Ride the bike far enough so the chain is thoroughly
warmed up. Immediately get the rear wheel off the ground and squat down directly
behind the rear sprocket with your can of chain lube (any good quality thick
lube with a thinner mixed in, like Belray Chain Lube (not the super clean
version) or PJ1). Now very carefully depress the button on the can of chain lube
until the lube just barely starts to ooze out the end of the straw. Place the
straw at the right edge of the rollers and apply the equivalent of several drops
to each roller edge as you use your other hand to slowly turn the rear wheel in
the normal direction of rotation if the motorcycle were moving forward and
continue from roller to roller until you have gone all the way around the chain.
Once you get it coordinated you can allow the lube to continue to ooze as you
turn the wheel slowly. Now go to the left edge of the rollers and repeat the
process. This is the only area that you have to lube on an o-ring chain. If you
run a standard non o-ring chain (like I do) place the straw between the outer
and inner sideplates at each pin location and repeat the same process you did
with the rollers at each pin location on both sides of the chain as you slowly
turn the rear wheel.
The two areas of a chain that require lubrication are between the pins and inner surface of the bushings and between the inner surface of the rollers and the outer surface of the bushings. On an o-ring chain the lube is sealed in between the pins and inner surface of the bushings by the o-rings and it has to last the life of the chain as you can't get fresh lube in past the o-rings. You can still apply fresh lube between the inner surface of the rollers and the outer surface of the bushings however. The reason you need lube between the inner surface of the rollers and the outer surface of the bushings is because the rollers stand still in relation to the sprockets and rotate on the outer surface of the bushings as the chain travels around each sprocket. At the same time this is happening, the pins are rotating on the inner surface of the bushings. Hence the need for lubrication in these two areas.
The above method gets lube in along the full width of the inner surface of the rollers and the full width of the pins on a standard non o-ring chain.
You will note after lubing your chain with this method that almost all the lube you applied to the warm chain has seeped in between the inner surface of the rollers and outer surface of the bushings and in between the pins and inner surface of the bushings. This leaves very little on the outside of the chain to collect road grit. Now grasp the bottom run of the chain with a rag and turn the rear wheel a couple of times to wipe off the small amount of excess lube and spread a thin film over the outer surfaces of the chain to prevent rusting.
Using this method, I never have to "clean" my chains as the small amount of road grit on the outside does no harm and very little is collected when you don't spread a lot of lube on the outer surface of the chain where only a very thin film is required. There is no way you can keep an exposed chain perfectly clean anyway.
You will be applying the lube to the outer run of the chain, contrary to every picture or video you will see on chain lubing (they had a bad one on Motoworld last week where they sprayed the new Belray Super Clean chain lube on the inner run at full force as they rapidly spun the rear wheel. This stuff dries like the greasy stuff that's on the outer surface of new bike o-ring chains from the factory and obviously none of it was seeping in where lube needs to be-plus they never mentioned getting the chain warm by riding before lubing). However, the lube seeps in just the same on a warm chain whether you apply it to the inner run or outer run and you can see what you are doing much better if you apply it on the outer run as it travels around the back of the rear sprocket.
The theory that by spraying lube on the inner run it will somehow magically get in where it needs to be by being "thrown" there as the chain travels around the sprockets under load is false.
My 1974 Honda CB360 still has the original factory chain with 53,900 miles on it and it is in excellent condition with the mark on the chain adjusters between the 2nd and 3rd marks on the swingarm and I've always used the above chain lubing method and it has NEVER been "cleaned".
Using this method, it takes me 8 minutes to lube the 94 link standard non o-ring chain on my CB360. Cut that in half if you have an o-ring chain where you don't have to lube between the pins and inner surfaces of the bushings. It's also very economical on chain lube and a 16 oz. can lasts me for several years. I had to throw the last one away with lube still in the can because it had leaked out its propellant over several years.
I lube my chain about every 500 miles, but it isn't critical if you go a little over once you get the lube in place in the two places where it needs to be.
I run an EK brand standard non o-ring chain(7,400 lbs. tensile strength) on my 1972 Kawasaki H2. It cost me about $30 from Dennis Kirk. I've never run an o-ring chain on any of the bikes I've ridden since 1969(265,000 miles so far). I also have never run a riveted type master link, but rather the ordinary standard type with removable locking clip that only requires a common pair of pliers to install or remove. I've had zero chain or master link failures in 265,000 miles, including quite a few time trials down the drag strip back in the early to mid 1980s where I was making about 80 rear wheel horsepower and turning as fast as 115.08 mph with my 1975 H2C. O-ring chains will last the average person longer than standard non o-ring chains but if you are willing to invest about 8 minutes every 500 miles or so a standard non o-ring chain will outlast an o-ring one of equal quality because you have fresh lube between the pins and inner surface of the bushings instead of having the same lube have to last the life of the chain. Eventually o-rings start to leak out the tiny amount of lube that is sealed in between the pins and the inner surface of the bushings at the time of manufacture and after that the chain isn't long for this world.
As for master links, a couple of years ago I was at my local drag strip and one of the purpose built drag bikes broke its chain right on the starting line when he dropped the clutch to launch. I went over into the pits and took a look at the chain. It was a super heavy duty #630 non o-ring and it had a standard removable locking clip master link. However the master link was still in fine shape. The chain had failed at one of the regular riveted links in the run of the chain.