The Best Motorcycle Chain Lube [Isn’t WD40]

David Welch
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Motorcycle chain lube isn’t something that most new riders think about.

The assumption is that the chain will never need lube, that it will just work for years without the need to do anything. However, even when the chain is kept well maintained, it still will need to be lubricated.

On top of that, most lubricants still have a short shelf life. So, what do you do when you need to lube your chain, but you don’t know what to buy?

Well, let me show you.

NameCategoryProduct
Maxima 74920 Chain WaxBest Overall
Maxima 74920 Chain Wax
Maxima 75920 Clean-Up Chain CleanerBudget Pick
Maxima 75920 Clean-Up Chain Cleaner

1. Maxima 74920 Chain Wax

Our rating: 9 / 10


Maxima 74920 Chain Wax

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Pros:

  • Provides long lasting lubrication and dirt resistance for your chain
  • Prevents costly bike repairs due to abrasion
  • Comes in a handy 13.5 oz. aerosol can
  • Works with all bike chains
  • Can also be used to protect and lubricate tools and equipment
  • Aerosol can can also be refilled and still used for all your other lubrication needs
  • Makes less of a mess of your bike
  • Doesn’t require mixing and less is used
  • No need to wrap the chain in oil cloth as it is kept in a spray can and is easy to apply
  • Most bikes need to be taken to a garage for application of oil-based lubes

2. Maxima 75920 Clean-Up Chain Cleaner

Our rating: 9 / 10


Maxima 75920 Clean-Up Chain Cleaner

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Pros:

  • * Non-abrasive aerosol formula makes it hygenic
    * Cheap

Maxima chain cleaner works on all metals and chains. You won’t have to worry about it damaging your drivetrain. It will not leave a residue on alloy frames, fenders, wheels, or paint.

The aerosol is non-staining and non-flammable. It can be diluted with up to 1 part water or general-purpose cleaner. Chain cleaner can be applied directly from the can, wiped off with a rag.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I lube my motorcycle chain with wd40?

You can if you want, and you can even use it to clean your chain. However, it’s not what you want to use to lubricate your chain because it’s too thin and doesn’t provide enough long-lasting protection. Wd40 gets its name from the fact that it’s a combination of several liquid ingredients that include water, petroleum, and a little citrus. Because it’s not made to lubricate chains, it’s important to use a proper chain lube as well.

What is the best lubricant for motorcycle chain?

The best bike chain lube depends on a few factors. The first is whether it should be a dry or wet one. Dry lubes are basically wax-like lubricants which don’t attract dirt and are therefore more convenient to work with. Best thing is, they require less frequent application.

The downside is that dry lubes don’t provide the same level of chemical attachment as wet lubes. This means that a few hours out in the weather can cause your drivetrain to grind. Wet chain lubes, on the other hand, have stronger adhesion properties and are less likely to crack or break away, yet they’re more likely to attract dirt and require frequent application.

For most casual riders, a dry-lubed bike chain should prove sufficient. However, if you’re a dedicated biker, a wet lube can work wonders.

Is WD 40 chain lube any good?

It’s often recommended to avoid WD 40 and other corrosive, petroleum-based lubricants intended for gun care. These are typically thin and evaporated fast. They also leak out quickly so a clean bike through rain and moisture can cause the chain to make contact with the backplate of the rear sprocket, resulting in rust. The extreme evaporation and staining also makes cleaning afterward a chore.

It’s a good idea to invest in a better product designed for chains. This means one which has an applicator with a narrow tip. This enables you to get at the chain links and put more product on the bottom and sides of chains.

How often should you lubricate a motorcycle chain?

It depends on your bike’s manufacturer or your own preference. Many manufacturers recommend lubricating every time you’re going to park your bike for a long period of time. Others recommend every three or four rides, while still others recommend every 500 miles.

It makes sense to do the first two things on this list because they completely isolate your chain from the elements that might damage it in any way. Protecting your chain means that you reduce the chance of a chain break completely.

Conclusion

There are many opinions out there on the best motorcycle chain lube. Based on our analysis it looks like our choice for the top pick is going to ring true with most riders and that’s a good thing. Generally speaking, it appears that the recommendations people make are based on their own experience. In other words, their favorite chain lube is what they’ve used and trust. Similar to how we pick top rated baby products and other guides, it’s all based on research and data.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Maxima 74920 Chain WaxBest Overall
Maxima 74920 Chain Wax
Maxima 75920 Clean-Up Chain CleanerBudget Pick
Maxima 75920 Clean-Up Chain Cleaner