ChainBath cleans up a messy job

Chainbath messy chain cleaner

ChainBath could make the messy job of cleaning your motorcycle chain easy, either with or without a paddock stand.

Canadian inventor Daniel Chiriac, 45, has a patent pending on his ChainBath device which he now plans to licence and produce.

Chainbath messy chain cleaner
Daniel Chiriac

The brilliance of this simple device that sets it apart from others is that it can be used with or without a paddock stand, you won’t get your hands dirty and it is light and portable so you can take it with you on a long trip.

“I found chain maintenance on my Kawasaki Versys was killing the fun of riding and I hated it,” Daniel tells us. 

“That’s why I designed the ChainBath to make chain cleaning easy, fast, mess-free and environmentally friendly.”

Here is how it works with a paddock stand:

 

Now, out on the road without a paddock stand:

 

Before we go any further, those with shaft and belt drive, please keep your comments as clean as your drive! Click here for more on the differences between chain, belt and shaft.

How ChainBath started

I hate chain maintenance: the dirt, cleaning solution, the cardboard, the mess, the uncomfortable position, the fact that I was never able to give it a good clean,” Daniel says.

“First I replaced cardboard with a plastic sheet but it was still dripping on the ground, so I used a plastic tray to collect the solution and all the dirt from the chain.

“However, it was not possible to use it on the road and I do a few long trips every year with my wife and my son.”

He says he hated the cumbersome routine of spraying a bit of WD-40, moving the bike, spraying again, moving the bike, etc, all while dripping the dirty solution on the ground.

“I wanted a clean-hands, easy and quick solution,” he says.

“The best solution is to completely submerge the chain in a bath of solution. But it’s laborious to remove the chain every 500km.

“So if I cannot bring the chain to the bath, maybe I can bring the bath to the chain?”

ChainBath designChainbath messy chain cleaner

There are quite a few chain cleaners on the market but they work on the straight portion between the two sprockets and the gunk drips down on the sprocket.

Daniel’s design accesses the lowest spot on the travel of the chain under the rear sprocket to create a “bath” to collect the gunk.

Because it collects all the cleaning solution, it can be responsibly recycled and it doesn’t end up draining into the gutter and into our river system. 

Daniel started first with a cardboard form then had a friend weld some metal sheet to make the shape for testing.

“It worked! I could have the chain take a bath on the bike,” he says.

Daniel also designed a system that made it quick and easy to fit and remove.

“Out on the road I can install it in less than 30 seconds.

“It completely submerges and cleans all the chain parts just by ‘walking the bike’ for a few metres. It also collects all the solution and the dirt.

“In less than four minutes, I can install the device, clean the chain, remove it and be back on the road.

“My first chain was changed at 19,000km, but now I see the big difference a clean chain is making to its life.”

Daniel has used WD40 but now prefers kerosene as the cleaning fluid because it is cheap and effective.

Chainbath messy chain cleaner
Adding some kerosene

You can buy special chain cleaners, but we’ve also found kerosene to be very effective and cheap.

“I now want to bring this to all riders who have had enough of dirty hands, cardboard, back pain, grease, oil, rust, mess and money thrown away on expensive cleaning solutions,” he says.

Daniel is also considering a permanent fixture and bristles on the inside which would help clean really grubby chains such as on off-road and adventure bikes.

The prototype was 3D-printed, but his production version will be mould-injected plastic which is cheaper.

There is no date yet for the product or its price, but we will update you when Daniel goes into production.

“I’m actively looking for a company that can manufacture and sell,” he says.

About the inventor

Daniel is a mechanical engineer with experience in R&D, testing and aerospace.

“I’m also an inventor in my free time. I’m trying to solve problems with interesting solutions,” he says.

“My first idea that just hit the market is the Shrinkable Sofa.”

“I’ve always wanted to ride a motorcycle and finally in 2010 I got my licence and my first bike, a new 2009 Kawasaki Versys 650.”

Chainbath messy chain cleaner
Daniel’s Kwaka

13 Comments

  1. I have been using a better AUSTRALIAN made chain cleaner for years. it’s called a ‘chain scrubber’ and was made by Wippys’s Alloy products. You just fill the container with kero and either walk the bike or spin the wheel and the chain runs through a kero bath with a couple of small brushes to scrub it. You can either re-use it or tip out the contents and re-attach the unit to the chain and use it to lube the chain via the chain lubes nozzle

    1. The chain scrubber (and other chain cleaning tools I’ve seen) are not running the chain through cleaning solution, they are just spraying the chain. All are attached to the straight portion of the chain. In my opinion, this is not enough to clean the chain, especially between the links, where the rubber seal is. No brush can go there, but when the chain is completely submerged, that area is also cleaned.

  2. Brilliant idea & would be worth using.
    I used Scott-Oilers from 2002 on a ‘TRX850’ & with the old vacuum unit finely adjusted, over 6 bikes with Scott-Oiler & no cleaning issues ever.
    The Electronic unit was even better from 2011 on my Tiger 1050 because it delivered only when the bike was on the move & the option to adjust electronically variable oil supply while you ride.

    1. Thank you Angus, I really appreciate your positive comment. This is another option, and if people think it saves them time, back pain, clean hands and extends the chain’s life, they can use it.

    1. Thank you Phil!
      I’m looking for a manufacturer to license it.
      It is easy to make, not expensive, and there is a huge market for it.
      And patent pending.
      Winter is coming here, but I had an amazing fall!

  3. The ideal solution is the automatic Scottoiler. There are two versions, one works of the intake vacuum of the carbs and the other is electronic.

    They drip a measured amount of oil on the chain, literaly one or two drops per minute, so there is not a huge amount of oil spread on the wheel and tyre. (flow can be adjusted so in dusty/wet conditions the flow can be increased.)

    The chain on my KTM 690 lasted 12,000km and realistically was knackered at 10,000. I fitted a Scottoiler with the new chain and sprockets and I only had to tension the chain every 3 months as opposed to fortnightly as I was doing before. The bike only needed washing every couple of months as well due to the reduced mess. When I sold the bike, the chain was just about half worn with 19,500 km on it.

    They cost a bit initially, but can be moved from bike to bike, so the cost can be spread over several bikes over the years. They are also found s/hand on eBay for 1/3 or less of the new price. The last one I bought was only $35 and came with 4 bottles of Scottoil. Spares and alternative mounting kits are easily available from Scottoiler.

    I honestly think a Scottoiler, a Fiamm/Denali air horn, paddock stand bobbins and mirror extenders are four of the best, almost essential mods to do to any bike.

    1. I did use an oiler for about 2 years.
      No matter what I tried, the back wheel, the top box, the chain guard and the left leg were always with drops of oil and dirt that is clings to it.
      I wanted a clean solution, check the photo with the chain cleaned and see the difference.
      The grease for the chain in sealed chains is inside, so if you take care of cleaning it often and keep the dirt from damaging the rings (O or X), your chain will be in perfect shape.

  4. Some much older bikes came with a fully enclosed or semi enclosed chain guard, which increased the life of the chain and kept everything clean. They were a bit fiddle however.

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