12 Best Motorcycle Chain Lubes in 2018
There are plenty of components on your bike that need to be kept in tip-top shape, but none are as important as the chain itself. Without it, you may become stranded on the side of the road, and it is a component that needs to be kept lubricated. Thankfully, that can be handled easily enough although you don’t want to use any old type of oil on your chain.
The best motorcycle chain lube can keep your classic running like a brand new machine and keep you on the road instead of sitting beside it. While we don’t have a lab to break down each liquid, we do have a table below to help make your buying decision simpler.
Top 12 Motorcycle Chain Lubes Ultimate Table
|1. PJ1 1-20 Black Label Heavy Duty Chain Lube||13 ounces||Petroleum-based||4.8|
|2. Motorex Chain Lube 622 Offroad Spray||16.9 ounces||Synthetic – Oily||4.8|
|3. PJ1 13oz Blue Label Motorcycle Chain Lube||13 ounces||Petroleum-based||4.7|
|4. Maxima 74920 Chain Wax||13.5 ounces||Wax||4.7|
|5. DuPont Teflon Chain-Saver Dry Self-Cleaning Lubricant||Varies||Wax||4.6|
|6. Motul Factory Line Chain Lube||9.3 ounces||Wax||4.5|
|7. Bel-Ray Super Clean Chain Lube||13.6 ounces||Wax||4.5|
|8. Motul Chain Lube Paste||5.7 ounces||Paste||4.4|
|9. nextzett 96050515 Ultra Gel Chain Grease||10 ounces||Grease||4.4|
|10. Permatex 80075 Chain Lube||5 ounces||Oily||4.4|
|11. Lucas Oil 10393 Chain Lube Penetrant Aerosol||11 ounces||Oily||3.8|
|12. Royal Purple 11407 Max Chain Lube||4 ounces||Wax||3.6|
Chain Lube Buying Tips
The chain is arguably the most important component on a motorcycle; you aren’t going anywhere without one. Keeping it in great shape is of the utmost importance, which is where a good chain lube comes into play.
Just let your brain twist on that phrase for a minute. Yes, there is actually such a thing as a dry lubricant, and it is a wise way to go for some riders. In a nutshell, it’s wax-based which means it won’t fly off during use like oily lubricants. Some wax lubes will also protect against other elements that can put your chain (and bike) at risk including dust and road grime which can become abrasive over time.
While many of the lubricants we chose are of the dry variety, there are plenty of options that still go on the old fashioned way. The main difference between dry lubricants like wax and wet lubes is the prep time. You can squirt wet lube on your chain and ride away, but wax usually needs time to coat, or it may be slung off the chain and onto your bike just like wet chain lubricant. Either way you roll, think about how it will dry as not all lubes will be clear on the chain.
If you have worked with tools and equipment long enough, you will know that you can use some liquid cleaners and lubricants on surfaces they aren’t initially intended for. Well, don’t do that with motorcycle chain lubricant as you want only to use a lube for motorcycle chains so choose something from our list, not an old can of WD-40.
Alternatively, most motorcycle chain lube will work on other equipment with chains. That would include tractors, bikes and any other type of chain-driven vehicle that runs at a high RPM. You will still want to pay attention to what it’s made from however or risk losing an O-Ring if it isn’t safe with rubber or other materials. Also, consider where you ride as you may want a particular type of lube for off-road use.
Sizes & Application
Years ago you generally bought things in three sizes with small, medium and large. Spray and squirt are two standard options as well, and you will find that the best motorcycle chain lube is available in a wide variety of sizes. While how much you need to use is still up for debate, you will want to pay attention to the bottle style which affects the way it is applied.
Most of the lubricants on this list are available in squirt and spray form, but you’ll want to be careful with the latter, or you’ll end up with a greasy or sticky bike. In other words, pay attention to the type of bike you have and any finishes around the chain before choosing a bottle. Even wax-based chain lube can be messy, so think ahead, or you could end up with oily leathers.
Top 5 Best Motorcycle Chain Lube Reviews
Gearheads will be familiar with PF1’s product which comes in two different varieties. We’re going to take a look at their Heavy Duty Black Label chain lube first, which is a petroleum-based formula that is geared to stay on your chain, and not fly up onto your bike.
