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Back in the day (we’re talking before Captain America got frozen in ice) lube for motorcycle chains was a pretty meagre selection of very basic products. It was probably the same grease that was slapped onto car axles, and it performed about as good as you would expect.
Luckily that situation has changed dramatically, both for the Captain and for chain lubes. The best chain lube these days will be tailored to suit your bike, your riding style and even the local conditions where you live and ride. Read on for our guide to this extremely useful product, and help yourself to find the best chain lube for your hog.
The Best Motorcycle Chain Lube
We’ll kick off with this product from DuPont, perhaps one of the most recognizable brands on the list. It is also one of the most popular motorcycles chain lubes on the market, and when you check out the list of features it is packing, that is perhaps no big surprise.
The big stand out has to be the inclusion of Teflon in the formulation of this product. The same material that stops eggs sticking to your skillet is here employed to prevent dirt and debris ticking onto the chain. That helps to make this one of the more dirt resistant lubes you will find.
It is also water and wear resistant, again thanks to that Teflon and Moly found in the formulation. It is designed to not fling off the chain either, making for one highly effective and long lasting product. You’ll also be happy to know it is very easy to apply, with a simple spray and play application process.
Best chain lube on the list? We still got a lot of products to go but it is making a strong case!
No Fling Formula
Teflon for Wear Protection
Water & Dirt Resistant
Withstands up to 300 Degrees Fahrenheit
- Weight2 pounds
Maxima are a USA based oils and lubricants manufacturer with a well-earned rep for developing premium products. Whilst they are aimed more at the racing market, they are suitable for use on a wide range of bikes and are just as good for commuters as for racers.
They employ a paraffin-based formula that they refer to Para-Film. Essentially this is a wax style of lubrication. That means the lubricant is designed to really cling to the surface of the chain for long lasting and deep penetrating protection. It also means that is provides a very high degree of water and dirt resistance.
This product is in fact designed to be a chain lube that provides one of the highest levels of water protection on the market. That makes it ideal for use in high humidity environments. If you are one of those crazy people who bike in Seattle (or somewhere equally wet!) you should certainly consider this product.
It’s not cheap but it is certainly high quality, especially if you ride in the rain a lot.
Dirt & Water Resistant
Additional Sprocket Protection
Works on O Rings
Especially Suited for High Humidity Environments
- Weight1.2 pounds
PJ1 are the manufacturer of the next lube to make our list. It actually has quite a few similarities with the product we just looked at. It is a petroleum-based formula that is specially designed to increase performance.
It is designed to reduce friction in the chain as it moves through its motions. That in turn can lead to increases in overall performance as well as increase the chain lifespan. Both very useful functions to see in chain lube. It is also formulated to protect against rust and corrosion, again helping to prolong the chain lifespan.
This product has been specially designed for use with O-ring style chains. To that end it should penetrate deeply for added protection of this chain style and it is also nice and easy to apply. It is also designed to not fling off the chain whilst the bike operates either, meaning you need to apply it less often.
This is certainly a premium product, and the high price tag matches that, but it is also a very well designed one.
Specifically Designed for O Ring Motorcycles
- Weight6.4 ounces
This is the first Motul chain lube to make our list. Spoiler alert though, it is not going to be the only one from Motsul that has made the grade. That is because this company frankly makes extremely high quality motorcycle chain lube.
This version is very much a race-orientated product. That means that whilst is specially designed for road racing, it is not particularly well suited for everyday use especially in dirty or dusty conditions. It should provide a finish that really minimizes friction and helps your bike to squeeze every last ounce of power from the engine and transfer it seamlessly to the wheel though.
It sprays on with a very cloudy, “milky” style of application. This will disappear as it dries don’t worry – it won’t look like you’ve used milkshake for lube! But that does make it easier to apply, as you can see exactly where the lube has been applied to the chain. It is also great to see that this product is compatible with a wide range of chain types including O, X and Z-ring types.
Specially Designed for Road Racing
Compatible with all Chain Types
- Weight11.2 ounces
The next product to make our list is this chain lube from Lucas Oil. Whilst some poorly designed chain lubes can struggle to properly penetrate O and X ring styles of chain, there is no danger of that with this product.
That is because Lucas Oil have designed this lube with penetration as the number one consideration. To help in this, it is a foam style of lube. That has a couple of advantages. The first is that the foam makes it easy to apply, as it will spread out to cover a wider surface area. The foaming action will also add extra impetus to the lube, forcing it into the chain links.
On the downside it does mean it can be a little messy to apply! Certainly put some rags or paper towels down and perhaps work outside on the driveway or road. Once applied it is designed to dry to leave a protective film. This protects against dirt, water corrosion, general wear and drag.
Designed for Deep Penetration
Foam Style Formula
Develops Strong Protective Film
Works with a Range of Chain Types
- BrandLucas Oil
- Weight14.7 ounces
Bel-Ray is the manufacturer of the next product to make our list here. Whilst some chain lubes we look at are clearly designed for racing and performance enhancement, this is not the case with this product.
