When I owned a motorcycle I didn't give a lot special care to my chain. But maintaining a healthy chain is a good idea. It can help maintain your bike gears better and it helps keep your chain lasting longer. Cleaning your motorcycle parts, can become a habit when scheduled into a weekly routine.
And as a part of this routine you can inspect the chain and sprockets for wear and tear. About every 300 miles or more it's a good idea to lube your chain. If you ride a dirt bike, you'll want to clean and lube your chain more often. The goal is to maintain a fairly clean and lubed chain for best bike performance.
There are several why to clean your chain, but more of them involve getting the dirt and old grease off and applying new chain lub. Cleaning your motorcycle’s chain is also important for your safety, since you can check for any chain damage and if it is fitting lose on your motorcycle. In only about 15 to 20 minutes you can maintain this vital part of your bike.
Here are three motorcycle lubricants for you to review, so you can see which one can help you give proper maintenance of your motorcycle’s chain. We'll discuss the pros and cons of each, and hopefully you can find the one that's best for you.
What Are the Different Types of Motorcycle Chain Lubes?
How a motorcycle chain lube works is that it penetrates deep into the chain’s moving parts and then clings to the metal to provide a protective layer, and ultimately, keep the chain drive running as smoothly as possible. Generally, the lube is made of carrier fluid that contains particles that reduce friction. Here are some different types: dry, wet, and all-purpose.
1. Wet lubes
Wet lubes, as the name suggests, are specifically designed for wet and humid conditions. They feature a carrier fluid that contains a slightly higher level of viscosity. In other words, it stays in its original form even when you apply it to the motorcycle’s chain. It also clings a lot better, which would make it very difficult for you to wash off.
However, using wet lubes also has a disadvantage. Because of its formula, it tends to pick up grit and dirt very easily, more than other types of lubes. Using wet lubes for your bike’s chain would likely cause the dirt and grit to cover the entire chain, as well as the transmission. To prevent this from happening, we advise that you clean and maintain the chain as frequently as possible.
2. Dry lubes
Dry lubes, on the other hand, contains carrier fluid that is slightly thinner. It evaporates once applied to the motorcycle’s chain but will leave the particles that reduce friction in its place. And as the name suggests, dry lubes work perfectly in dusty and dry conditions. This type of lube effectively lubricates and protects your chains and can be washed off easily.
3. All-purpose lubes
All-purpose lubes are a combination of both wet and dry lubes. Somehow, they compromise on some of the lube’s best features to suit general mixed conditions. It also proves useful for people who do not want to fiddle with their motorcycle’s chain that much. It should be noted, however, that using all-purpose lubes will require you to reapply it frequently.
Essential Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Motorcycle Chain Lube
Before you go out to look for the best chain lube for your motorcycle, be sure that you have read this section, in which we discuss the important factors that need to be considered when searching for a good motorcycle chain lube.
If your proactive in choosing the right chain lube it will certainly make a significant impact on your maintenance experience.
1. Kind of chain lube
The kinds of chain lube you may choose are aerosol and wax. Paste or wax formula proves to be an easier application, where you just apply the lube on the chain areas without making a mess. Aerosol, on the other hand, is for fast lube application, wherein you only spray the lube and then let it dry.
2. Chain type
The second factor that you should consider is the type of chain you are applying the lube on. Normally, motorcycle chain lubes work better if they are being applied to the right type of chain. A standard unsealed chain will need frequent maintenance, while a seal chain type will last longer and need less maintenance. Sealed chains come in X, Z, an O-ring types
O-Ring chains have been around for a long time and are cheap, but tend to wear a bit faster. X-Ring chains are newer and tend to seal in lubricants better, keeping dirt out, and they create less friction under stress so they last longer.
But if you need a very hardy chain, getting a Z-Ring chain can be very helpful. They can work effectively in muddy and wet situations, making them the more expensive, but great for off road use. They tend to be stronger and might last longer depending on how hard you push them.
3. Resistance to dirt and water
Another thing that you must look out for is that the motorcycle chain lube you choose is resistant to water and dust. You should also check if it provides protection against corrosion and rust. As you may already know, these elements are very stubborn and very challenging to remove. So, before it starts to accumulate, it would be better to have the protection your chains needs.
Even though it is entirely up to your preferences and budget, we do advise you to take a careful evaluation of each product’s best features, advantages, and disadvantages before you select which one to buy. Knowing which factors are important will also allow you to know the true value of the product.
Top 3 Picks for The Best Motorcycle Chain Lube
Choosing the best motorcycle chain lube will now be a bit easier, now that you have read more about chain and lubricants.
There's the right tools for your bike and your personal preferences. I hope you can find the best chain lube for your bike. With the chain lubricant listed above, I hope you will be able to find what works for you and have a good experience with your motorcycle.