The majority of motorcycles use a chain to take drive from the output of the gearbox to the rear wheel - some use a belt and comparatively more use a shaft but a chain is by far the most common. However, it has two main disadvantages over a belt or shaft; over time it will wear and stretch and require its tension adjusting (as will a belt) and it will also wear with the sprockets and potentially corrode, meaning it will need to be lubricated and protected.
This is where chain lube comes in. It has a dual purpose of helping to eliminate friction and hence, wear and keep the chain working smoothly while preventing it from picking up damage from dirt or moisture and shortening its life.
Are there different types of chains?
There are two types of chain; an open-chain which is typically used on lower-capacity bikes or off-roaders and needs cleaning and lubricating frequently while O-Ring or X-Ring chains use sealed rollers to keep lubricant in place. However, the latter still requires lubricant where the rollers act on the sprockets, for example as well as protection from corrosion.
In addition to different types of chain, there are also different kinds of lubricant available, depending on the time of year, the use of the bike, and the anticipated time between cleans and reapplications. For example, dry lubes will generally be a fine spray as opposed to a liquid (wet) lube while a wax will go on thicker and leave a residue, typically white.
Our recommended chain lubes:
Number 1 Best Seller
Tested by Justin Hayzelden for 18 months. Quality 5/5 Value 5/5
"BananaSlip is a dry
For performance bikes
One of the products from Wurth's motorcycle division, this dry lube is designed to find its way
This spray from Dutch company Interflon is a genuine all-rounder that can be used for a variety of
MCN Editor Richard Newland has been using this for a while, and said: “There’s one trait that I’m particularly impressed by. Most sprays are oily and leave a wet residue that stays there until it’s washed away with detergent, but when you spray Fin Super on, it goes dry and looks like it’s simply evaporated.”
Dry-film so no chain fling
Cleans and lubricates chain
Fully synthetic option
Castrol knows a thing or two about lubrication and this chain spray is based on a fully synthetic
For visible coverage
The manufacturer quotes four times the wear protection from its white chain spray, for both the
For track use
This spray from Motul is designed for road bikes and is, according to the manufacturer, "Specially
A dependable option
This lube from lubricant specialist WD-40 is also available as a [longer-lasting
Perfect wax option
Another lubricant with a banana smell, this one is a wax as opposed to a lube (though the company
Like the wet version of its chain lube, this all-weather product from Muc-Off contains the UV dye
10. Muc-Off Wet Lube
Great wet lube
This lube for wet use helps to create a hydrophobic layer on the chain links to repel water while
11. Muc-Off Dry Lube
Great for dry use
Designed for use on bikes in dry conditions, this provides a protective layer in dusty conditions