Excitement Plus - Chain Lube. My Chain Lube Explodes!

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by DavidFL, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    11,525
    Likes Received:
    1,568
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +1,568 / 0 / -0
    #1 DavidFL, Jul 28, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
    A bit of a laugh & something for some of us to worry about.

    On my recent trip Chiang Khong - Vientiane return I was somewhat over loaded coming back, such that I needed to buy another bag & reposition the load on my bike.

    The main bag, the Denali that carried the goodies & the heavy load was placed on the seat so the weight was not too far behind the rear axle.
    DSC_3154.JPG

    Then I bought a nice rucksack for 500 baht, put it on the back with the dirty clothes, spare shoes & the 2 cans of chain lube.

    How it looked after 2 days on the road
    DSC_3176.JPG

    A rear end view
    DSC_3173.JPG
    it was here that I readjusted the load, pulling the bag a bit more to the left to have it centred properly.
    A few kms later I was on the super highway R11, 45 kms south of Uttaradit & gently cruising along at 130KPH.

    Then 15 kms north of Uttaradit I hear a kaboom. Just like a tyre exploding - mine I thought, but there was nothing wrong with the bike or tyre.
    I throttled off & looked in the mirror & wow. there was the rucksack & my clothes flying down he road behind!
    What the hell has caused that - a rock strap has broken & the bag must have fallen off I thought?
    I parked up & walked back to my debris laying on the road. Shirt socks jocks, shoes & a back pack blown apart!
    DSC_3181B.JPG
    Bloody hell. The chain lube cans must have exploded!

    A look over the exhaust & tail of the bike
    DSC_3184.JPG

    What a mess.
    DSC_3182.JPG

    but how lucky can you get.
    DSC_3186.JPG

    I had two cans of chain lube that I was testing out on the trip.
    A Veloil Lube
    833130.
    A WD40 Chain Lube
    0051950_automotive-chain-lube-35102.

    So what happened?
    Well I guess the pocket that the chain lube was placed in just happened to be straight over the exhaust that day & it got too hot - caught fire and kaboom.

    Two items of burned clothes.
    DSC_3187.JPG

    DSC_3189.JPG

    DSC_3191.JPG

    Who would have ever thought this serious danger in a bag on the back of their bike?
    But there you go. Chain lube is a chemical mixture & obviously highly inflammable - if it gets warm enough on your bike.

    I consider myself extremely lucky.
    There could have been serious damage to myself, or the explosion could have caused an accident, or personal damage to other people. And who would have paid for the damages = me!

    But which chain lube exploded?
    I walked up and down the highway looking for the 2 cans, but could not find any sight of either can.
    Finding the cans might have given some indication of which can exploded. I did find the yellow cap from the WD40 can, but no sight of the can.
    So my wild guess is the main culprit was the Veloil because of the blue colour splattered everywhere. The paint from the outside of the can or the chain lube itself?

    You all take care out there now when carrying chain lube.

    Now over the last few months since I turned off the Scott Oiler I've used a few chain lubes.
    1. Veloil
    2. WD40
    3. Wrap
    4. Motul

    So on tour, my verdict
    # 3 Wrap is useless
    # 1 Veloil is just ok until it rains & then it is pathetic
    # 2 WD40 is half decent & performs reasonably well
    # 4 Motul is the winner though. Just a spray every 3 days in the dry & every 2nd days in the wet.
    but I may now be tempted to go back to the Scott Oiler.

    Some GTR Threads on Chains & Lubricants
    O Ring Chain Maintance
    Scott Oiler
    Motorcycle Chains
    Chain grease in a tin
    Lubrication
    Chain maintenance.

    What chain lube do you use?
    What does everyone else think?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. canthai

    canthai Ol'Timer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +46 / 0 / -0
    FYI many aerosols use propane as a propellant
     
  3. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    923
    Likes Received:
    472
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings:
    +472 / 0 / -0
    It would be interesting to know what would have happened had you been doing 40kph in a town.... but perhaps best we never find out....

    My Putoline chain wax has been used 35 times in 6 years now. It should last another 15 times. It cost 25 GB pounds and another 25 GB pounds postage. 50 quid a tin and 50 uses sounds cheap. Then there will be 1/2" left, to go in the next tin, so that should be cheaper still.

    2018-08-05 07.38.54.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    11,525
    Likes Received:
    1,568
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +1,568 / 0 / -0
    Working my way through a few more lubes
    DSC_1249.JPG

    The Kemex is supposed to be a teflon lube?
    Haven't tried the Wow yet.
    The Repsol disappointed.
    Motul is still tops at this stage of the game.
     
  5. ntb

    ntb Ol'Timer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    Motorbike Chain Lube.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. hs0zfe

    hs0zfe Ol'Timer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +4 / 0 / -0
    Liqui Moly and white chain lube spray... LM recommends using brake cleaner to clean the chain prior to lubing it.

    I saw a Liqui Moly shop in Chiang Mai, coming from Lamphun and taking the road to the airport. 1041? Can't remember. On the left, going to the airport.
     
