Suzuki SV650 Riders Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,973 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I ride my bike through anything that doesn't include snow. I have been less than impressed with the mileage (12-15K) I normally get out of premium O and X ring chains. Would it be crazy to accept the lower mileage (5-8K) out of cheaper (~$35) non O ring chains and go through 2-3 of them in the time it takes to run the expensive (~$120) premium chains into the ground?

My chain cleaning (WD-40) and lubing (Maxima chain wax) is done at 300-500 mile intervals, yet I always find tons of sand grains inside the rollers and between the side plates whenever I clean the chain. I have nightmares about the sandpaper like chafing eating away at my chain :lol:.


Any thoughts (besides a Scottoiler or other automatic oiler)?

Is it possible that the WD-40 is that poor of a cleaner? Try kerosene/diesel?

Does Maxima chain was attract sand that much more than other lubes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
I live in the desert and ride a dual sport in addition to the SV. I asked myself (and others) this same question about my dual sport, which suffers from this problem even more than a street bike. Other riders had tried using non-O-ring chains for this very reason and I couldn't find a single one that hadn't subsequently gone back to using an O or X-ring chain. I was told that the problem is that you must clean and lube the non-O-ring chains much more often than the O-ring chains. Your 300-500 mile intervals for chain maintenance are not going to cut it with a non-O-ring chain.

I was a user of chain wax. What I noticed on my dual sport was that the sand and grit would cake on the chain with chain wax. So I went to a much thinner product, in my case Corrosion X, instead of chain wax. That made a significant difference. Many of my dual sport buddies actually just use WD-40 alone on their chains, and swaer by it. But I think Corrosion X provides better lubrication, so that's what I use. The point is, it seems to keep the chain much cleaner (and freer from dirt) than chain wax betwwen cleanings. Just my opinion. I also use Kerosene to clean the chain, as I think it is the best cleaner.

When I saw how well this worked out on my dual sport, I changed over on my SV as well, which suffers the same problem, just to a lesser degree. I typically change my chains and sprockets out every 15,000 miles, regardless of wear, since I can't afford to be stranded far off-road in triple digit heat, but I've got almost 15,000 miles on my current DID VM X-ring and I may make an exception this time, as it is showing very little noticable wear. Your milage may vary, but I just thought I would pass along what has been working for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,503 Posts
15,000 miles??

That's pretty good mileage out of a chain. Usually they stretch (internal wear) beyond the recomended limits before that.

On the street O-ring or X-ring chains are far superior. I've never owned a dirt bike. In industrial applications I've never seen a difference between O or X-rings. Sealed chains don't benefit as much from regular maintenance as non-sealed chains. The only wear points that you can lubricate are where the side plates rub. Dirt on the chain increases the wear rate on the outsides of the rollers and on the sprockets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
Would it be crazy to accept the lower mileage (5-8K) out of cheaper (~$35) non O ring chains and go through 2-3 of them in the time it takes to run the expensive (~$120) premium chains into the ground?
As an aside, it's not necessary to spend $120 for a premium chain. I recently bought a D.I.D. VM X-ring chain for my SV for less than $90. You might try online sources such as whitebuffaloracing.com

At $90, 3 non-O-ring chains actually puts you behind, moneywise, so you would need to get only twice the life out of an x-ring versus a standard non-internally lubed chain, to make it pay. That's not counting the time you spend mounting the extra chain, nor the far more frequent chain maintenance required on the non-O-ring chains. I think that's why those I know who have tried it have always gone back to the O-ring chains.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,973 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
RandyS and andyauger-- Thanks for the replies. I try to be easy (smooth) on my bike (no rabbit starts, wheelies, etc) in an effort to make tires, chain, etc last longer. Guess I shouldn't gripe about 15K out of a chain. I just get pissed because my chains always fail due to frozen kinks before they stretch, regardless of sealed or non-sealed, brand, etc.


RandyS-- Powerful statement about riders you know who tried the same approach and ended up right back with O and X ring chains. Thanks for the heads up/link sourcing <$100 O ring chains--that makes a big difference in the price point analysis...


Is it possible the WD-40 or chain wax is attracting and holding sand grains? More so than say diesel/kerosene for cleaning and a different type/brand of chain lube?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
Is it possible the WD-40 or chain wax is attracting and holding sand grains? More so than say diesel/kerosene for cleaning and a different type/brand of chain lube?
That was the point of my first reply. I believe that chain wax does hold grit moreso than a thinner lubricant. That's why I use Corrosion X. Bigger problem off-road riding than on a street bike, but still.

Whatever you use for cleaning should not be an issue for subsequent dirt accumulation, assuming that you got the chain clean in the first place. You're supposed to rinse the chain and remove the cleaning agent. At least that's how my procedure reads.

Keep in mind, as was pointed out by others, that 15,000 miles may well be a reasonable service limit of the chain. My chains also exhibit kinking towards the end of their service life. That tells me that the factory internal lube is wearing out, not what;s happening to the outside of the chain. There's nothing you can do about that with an O/X-ring chain, as there is no way to get new lubricant past the o-rings.

What you're trying to do with chain maintenance of an o-ring chain is condition the o-rings, lubricate the roller/sprocket interface, and eliminate corrosion (rusting) of the links. You can't do anything about the state of the internal grease, failure of which results in kinking.

The problem with dirt accumulation, in my opinion, is that it excellerates the wear of the o-rings. That's why you want to keep grit out of there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,973 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
RandyS-- Thanks for the clarification. Sometimes I need the hammer to the head rather than polite suggestion... :lol:


Never thought about lubing the 'chain' purely in the context of conditioning the O rings. That makes sense.


