Better Living Through Chemistry | Gear

From the complex compounds in your bike’s tires to the alloys in the engine and gasoline in the tank, your motorcycle is an excellent example of how 118 known elements can be combined to create an endless variety of substances. This month’s Gear spread contains a sample of the new products chemists have concocted for the greater good of motorcycling.

Maxima Chain Cleaner

The can says chain cleaner, but we know from first-hand experience that this stuff works equally well on wheels, bodywork and engine parts. Maxima’s chain cleaner doesn’t contain any caustic chemicals yet cuts through grease, grime, brake dust and bug guts with ease. The emulsified mixture rinses off with water, but we’ve found that leaving a little residue helps keep dirt from sticking. Pick up a can for $9.50 and see for yourself.

Race Tech Fork Oil

Quality oil is the final ingredient in an optimized fork, and Race Tech’s Ultra Slick fork oil is touted as some of the best. Race Tech’s 5-weight fork oil is blended according to their own recipe to provide the slickest fluid possible. Reduced friction means improved suspension compliance and better handling, as well as reduced component wear and more consistent performance between rebuilds. Ultra Slick oil sells for $29.99 a liter. Most modern forks require about 1500ml for a complete overhaul.

Amsoil Break-In Oil

Whether your bike is brand new or newly rebuilt, you want to make sure it is properly broken-in. Formulated without friction modifiers but with added zinc and phosphorous anti-scuff agents, Amsoil’s break-in oil protects critical engine components while facilitating piston ring seating for improved power and reduced oil consumption. It’s slippery enough to lubricate main bearings, transmission components, camshaft lobes and lifters, but not so slick that it prevents piston rings, cylinder walls and other microscopically rough-machined surfaces from seating correctly. Treat your bike to a proper break-in for $7.15 a quart.

Vp T4 Gasoline

The chemists at VP Fuels are proud to introduce T4, a 100-octane pour-in replacement for premium pump gas. This unleaded performance fuel is safe for use with catalytic converters and offers excellent detonation protection for high-revving engines. VP says T4 improves power output and throttle response, while the consistency of the ethanol-free blend provides increased tuning ability. Like all VP performance fuels T4 isn’t legal for use on the road, so save it for your track bike. Pick up a 5-gallon container for your next off-highway outing for $60.

S100 Cycle Care Kit

Don’t bother assembling a cleaning kit. S100, the finish fanatics from Germany, already have. S100’s Cycle Care Kit contains everything you need for a clean bike except elbow grease, and their products promise to keep the need for that commodity to a minimum. The $54.95 package includes a bottle of cycle cleaner, a sponge, a drying towel and a tube of finish restorer, as well as a can each of corrosion protectant and detailer, all contained in a handy carrying case.

Liquid Wrench 6-Pack

With this convenient 6-pack from Liquid Wrench you can equip your garage, shop or toolbox with all the essential aerosols with one swipe of your debit card. For $15 you get a 5.5-ounce can of lubricating oil, penetrating oil, silicone spray, dry lubricant, chain lubricant and white lithium grease. That’s enough variations of slippery to tend to any stiff pivot, stuck fastener or squeaky fairing panel on your bike. The chain lube isn’t formulated as O-ring safe, but it works great for lubricating control cables.

Fuel Filtering Funnel

The Mr. Funnel fuel filter funnel may have an unimaginative name, but it serves an indispensible function. Mr. Funnel contains a Teflon-coated stainless steel filter element that removes all manner of contaminates, including water molecules. Pouring fuel from a gas can through the filter insures only clean gasoline goes into your tank. Mr. Funnels are available in three sizes, starting at $22.98.

Nikwax Waterproofing

Just because your gloves or boots weren’t designed to be waterproof doesn’t mean they can’t keep you dry in the rain. Nikwax’s waterproofing lotion coats textile and leather fibers with hydrophobic elastomers to create a flexible waterproof coating. The 4-ounce bottle is just $8 and has a foam tip for easy application.

Eagle One Detailer

We haven’t done any testing to confirm it, but it sure feels like a clean bike runs better than a dirty one. Ok, maybe it’s just our imagination, but few products give as lustrous a shine (and perceived performance boost) as Eagle One’s Wax As-U-Dry detailer. Spray it on post-wash and then wipe your bike dry with a towel to produce a seriously deep shine. Wax As-U-Dry is formulated with carnauba wax and anti-corrosive agents to keep your finish looking great and is available in 22.2-ounce bottles for $6.49.

Biodegradable Air Filter Cleaner And Oil

Motor oil is great at trapping dirt in foam air filters, but rinsing it out requires volatile solvents that have to be disposed of properly. With Yamalube’s biodegradable air filter oil and cleaner, you can wash and re-oil your foam filter on site with water and pour the effluence on the ground without harming the environment. The $15.79 air filter care kit contains enough material for a dozen cleanings, available at your local Yamaha dealership.