WD40 = Water Displacement compound #40.
It's not a lubricant, it's not a penatrating oil, it's meant to displace water and it's supposed to leave a thin coating of its base oil on the surface after the solvent evaporates..
The military now uses VVL-800 as the primary water displacement compound.
Krause (Sidewinder) and DID did not have specific cleaning instructions.
Do not use harsh solvents or chemicals, such as gasoline or benzene. EK recommends using a biodegradable degreaser with a soft (non-wire) bristle brush or clean cloth for removing dirt. Use kerosene (paraffin oil) if necessary, let dry and lubricate immediately within 10 minutes.
Q How should I maintain my O-ring chain?
A. Doing routine maintenance on any chain is a crucial step to getting the maximum wearlife out of your chain. You should clean and check its adjustment every 400 miles (sooner if the chain gets excessively dirty). Use formulated O-ring chain cleaner or other similar product to keep dirt from building up around link plates and rollers. Don’t use a wire brush or pressure washer. If your chain comes in contact with water, be sure to use a moisture displacement (like WD40). Lubing an O-Ring chain is vital for maximum wearlife. All RK O-Ring chains are injected at the factory with a lifetime supply of internal lubricant. The purpose of an O-Ring lube is to keep the chain from rusting and the O-rings from drying out. We recommend RK special formula O-Ring Chain Lube because it is a non-aerosol, specifically formulated to stick the chain, yet not attract excessive dirt.
If the chain is not too dirty, the operation of lubrication is normally sufficient to clean the chain.
When the accumulation of dirt on the chain (sand, mud, asphalt particles or other foreign materials) is excessive, the chain must be washed with a brush and kerosene. After washing, the chain has to be dried immediately with a jet of compressed air.
After off-road use, when the dirt built-up is heavy, wash the chain with a water jet, then dry it immediately with compressed air.
Avoid the use of steam, gasoline or solvents.
When cleaning O-Ring chains, avoid the use of hard brushes or other methods that could damage the rubber O-Rings (compressed air should be kept at 50 cm/2 ft distance minimum).
After washing, immediately lubricate the chain as explained in the next chapter.
To clean your Tsubaki chain, it is first necessary to raise the motorcycle on its centre stand with the engine off and the transmission in neutral. Then rotate the rear wheel of the motorcycle (using care to keep your fingers away from the sprockets and chain), spray a moisture displacement lubricant to one side of the chain. After 2 or 3 full revolutions, switch sides and repeat. In this manner you have floated the dirt off the chain and now you need to wipe off the chain with a clean cloth to remove the excess lubricant and dirt residue. Never use a flammable solvent such as gasoline, benzine or kerosene. Additionally, never use water, detergents, steam cleaner or a coarse brush as these damage the chain.
O-ring chains may be cleaned externally by washing in kerosene. Do not use
any other cleaning agent or the O-rings may be damaged. When cleaning O-ring chain, clean only the external areas of the chain.
Do not attempt to force kerosene into the pin-bush cavity.
For chains which are still usable, soak them in SAE 40 or 50 automotive engine oil (without additives).
Flexing the chain in oil will assure greater penetration of lubricant. Inspect
and clean sprockets.
Clear as mud.
I use Gunscrubber (Good ole ozone depleting global warming 1,1,1-TRICHLOROETHANE) sprayed on a rag to remove all of the built-up grease, dirt and mung from the chain and sprocket, then I spray it down with WD40 and wipe that down and let it dry, then I use chain lube (currently using PJ1 blue label) to lubricate the chain. I let it sit and then I wipe the excess from the chain.
If I wash the bike I skip the Gunscrubber and spray the chain with WD40 to displace
the water from the chain, then I lube with chain lube.
This is one of those deals where manfacturers recomendations lose to personal preferences.