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Old 12th June 2012, 21:58   #46
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Default Re: DO NOT clean motorcycle chain with bike running in 1st gear and on the main stand

Thank God you are safe and recovering well.

Do motorcycle chains need to be cleaned nowadays ? I thought with the new technology the chains are sealed with the lube within the links and just a cleaning spray needs to be sprayed on the chain if required ?

What is the maintenance for Harleys with belt drives ?

Biking gurus - please educate !
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Old 13th June 2012, 00:38   #47
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Default Re: DO NOT clean motorcycle chain with bike running in 1st gear and on the main stand

That's a very nasty and unpleasant thing to happen. Feel sorry to hear about that incident!

Many people have suggested me not to do this time and again. I have heard of incidents where mechanics have sliced their fingers doing the same. As someone rightly pointed out, why not keep the bike in neutral; then revolve the wheel by your own hand and clean the chain simultaneously. I think it's height of laziness from our side that we can't even make effort to do anything physical. I believe those among us, who follow the same method for cleaning chain, shall agree to this fact.

During the monsoons it's a regular practice for any biker to wash and wipe the dirt off the chain linkages. Thanks for sharing this. The next time I am going to do that I am very sure that I will be reminded of this thread and of your frightful plight.

And I hope you are recovering well from the injury. Get well soon.
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Old 13th June 2012, 00:50   #48
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Default Re: DO NOT clean motorcycle chain with bike running in 1st gear and on the main stand

That must have been a nasty experience. You will never know how many broken fingers incidents you have prevented by sharing your experience on this forum. Her's wishing you a speedy recovery.
Regards,
Ashok
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Old 13th June 2012, 10:40   #49
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Default Re: DO NOT clean motorcycle chain with bike running in 1st gear and on the main stand

Iron Head- sorry to hear about your mishap and lucky you to get top class medical attention to sort things up. What were you thinking bro.

One good friend of mine, went thorough the same trauma way back in 1992, he had a hero Honda cd100 then, difference was that dumb boy was using a plastic glove and grease with the engine start and slotted in the first gear, in matter of seconds he had 2 fingers chopped into 2 , poor boy was all alone and put the fingers into a plastic bag with ice and took it to the hospital, the hospital wasn't equipped to perform such a surgery and he had to let go his 2 fingers. These were our engineering college days and he lost out on a year but learned to make use of the balance fingers to take him forward with his day to day chores.

Guys, please be very careful, bikes / automobiles are not larger than our life, such injuries could ruin anybody's perfect life. Use of chain cleaning sprays and chain lube sprays are the best way to perform a almost hand off chain maintenance.
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Old 13th June 2012, 13:14   #50
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Default Re: DO NOT clean motorcycle chain with bike running in 1st gear and on the main stand

Hey Iron.head,

That's a nasty mishap to happen. Really sorry to hear about the incident.

Wishing you a speedy recovery and thank you for sharing this bitter experience with us.

Take Care!!!
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Old 13th June 2012, 13:29   #51
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Default Re: DO NOT clean motorcycle chain with bike running in 1st gear and on the main stand

Quote:
Originally Posted by iron.head View Post
I have a Classic 500 and do minor repair jobs on my own. 4 days back I thought of cleaning my bike's chain with the bike on the main stand, running and in 1st gear. This way I have cleaned the chain a few times. I usually used a big folded cloth and used to hold the chain in my fist between the cloth, but sadly this time the cloth was a small one and it suddenly slipped and in less than a moment my fingers were in between the chain and rear sprocket.

Got operated by one of the best doctors in one of the best hospitals in my city. One fourth of the index finger of my right hand got separated and fell down in front of my eyes. The other two adjacent fingers got heavily crushed too. The first finger has been patched using skin from my arms and small rods have been put in all three.

I though that this type of accident must be very uncommon and I am one of the rear ones, but my doctor and other hospital staff told me that they have the same cases coming to them every month.

So motorcycle maniacs like me, should avoid being creative like me. Never clean the chain from the top and when the bike is running.

Good luck! Bye!
A very similar incident happened to me in September 2008. All 4 fingers on the right hand (luckily the thumb had only a few scratches) chopped off in a similar incident. After the incident, I simply picked up the fingers and headed straight to the nearest hospital for the first aid and then took an ambulance to Hosmat where the surgery was done. The index, middle and the ring fingers were successfully put back (not the right word though) while the little finger has to be taken off after a couple of weeks.

It was a lot of pain for myself and my family to me suffering for about 6 months. But with sheer determination and the will to get back on the bike again, I was able to get through this. I am back riding as before but very cautious with the moving parts in the bike or car.

I can post the pic of my right now, if its not offensive on the forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
@Iron.head - get well soon !

