Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The 2020 Ninja 1000SX is the first chain drive bike I've bought since 2013. I'm having to reacquaint myself with chain maintenance issues. I use a high quality XCP chain lube, but how often does the chain need to be relubed?
 

·
Registered
2019 Ninja 1000
Joined
·
235 Posts
Congrats on the new bike! I have a riding buddy who's diligent with chain maintenance so I've become better over the years.
I generally check, clean and lube every 300 miles or whenever it gets wet.
I bought this, which makes it a bit simpler.

And

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
I lube between 500-700 miles, sometimes a bit more or a bit less. I clean the chain every 2000 miles or so. I ride mostly in the southwest, little rain, but some dust occasionally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
I lube mIne maybe every 1000 miles....maybe. I clean it probably every 2,000 miles. Those are just guesses. I don’t obsess over it. If I’ve been in a heavy rain I lube it right away.

It must be working. I very seldom have to adjust them. But they obviously get adjusted on tire changes - and I’m the one who pulls the wheel off myself and has the dealer mount the tires.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
465 Posts
This is probably overkill for most people. I lube mine every time I get home from a ride. I store my bike with a bursig stand so it is suspended all the time. After I ride, I inspect the tires, clean the fork legs, then lube chain and hook it up on tender.

The only time I do a thorough clean with kerosene or chain I cleaner everytime I wash the bike which is probably around 600 miles. When I wash the bike, I do the 3 step cleaning from Maxima. I use the chain cleaner, then mppl but finish off with the dupont chain saver.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
849 Posts
Pretty much as needed and condition dependent. Modern chains are pretty robust. I did a 3400 mile trip to southern CA last year and cleaned/lubed the chain before the trip and when I got back. It was perfect weather. On an Alaska trip later in the year it was rainy and the roads were dirty and it got lubed every night. All you're doing is keeping the O or X rings supple and making them last as long as possible. A few years ago I switched to Dupont Chain Saver which is teflon based and dries completely so it doesn't pick up grit like the old sticky greasy lubes did. It cleans up with the same Simple Green that I use on the rest of the bike. Chain life didn't suffer and I have more time to be on the road.
Once a year or so I deep clean everything and the kerosene comes out for the chain.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jjscsix

·
Registered
Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all, for these interesting replies. When I bought the Ninja, the sales guy told me about the importance of cleaning the chain with paraffin (our word for kerosene) and added that I should get 12K-15K miles chain life. I once had a Suzuki GSX 1250FA for 5¼ years and whose chain lasted 22K miles, and this surprised the Kawasaki guy. Of course, that Suzuki had less power than the new Ninja. I never had to adjust the chain. I did clean it with a de-greasing agent from time to time, then rinsed it with water, dried it and then reapplied lube. The XCP lube I'm now using is ultra thin and non sticky. On a recent club trip, I had to ride through moderate rain for two hours, so the following morning I was sure to wipe the chain dry and spray with XCP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
I made a little unit to drive the rear wheel while i was cleaning and lubing it...sold it with my last bike. With mine it was cleaned and lubed when i thought it was due. Kerosene for clean and Dupont or Motul for lube
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
The main thing for life is keep it clean, clean, clean, clean. Dirt, grit is what wears out a chain so sometimes the less lube the better. I just put a tiny bit of white lithium grease on mine just to provide a bit of cushion between the chain and sprocket. WLG doesn't collect dirt and grime and doesn't fling. The chain itself doesn't need lube, the lube is inside the o-rings. I wipe it clean when it starts to get dirty with a cotton towel. My chain has 13k on it and looks brand new. I know I'll get over 30k miles out of it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kenors

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,279 Posts
Kenors, I appreciate the mention of the DuPont chain lube. My local Wal Mart sells it. I have some, but wasnt completly sold on it. To many years of using the sticky, oil filled lubes, I suppose . If you recomend it, it's probably worth using.

I did notice the chain staying much cleaner as oposed to using the other stuff. If what Burtcaster says is correct, this stuff should be a good choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
557 Posts
When I bought the Ninja, the sales guy told me about the importance of cleaning the chain with paraffin (our word for kerosene) and added that I should get 12K-15K miles chain life.
I'm not up on UK vernacular, but paraffin is a wax, where as kerosene is a light oil. Decades ago when I was heavily into bicycling in my younger days, the accepted practice was to remove the chain and rear wheel cassette, clean them thoroughly, then soak them in hot melted candle wax. When you remove them from the hot wax bath and allow them to cool, the wax will solidify and most of the excess will fall off. The wax film provides great lubrication and NOTHING will stick to it. The issue though, is that you cannot mix wax and oil. You have to clean the chain and cogs thoroughly before you can switch from one type to the other.

There are some motorcycle chain lubes that are supposedly wax based. Not sure how similar it is to what we used to do, but I believe the idea is the same.

With motorcycle chain maintenance, how you lube it is just as important - if not more so - than how often you do it. Most riders just spray a crap ton of lube on the chain right over the rear sprocket and let it drip all over the place. You can do that with cleaners but with lube, you wipe off most of the excess, leaving just a thin film over the chain plates and rollers. I've seen more than my share of front sprocket covers that were loaded on the inside full of grime soaked in chain lube. Chain and cogs wear more from grinding dirt and grime than from lack of lubrication.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
293 Posts
Initially I started with kerosene to clean and 90wt gear oil to lube. And then I had the stock chain go south at ~12.5K and replaced it with a D.I.D. chain and a commitment to step up my maintenance frequency. A friend of mine who has road raced for years suggested I ditch the gear oil and said he uses Motul and lubes each time he rides.

