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From DuPont to Maxima to Motul to PJ1, check out our list of the top motorcycle chain lubes that are currently available online in 2022. No matter how fancy your bike's engine is, it won’t perform well without a decent chain. The chain is what transfers the raw power of your motorcycle's engine to its back wheel and allows it to work its magic. This constant pressure means the chain can get worn out pretty easily, and this is where chain lube comes into play, helping to maintain your motorcycle's chain and protect it from the elements.
In this post, we'll be looking at the leading motorcycle chain lubes in 2022 and teaching you all about them. Our list will be followed by a comprehensive buyer's guide, and this section will take you through all the ins and outs of motorcycle chain lubes and equip you with some killer tips and tricks to help you ace your upcoming purchase.
Our picks of the best motorcycle chain lubes of 2022
The formula of this DuPont motorcycle chain lube is based on a self-cleaning technology that’s completely safe for O-rings, cables, industrial chains, hinges, and sliding doors. It consists of corrosion inhibitors that fight off moisture and abrasive contaminants like dirt, dust, grit, and grass while also offering ultra-protection in humid environments. You can easily apply this lube to your motorcycle chain and expect it to quickly dry. This motorcycle chain lube includes Teflon and Molybdenum fluoropolymers for enhanced anti-wear performance, and no matter how intense your bike’s RPM performance is, this lube is sure to never fling off. The lubricant comes in the form of a wax-based dry in five different bottle sizes ranging from 3.5 ounces to 14 ounces. This motorcycle chain lube is also reasonably priced and promises great bang for your buck, earning it the top spot on our list.
Dirt and water-repellent
Amazing value for money
Highly flammable formula
Specifically designed for road-racing chains, this motorcycle chain lube by Motul is compatible with O, X, and Z-rings. Thanks to its long-lasting and anti-fling properties, this lube offers chain protection and efficiency for a pretty long time. This lubricant is available in on-road, off-road, and factory-line options, giving you some wiggle room to pick the one that’s right for your needs. With this motorcycle chain lube, you’ll get a thick wax-based dry that’s packed into a 9.3-ounce steel tube frame. It has a unique brush applicator tip which makes it easy to apply on your motorcycle, and the paste’s milky white/lime green color gives it increased visibility to let you know which parts you still have to lubricate. Although this chain lube may take some time and effort to apply, there’s pretty much no risk of overspray, making it an excellent choice.
Great for various chains
No overspray wastage
Compact, easy-to-store design
Takes some time to apply
This PJ1 chain lube is available in 5-ounce and 13-ounce bottles, and it’s designed to penetrate and protect O-ring chains by moisturizing and rolling with minimal resistance. The manufacturer claims its petroleum-based sustainable formula won’t attract dirt and corrosion, and the lube will also resist moisture, shock, and friction buildup. One downside to this wax-based motorcycle chain lube is that, because it’s a spray, it can be over-sprayed, leading to potential wastage. Cleaning up an overspray mess is not as easy and hassle-free as letting it out, and this lubricant is also restricted to O-rings only — you won’t be able to use it for X and Z-rings.
Petroleum-based clear formula
Water repellent properties
Easy to apply
Prevents the attraction of dirt
Not suitable for all chain types
This all-weather motorcycle chain lube from Muc-Off can withstand even the roughest weather and riding conditions. It consists of a UV tracer dye which, when seen under UV light, reveals the spots that have been lubricated and the ones that still need a little touching up. One great thing about this motorcycle chain lube is that it's universal — this lube is not restricted to a single chain type and can be used for all O, X, and Z-ring chains. This motorcycle chain lube is made for both standard riders and off-roaders, and it’s pretty great at repelling water and reducing wear, fling and friction. One bottle of this lube contains 13.53 ounces of fluid, and while this may not be enough to guarantee many applications, when you do apply this lube it can last you a pretty long time.
Anti-fling, anti-wear properties
Compatible with O, X, and Z-rings
Sticky nature makes it hard to clean
Suitable for all motorcycle chain types, this Maxima motorcycle chain lube is a high-quality power spray lubricant that offers optimal lubrication and protection for your chain with no fling-off. Its parafilm formula works by penetrating deep into the chain and drying to form a soft wax film for enhanced protection against rust and corrosion. This multipurpose motorcycle chain lube is a smart, time-saving solution when it comes to cleaning your chain, designed with heavy use in mind. This lube is great for heavy-duty riding thanks to the presence of extreme pressure additives, and it’s available in 5.5-ounce and 13.5-ounce bottle options and comes in packs of two, three, four, twelve, and even twenty.
Non-greasy, easy-to-apply formula
Extreme pressure additives for heavy-duty use
Anti-fling and wear-resistant
Prevents rust and corrosion
Somewhat unpleasant odor
Finding your next motorcycle chain lube: A buyer’s guide
From DIY tips to our selection criteria, this section will give you a complete 101 to buying the top chain lubes for your motorcycle in 2022.
