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Dirty Dawg
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Discussion Starter #1
I just read in an older issue of Motorcyclist that at least one prominent chain maker recommends that people use WD-40 as a lube, mainly because the thicker, tackier chain lubes tend to collect more road grime, which gets ground into the chain and sprockets and causes excess wear. I can attest to the road grime attracted by many common chain lubes but am wondering if WD-40 is indeed up to the task. Any help?
--Tim
 

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West Coast Moderator
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The jury is still out, but I would never use anything that cleans grease and bugs from a car finish as a chain lubricant. The lubricating properties of WD-40 are real light and don't last. Just about everyone has a favorite chain lube and you'll get alot of different types tossed at you, but cleaning it is key also. I use "Chain Wax". I got a lotta miles out of my last chain, using just that.

Keeping up on the chain tension is also important. I tend to run mine a little looser than most, but not to the point that it rides up on the sprocket teeth. But if you follow the recommended specs, you should be fine.
 

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when i worked with a bicycle shop there were a few people who used wd-40 as their chain lube. they wore out chains and cogs notably faster than folks who used real chain lubes. now a human only puts out about 1/4 horsepower and you can see the difference. what do you think 60+ hp would do?

wd-40 is great for lubing door hinges and things like that because it penetrates well but it's doesn't provide protection for high load aplications.

just my $0.02

scott :)
 

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WD-40 is not a chain lube! Go out and buy a motorcycle chain lubricant and your chain will last its intended life. When it gets caked up enough, remove the chain and soak it in gas. Then put it back on and put real chain lube back on! That's my 5 cents.

kelly
 

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MotoMacGyver
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I agree. WD-40 is many, many, many things, but it is NOT a chain lube. I think Martin is right in saying that it doesn' t even say "lubricant" on the can.

It cleans bugs and race tire marbles that splattered on to your car at 160 mph easier than nothing else in this world. We use it to wipe down the race car top to bottom with it. It's even great to spray on hose ends to slip them over fittings and such. But we never, never, ever use it to actually lubricate something that is supposed to stay lubricated for any length of time. Not even in light-load applications. Plus, WD-40 evaporates. Not completely, but it does.

Emrah
 

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The Commander
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There are several people around here who are (or were) rabid WD-40 proponents. The key for those people seemed to be that they lubed their chain VERY often, some after every ride. That seems silly to me. I'm with Martin on the chain wax, it seems to work well. Just make sure you put it on a warm chain (i.e. - go for a ride first) and keep it clean. I've never had any problems with fling-off making a mess with the wax.
 

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I use WD40 to clean my chain.What i do is spray it on a pair of old white socks and wipe off the old chain lube.Then i take the bike for a 5-10 mile ride to get the chain hot and then lube it with REAL chain lube.If you do any long distance riding and are relying on WD40 as your chain lube,then your chain is not long for this world. mike
 

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Dirty Dawg
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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Well, that settles it

I, too, have been using WD-40 to clean my chain, and then using a proper lube. I didn't think WD-40 was a good lube but the magazine said Tsubaki (or something like that) recommends that its chains be lubed with the stuff. Of course, maybe they're just trying to sell more chains.
Thanks.
--Tim
 

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one last point, you can actually use this stuff to put grips on your bars. they slip on very easily and then stay put once it evaporates/dries.

scott :)
 

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The Deer Slayer
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Oh no, that's not all Scott. No don't lube chain with it. It's a "cleaning" lubricant. Enough on that. But, I've always used it as a sort of "armor-all" for the engine. After washing bike, engine and all, I've noticed the gloss black engine looks dull. I'll spray it down with WD, then wipe off excess. It helps pool the water trapped as well, then eases the wipe down of the water as well. After, engine looks great, bright and shinny like new. yes, it's a little work wiping it down, but hey. She'll smoke off any larger amounts left in the fins, otherwise no problem.

Jet ski owners spray WD all over engine after every run.

Also great to clean/lube kickstands, and perhaps cable housings, but even these things have more specific lubricants made for them. I've really always used it as a cleaner that leaves a slick residue behind. Plus, I love the way it smells.
:cool:
 

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Hey Med,if you use real armour-all on your black engine it will stay new looking for years.My 1983 L-3 Kaw.750's engine was also black,and i would spray it on very liberally,let it sit overnight,wipe off the excess,and it never has a burning odor,in fact it stays wet looking...it work's great.When i sold that bike after owning it 17 years,the guy who bought could hardly believe it was an 83. mike
 

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Interesting thing about this thread is that no one actually answered the original subject! (is WD40 O-ring safe?)

If not, we shouldn't even be using it to clean the chain. Anyone know?
 

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WD40 on Chains

Check out the latest issue of Motorcyclist. They recommend cleaning with WD then waxing. I do the same, except use Belray SuperClean lube. Might try the wax sometime, though.
 

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