Here are the best motorcycle chain lubes we've found after thousands of test miles - From just $16

Chain lube is an essential maintenance spray for any motorcycle that uses a drive chain (which is the vast majority).

Modern X-ring or O-ring chains have built-in lubricant on the inside of the rollers but you still need to make sure the outside of the chain stays lubricated, too.

If you don’t do this, several things will start to happen. First of all it will corrode, which is unsightly but also creates extra friction as you ride. The heat created by this friction will cause your chain to stretch prematurely and need replacing sooner, costing you money – not to mention the extra wear you’ll be putting on your sprockets.

Best motorcycle chain lubes as tested by MCN

Price: $22.85
BananaSlip is a dry lube that goes on wet – very wet. The incredibly thin consistency enables it to run right into exactly where it’s needed and it only takes a short blast with a light finger to dispense the necessary amount.

Product Specialist, Justin Hayzelden gave BananaSlip 5/5 for both quality and value when he used it for 18 months. He said: "It dries very quickly, leaving little trace other than a clear coating on the links which is slightly waxy to the touch. Its anti-fling capabilities are extremely good, especially if left overnight before you ride.

"Used in conjunction with Tru-Tension's PrimeShine Cleaner, it’s proven itself to offer genuine all-season protection, with the added bonus of a strangely more-ish banana fragrance during application that disappears once dry."

Pros

  • Great price
  • Does the job
  • Goes on thin so easy to apply

Cons

  • None we can find!
Price: $29.97
This spray from Dutch company Interflon is a genuine all-rounder that can be used for a variety of uses, including cleaning and lubricating your bike's chain. It's a dry-film lubricant so it goes on dry and doesn't leave any residue to be flung off onto the wheel, for example. It also shouldn't pick up debris and cause it to stick.

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.”

Pros

  • Dry-film so no chain fling
  • Multiple uses
  • Cleans and lubricates chain

Cons

  • Not cheap
  • Tricky to get hold of in the UK
Price: $17.75
This spray from Motul is designed for road bikes and is, according to the manufacturer, "Specially recommended for very fast motorcycles". So if you're into track days or racing, then it might be worth considering this one. It sticks to the chain even at high speed and contains a solvent component to work its way into the chain's links. Works on all types of chain.

Former MCN News Editor, Jordan Gibbons gave it 4/5 for quality and value when he tested the mini 100ml can. He said: "As a chain lube it does a spot-on job too – not too heavy but doesn’t wash off at the first sign of rain."

Pros

  • Not too heavy
  • Does the job

Cons

  • Not great for winter
Price: $16.04
This motorcycle chain lube from lubricant specialist WD-40 is also available as a longer-lasting wax which, the company says, should be applied after the lube. Suitable for all chains, the lube penetrates into all areas that require lubrication and helps protect the chain from wear and water damage, as well as corrosion. It dries quickly, has what the manufacturer describes as excellent anti-fling characteristics and works in all conditions.

MCN Chief Sub, Simon Brown rated the WD-40 very highly when he used it, awarding it 4/5 stars for both quality and value after 2500 miles of use. He said "WD-40 is one of those brands that carries a lot of trust – their classic spray being something of a universal panacea for freeing up stuck bolts, coaxing older bikes and cars into life on cold winter mornings and zillions of other household tasks.

"Chain lube feels like a departure for the brand, but this stuff is pretty good. I have been using it for the past few months on my Ducati Scrambler FT and it has kept the chain well lubed and corrosion free (that said, I tend to be a little fair weather with the Ducati).

"Fling is minimal and the applicator nozzle makes it easy to direct the spray. It’s a fairly light lube, unlike waxy sprays, so doesn’t attract dirt and you don’t have the problem of cleaning flung wax from your rear wheel. I tend to apply it weekly when the bike is in regular use, popping the bike up onto a paddock stand for quick and easy maintenance after a ride."

Pros

  • Effective at keeping your chain lubricated and free from rust
  • Minimal fling, making it less messy compared to other chain lubes
  • Comes with an applicator nozzle for precise application

Cons

  • Being a lighter lube, it may require more frequent applications, especially under heavy usage conditions

Rrp: $25.98

Price: $20.36
Alternative Retailers
Walmart
$26.49
Like the wet version of its chain lube, this all-weather product from Muc-Off contains the UV dye to identify where it is applied but unlike it and the dry variant, has been designed as a year-round lubricant. Suitable for all chains, it is also good for shorter journeys as well as longer ones and will repel water while reducing friction, wear and fling. The manufacturer says it's good for everything from tourers to sports bikes to off-roaders.

Deputy Head of Digital, Ben Clarke gave it 5/5 for quality and 4/5 for value after 2000 miles and four months of testing. He said: "I hate servicing my chain. It’s a job I can quite happily put off until tomorrow every day for weeks at a time so I like to use products that make the job easier.

"This lube from Muc-Off does just that. Not only does it cover the chain well and quickly, it stays put for a long time, too. But the best bit is how easy it is to wash off next time, despite its longevity on the chain. It comes out of the can in a very liquid form and takes a while to dry so you’re definitely best off applying at the end of a ride rather than the beginning."

