WD-40 as a motorcycle chain cleaner

Motorcycle chain cleaning is an essential maintenance procedure on all chain-driven bikes. While everybody have their favorite chain cleaner, the topic of the suitability of WD-40 as a chain cleaner (and as a chain lube) is amongst the most controversial ones in chain maintenance chats. Some swear by it, while others swear at it.

The biggest concern motorcycle owners have on the choice of cleaning fluids on their o-ring (or x-ring, or z-ring) sealed chain is the effect of the fluid on the o-ring itself. The 0-rings serve as a seal that locks lubricating grease between the pin and the roller of the chain, significantly increase the chain’s useful life as compared to non-o-ring chains. Any deterioration of this rubber o-ring will allow grease to escape and contaminants such as dirt, mud and other yucky stuff  into the tiny crevices inside the chain, leading to a drastically reduced chain life.

The idea that WD-40 reacts with rubber, swelling, softening and making it brittle has been debunked. MC Garage produced an excellent video to demonstrate this:

Still not convinced? Continue reading “WD-40 as a motorcycle chain cleaner”

Front sprocket gooey grime (again) at 800km

With a new chain on, I decided to take a peek at my front sprocket.Some of you might have remembered that I performed a deep cleaning of my front sprocket only about 800km ago. And so I expected it to be relatively clean now. But when I popped open the sprocket cover…

Accumulated blob of grim at the bottom of the removed sprocket cover.

Eeew! Yucks! Phhht!

There’s a MASSIVE blob of sticky, gooey grime at the bottom of the sprocket cover! And when I dug around the sprocket shield further… Continue reading “Front sprocket gooey grime (again) at 800km”

DID 520VX2 X-ring Chain on the Pulsar 200NS

At 12,000km, the chain on my Pulsar 200NS had developed an uneven wear across the length of the chain. This set of original Bajaj sprocket and chain was replaced for US$45 in Phnom Penh’s Bajaj dealership when I was touring Cambodia.

The set of original Bajaj chain and sprockets set purchased from Bajaj Phnom Penh.

Apart from regularly cleaning and lubing the chain, I did not have to adjust the chain slack for the first 9,000km or so. And then I did something really stupid – I Continue reading “DID 520VX2 X-ring Chain on the Pulsar 200NS”

When was your last motorcycle cable maintenance?

Com’on! Be truthful! When did you last maintain your motorcycle cables? Your clutch cable? Throttle cable?

What? NEVER?!?

Just a couple of days ago, as I was on the road, I spotted someone pushing his motorcycle along the side of the road. I wasn’t in a rush for time, and I pulled over to check out what was wrong with his machine and also see if I could offer any assistance. Turns out, his clutch cable had snapped and he was pushing his bike along to the nearest workshop to get it replaced.

I couldn’t leave a fellow rider in the lurch and offered to help him push. So with one foot on my motorcycle and the other one on his, I maintained a slow speed and pushed his Yamaha along until 3 junctions down the road. He then told me the workshop was just round the corner and he could push it the rest of the way. So I wished him luck and rode off.

When I got back that evening, a startling realisation dawned upon me – I have NEVER lubricated my clutch cable nor my throttle cable. Heck! I didn’t even know how to access it!

So when I got back home, I played with the clutch lever and throttle handle. Lo and behold! I did notice that my cables are beginning to feel “stiff” and slightly “sticky”. So I flipped through the 200NS service manual, whipped out my set of tools and can of WD40 and started squirting generously at both ends of both cables. I also took the opportunity to lube the clutch and throttle springs as a rust preventive maintenance.

Ah! So much smoother now…

Reminder to self – Don’t get stranded. Periodically lube the cables!

*Picture of frayed cable from internet. Thankfully, that is NOT my cable.

Updated Pulsar 200NS Recommended Service Intervals

The Bajaj Pulsar 200NS was introduced in 2012 with much fanfare then. It was the first 200cc triple-sparked single-cylinder engine that the Indian company ever produced – a technology revolution at that time. As with every new engine, service intervals called out in the owners manual tend to be on the conservative side for some checks. Take the valve / tappet clearance for example – it was recommended to check and adjust if necessary at every 5,000km!

