Many motorcyclists are ignorant about cleaning and maintaining their motorcycle chains. All the dirt accumulated on the chain reduces the life of the chain and sprocket, which eventually results in slipping of power and pickup.
Before you even think of lubing the chain with engine oil. You should know that not all chain lubes are built for all bikes and all conditions. The best motorcycle chain lube depends on the type of motorcycle chain and where you ride it.
#Motorcycle Chain Types
- Unsealed or Open Chain
Unsealed or open chains are present on low displacement and off-road motorcycles. They are cheap and easier to maintain since they do not have grease of their own. Open chains require internal soaking chain lubes that seep into rollers and sides of the chain.
- Sealed Chain (X-ring, O-ring, Z-ring)
Sealed chains have small seals in between the chain’s rollers that hold the lubricant in place. They require specific chain lubes that reduce friction on the outside and protects the sealed internal grease.
Sealed chains last longer and are expensive as compared to the open chains. Sealed chains should be cleaned with suggested products as using the wrong lube may ruin the internal seals of the chain.
Types of Motorcycle Chain Lube
- Liquid Lubes: Mostly, gear oil is considered as liquid lubes. As they do not possess any drying agents, they are the messiest of all. As a result, overuse may fling off all over your bike, including your rims when in motion.
- Paste Lubes: The lubes are in the form of grease that is considered best to be used on sealed chains. Paste lubes require a lot of time as you have to brush the lube into the chain. Also, there is minimum wastage due to its thick greasy form.
- Dry Lubes: This lube contains drying agents and comes in spray cans. The lube goes on wet into the chain then thickens as it dries. Dry lubes form a non-stick layer that repels dust and dirt. In addition, they provide long-lasting lubrication and chain life.
- Wax-Based Lubes: Wax-based lubes are similar to dry lubes with drying and thickening agents. They, too, come in spray cans and form a non-sticky layer that repels dirt and grime. The lubrication lasts long and extends the life of sealed chains.
Best Motorcycle Chain Lubes Reviews 2021
1. Bel Ray Super Clean
The Bel Ray Super Clean is an aerosol lube that is created with a unique, innovative formula. The spray chain lube provides anti-wear protection extending chain and sprocket life.
The lube, when sprayed, turns white to let know of the complete round of application. It is designed to resist fling-off and keeps dirt, grit, and sand away. The Bel Ray SuperClean is suitable for all types of sealed chains while protecting the chain from wear and corrosion.
#2. Dupont Chain Saver
The Dupont Teflon chain saver is a patented self-cleaning wax-based lubricant that is safe for O-ring chains. It is formulated to be used in high contamination or wet environments. The lube coats evenly on frictional surfaces with dry Teflon fluoropolymer wax film.
The wax film does not fling off even at high-speed rotations making your chain look tidy and new. It also does not attract any foreign objects like dirt or grits. In addition, the Teflon chain saver reduces chain stretching and protects against rust, extending the chain and sprocket life up to 5 times.
#3. PJ1 Blue Label Chain Lube
The Blue Label from PJ1 is best suited for O-ring chains as it creates minimum rolling resistance. The lube applies easily, protects, and penetrates the chain to keep them moist and pliable.
The chain lube serves a cushioning effect between the rollers and sprocket, extending the chain life and sprocket wear. It also reduces chain friction and provides resistance against rust and corrosion. The petroleum-based clear formula does not fly off and spreads clean and even around the chain.
#4. Motul MC C4 Motorcycle chain lube
Appearing again on the list of best motorcycle chain lube, Motul is a preferred choice by most professionals. The C4 chain lube by Motul is designed to be used on high-performance road motorcycles.
The C4 goes on very easily and keeps your chain clean; due to its sticky characteristics, it stays longer than most wax-based lubes. The lubricant makes your chain quieter, does not fling off, and is resistant to dust and dirt.
#5. Maxima Chain Wax
The Maxima Chain lube comprises a Para-Film formula that creates a waxy film in and around the chain offering long-term protection, especially in humid and wet environments. It penetrates deeply, lubricating non-accessible areas, and reducing chain stretch.
The wax-based lube is formulated with heavy-duty, anti-wear, with extreme pressure additives that provide superior lubrication on all types of sealed chains. As a result, the lube holds up well and does not splatter on your rims and swingarms. In addition, it repels water, so you don’t have to reapply it frequently.
#6. Motorex Road Chain Lube
MotoRex chain lube is tested to be used on X-ring and O-ring chains, especially suited for motocross and off-road motorcycles. The lube is thin for deep, thorough penetration lubing the chain consistently, and does not attract/hold sand or dirt.
The formulation is resistant to water and protects the chain from wear. However, it may be difficult for some riders as the clear spray makes it unable to identify the sprayed area.
#7. Lucas Oil Chain Lube
Lucas chain lube is a semi-synthetic lubricant designed for high-performance motorcycle chains and sprockets. The chain lube is designed to penetrate deeply into the grooves of the chain.
It helps the chain to resist water and keep them rust and corrosion-free. Once the solution dries, it leaves a protective film to ensure minimum wear of chain and sprocket. The lube is suitable for all types of motorcycle chains, including O-ring types.
#8. Motul Chain Paste
The Motul chain paste is suggested to be used on Road motorbikes. The paste is thick and sticks quite well on the chain, thanks to the brush applicator attached to the tip of the tube, which helps to apply the lube evenly.
The lubricant lasts much longer than most spray cans and does not hold any grit. It also does not fling off much like spray lubes and wipes clean from the rims. The only downside is the chain paste takes a long time to apply.
Motorcycle Chain Lube: Considerations
- Riding Environment
The chain health and re-lubrication routine depend a lot on the type of environment you ride. Places with high contamination or wet roads make the chain gather dirt and grits quite frequently. In such cases, it is advised to keep checking the motorcycle chain and lube often to avoid rust and wear.
- Chain Type
As said before, different chain types have different lube requirements. You can find out the chain type by looking at the side plate of your motorcycle chain. A standard unsealed chain needs an internal soaking lube, whereas a sealed chain needs external lubrication. Using the wrong lube may ruin the internal seal lubrication on sealed chains.
How often do you lubricate a motorcycle chain?
Depending on the riding environment, a motorcycle chain should be lubricated between 300-600 miles. If you are riding in a dusty or wet environment, consider lubricating once a week to ensure peak performance and long chain-sprocket life.
How to lube a motorcycle chain?
- Clean the chain with a motorcycle chain cleaner and a chain brush (you can use a toothbrush if you don’t have one) and wipe off all the dirt and sticky residue.
- Do not use water jet sprays on the inside of the sealed chain. This will ruin the seals to lose the internal grease.
- Let the chain dry for a while and be free of water.
- Apply the lube on the inside of the chain, either from the top or bottom, while you hand turn the rear wheel.
- Do not overuse it and wipe the excess lube.
- Let the lube sit and dry for some time.
- Always lube after the ride and not before going.
There is a lot of debate on the best motorcycle chain lube among motorcyclists. Some suggest using motorcycle engine oil, while others argue that chain lube is unnecessary in a sealed chain. Just Follow the motorcycle manual to find out what type of lube you should use on your chain. And keep a frequent check on the chain and sprocket for long-lasting use.