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Motocross chain lube review

MotoObsession.com Product Review: Helping you choose a chain lube

Introduction:

How does one choose a chain lube? You walk in the local bike shop, grab a can of lube that looks good and is priced low enough it doesn't empty your wallet. You then spray the stuff on your chain and off you go riding. The problem with using products such as chain lube is you can't easily see the value it gives you. You can apply just about any chain lube to the chain and when you spin your wheel, it seems as though it does the job just fine. The truth is, not all lubes are equal. Admittedly, sorting through some products is like splitting hairs. So, here is my take.

I haven't tried every lube available, but I have tried many over my 30 plus years of dirt biking and motocross racing. The products listed here are ones I have tried and used extensively. While I have never done any type of scientific study on chain lubes, I can definitely suggest what I think are the better choices for motocross. Over time, of course, new products will emerge and existing formulas will likely improve. My opinion of the chain lubes mentioned here is based purely on my experiences during many years of riding. My observations with these products are primarily based on:

  • Chain roll: How freely the wheel spins when the bike is on the stand with a clean chain and freshly applied lube.
  • Longevity: How often it is necessary to apply lube.
  • Consumption volume: The volume of oil consumed per application.
  • Spray quality: How effectively the product sprays from the can, which would include the tendency of the lube to leak out around the nozzle base.
  • Propellant longevity: Whether or not the propellant is exhausted from the can before the lube is used up.
  • Inhibits wear: Frequency of chain drive replacement as an indicator of the lube quality.

Bel-Ray® Blue Tac Chain LubeBel-Ray® Blue Tac Chain Lube

Product information:

Bel-Ray® Blue Tac Chain Lube is the ultimate chain lubricant for all street, off-road and racing motorcycle chain applications including ‘O’, ‘X’ and 'Z' ring units. Uniquely designed to resist fling-off even in high speed applications while providing outstanding chain and sprocket life by reducing wear. Contains anti-rust agents to protect chains even in wet conditions.

Price: $14.99
Size: 16 oz
Price per oz: $0.94

MotoObsession.com approved? Yes.
Blue Tac Chain Lube is an excellent chain lube. I can't say whether it really is the "ultimate", but it is very good and one of the products I will remain loyal to. This lube could possibly end up as my lube of choice, but I haven't used it long enough to decide. Nevertheless, it seems to remain in the chain very well and provides extended lubrication. My consumption of this product so far is typical if not less than others I prefer.

Bel-Ray® Super Clean Chain LubeBel-Ray® Super Clean Chain Lube

Product information:

Bel-Ray® Super Clean Chain Lube is an aerosol chain lube that utilizes the the latest innovation in chain lubricant technology, combining unsurpassed anti-wear protection for long chain and sprocket life with an outer protective coating that will not attract dirt, sand, or grit and ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT FLING OFF when used as directed. Suitable for all ‘O’ ‘X’ and ‘Z’ ring and roller type chains for street, off-road, and racing use.

Price: $12.49
Size: 13.5 oz
Price per oz: $0.93

MotoObsession.com approved? No.
Bel-Ray Super Clean is indeed clean, but it just doesn't seem to hold up, requiring more frequent application. I have never felt confident using this product. Chain roll after a moto makes it apparent to me that Bel-Ray Super Clean is not sufficient as a chain lube for applications such as motocross.

Silkolene Chain LubeSilkolene Chain Lube

Product information:

Advanced, semi-synthetic aerosol lubricant specially designed for high performance motorcycle chains. Effectively penetrates vital pins and bushes of the chain to provide excellent lubrication and corrosion protection. Quickly thickens by solvent evaporation to leave a thin yet durable coating on the external side plates and rollers, offering outstanding protection, while resisting the tendency to fling off, even at high speeds. Helps to seal the chain and combats the ingress of water and other contaminants that can dramatically reduce chain and sprocket life

Price: $9.99
Size: 16 oz
Price per oz: $0.62

MotoObsession.com approved? Yes.
Silkolene Chain Lube has been my long time favorite chain lube and it is the first lube I look for every time I shop for chain lube. This lube performs very well and I have definitely noticed reduced chain wear compared to other lubes I have tried in the past. Also important is tha fact that I have never had any problems with the can and nozzle. I have always been able to fully utilize the contents of the can.

Silkolene Pro Chain LubeSilkolene Pro Chain Lube

Product information:

  • Silkolene Pro Chain Lube is a performance oriented lubricant that is easy to apply and is made with a non-fling formula.
  • Silkolene Pro Chain Lube is the first 100% synthetic chain lube for maximum performance on motorcycles and ATV chains.
  • Silkolene Pro Chain Lube incorporates a micronized laminar solid lubricant combined with advanced synthetics for resistance to shock loads for maximum performance and wear life.
  • Silkolene Pro Chain Lube was developed for off-road competition but performs equally well on street bike applications.
  • The Silkolene Pro Chain Lube is made from a clear, clean, and thin film that is formulated to not fling off during aggressive riding.
  • Silkolene Pro Chain Lube offers outstanding lubrication which also maximizes corrosion resistance.
  • The Silkolene Pro Chain Lube works great for all types of chains, both O-ring and non O-ring chains.

