Back in the day (we’re talking before Captain America got frozen in ice) lube for motorcycle chains was a pretty meager 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. These days chain lube is tailored to suit your bike, your riding style, and even the local conditions where you live and ride. Read our guide to this extremely useful product, and find the best chain lube for your ride.
The Best Motorcycle Chain Lube
First is this product from DuPont, which is perhaps one of the most recognizable brands on this 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 no big surprise.
The big stand out has to be the inclusion of Teflon in this product’s formula. The same material that stops eggs from sticking to your skillet prevents dirt and debris from sticking onto the chain. That makes it one of the more dirt resistant lubes available.
It is also water and wear-resistant thanks to that Teflon and Moly in its formulation. It is designed to not fling off the chain, making it a highly effective and long-lasting product. It’s also very easy to apply with a simple spray and play application.
- No Fling Formula
- Teflon for Wear Protection
- Water & Dirt Resistant
- Withstands up to 300 Degrees Fahrenheit
- Brand DuPont
- Model CS0116601
- Weight 2 pounds
Maxima is a USA-based oil and lubricant manufacturer with a well-earned reputation for developing premium products. While the product is aimed more at the racing market, it’s suitable for use on a wide range of bikes and is just as good for commuters as it is for racers.
It employs a paraffin-based formula called Para-Film. Essentially this is a wax style of lubrication. It is designed to cling to the surface of the chain for long-lasting and deep-penetrating protection. It provides a very high degree of water and dirt resistance.
In fact, this product 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 people who likes to ride in Seattle (or somewhere equally wet), you should certainly consider this product.
- Dirt & Water Resistant
- Additional Sprocket Protection
- Works on O Rings
- Especially Suited for High Humidity Environments
- Brand Maxima
- Model 74920
- Weight 1.2 pounds
PJ1 is the manufacturer of the next lube on 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 can lead to an increase in overall performance and the chain’s lifespan. Both are very useful functions in a chain lube. It is also formulated to protect against rust and corrosion, which also help to prolong the chain’s lifespan.
This product has been specially designed for use with O-ring style chains. It penetrates deeply for added protection, and it is also nice and easy to apply. It is designed to not fling off the chain while the bike operates, so 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
- Water Resistant
- Easy Application
- Performance Oriented
- Brand PJ1
- Model 1-22
- Weight 6.4 ounces
This is the first Motul chain lube to make our list. Spoiler alert: it is not the only one from Motsul that has made the grade. That’s because this company makes extremely high-quality motorcycle chain lube.
This version is a race-orientated product. While it 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 minimizes friction and helps your bike to squeeze every last ounce of power and transfer it seamlessly to the wheel.
It sprays on with a very cloudy, “milky” style of application. This will disappear as it dries, so 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. 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
- “Milky” Formula
- Brand Motul
- Model TRTC7243
- Weight 11.2 ounces
The next product to make our list is this chain lube from Lucas Oil. While some poorly designed chain lubes can struggle to properly penetrate O and X ring styles of chains, there is no danger of that with this product.
That is because Lucas Oil designed this lube with penetration as the top consideration. As such it is a foam style of lube, which provides 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 also adds extra energy to the lube, forcing it into the chain links.
On the downside it does mean it can be a little messy to apply. You should put some rags or paper towels down and perhaps work outside on the driveway or road. Once applied it leaves behind 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
- Brand Lucas Oil
- Model 10393
- Weight 14.7 ounces
Bel-Ray is the manufacturer of the next product on our list. While some chain lubes 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. 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 in urban environments 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, making it a durable, effective lube with a huge range of applications.
- Excellent Anti-Wear Protection
- High Level Dirt Protection
- Suitable for Chain Styles
- Made In The USA
- Brand Bel-Ray
- Model 99470-A400W
- Weight 14.4 ounces
DuPont is here with its second appearance on the list. Just like the previous product, this is a high-end formula 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 bike and that is absolutely fine. Other people recognize the benefits of a multi-use lubricant. That’s because if you have a lot of applications for a lube (such as a motorcycle, lawnmower, mountain bike and garage door mechanisms – to name 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 fine job on all of them too. DuPont has a great reputation for making high-end lubricants. That’s true with this teflon-enhanced product that is designed to promote water protection, protect against corrosion and moisture and provide long-term lubrication.
- Enhanced with Teflon
- Corrosive Resistant Additives
- Highly Water Resistant
- Wide Range of Applications
- Brand DuPont
- Model DM0614661
The next product we present for your consideration is all about penetration. The 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 provides a lot of useful secondary functions. It prevents oxidation, which helps to prolong component life. It has also been dosed with anti-wear additives and synthetic moly for high-end performance.
Lubrication levels are high and designed to help minimize wear and tear on the chain. Once dry, this chain lubricant will stay exactly where it needs to because it’s 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
- Anti-Sling Formula
- Anti Corrosion
- Brand Liquid Wrench
- Model L711
- Weight 14.4 ounces
This is the second Motul Chain lube to make our list. It is the only paste style of lube that has made our guide. That is because paste lube is a specialized product and not something that the majority of bikers may be interested in – more on that in our guide below.
If you are on the lookout for a paste style product, this is one of the top products in that category. Since it is a Motul chain lube, you know you’re getting quality. It lubricates and protects, just as you would expect. There is the low rolling resistance for increased power.
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
- Brand Motul
- Model 102984
- Weight 6.4 ounces
We finish our list with this product from Nextzett. The company is pretty good at manufacturing 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. It initially sprays as a liquid but essentially coagulates in the 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/weather. It’s also toward the cheaper end of the price range, though the can is a little smaller than some others on this list.
- High Operating Temperature
- Resists Dust and Water
- Resin and Acid Free
- Brand nextzett
- Model 96050515
- Weight 10.4 ounces
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 several 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. While 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 while they are all top-quality products, which is the best chain lube on the list?
Weighing all the options, we have to choose the Dupont Teflon Chain Saver Lubricant. As we already mentioned, it is one of the most popular products on the market when it comes to chain lube, and in this case the majority of people got it right.
The formulat, 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 that it is easy to apply, and that the price tag is surprisingly low for such a premium product. You can see why this is the clear winner.