(Experiment) 80w90 Gearbox oil as a chain Lube - Honda CBR 300 Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-10-2018, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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(Experiment) 80w90 Gearbox oil as a chain Lube

Hello,

I am creating this thread to document an experiment that will test the efficacy of "general purpose items" as opposed to motorcycle specific items (aeresols).

For the experiment I will be lubing the chain every 500 miles (or sooner if I get caught in the rain, ride thru mud etc).

I will be using this protocol:

0) Lift rear wheel with paddock stand
1) Remove front sprocket cover
2) Spray Kersosine K-1 ($8 per gallon at Walmart) from a spray bottle and coat the chain and sprockets GENEROUSLY.
3) Wait 5 minutes
4) Use a knockoff of the "Grunge Brush" a 3 sided nylon brush ($5 on Amazon) to scrub the chain and sprockets.
5) Rub a large piece of newspaper along the chain to remove as much build-up as I can.
6) Use a watering can (The kind that you use to water flowers) to rinse off the chain and the sprockets
7) Rub a cotton rag along the chain and sprockets to fully dry them
8) Use a leaf-blower to fully dry off the chain and all internals (In my case I am using a Shop-Vac in the reverse position to blow air)
9) Use a 1 inch paintbrush to apply a thin coat of 80w90 gear oil to the inside of the chain ($15 per gallon at Walmart)
10) Spin the rear tire several revolutions to make sure sprockets are coated with the lube and to use the centrifugal force to make the lube move to the internals and the other side of the chain
11) Wait 30 minutes. Turn rear wheel so that the 50% of the chain that was on the bottom is now on the top row (Gravity)
12) Use a paper towel to dry any excess lube from the chain.
13) Re-install front sprocket cover
14) Take bike down from paddock stand
15) Ride!

Background information:

I just purchased this motorcycle used with 1900 miles on it. The chain had rust spots. I did my very best to remove as much of the rust spots as I could. These where my final results after the cleaning:




I posted these as a "baseline". So that you can see what I am starting with. I will be updating this thread after each chain cleaning and/or lubing so that you can see how the chain wears and progresses.

I hope this research will be helpful to forum members.

I am putting many potential Myths to the test here. You will notice that in my steps I do not start with a "warmed up bike" or a "hot chain". This is one potential myth that I wish to put to the test. Whether it makes any difference if you "Go for a 15 minute ride first" before you begin. So we shall see.

Log:

Entry 1: 1950 miles 10/10/2016 Here is how the chain looks after cleaning and lubrication + wiping off excess lube.

2016 CB300F - 5200 miles - 100% stock config
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-10-2018, 03:05 PM
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I wish you luck and definitely appreciate the effort!
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-10-2018, 05:20 PM
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X-ring and O-ring chains are made so the internals are sealed and you don't need to try to get lubricant inside. They only need lube on the outside which is why dry lubes are better. It doesn't fling off like oil and neither does it collect as much dirt. If you take the front sprocket off, lube the splines with a high moly grease when you re-install it.
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2016 CBR300RA



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post #4 of 9 Old 10-10-2018, 09:42 PM
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make sure your sprockets are aligned
and chain runs in a straight line,
including in motion..
[spinning gives an idea,
also running on rear stand]

sprockets on a used motorcycle cant be assumed
be secure and aligned to wheel [not 'wobbling']
thus the experiment results could be influenced
by a misaligned sprocket..

good luck tho.. if ever there was a good use
for ocd its in motorcycle maintenance..
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Last edited by shisoshin; 10-10-2018 at 09:44 PM. Reason: spaces
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-10-2018, 11:59 PM
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Man-- you must have a lot of time on your hands-I don't see anything wrong with what your trying-but I have to ask what's the point-modern spray lubes--I like the Honda white can--are way better faster and cleaner-I have been around chain bikes since 1964 and all but four-BMW's-of my 51 bikes owned have been chain driven so I have cleaned and lubed a few-a few of the best things modern technology has given us is fuel injection-tubeless tires and modern O-X ring chains and the modern lubes-I can't see going back-I already know how this will turn out but don't want to spoil it for you
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-04-2018, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Entry 2 11-4-2018 2217 miles (caught in the rain)

I was caught in the rain on 2 days in a row (rain that came without warning) and the bike got soaked for 1 hour in the full blast rain.