Price: $13.99
Size: 14 oz
Price per oz: $1.00

MotoObsession.com approved? Yes.
I think Silkolene Pro Chain Lube is a good product. However, I avoid using it because it doesn't seem to last nearly as long as Silkolene Chain Lube. The lube initially is very thin when spraying, so it does penetrate the links extremely well. When using this lube, my chain lube consumption goes up significantly and it doesn't seem to increase drive system life any more than Silkolene Chain Lube. Still, it is a good product.

Maxima Chain WaxMaxima Chain Wax

Product information:

Maxima Chain Wax is a superior power spray lubricant designed for all chain care needs. It’s special ParaFilm™ formula creates a waxy film similar to Cosmoline, offering long term protection especially in water and high humidity environments. Maxima Chain Wax is formulated with heavy duty, anti-wear, and extreme pressure additives that provide superior lubrication for all chains, cables, and sprockets. Maxima Chain Wax penetrates deeply, lubricating non accessible areas, reducing chain stretch and wear. Chain Wax is simply the best choice for all chain and cable care needs.

Price: $9.99
Size: 13.5 oz
Price per oz: $0.74

MotoObsession.com approved? No.
In my opinion, wax as a chain lube doesn't cut it. Wax does not lubricate as well as synthetic oil lubricants. Additionally, you end up getting wax on the swing arm and other bike parts that hardens and must be scraped off. Chain wax is said to "not attract dirt particles..." Well, with all of the dirt biking I have done, I don't think anything can truely keep dirt out of the chain with the exception of an o-ring or x-ring chain.

PJ1 Black Label Chain LubePJ1 "Black Label" Chain Lube

Product information:

  • Penetrates deep into the chain.
  • Lubricates pins, rollers, side plates, and sprocket.
  • Reduces chain stretch and the requirement for frequent adjustments.
  • Has a “memory” to bounce back to absorb the shock that other chain lubricants can't.
  • Protects chain against the elements.

Price: $10.99
Size: 13 oz
Price per oz: $0.85

MotoObsession.com approved? Yes.
I rate the PJ1 Black Label Chain Lube as a decent lube, just not the best. I may buy this chain lube when my preferred lubes are out of stock. Occasionally, I have had problems with this product where the propellant was exhausted prior to the contents being consumed.

PJ1 Blue Label Chain LubePJ1 "Blue Label" Chain Lube

Product information:

  • Clear formula won't fly off.
  • Lubricates pins, rollers, side plates, and sprocket.
  • Reduces chain stretch and the requirement for frequent adjustments.
  • Has a “memory” that bounces back to absorb chain lash.
  • Preserves o-rings.

Price: $11.99
Size: 13 oz
Price per oz: $0.92

MotoObsession.com approved? Yes.
It has been a long time since I used the PJ1 Blue Label formula, but my comments about it would be the same as those for Silkolene Pro. Like the Silkolene Pro Chain Lube, you will end up using more chain lube than you would if you were using a thicker product such as Silkolene Chain Lube. PJ1 Blue Label is is good product, but I would rather opt for the Black Label simply because I use less.

Primary Drive Chain LubePrimary Drive Chain Lube

Product information:

Manufactured for Primary Drive by Maxima using the Chain Guard clean synthetic blend formula. For all your dirt bike and atv chain care needs and maintenance, Primary Drive chain lube is the one and only choice. Primary Drive chain lube has been specially formulated with heavy duty pressure additives to reduce every-day wear and tear on sprockets and chain.

  • Reduces chain stretching and wear.
  • Increases horsepower to the rear wheel.
  • Reduces chain "noise".
  • Repels moisture and protects metal parts from rust and corrosion.
  • Resists high temperatures. Will not melt off under severe conditions.
  • Penetrates deep into rollers and link plates.
  • Environmentally safe.
  • Waterproof.
  • Will not harm rubber, plastic, nylon or paint.
  • Works on standard and O-ring chains.

Price: $7.99
Size: 14 oz
Price per oz: $0.57

MotoObsession.com approved? Yes.
I am skeptical about Primary Drive parts in general. I have tried several different types of Primary Drive parts and in the end have always thought of them as average at best. With regard to the chain lube, I feel no different. It is an ok chain lube. If you are short on money, the Primary Drive Chain Lube is the most affordable. If you're concerned about the longevity of your chain drive though, saving money on chain lube will not save you money. I have had problems with this product where the lube sprays out around the nozzle base during use.

How I rate the chain lubes:

  1. Silkolene Chain Lube
  2. Bel-Ray® Blue Tac Chain Lube
  3. Silkolene Pro Chain Lube
  4. PJ1 Black Label Chain Lube
  5. PJ1 Blue Label Chain Lube
  6. Primary Drive Chain Lube

Conclusion:

Any one of the products in this article is acceptable as a chain lube. What you get out of that product is what makes the difference. Take my advice and make Silkolene Chain Lube or Bel-Ray Blue Tac your first choice. Within the scope of the products listed here, these two lubes are the best.

Update Feb 26, 2012:

I have been using Bel-Ray Blue Tac for a while now and am very happy with it. I find I am applying the lube less than when I use Silkolene chain lube. This stuff is awesome!

MotoObsession.com is not affiliated with any of the brands in this review and receives no benefits from these companies.

Review By: MotoObsession.com
Post Date: Feb 5, 2012
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