Hmmm. Got lots to ponder over. Thanks again... 8)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
Never thought about lubing the 'chain' purely in the context of conditioning the O rings. That makes sense.
It's a key point often missed. O-rings dry out and can be damaged if not kept conditioned. That shortens chain life.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,333 Posts
I run a scottoiler, and get approx 30-35k from a set of chain & sprockets, front sprocket being the first component to wear.

I tried a non o-ring chain cause I figuers it would last as long as the front sprocket... Wrong, 8000 miles, and a worn chain wears the sprockets, never again, I run stock suzuki steel front sprocket (16t from a gsxr) hardened aluminum 46t rear and DID o-ring chain. costs close to $200 for the set, but per mile is the lowest cost
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,973 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
RandyO-- Yeah, after thinking more about it and the points that all of you brought up, I'll be getting another sealed (O ring) chain. Probably more importantly, I need to re evaluate my cleaning/lubing regimen... :x

I've been getting fantastic life out of my sprockets, it's always the chains that are the weak links (sorry, couldn't resist :p ).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,503 Posts
Wax and grit

I use chain wax and my chain accumulates very little grit between cleanings. I never get much off the chain, mostly regular road scum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,973 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Re: Wax and grit

andyauger said:
I use chain wax and my chain accumulates very little grit between cleanings. I never get much off the chain, mostly regular road scum.


Dang it!! :lol: I had just convinced myself to use something other than chain wax for a lube and you have to post that!!!

I like the chain wax cause it seems to offer the best combination of low crud, flinging, ease of use, etc., but if it doesn't perform the primary function of lubing the chain (errr, O rings--thanks RandyS) in my mind it's worthless.

andyauger, what do you use for chain cleaning?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,333 Posts
Re: Wax and grit

andyauger said:
I use chain wax and my chain accumulates very little grit between cleanings. I never get much off the chain, mostly regular road scum.
but do you attribute that to chain wax, or not riding where there is a lot of grit, like on dirt roads or wet roads
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
I like the chain wax cause it seems to offer the best combination of low crud, flinging, ease of use, etc., but if it doesn't perform the primary function of lubing the chain (errr, O rings--thanks RandyS) in my mind it's worthless.
I don't think anyone claimed that chain wax wasn't a good chain lubricant. I think it's a very good lube. I just think that dirt tends to stick to it (and therefore the chain) moreso than a lighter lube like gear oil or a product like Corrosion X.

To me, the reason people like chain wax is that it sticks to the chain better: doesn't fling and doesn't have to be reapplied as often. But it makes sense to me that if chain wax sticks to the chain better, then grit will stick to it better also. That may not be an issue in many riding conditions. Where I live, where blowing sand and dirt is almost a constant occurance, it is a significant issue.

Take a look at what Randy O reported. Thirty thousand miles is an amazing service life for a chain. He's using a Scottoiler, which I'll bet drips a regular stream of gear oil onto his chain. That's probably the best of all worlds.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
480 Posts
RandyO said:
costs close to $200 for the set, but per mile is the lowest cost
I just went through the same thing price and chain/sprocket type-wise. It's the 1st time I've had to replace my chain and sprockets on the SV and I kept everything 525 so I could keep the steel sprockets and O-ring DID chain. I ride through all kinds of crap and they'll get replaced this wk w/over 17k mi. on them. I've been a bad girl w/the maint on the chain so I'm keeping it as close to stock as possible hoping to get another 17k on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,503 Posts
Chain wax not sticky

I clean my chain and sprockets with kerosene. I use chain wax because my experience is that it holds less crud compared to things like commercial chain lubricants or oils. It isn't that wet, sticky surface, it's more dry-slightly-tacky. My experience is that chain wax stays cleaner than oils, greases, etc., under similar environmental circumstances.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,973 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks andy.


No cutting corners on cleaning with the new chain. Strictly by the book... :x Time to score some kerosene...




Read the manual.
Believe the manual.
Follow the manual.

(my new mantra)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
RandyO said:
I run a scottoiler, and get approx 30-35k from a set of chain & sprockets, front sprocket being the first component to wear.

I tried a non o-ring chain cause I figuers it would last as long as the front sprocket... Wrong, 8000 miles, and a worn chain wears the sprockets, never again, I run stock suzuki steel front sprocket (16t from a gsxr) hardened aluminum 46t rear and DID o-ring chain. costs close to $200 for the set, but per mile is the lowest cost
Randy, you run a 16T front and a 46T rear? How come? Don't you lose a lot of accelleration with that or do you do mostly high speed riding?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,333 Posts
stingray said:
RandyO said:
I run a scottoiler, and get approx 30-35k from a set of chain & sprockets, front sprocket being the first component to wear.

I tried a non o-ring chain cause I figuers it would last as long as the front sprocket... Wrong, 8000 miles, and a worn chain wears the sprockets, never again, I run stock suzuki steel front sprocket (16t from a gsxr) hardened aluminum 46t rear and DID o-ring chain. costs close to $200 for the set, but per mile is the lowest cost
Randy, you run a 16T front and a 46T rear? How come? Don't you lose a lot of accelleration with that or do you do mostly high speed riding?
I don't really loose any acceleration, I can stay in each gear longer and don't have to shift as much, I rarely get above 4th gear unless I'm on the highway,

I went to a 16t up front first, cause the front wheel had too much helium in it and the 16t was an attempt to keep it on the pavment, after wearing that set out, the next set, I went up one in back cause I did feel I lost more acceleration than I wanted, it's a gear ratio that works for me, I also run 112 links on my chain, to extend the effective swingarm length a couple mm
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top