Regularly lubricating your motorcycle chain is a key component of motorcycle maintenance. It ought to be carried out every 400-500 miles (perhaps more often if you live in an especially dusty climate) because without your chain, you simply can’t ride. Failing to properly lubricate your chain will result in performance issues, such as bad shifting, so it’s important you don’t neglect it.

There are two main variants of motorcycle chain lube – chain lube and chain wax. Both of which perform the same function but they come in different forms.

In this guide from the Tru-Tension team we look at both chain lube and wax, explaining what they are, what they do and the benefits they provide.

What Does Motorcycle Wax/Lube Do?

Both motorcycle chain lube and chain wax maximise the performance of your bike, but the answer to the question of which does a better job at this is nuanced. That’s why we’re here to break it down for you in the simplest way possible. Each of them has their pros and cons, and so the answer as to which you should opt for depends on what you value in your motorcycle experience.

But before we dive into the ways chain lube and chain wax contrast, first we should briefly cover the ways in which they are the same –

  • First and foremost, they extend the lifespan of your motorcycle’s chain by reducing friction and general wear and tear.
  • Secondly, they prevent rusting via their potent water-repelling properties.
  • And thirdly, they also function as cleaning agents for your chain by dissolving any built-up dirt it accumulates.

Together, these three functions help ensure that your bike runs smoothly, giving you the best riding experience possible.

The Benefits & Drawbacks of Motorcycle Chain Lube

Chain lube often comes in the form of a spray canister, and as such is the much less time-consuming option. To lubricate your chain, all you need to do is point the spray straw at it and shoot. This can sometimes create a mess if you miss the chain, but it usually results in a more thorough job because of the way it can access the hard-to-reach parts of your chain.

Perhaps the biggest drawback of typical chain lube products for most riders is the way its adhesive qualities can build up a grimy paste that wears on the O-rings or flings back on the wheel. That’s why we developed our BananaSlip Chain Lube to specifically address this problem. When sprayed, our lube will settle into a dry layer within minutes to avoid attracting the dirt that most sticky lubes do. The BananaSlip Chain Lube is both thin and transparent, which creates less of a mess and penetrates the inside of the chain (unlike thicker lubes which sit on the outside).

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The Benefits & Drawbacks of Motorcycle Chain Wax

Chain wax, on the other hand, mostly comes in the form of a dry paste that you brush onto the chain with an applicator (almost always included with the product). This allows you to be more accurate when lubricating the chain, and the wax will often come in a white colour so that you can keep track of what you are doing. Wax is therefore usually the less messy option, but it can be more difficult to apply to the inside of the chain where it’s needed the most. Chain wax makes up for this by lasting longer than chain lube, which makes it ideal if you are riding in environmental conditions where you have to deal with a lot of muck, water or dust.

At Tru-Tension, we’ve developed a chain wax that comes in the form of a spray canister, retaining all the benefits of traditional chain wax products but giving it the convenience of chain lube. The BananaSlip anti-fling PTFE Chain Waxhas been specifically designed to provide riders with the ideal chain lubrication for high-impact environmental conditions. Our ultra-long-lasting wax reduces frictional losses between the chain and the sprocket up to twice as long as traditional chain oils.

Shop BananaSlip anti-fling PTFE Chain Wax >

Deciding Whether Lube or Wax is Best for You

In conclusion, the lubrication method you choose depends on two things: your circumstances and your preferences.

If you’re going to be riding in especially wet, dusty, or dirty conditions, or if you prefer a lubricating agent that’s long-lasting, then chain wax is probably the best option for you. For the average road-rider, we recommend chain lube for its expediency. The fast-acting nature of a high-quality chain lube should allow you to ride within a few minutes. It’s important you take the time to consider your needs and pick an option that’s tailored towards your requirements.

Both our BananaSlip Chain Lube and our BananaSlip Chain Wax are affordable options for high-quality, industry-leading motorcycle chain maintenance solutions.

For more information on our lube and wax products, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today. Be sure to also check out our other high-quality motorcycle products, which include chain tensioning tools, chain cleaners and brake cleaners.