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best way to maintain a chain with a rig attached

Hi this may seem like a silly question to some .... but here goes

typically I put the rear tire of the cycle in the air to clean and lube the chain. With the car attached do I raise the chair using a floor jack or similar while I raise the bike? or do I try to roll it and do everything on the ground? (this doesn't seem correct to me?)

I would like to hear how others do this maintenance.

BTW, bonneville t100 / velorex set up


Stan, have faced the same issue on my KLR rig. Solution was to jack up the rear wheel just enough so the wheel turned freely, then applied lube as I turned the wheel by hand. The sidecar tire and front tire stayed in contact with the ground. The KLR chain is on the left (outside) side, away from the sidecar.

If your chain and sprocket are on the right side it might be more difficult to do this, not impossible though.

Have looked at auto lube systems, (Scott and others), but not pulled the trigger on one yet. Have you considered this?


I have not looked into that..... however, my chain is nestled right in there next to the chair so I may look into it in the future.

I am hoping I find a way to do this easier than rolling it along the driveway. I'll see if raising the rear bike wheel is easy to do without raising the chair. ..... hopefully it is. Accessing the chain isn't too bad if I remove the chain guard first.

thanks for the reply!

The NEMO Chain oilers seems like it would work, don't know anyone who has tried yet.

Here is a link:

Might have to separate the chair and the bike to install on your Bonnie.

Hello Stan,
go the safe way.
My buddy Thorsten F. was in the hurry on his "draft day" and put the bike in first gear for to lube the chain...3 month later we found his finger bone and nail in the sprocket box...well lubricated!

My prefered chain lube is PJ2 "blue and yellow", penetrates deep, sticks well and doesn't wash off too fast.

I don't have a bike with a chain. If I did, rather than removing the guard I would drill it and for cosmetic reasons put a decorative plug in the hole.


Sven, the pain was intense just reading about your friend Thorsten!! I hope it healed in less time than it took to locate the missing body parts...

Tom Wells aka Reardan Tom

By the way he insisted that phantom pain was frecuently actually worse then the cut itself. You cannot scretch what isn't there.

The curious thing was, that the Marine didn't even send Thorsten home for healing, instead sent him right into primary military education program on sea. Others were sent home because of a bit of faked back pain or flat feet. (national youth champion in high jump in grammar school got rated 5, while I with a really bad back and frecuent paralysations got rated 3. (1=optimum, 6 = cripple))

Thorsten's lesson to kids, not to poke in their nose you should have seen....a few times I could not stop to laugh...the occasion he did that on Grenada market place (Nicaragua) the eyes of the kids grew and grew!!! :O :O :O

I don't lube mine at all. Don't know if all chains now have pre-lubed roller bearings but mine does. Almost 25,000 miles on the Triumph T100 w/o lube applied my me or my Triumph dealer.

I just did this by jacking up the rear tire enough to spin freely. I also securely chocked the front wheel and the car wheel with scrap 2x4s to keep the rig in place. think about it. You still have the very stable 3 point contact with the ground. Front wheel, sidecar wheel and jack.

Now a few comments on oiling the chain. If you have an O-Ring chain it should never be lubed. Cleaned yes but no lube or solvents. Wipe or brush clean only. They are designed to be permanently lubed from the factory and if you use the wrong lube you risk deteriorating the O-Rings and as a result allowing dirt in and the lube out. I use a stiff nylon brush instead of a rag. Rags have a nasty habbit of getting caught up in the sprocket and can pull your finger in with them.

Non O-ring chains MUST be lubed and maintained every 600 miles or less to extend their life. The way I've always lubed chains is to first ride the bike around 5 minutes or so to heat up the chain. Then with the rear wheel off the ground, turn the wheel by hand and apply the lube, keeping your fingers clear, to the inside of the chain ONLY. Centrifugal force will force the lube through the entire chain and less oil/lube will be spit out all over your chain guard and rear wheel. Use your hands ONLY to spin the wheel. Using the engine and transmission to spin the wheel for you is not a good idea. A wise man once told me "Stupid Hurts".


After re-reading what I posted I decided to modify my technique a bit and say that is if fine to put the lube on all 4 sides of the chain. Just wipe off the excess from the outside of the chain.

Also check with your chain manufacturer to see what they suggest to clean the chain. But kerosene or diesel fuel, in a squirt bottle, is very effective and will not hurt the O-rings. Just be sure and dry the cleaner before you lube so it's not diluting your lube.