Since 2012, Bajaj has sold a healthy number of 200NS and thus their engineering team also has a better idea of the performance and tolerances of the parts. In the latest version of the 200NS owner’s manual (combined as a 200NS and 200AS owner’s manual), some notable difference from the original Rev 1 (May 12) version of the 200NS manual as follows: Continue reading “Updated Pulsar 200NS Recommended Service Intervals”

Valve Clearance Check on my Pulsar 200NS

It’s been 14,000km since I had my engine top rebuilt in Chiang Mai and I’ve not done the valves clearance check on my Pulsar 200NS. And since it was the Chinese New Year holiday and I’ve completed my CNY visiting, with some time at hand, I decided to DIY the valve clearance check this afternoon.

To get to the valves, the following has to be removed: tank cover, fuel tank, air filter box, and then the valve head cover. I’ve previously blogged about the removal process of the above.

Remove these 4 special bolts from the engine head cover.

After removing the 4 bolts on the engine head cover / valve head cover, carefully remove the cover taking care not to damage the gasket. I visually inspected my head gasket and found it to be in excellent condition (approx 6 months old), and although I bought a new piece for this procedure, I had decided that it was good enough to re-use. I’d probably replace it if / when it starts to leak. Continue reading “Valve Clearance Check on my Pulsar 200NS”

Pulsar 200NS Front Sprocket Cleaning

When was the last time you opened up the front sprocket cover when chain cleaning? I don’t know about you, but I’ve been rather lazy to do just that. For the last 10,000km since the chain and sprocket set was replaced, I don’t recall myself opening up the front sprocket. After all, why does one need to? Especially if you’ve been diligent about cleaning and lubing the chain, right?

I WAS SO WRONG!

MASSIVE accumulation of gooey, pasty gunk! I would estimate this pic to contain only about 1/4 of the total gunk I eventually removed!

Continue reading “Pulsar 200NS Front Sprocket Cleaning”

Bajaj Pulsar 200NS DIY Maintenance Guide

I’ve received many requests for information on how to perform some DIY maintenance on the Pulsar 200NS. In this Bajaj Pulsar 200NS DIY Maintenance Guide, you’ll learn the following:

  1. Fuel tank cover removal.
  2. Fuel tank removal.
  3. Air filter replacement.
  4. Coolant replacement.

Some of the tools required:

  • 8mm, 10mm and 12mm hex sockets
  • Hex bit set
  • Phillips-head (+ shaped) screwdriver
  • Long-nose pliers

Continue reading “Bajaj Pulsar 200NS DIY Maintenance Guide”

Pulsar 200NS Side Stand Replacement

My bike’s side stand seem to have given in to the weight of the bike. When kicked down, it folds forward more than usual, causing the bike to lean forward more than usual. In fact, I was fearing that the side stand will one day reach a tipping point just give way. And if it happen to be in a typical Singapore motorcycle parking lot, it will make for some interesting motorcycle domino scene.

Eventually got it replaced at Universal Motors for S$20. Bike now leans more normal.

Pulsar 200NS Fork Oil Change

My 200NS has run for 44,000kms and coming to 4 years. And that includes the arduous 2-month SE Asia Tour earlier this year. I don’t think the fork oil on my bike has ever been changed. The Bajaj owner’s manual calls for a fork oil change interval of 10,000km. But this is one of those things that is commonly neglected – and yes, I’m amongst the guilty ones.

You see, I bought the bike pre-owned and I have absolutely no history of its previous maintenance. So I took the bike to Universal Motors and tried to schedule for a fork oil change. But the mechanics there dissuaded me and casually mentioned that “it’s not a necessary procedure unless it starts leaking oil”. And since there was a pretty long queue with 5 other bikes before my turn, I decided to hold out the fork oil replacement for awhile at least.

The 200NS forks getting removed.
The 200NS forks getting removed.

Just then, it almost seem as if my Pulsar had a soul, it didn’t seem to like the neglect treatment. And in protest, the fork seal start leaking 6 days after my visit to UM. So, now I REALLY have to get it changed. Continue reading “Pulsar 200NS Fork Oil Change”