The Best Motorcycle Chain Lube (2019)
Maintaining your chain with the best motorcycle chain lube you can buy
Lubricating your chain isn’t the most thrilling part of motorcycling.
But it’s one of the most important.
If you don’t take care of your chain, you risk doing damage not only to the chain itself but also to your sprocket, sidearm, and other drivers on the road.
Neglecting your chain can cause a heap of future issues for your bike.
Keeping your chain lubricated means it will perform better and last longer.
Here’s our guide to the top motorcycle chain lubes on the market.
Different Chain Types
To take care of your chain correctly, you need to know which type you have.
Standard chain (no seals)
Standard chains are usually found on low-capacity motorbikes and don’t hold lubricant effectively. After each use, they should be cleaned and sprayed with a water-disperser like WD-40 to prevent rust. Additional chain lube can be used on standard chains for increased protection. Standard chains are often used in motocross. As they spend their life in dirt, its easier to clean and maintain a chain without seals. It also aids in reducing drag when racing.
O-ring and X-ring chains have seals around the rollers to hold lubricant in place. These should always be cleaned with motorcycle chain lubricants, as standard WD-40 can degrade the seals.
X-ring chain is a more modern development. The name derives from the fact that the cross section of the chain looks like an X. There are grooves cut into the ring which helps it to retain lubricant. As a result, X-ring chains tend to last longer if properly maintained. They are also more expensive!
Always use specialist motorcycle lubricants if you have an x-ring or o-ring chain.
If you’re not sure which type of chain you have, look for black rubber seals between the rollers. If your chain has these seals, you should always use chain lubricants like those below.
The Top 3 Chain Lubes:
Every biker has their lube preferences, and so do we.
We’ve picked our favourite 3 lubricants to keep your chain in the game.
For over 150 years the Motul name has been known for producing high-quality oil and lubricants.
The C5 chain paste has been formulated specifically for road bikes. It’s robust for high performance and even comes with a handy little applicator brush.
Volume: 150 ml
What our staff have to say:
“I’ve been using Motul C5 Chain Paste for a few years now. It’s more of a faff to apply than regular chain lube, but there is zero fling and it lasts longer too” – Grant
This specialist motorbike lube from the WD-40 brand provides long-lasting lubrication, even in the driest conditions.
It’s also fast-drying and has been made with “anti-fling” properties, so you don’t end up spraying your rims with lubricant.
Volume: 400 ml
Swiss company Motorex are leading producers of oil and lubricants. Their products are used by KTM and Husqvarna factory teams.
The Motorex chain lube has been designed specifically for racing bikes. It’s adhesive and weather-resistant, and stable at extremely high temperatures.
Volume: 500 ml
How to Lubricate Your Chain
Cleaning and lubricating your chain should take about 15 minutes.
You should do this around every 500 miles, and every time you have ridden in the rain.
1. Check the condition of your chain and your rear sprockets. If you can pull the chain away from the sprocket by its rearmost link, it’s probably too worn and needs replacing. Equally, if the teeth of the sprockets are worn away at one side, you might need to replace them or get them checked by a mechanic. Your bike’s manual will give you specifications for how much free play your chain should have. If it is outside these tolerances, you’ll need to adjust your chain – but that’s a post for another time.
3. Use an old rag or nylon brush (don’t use brass or wire brushes!) to take any excess dirt and gunk off your chain. Get rid of as much as possible. Give it another spray and go over it with another rag until fully dry. We recommend waiting a while to give it a chance to dry out completely, if possible.
4. Apply the chain lube as evenly as you can on all sides of the chain. With o-ring and x-ring chains, you can use it a little more sparingly as they hold the lube better. But don’t be afraid to slather it on. Chain lubricant is much cheaper than your motorbike!
5. We’d suggest waiting a while before riding – this gives the lube a chance to soak into the chain, giving less chance of flinging.
So that’s it! You’re ready to get on your bike and riding.
Keep up with the maintenance and you’ll be in for a smoother, longer ride.
If you have any questions about the best motorcycle chain cleaner and lube, let us know.
You can always get in touch with us at email@example.com.