I hope this will not affect your ability to ride the bike, one you love so much.
The love to ride will have him back soon. Cheer up and get well soon mate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iron.head View Post
Painkillers are keeping the pain away! My left hand is punching the keyboard!



Thank you condor! Bike riding soon after the plaster is removed!
Do take you time and build up the strength back in the fingers which matter most for the rest of the life. Take it a bit slow, but be sure to get back riding when you feel its alright. Do take a word of advice from the Doctor as well.
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Old 13th June 2012, 13:53   #52
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Default Re: DO NOT clean motorcycle chain with bike running in 1st gear and on the main stand

Get well soon buddy, it must be a very bad situation even if I am just thinking about your accident there are butterflies in my stomach.
In future, boss just get the chain cleaned by the service guys who wash clean the bike by spraying with water pressure gun,and keep rotating the rear wheel.
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Old 13th June 2012, 13:57   #53
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Default Re: DO NOT clean motorcycle chain with bike running in 1st gear and on the main stand

Thanks iron.head for bringing this up.
Sadly, I was too one of the victim from this chain lubing. This happened during my bike trip to Kemmangundi in 2009. The bike was R15.
Woke up early morning and thought of cleaning the bike in Kemmangundi instead of enjoying the nature. After cleaning the bike i went ahead and started to lube chain as it was full of dust and mud. In a fraction of second my right hand got slipped all i could see was my thumb broken into two pieces and lying down with blood. There was no one in Kemmangundi that day except a watchmen and my hand was bleeding like anything.
I ran to watchmen and to my horror he said there is no hospital or doctor available in Kemmangundi and nearest is Chikmagalur and by this time my head got dizziness and couldn't see or talk to the watchmen and I fell down. He then gave me water, glucose and sugar and asked me to go to chikmagalur right away.

There was no first aid kit to my luck and I took the broken thumb in a plastic cover and drove all the way to chikmagalur with the bleeding hand. I got it stitched from the doctor in chikmagalur. Thanks to the doctor, though i was first hesitated to get it stitched there and wanted to come back to Bangalore and get it operated. The doctor then advised and also warmed me that if I don't get it stitched right away then never it can be joined by any doctor. Thanks to him again. All these happened within 3 hours and luckily today my thumb is back to normal with just a mark on the thumb as if nothing had happened to the thumb

Even today I wonder how i drove all the way from Kemmangundi to Chikmagalur with a broken thumb and bleeding hand.

So i advise everyone not to lube the chains with the Engine Running and with the Gear
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Old 14th June 2012, 11:13   #54
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Default Re: DO NOT clean motorcycle chain with bike running in 1st gear and on the main stand

I guess these incidents happen since the cleaning and lubing procedure is cumbersome and messy although not time consuming.

Since we have no hydraulic lifts at home, bending over, squatting and performing these maintenance tasks do stress our backs which force some of us to take such shortcuts.

My suggestion is to use a chain cleaner such as Motul, Tribocor or 3M.

With the bike on the main stand and keys in the pocket (to control oneself from switching on the engine) slowly rotate the wheel by holding the tire and spray the cleaner generously on the chain towards the inside portion and over the chain, ensuring it penetrates the O rings or links.

Avoid using diesel since it is bad for the O ring rubber bushes.

DO NOT smoke when spraying such substances since these solvents are highly inflammable. Also ensure naked flames are not burning. If there is no electricity and you must carry out this procedure, use an emergency lamp instead of a candle (!).

Leave the bike aside for at least 10 full mins so that the cleaning solvent penetrates and loosens dirt and muck. The solvents i have listed above will cause the muck and grime to fall off. You will see a black liquid dripping off the chain. In extremely dirty cases, use a toothbrush to dislodge the grime. If needed spray more cleaner, wait for a bit and use the brush again. Try to avoid using a cloth since the dangers are imminent and also the loose threads can entangle in the chain.

Cleaning solvents will evaporate after sometime so don't bother about using something else to get it off the chain.

To lube the chain, you can use Motul Chain Lube or OKS or Tribocor products. All you need to do is spray it evenly on the inside and outside of the chain between the links and allow it to penetrate. Like mentioned, rotate the wheel using the tire only.

Try and do these tasks after a ride since the chain will be hot and would have expanded a bit allowing better penetration of the cleaner and lube.

Do not inhale the substance while spraying and ensure the procedures are carried out in a well ventilated area.

Please also ensure there are no pets and kids playing around when doing these tasks. Never leave the bike on the stand and the solvents unattended when kids are around.

After the lube has been sprayed wait for at least an hour or two before riding out again so that the lube penetrates the links and sticks well. Else it will get flung off the chain due to centrifugal forces and render the rims dirty and grimy.