  7. ZCM

    ZCM Ol'Timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    214
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Ratings:
    +214 / 0 / -0
    Shame you weren't able to find the cans..but wow, given the situation the outcome could have been so much worse.
    At least in the end it made for a good story and a warning for us all !
     
  8. ZCM

    ZCM Ol'Timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    214
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Ratings:
    +214 / 0 / -0
    ...as for lub, I've pretty much stuck with Motol on-road and off-road, depending on what riding I'm doing.
    I haven't had enough experience/experiment of other brands but I've been happy with Motol on general.
    A few years back I tried out a chain wax (can't remember the brand at the moment), applied with an old toothbrush. ..But what resulted was a gunky mess :/
    The application itself may have been clumsy, but I found I ended up with sticky clumps of it leaking off and sitting under the chain. Dry dirt then stuck to it.
    I'm self taught and still fairly new to the game as such, so it's constant trial and error for me and learning as I go along.
    I make a few mistakes as i go
     
  9. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    923
    Likes Received:
    472
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings:
    +472 / 0 / -0
    I clean my KLX O ring chain with diesel.
    Then when it gets dry, pull into a roadside bike shop and use what the locals use; used engine oil. That works for me. No exploding cans needed.... haha...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,802
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Ratings:
    +13 / 0 / -0
    I have tried numerous chain lubes over the years in Europe and Thailnd ,, many are crap,, Motul is good as is the local Kettenrad industrial stuff ,,, but usually i use a Lubeman chain oiler on my ducatis its cheap simple and reliable ,, using engine oil my chains last 20,000km at least ,, OK bike need s more cleaning but another bonus is NO rust ha ha
     
  11. Kiwi Cruiser

    Kiwi Cruiser Ben Kemp
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    70
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +70 / 0 / -0

    The old "Exploding Chain Lube" trick...


    I had a similarly exciting experience on the way to the Dan Sai "Phi Ta Khon" Festival. After David's experience, I thought that learning from it was a sensible move. My chain lube has been standing upright in the back corner of the faux leather saddlebags for 18 months / 29,000 kms - but as far from the exhaust as possible. Mainly because that's the bag my my "One-armed Stand-it" bike stand sits in...

    Aside from the great mirth engendered in the mental spectacle of David's shirts and underwear being blown sky-high into the air above the highway, and raining down in his wake...It did serve as a warning to others! I bought a tool bag for the front forks and began storing the chain lube there as a precaution.

    But then... the day before heading to Chiang Mai for a night, and Dan Sai the following morning... I prepped the bike and lubricated the chain. The can was almost done - maybe one shot left in it. I decided to toss it in the saddlebag and empty it the next morning before leaving Chiang Mai.

    About 65 kms out from home, just east of the turn-off to the Mae Tho National Park, there's a nice uphill section... I was in the zone! Passed a car after the first left hander on a short straight before the next right-hander. Full throttle, third gear. Into 4th on the exit to the corner and full noise/max revs up the next section. Just as I had to ease off for the tight right-hand corner there was a massive "Kabooom!" behind me... As in a 12 gauge shotgun kind of bang right, a foot behind me. Not a tremor from the bike, no change in engine tempo, no vibration nothing at all... my first thought was a backfire but I've never heard one like that before! 5555

    Unlike David, I could not look in the mirror because I was already cranked over navigating through the corner. There was a guy leaning on the guardrail at the exit to the corner with a visibly startled look on his face...

    I stopped a couple of hundred metres further on and got off the bike to see if there was anything obvious - and then I saw the ragged tears in the right saddlebag and knew instantly what had happened! I did a quick U-turn and scooted back down the hill to see my shoes, umbrella and sundry other items of kit scattered along the centre line. Gathering up my gear, I reallocated items to different locations, tied up the saddlebag with a spare bungy cord and carried on.

    Chain Lube: WD-40 Specialist "White Lithium"

    wd-40-specialist-product-360ml-high-performance-white-lithium-grease.

    When it explodes, there is obviously;
    • a tremendous amount of pressure, judging by the way PU leather was shredded
    • and heat, judging by the melted sections in the base of the bag

    wd-40-saddled-bag.
    As to why it happened on that day, after having a can sitting in the same place for 18 months, 2 summers, and 29,000 kms???

    All I can presume is that the sustained max revs uphill for over a kilometre had the exhaust gases VERY hot indeed;
    - and there was definitely a slight cross-wind blowing from the right, probably pushing the exhaust gas under the saddle bag...

    Anyway, all's well that ends well. Had there been a pillion passenger, they might have required a change of underwear...
     
    • Like Like x 3
  12. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    923
    Likes Received:
    472
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings:
    +472 / 0 / -0
    Blimey. Great story.
    So, you're carrying around a bomb, in effect.
    Think I'll avoid those spray cans. In the past I have just pulled into local bike repair shops, to get a squirt of used engine oil on the chain. All shops have a squirt bottle for the job. Do as the locals do.
    Safety first.... hahA...
     
    • Like Like x 2

Share This Page