We are going to back up the company’s claim on this as it will not leave a mess on your bike if you follow the directions and is a true “drip free” formula in that sense. The application is relatively simple but can be messy as are most lubricants. This lube foams to get deep down into those hard to reach parts of the chain and leaves a grease like coating behind once it dries. It is O-ring safe but designed for standard “non O-ring” chains as it leaves behind a sticky lubricant that has a “memory” effect against chain stress.
There are a few drawbacks to the Black Label, but not many if you are looking for the best motorcycle chain lube and don’t dig goopy fly-off. This formulation is available in two sizes with 5 ounces and 13 ounces although we opted for the latter given the price point – it’s a deal.
Motorex’s 622 Chain Lube is an “off road” spray which means it is geared toward dirt bikes, ATVs and other vehicles that remain prefer dirt trails to pavement. It will work on almost any bike however and is safe for O-rings, X-rings and Z-rings as well. We don’t have the exact chemical composure, but it is a fully synthetic lubricant that is oily by nature.
Oily lube is ideal for off-road use when you don’t want a wax that can trap or hold debris. It will also get deep down into parts you won’t reach with pastes or waxes while keeping sand and other types of grit at bay.
Needless to say, cleanup is a breeze as you can simply wet and wipe it down after even the hardest of runs as it’s waterproof along with being resistant to pressure and spin. It is arguably the best off-road lubricant for bike chains on the market and very worthy of a spot on our list.
As mentioned, this isn’t necessarily what you’ll want to use on your shiny new road bike or Harley, but is your best option for off-road use. It is available in a 500ml aerosol can which shakes out to a little over 16.5 ounces so it should last for quite some time.
Whereas the PJ1 Black Label motorcycle lubricant is best suited for chains without O-rings, the PJ1 Blue Label label lube is made especially for them. It’s O-ring safe, so the factory lubricant inside the pins and rollers will stay put after using the PJ1 Blue. As you would expect, it is also X-ring safe considering they are made from the same materials.
While protection is never a bad thing, this particular type of lube will also keep your rubbery rings pliable over time. It combats rust, corrosion and can repel water all while lengthening the life of your chain. As with the Black Label formula, this one is petroleum-based, so it will not fly off when you are zipping down the road as long as you stick to the application directions on the back of the can.
If you prefer the PJ1 Blue Label to the Black, you’ll be pleased to know it goes on just as smooth. This motorcycle chain lube is available to purchase in two sizes with 5 ounces and 13 ounces cans.
Now we are going to take a look at something different and less messy than oil-based solutions. Motorcycle Wax used to be something riders cringed at, but that changed quickly when they found out how well it works against fly offs. You won’t get any with this thick concoction which uses a special paraffin base that is said to be similar in nature to Cosmoline.
Wax offers up incredible resistance to water, and this formula still gets down deep as it comes in spray form. It can be a little tricky to apply if you have never used wax before, but won’t drip like oil and stays put once it dries. If you want to save yourself some time and a few headaches, you can heat up your chain a bit beforehand, and the application will be a breeze.
The only downside to wax-based lubricants for motorcycle chains is the fact that they do leave a residue or sheen behind. You don’t have to worry about that with Maxima 74920 Chain Wax as it will dry clear although you will want to leave it on overnight to ensure proper application.
The DuPont Company makes a little bit of everything, especially if a product has a chemical composition. Their chain lubricant is another “dry” lube meaning it’s wax-based and will not fling off when applied correctly. Unlike some of their competitors, DuPont opted for Moly and Teflon in their mix for additional protection to your chain over time.
Have O-rings to protect? That is not a problem as Dupont’s Teflon Chian-Saver lube won’t affect that O or X-ring on your motorbike. It contains no silicone, and even though it is wax-based, you can use it on other chain driven machinery including winches, sliding tracks and pulleys. It will clean your chain up while lubricating it as well although we feel it is not a full-fledged substitute for a traditional cleaning solution.
The DuPone Chain-Saver Dry Lubricant is available in three sizes with a 4-ounce squeeze bottle and two aerosol cans in 11-ounce and 14-ounce sizes. The squeeze formula will last longer despite its size as you’ll get more on the chain and lose less to the air as you spray.