Friend lost his thumb last night


Donating Member
Im thinking your not going to save that much time doing it while its running, Not to mention if you roll it by hand you can see more of what your doing.

OHHHHHHH and its a hell of a lot safer.

Sorry cant help with the original problem.


I see this is an old post..but this happened to a buddy of mine back in 2000...Exact same situation, lost half his thumb, they oversowed the skin back over the knuckle and that was that...

Valuable lesson...Never clean your chain while the bike is in gear..
Sad to here about your friends bad luck..Hopefully this will be a lesson for lots of riders...


NEVER have hands near running gears... that is a lazy way out and a good way to get hurt (sorry your friends example of what not to do) just turn by hand

and WD-40 is not a good chain cleaner or lube for that manner can deteriorate the rubber
it is recommended to use Kerosene, or X-ring/O-ring specific cleaner


Reminds me of the marine in MECH mag that was whipping a radiator leak why the motor was running near the belts, I guess you might have figured out the rest of the story. Happens alot though...

Dr E

Donating Member
Thank you for the post. I am so sorry for your friend and the damage he has suffered.

The five second what I am about to do going to leave me wishing I had the last five seconds back to do over. It has made me stop doing really dumb things...but was learned by doing really dumb things.

You were a good friend to do what you did...


Hey isn't it bad to use WD 40 on a chain I was told by a mecahnic that with time it could eventually lead to damaging the rings on the the chain and to use a ereliable chain cleaner like motule chain cleaner.



Glad I do NOT run the motor to clean the chain; nothing wrong with just spinning the tire yourself you know...definitely not worth that risk!
Agree. Key WORD: yourself....had a friend helping me lube the chain on a dirtbike....after cleaning the chain and reinstalling I asked my friend to turn the rear tire while I applied the spray lube....ok thats good, he quits spinning, I for some reason sticks my index finger near the front sprocket and he gives it another whirl.....OUCH!..never forget that trip to the ER...still got my finner, just punctured at the tip. this happened `bout 30 yrs ago!

Marcus Jones

This is ironic. My mechanic did the same thing with his personal bike last week. We was cleaning the chain while the bike was on the stand. He placed it on the stand, sprayed it down with WD40 and shifted it to 1st gear. This thumb got stuck between the chain and sprocket.

He had pins placed in this thumb and my his livelihood is up in the air. He can not grip a wrench right now.

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