Today I used a newspaper to wipe the chain down (no chemicals or brush) and I then applied a coat of gearbox oil as per the procedure in the original post. There was surprisingly still some lubrication on the chain (a slight shining) but so far, so good. The gearbox oil is doing a great job as a chain lubricant and anti-rust preventative. Its a sad shame that I bought the bike with rust already on the chain and I did my best to scrub that off but you can still see imperfections and rust stains and there is really nothing that can be done about it. I hope you dont allow that to color your perception of the experiment.

Here is a photo I took after applying a new coat of oil on the chain this morning. Basically the chain looks the same as when we began the experiment and I am happy to report that it is not picking up alot of dirt and grime so I am pleased so far and will continue to update this log but only at 500 mile intervals from now on. I will be cleaning the chain with Kerosine and the grunge brush at every 500 mile interval but in between I wont do anything other than re-lubricate the chain if I get caught in the rain or after giving a wash to the bike.


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post #7 of 9 Old 12-03-2018, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Chain cleaned and lubed - 2500 miles - 12-3-18

Before the cleaning:



After the cleaning and lube:



So far so good but I am going to take a few steps out of the protocol. For example I dont think its necessary to take off the front sprocket cover each time for cleaning, maybe I will do that only at 1000 mile intervals. The worst mistake I did last time was that I applied the gearbox oil too liberally and I dried off the chain with a newspaper rather than with a paper towel and this caused too much oil to be left on the chain which ended up picking up some dirt and grit. This time around I still dried it with newspaper but I did a very through wipe-down so this time there is not as much oil drenched on the chain. So far, so good. I am pleased with the results so far and am planning to continue

EDIT: On the last photo you can still see some yellow dots of oil. That is how it looks if you wipe it down half-asse.d but after the photo I wiped it down one more time and that got rid of the excess oil.

EDIT 2: The pictures really dont do it justice. The chain really does look alot better in real life then what the photos display. Maybe I will just stop with this thread because the chain looks worse (in the pictures) than it really is and basically I am not going to convince anybody that this is a good idea because the photos look so poor.

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post #8 of 9 Old 04-14-2019, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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5000 mile update (5200 miles on the clock)





I will only be posting updates on this thread at 5k mile intervals (from now on). I am hoping to get at least 15,000 miles out of this chain.

I have cut out alot of extra steps from the original process. From now on I am only taking the front sprocket cover off every 2000 miles to clean the front sprocket so that means only on "even" numbered intervals such as 2000, 4000, 6000. Else I do a full cleaning every 1000 miles and I do a lubricvation every 500 miles UNLESS there is rain in which case I lube the chain once again after rain or after washing the bike.

i will probably do the "full motorcycle wash" every 2000 miles during the "even" numbered interval. So here is the procedure on the "odd number" interval (like today)

1) Put bike in 1st gear, lift it up on the paddock stand and then put it in Neutral
2) Squirt Kerosine liberally on the chain near the rear sprocket
3) Wait 2 minutes
4) Hold the grunge brush against the chain while spinning the rear wheel with muscle
5) Dry off the chain with newspapers (spinning the rear wheel while gripping newspaper against the chain)
6) Dry off the individual rear sprocket teeth with the newspaper
7) Lube the chain with the paintbrush and Gearbox oil
8) Wait 10 minutes
9) Dry off excess oil on the sides and OUTSIDE of the chain with the newspaper (spinning the rear wheel while gripping newspaper against the chain)

Job Done. Got the task down to 20 minutes (including the 10 minute of waiting inside of Step 8)

As you do your own chain you will become more and more efficient and will be able to cut out un-necessary steps. You can see my own evolution inside this same thread.

As you can see the gearbox oil is doing a great job. Its really all you need, just buy the $15 gallon jug and have basically a lifetime supply of chain lubricant.

No need to wash the brush after each cleaning, just put it away wet inside of a plastic glove like the ones they use at Subway when making your sandwich. They sell those gloves at Dollar Tree. They are same ones you get with a package of hair coloring dye. Yeah THOSE gloves.

Put the wet brush inside the glove and twist it around a few times and it will stay closed with friction. No need to EVER wash the paintbrush
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-14-2019, 09:59 PM
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I have used the brush and 80/90 for a long time. Some people do the same thing with ATF.
Gear box oil is designed to cling somewhat to gear wheels and be squeezed between them. A chain and sprocket is a similar situation. It does fling a little on the first ride, but is very easy to wipe of with a rag that's had a squirt of WD40.
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