That is not to say it cannot enhance the performance of your bike of course! It certainly can, but that is not the primary function or key feature of this lube. Instead it has been designed to provide a very high degree of water and especially dirt protection. The coating this lube leaves behind is specially formulated to protect against dirt, grit and sand. If you ride in dirty conditions therefore, be they urban or off road, you should certainly take a good look at this product!
This product is designed to dry to leave a super tough and highly protective outer lining. This will cover the chain and protect against dirt accumulation. It is also anti-fling, so it will stay right where it needs to. It is suitable for use on all chain types too, making it a durable, effective lube with a huge range of suitable applications.
Excellent Anti-Wear Protection
High Level Dirt Protection
Suitable for Chain Styles
Made In The USA
- Weight14.4 ounces
Please say hello to DuPont ladies and gentlemen, coming back to make their second appearance on the list. Just like the previous product this is a high-end formulation that includes Teflon in the mix.
Unlike the previous product this is not a specific motorcycle lubricant. Fair warning, some people don’t like to spray a general-purpose lube on the chain of their hog and that is absolutely fine, no judgment here. Other people though will recognize the benefits of a multi-use lubricant. For one thing, if you have a lot of applications for a Lube (we’re talking motorcycle, lawnmower, mountain bike and gate or garage door mechanisms – to name just a few) then you can save a few bucks by picking up a product that works on all of them.
The other good news is that not only will this product work on all of those applications, it will do a damn fine job on all of them too. As we saw previously DuPont have a great rep for making high-end lubricants. That’s true here with this Teflon enhanced product designed to promote water protection, protect against corrosion, moisture and provide long-term lubrication.
Enhanced with Teflon
Corrosive Resistant Additives
Highly Water Resistant
Wide Range of Applications
Like a boy in Senior High the next product we present for your consideration is all about the penetration! By that we don’t mean it’s trying to cover up its horrific acne whilst awkwardly learning to drive stick. No, we mean that its manufacturer has specially formulated it to provide deep penetration on your bike chain.
It does this by only drying once it has entered and drenched the interior of the chain links (particularly useful with O and X ring styles of chain). Once it has penetrated and dried, it also provides a lot of useful secondary functions. It prevents oxidation for example, which can really help to prolong component life. It has also been dosed with anti-wear additives and synthetic moly for a high-end performance level.
Lubrication levels are high too, again designed to help minimize wear and tear on the chain. Once dried, this chain lubricant will stay exactly where it needs to thanks to the fact it is designed to be an anti-sling lube. True to the product name it is a little more liquid than some other lubes on the market. That can make it a little messier to apply.
Only Dries After Penetration
High End Lubrication Effect
- BrandLiquid Wrench
- Weight14.4 ounces
As promised, this is the second Motul Chain lube to make our list. However, what we didn’t say was that this was a paste lube. Don’t accuse us of not keeping you on your toes here at Carbibles!
The truth is this is actually the only paste style of lube that has made our list. This is because, and we’ll get into this below, paste lube is something of a specialized product and not something that the majority of bikers may be interested in – again, more on that in our buying guide below.
If you are on the lookout for a paste style product though this is probably the best chain lube in that category on the market. For one thing it is a Motul chain lube, so you know you’re getting quality here. There is the fact it lubricates and protects, just as you would expect. There is the low rolling resistance for increased power.
Then there is the fact that, unlike many other paste lubes, this one is easy to apply. Yes there will be some fling (only natural with a paste) but the built in brush applicator and the fact the product is white for easier visibility keeps mess and waste to a minimum.
Paste Based Product
Low Rolling Resistance
Built in Brush Applicator
White Color for Easy Application
- Weight6.4 ounces
We’ll finish our list with this product from Nextzett who clearly invented their company name by writing Next and then hammering the keys at random. Whilst they may not be great at company names they are pretty good at chain lube and this product has a number of impressive features.
For example this chain grease has a huge range of applications, and is certainly not limited to bike chains only. It also has an excellent operating temperature range, spanning -40 to +430 degrees Fahrenheit. It is designed for easy application too. It initially sprays as a liquid but essentially coagulates in air to become a thicker, gel like lubricant. This helps it to penetrate the chain and reduce flinging after drying.
It is also water and dirt resistant, making it suitable for use in a wide range of applications and driving environments/weathers. It’s also toward the cheap end of the price range, though the can itself is a little smaller than some others we looked at.
We may have saved it till last but it is making a strong case for best motorcycle chain lube on the market!
High Operating Temperature
Resists Dust and Water
Resin and Acid Free
- Weight10.4 ounces
Best Motorcycle Chain Lube Buying Guide
In our buying guide, we’ll take you through the features that you should keep an eye out for when picking out the best motorbike chain lube for you. After that, we’ll take a look at how best to use your brand spanking new lube and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this essential product.
What Makes a Good Motorcycle Chain Lube?
- Ease of Application
For us this is a big one. If the lube is pain in the backside to apply then you won’t be bothered to do it enough for it to be effective. Look for lubes that are easy to apply, or ones that do the work themselves by being formulated to penetrate deep into the chain links.