Chains should be inspected and maintained at least once every 500 kms (for open chains on race / modern bikes). This will result in longer life of chain and sprockets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nirmaljusdoit View Post
Do motorcycle chains need to be cleaned nowadays ? I thought with the new technology the chains are sealed with the lube within the links and just a cleaning spray needs to be sprayed on the chain if required ?

What is the maintenance for Harleys with belt drives ?
Modern bikes have open chains so they are more prone to dust, dirt and other elements and hence require more frequent maintenance. The chains are cleaned and lubed at every service but need frequent maintenance and care.

Harleys are belt driven so require zero maintenance on the belts AFAIK.

Last edited by n_aditya : 14th June 2012 at 11:16.
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Old 15th June 2012, 01:06   #55
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Oouch.... This is bad. I hope you feel better soon and start biking again.

Thank you for sharing this on forum as it helps the other bikers to be aware.
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Old 21st June 2012, 12:11   #56
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Default Re: DO NOT clean motorcycle chain with bike running in 1st gear and on the main stand

Hi fellow BHPian,
Wish you a speedy recovery.


Around three years back, i too had the brainwave to quicken the process of chain lubrication and wiping of excess oil. So, i put my Bajaj 180 Classic on the main stand. With the bike in neutral, put a drop of gear oil on each link individually (inside side of chain), and to let the oil spread within the links, fired up the engine and slotted the bike into 5th. To wipe the excess oil, used a peice of rag, which got caught in the sprocket, and dragged my fingers in as well.

Had used the technique many times before as well, but guess it was an accident waiting to happen.

The middle finger was completely crushed, along with some damage to the adjacent fingers. All is well now, except a still deformed fingernail.
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Old 21st June 2012, 20:27   #57
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Default Re: DO NOT clean motorcycle chain with bike running in 1st gear and on the main stand

Why is this forum so politically correct all the time???
@IronHead - sorry about your hand but what you did was just plain "unwise".

And as for people thanking him for sharing the experience - would you shower me with praise if I told you "Don't touch an un-insulated live power cable"???? It can be much more fatal but is just as obvious.

Do you really need to see/hear fingers getting chopped off to realize that putting your hand on the chain of a bike under power is just not a done thing!!! :|
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Old 21st June 2012, 20:50   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by singhsid
Why is this forum so politically correct all the time???
@IronHead - sorry about your hand but what you did was just plain "unwise".

And as for people thanking him for sharing the experience - would you shower me with praise if I told you "Don't touch an un-insulated live power cable"???? It can be much more fatal but is just as obvious.

Do you really need to see/hear fingers getting chopped off to realize that putting your hand on the chain of a bike under power is just not a done thing!!! :|
Dude, calm down. No body wants to see/hear anybody's fingers getting chopped. The point you are missing is, there may be first time bikers on forum who are not aware of threat, so user shared his experience.

Btw, How did you know that NOT TO touch uninsulated live power cable? Somebody shared/taught you that, isn't it?

Even if whatever OP did was unwise, you should appreciate that he shared it with bunch of people so that some others don't repeat same mistake.

Last edited by Nitrous Power : 21st June 2012 at 20:58.
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Old 21st June 2012, 23:05   #59
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Default Re: DO NOT clean motorcycle chain with bike running in 1st gear and on the main stand

Very painful to hear this, I had goosebumps when I read your post, wishing you a speedy recovery, Hope You will start typing with your right hand very soon.
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Old 21st June 2012, 23:49   #60
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Default Re: DO NOT clean motorcycle chain with bike running in 1st gear and on the main stand

Sad to hear this. I myself was/is a victim of similar accident. My both thumbs got affected. Happened last October (2011).I applied a tourniquet (with help of my wife) to arrest the bleeding and went to the nearest surgeon to get it sutured up. With God's grace my thumbs were not chopped off as the other thumb worked as a lever (my assumption). Lost my mobility in the left thumb (pending plastic surgery) and permanently damaged my nail in the right (don't have nail in the right thumb). May be I have typed just a few posts after the incident. Gives me a shiver while even thinking about the incident. The accident and the days in the hospital, thankfully gave me some new perspectives.
I started riding again. The trauma which it gave to my family was immense. Adding to that my wife was in her ninth month of pregnancy that time. The first thing right after the incident was thought about my baby. I knew, by being in the profession that the injury is bad. When the surgeon came to know that, I'm a doctor, the first thing he asked me was ' Why the hell did you do a mechanics job'. I felt, why? doctor's can't maintain their bike or what, but remained silent. Five days in hospital changed a lot in me.
Never mind friend, you will get through. May God give you and your family strength to overcome the situation.
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