Why should I lube my motorcycle chain?
Here are two reasons why owning a chain lube is a must for all motorcycle owners:
A chain that lasts longer
A motorcycle chain lube provides two functions — it helps you maintain your bike's chain, and it also protects it from dirt, water, and grass damage. While the latter prevents corrosion and premature wear and tear, well-maintained chains also don’t harm your bike's sprockets, which could potentially save you quite a lot of money in the future.
A chain that performs more
While there’s not a direct correlation between chain lubrication and motorcycle performance, you can most likely expect smoother rides since chain lube is meant to prevent your bike's sprockets and chain from being worn out or stretched.
How we chose our favorite motorcycle chain lubes
Our team made sure of two things when shortlisting motorcycle chain lubes for you:
While chain lubes come in a variety of types (like liquid and paste form), our team only considered lubes that feature wax-based dry formulas. This type of lube is the easiest to apply — simply spray the liquid onto your bike's chain and the lube will dry, creating a protective layer around the chain.
Our team also made sure that all the lubes on our list stuck to the chain well. Trust us, the last thing you want is your bike flinging off all the lube you just carefully greased onto its chain at the first high-RPM pull.
Motorcycle chain lube buying tips
Here are two tips that can help you make a more informed decision when in the market for a new motorcycle chain lube:
Consider the chain type
The motorcycle chain lube you're considering might not be compatible with the chain type your bike has. Many modern motorcycles either have O or X-Ring chains, and these rings ensure the lube you spray onto the chain gets locked between the links. In the case of O-rings, your bike's chain will have O-shaped rubber rings between the inner and outer plates of the chain.
X-rings, on the other hand, boasts an X-shaped cross-section instead of an O-shaped one. This shape helps reduce drag and seals the grease better. Regardless of your motorcycle’s chain type, make sure the lube you go for is compatible with it.
Ease of application
You should make sure that your chosen lube is easy to apply — anything that takes a long time to dry or over-sprays isn’t ideal. You can get a good idea of a lube's ease of application by checking out some customer reviews on the product page.
Some bike chain lubes, like the one from Muc-Off, offer UV-traceable liquid. By simply shining a UV light on your chain you can determine which parts are lubricated and which aren't. Convenient features such as these are worth keeping an eye out for.
What else should you know about lubricating your motorcycle's chain?
While you should always follow the instructional manual provided by the lube's manufacturer when applying it, here are two tips worth mentioning:
If you're wondering when the ideal time is to lubricate your motorcycle's chain, it’s just after a ride, when your chain is still warm. The high temperature helps the lube stick better and prevents flinging, but make sure that the engine isn't still running — the last thing you want is your fingers getting chopped off by a gnashing chain.
Let your bike sit awhile after lubricating it. This will ensure proper penetration of the lube and permit the solvents to evaporate. The protective layer itself will evaporate and dry out after 300-600 miles of drive time, and after this, you’ll have to lubricate the chain again.
Trust us when we say that more lube doesn't equal… well, better lubrication. We understand that it seems like the logic checks out, but most mechanics recommend going easy on the quantity of lube since a greasy chain will attract dirt buildup and make it all yucky.
Gently spray the lube on your chain, making sure that all the tight spots are covered. We recommend keeping track of the chain's revolutions to prevent over-application, and you should always wipe off excess lube to prevent flinging.
While you're in the market for new chain lube, consider investing in a center stand or bike lift as well — this gadget will ensure that the motorcycle's wheels are above ground during maintenance. We also recommend using scraps of cardboard to protect your bike's frame and wheels from getting sprayed.
Motorcycle Chain Lube FAQs
Q: How often should you lube a motorcycle chain?
Experts recommend lubing your bike's chain every 300 to 600 miles. The protective layer that the lube offers will dry off during this time and the chain will require a second round of lubrication. We also recommend being on the lookout for signs of dried-out chains and links in the form of grinding and squealing sounds.
Q: Do you need to lubricate your motorcycle's chain?
Yes! Lubricating your motorcycle's chain is essential as dried-out chains can damage your bike's sprockets, and repairing these sprockets can take quite a big chunk out of your wallet. Let's also remember that motorcycle lube offers a protective layer around your bike's chain, keeping it safe from moisture and dirt damage.
Q: Which motorcycle chain lube should I get?
While all the motorcycle lubes in our list are worth buying and offer pros that significantly outweigh any cons, if we were to select one product as our top pick we'd go for the DuPont Motorcycle Chain Lube. Its wax-dry application is super easy and effective, and it dries almost instantly to prevent flinging. Its anti-wear formula is extremely useful if you often find yourself biking in humid areas, and this particular lube gives you great value for your money.
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