I bought a can and now have rear stand and it's so easy to lube I do so much more often.

I have a good 500 yards of gravel road that is extremely dusty so I think it may be best to clean it with kerosene more often, maybe every other lube because the dust can't be good for the o-rings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
849 Posts
Uncle Bucket: Chain lifespan is somewhat dependent on riding style. If you're a clutch popping wheelie master you probably won't get the mileage out of a chain that I do. Another factor I gleaned from your post is 22k miles in 5 years probably means your bike sits a lot. O-rings are a rubber-type product and these age in place whether or not they're being used. I personally ride ~15k-20k miles a year and the bike rarely sits idle more than a few days in a nice cozy garage. If you live on a dusty dirt road or where the dust blows all the time or by the sea or in the rain or your bike sits outside, it all shortens chain life.

Newone: I thought every bike came with a unit that turned the rear wheel. Certainly all my bikes did. :)

Burtcaster: A word of caution: my DID gold chains look brand new and shiny at 30k miles when they're totally sacked and need replacing. Wiping down the outside may keep it looking new but you need to keep those little O (or X) rings inside clean as you said.

That brings me to my cleaning method. Just about the only way to get the O-rings clean is with a solvent. You can't/shouldn't scrub the O-rings. My washing all takes place on a rear stand and when it's available, the lubing does too. A light cleaning is simply dousing the chain with Simple Green, sometimes brushing the outside of the chain and rinsing it off. Then firing up the bike and "flinging" the chain dry. Once the idle slows down, wheel spinning, apply the lube to the inside of the chain on each side in front of the rear sprocket. Putting it on the inside allows it to disperse outward when the chain goes around the sprockets. Chain Saver's "carrier" flings off taking any leftover gook with it (I stick a piece of cardboard between the chain and wheel) and leaves a protective coating behind that dries in a short time. In 15 minutes you can ride away with no fling and no stick residue to attract dust/dirt. All this adds just a few minutes to cleaning the entire bike.
Deep cleaning is the same with the additional step of, before starting to wash the bike, I "paint" the chain using a soft paintbrush with kerosene. Letting it sit on the chain a few minutes while I wash the rest of the bike it does it job of loosening all the crud in the crevices.

WARNING: Dangerous spinning gears and chains. Stay clear of the chain entering the rear sprocket. If you're not comfortable lubing the spinning chain you can still dry it with the engine and then lube it by hand.

Chain maintenance is bit like an oil thread. Lots of different ways to do it that all work well enough that today's chains last a long time. My personal goal is to get about as much life out of the chain as I can with minimum work.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Volfy

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,279 Posts
Kenors, have you still needed to do the deep cleaning, after using the Dupont lube? It doesnt appear to leave much of a mess behind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,279 Posts
That's odd, my rims dont have that logo. That much be from the Japanese manufacturer? F u C K indistries?

I thought the stock brake pads also contributed to the mess. Replacing those with any other pad helped.

I sprayed each side with these chain lubes and gave it 5 minutes to set up. I just made one pass and tried to do it for the same amount of time. The dent on the DuPont can happened during the earthquake. That's the day I learned just how valuable the caps/covers are for spray paint. I dont believe I have any other kinds of chain lube on hand.

The Dupont stuff (left) is definately there, but it soaked into he paper. The second is my favorite lube, Maxima "Crystal Clear" chain lube. It's still wet and nasty after five minutes. Its sticky, but probably not sticky enough to really stay on the chain.There just might be some value in this Dupont stuff.
29892
.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
293 Posts
When I moved to the new place in 2015 I was driving a 10 year old Nissan Frontier and a 42 year old Jeep...now with the GT and bikes I seriously regret the decision to move into a house on a dirt road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
Be happy if you don’t have to deal with this daily...
I have 1/2 mile on dirt to get to pavement, know exactly how you feel. Usually have to clean the wheels about once a week or so, when I lube the chain. If that is how much you get on a daily basis, that is pretty bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
293 Posts
I have 1/2 mile on dirt to get to pavement, know exactly how you feel. Usually have to clean the wheels about once a week or so, when I lube the chain. If that is how much you get on a daily basis, that is pretty bad.
Daily!

I detail my GT, handwash, wax, dry....leave the neighborhood and go straight to a carwash to rinse it off and dry it if I care how it looks.

It is a very fine almost talcum powder fine dust but it can't be good for the o-rings and why I will make and adjustment to the maintenance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
849 Posts
Kenors, have you still needed to do the deep cleaning, after using the Dupont lube? It doesnt appear to leave much of a mess behind.
Maybe not. The dust/grime that does cling to the chain cleans off pretty well with just the Simple Green I use to wash the rest of the bike. But every spring the bike gets a "deep clean" with all the plastic coming off, and all the nooks and crannies that generally overlooked in a normal wash. As part of that the chain gets its kerosene bath as well.

I should say back in the days of PJ1 Blue and a few others I tried, I used kerosene on the chain every time I washed the bike. I did a stint with Maxima Chain Wax back when I had the '90 VFR with white wheels. That bike was when I noticed just how much dust came off the brake pads. Now that you've mentioned it, time to change the OEM pads on my '18.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top