Pros

  • Ease of use
  • Smell

Cons

  • Will fling off if applied before a ride
Price: $22.98
Alternative Retailers
Walmart
$29.32
Designed for use on bikes in dry conditions, this provides a protective layer in dusty conditions too. According to the manufacturer, it's appropriate for all kinds of chains; open, O-ring and X-Ring and contains PTFE to help reduce friction as the chain is used as well as prevent corrosion.

News Editor, Dan Sutherland was impressed with this lube's quality (4/5) but less so with its price (3/5) when he tested it. He said: "Despite being just 400ml, this can of dry Muc-Off has kept the chains of three well-used bikes well lubricated during around a month of drizzly rain and high-mileage.

"Producing a nice banana-like smell, without being overbearing, applying the lubricant accurately is easily done, thanks to a long nozzle and a concentrated spray action. I have found I have needed to apply more during periods of heavy rain."

Pros

  • Smells nice
  • Goes a long way
  • Does the job

Cons

  • Wears off quickly
  • Quite expensive

More options we haven’t tested yet

Price: $22.85
Another motorcycle chain lube with a banana smell, this one is a wax as opposed to a lube (though the company also produces one), meaning it goes on, and stays on, slightly thicker, resisting both friction and corrosion. The manufacturer also states that this spray, which is suitable for all chain types, will improve performance (presumably by reducing friction) and optimise power delivery while giving a smoother ride. Sounds impressive.
One of the products from Wurth's motorcycle division, this dry lube is designed to find its way into the tightest gaps and lubricate all areas of the chain. It's suitable for all chains and has a waxy finish for longevity and protection and once dry, isn't tacky so doesn't attract dirt or fling onto the frame or rear wheel. A good performer and received a Best Buy award from our sister title RiDE.
Castrol knows a thing or two about lubrication and this chain spray is based on a fully synthetic formula and is suitable for road and off-road bikes. It reduces friction and protects the chain against outside attack while helping prevent corrosion. It is resistant to fling and water attack and dries to give a lasting protective film on the chain.
This motorcycle chain lube for wet use helps to create a hydrophobic layer on the chain links to repel water while reducing friction and wear. It also contains a UV dye so that, when used with a UV light, you can see that it has been applied properly to the chain and there is no over-application. A nice idea and the company also produces a UV torch.

Things to consider before you buy chain lube

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.

Can’t I just use WD-40?

WD-40 isn’t a lubricant, it’s a water dispersant (hence the WD in the name). What’s more WD-40 can force its way past the X- or O-rings on your chain and thin the captive lubricant inside, doing damage in the long run.

WD-40 the brand do great chain care products of their own (as included in the list above) so stick with the dedicated sprays rather than the can you have in the back of the shed already.

What about gear oil?

There’s nothing wrong with using gear oil to lubricate a chain and many of our readers have been doing just that for years. The only downside To gear oil is that it’s generally designed to contained within a gearbox and so doesn’t have the viscosity to stay put on a spinning chain and sprockets for very long. You’ll find that you need to apply it more regularly, and the stuff that flies of (referred to as fling in the chain lube game) will get all over your rear rim.

Are all chain lubes the same?

There are several 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.

The job of cleaning and lubricating your motorcycle chain can be made far simpler if you have a paddock stand.

How MCN tested these chain lubes

At MCN, our team of expert journalists have decades of experience gained over hundreds of thousands of miles. We used these chain lubes exactly how you do, in the real world and in all conditions. That means we can deliver impartial chain lube buying advice you can rely on.

The only difference is that the team at MCN covers a colossal number of miles each week and so can try out lots of options in a short space of time. That way, we can quickly work out which lubes work, how long they last, whether they fling off onto your wheel etc so you don’t have to.

Each of our writers has an in-depth understanding of the needs of today’s biker… because they are one.

If you can’t see a review against a chain lube on this page, it’s because we haven’t tested it yet. These items will only be included if we think they’re important and relevant in the market, and rest assured, we will be working on bringing you a review as soon as we’ve done the miles.

Our scores explained

When we review a product, we award it a score out of five. In the ratings tab of a given product, you may also find more specific scores for the different aspects of a product’s performance to help you make an informed decision. Here’s a guide to what each number score means:

  • 1 star – Poor performance in this category or overall. A product with a single star rating has fallen below the expected standard and should be avoided.
  • 2 stars – Basic performance in this area or overall. A product with a two-star rating has managed to perform to a barely acceptable level and there is room for improvement.
  • 3 stars – An average performance in this area or overall. A product with a three-star rating has achieved a basic level of performance and is deemed adequate.
  • 4 stars – A product has performed over and above the accepted averaged in this category or overall. A product with a four-star rating has surpassed expectation and delivered in a particularly impressive way.
  • 5 stars – A product has performed at the highest possible level in a particular category or overall. A product with a five-star rating has delivered to the highest possible level, impressing the tester with its performance. We would happily spend our own money on it.

To find out more, head to our dedicated page explaining how we test motorcycle products.

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