not making dirt and dust stick to the chain.

I only rarely clean the chain, and I use PB Blaster penetrating oil spray put on a soft cloth, not sprayed directly onto the chain so it does not soak into the chain seals and thin out the existing grease.

Below is a good article about chain maintenance:
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Motorcycle Chain Maintenance | Canyon Chasers Motorcycle Sport Touring
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The big difference is cleaning. With the rubber o ring, or x ring seals, you want to avoid damaging the seals. No wire brush.

They are maintenance free with regards to the pins. Lubricant is sealed inside them. If were to compare an unsealed chain vs one of these, lets say we run it with zero maintenance, the sealed version will last twice as long, and maybe even more.

Back to real life, keep the o ring chain clean. Wipe it off with an old rag. Do that every few hundred miles and it takes a few seconds. Don't let it get filthy before you decide to clean it.

When the runny, solvent filled lube hits the o ring chain, it washes the dirt and grit right into the pins. This this turns into grinding paste, and wears the chain.

A oil like Vic uses, and Ive seen his set up, makes way more sense than an aerosol spray. I thought he had a video? He was using normal oil which wont damage the o rings.

Take care of the outside of the o ring chain, and the rest will work itself out.

I guarantee a chain maintained like Vic things video will last way longer than one maintained with the aerosol lubes. His method keeps the seals in place ans wont wash filthy oil into the pins.

As far as lubing the sprocket teeth, seriously? Your putting hundreds of pounds of force on the chain/tooth surface. The oil there does more harm than good because it will attract dirt. Notice how you can run a chain through mud, and nothing will be stuck to the teeth and pins. Then wonder why. the think f you could get oil to stick to the same teeth.

Seriously, go out and look at what you have, and use common sense. Look where dirt is building up and think, "Self, is this a good idea?"
 

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One motocross race mechanic takes off the chain and soaks it in hot water with Superclean liquid added, shakes the chain in the water, hangs up the chain to dry, then sprays it with WD40 for its water drying, then soaks the chain in synthetic gear oil overnight. The top racers often buy a new chain every week, or get it free from a sponsor.

A soft cloth with kerosene or PB Blaster will not get dust and dirt from the inner areas outside of the chain seals- maybe a soft toothbrush will without damaging the seals, if you want to spend time doing this.

I plan to have a new chain and sprockets added for my ZZR600 when the valve clearances are checked at about 20,000 miles, before the chain and sprockets are in very bad shape.
 
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