- Water Resistant
This is especially important, it should go without saying, if you live and ride somewhere with high rainfall. A lube that is water resistant will both protect the chain from water damage and will also remain on the chain even if it gets soaked. That cuts down on the times you have to reapply the lube, leaving you to do more fun thing like just about anything really.
- Dust Resistant
Like above but for dust. If you ride in very dry conditions look for a lube that is dust resistant. It will help to prevent dust sticking in the lube and getting gummy. Gummy lube is good for no one, unless it’s strawberry flavor in which case your wife may appreciate it. Gummy lube on a chain just means you have to clean it all off and reapply the lube. Avoid if possible.
- Anti Fling Formula
So you’ve applied your lube just like it says on the can. You want to try that bad boy out so you hop on your hog and roar off down the road! In the mirror though it looks like a small jet ski has been tethered to the back of the bike. That is actually all the chain lube you just carefully applied being flung straight off the chain. Avoid that with an anti fling formula that is designed to dry and keep the lube exactly where it is needed – on the chain and not splattered across the road.
Benefits of Lubing Your Motorcycle’s Chain
So what is point of investing in chain lubricant? Why not just rub the chain with a stick of butter?
Well there is a range of useful benefits to using a bespoke motorcycle chain lube. For us, some of the bigger ones are:
- Dirt Protection
That chain gets pretty dirty. Think about it, it is whizzing around inches from the dusty, dirty blacktop. When it rains water and oil is splashing up from the road surface and if you go off road mud and dirt and gravel is pinging up at the chain too. That is all round bad news but a lubricant with dirt resistant properties will protect from the worst of it.
- Performance Enhancement
Kind of connected to the point above in some ways, as a clean chain will be a chain that delivers great performance. Lubrication can also help by ensuring a smooth movement of the chain over the cog, minimizing friction and driving superior performance.
- Water / Corrosion Resistance
Replacing the chain can be a pain in the butt, and a broken chain when out riding even more so. One of the biggest threats to the lifespan of the chain is water damage such as corrosion. A good chain lube can form a protective barrier to stave off corrosion and water damage.
Types of Lubes
There are various formulations of chain lube out there. But for us, whilst there can be differences in the design features of each one (see above section), when you talk about lube types it really comes down to Paste and Spray.
Spray vs. Paste
The fact that even though our product list has 10 lube products on it we only found room for just the one paste option should give you a big clue as to which one is the most popular.
Spoiler alert, it’s the Spray.
Back in the day Paste was recognized as being the better product. It was highly concentrated and boasted formulas designed for deep penetration of the chain. In the modern era of bike maintenance though spray lube has very much closed the gap, and it is now just as powerful and effective as paste.
You will always find devotees of paste lube who will insist that it clearly the best motorcycle chain lube option. For us though the ease of application when it comes to spray lubes simply tips them ahead as the better option.
Looking at the sales figures, most bikers agree with us.
Best Motorcycle Chain Lube FAQ:
Q: What is motorcycle chain lube?
A: Put very simply, chain lube is designed to provide lubrication for the chain of your motorcycle. Simple, huh? Well, yes and no. Yes it is simple when put like that but there is so much more to it too.
As we saw, there are a range of benefits to using a bespoke and high quality chain lube. So what is motorcycle chain lube? It is a product to lubricate and protect the chain, to prolong its lifespan and also to increase the performance of your bike.
Q: How do I apply motorcycle chain lube?
A: Motorcycle chain lube is very easy to apply, especially when in liquid aerosol form. Simply ensure your chain is as clean as possible. Then apply a squirt of lube onto the chain. Some people like to remove their chain before spraying but this is not always necessary so long as you can raise the bike. This will help you to spin the rear wheel manually to help spread the lubricant up and down the chain.
Q: How often should I use lube on my motorcycle chain?
A: Some people will say you should lube the chain after every ride. Whilst that will of course ensure a very high degree of performance… come on, really, who has time to do that, huh?
As a rule of thumb, so long as you are lubing up every 300 miles or so and ensuring the chain is clean of dust and debris you should be fine.
Q: Can I use engine oil as chain lube?
A: In a pinch engine oil can be a useful substitute for dedicated chain lube products. It will dissolve dirt and grime, and it will leave behind a greasy coating that can help lubricate the chain and promote efficient chain movement.
What it can’t do is to protect against water or dust, as engine oil is simply does not come into contact with external containments like that. For that reason it’s not formulated to protect against them. You will therefore find that motorcycle chain lubed with engine oil is more likely to lose that lubrication in wet riding conditions or get gummed up with dust or dirt.
That’s why we suggest going for a dedicated chain lube product.
Our Top Pick
That right there, if we do say so ourselves, is a very good list of top quality motorcycle chain lubes. But whilst they are all without question top quality products, which is the best chain lube on the list?
Weighing up all the options we just have to go for the Dupont Teflon Chain Saver Lubricant. As we mentioned it is already one of the most popular products on the market when it comes to chain lube and this time, in our opinion, the majority of people have got this right.
The formulation, including Moly and Teflon, is the big winner. Not only is it water and dirt resistant to a very high degree it is also tough and long lasting. Add to this the fact it is easy to apply and that the price tag is surprisingly low for such a premium product and you can see why this is the clear winner.