How Often Should I Lube my Bike Chain?

bike chainKeeping your bike chain lubricated is one of the best ways to avoid having the constantly adjust it.  Motorcycle chains, like any other chain-driven vehicle need the proper tension on the chain for quiet safe performance.  If a chain is too tight it will quickly stretch and wear the teeth down on the sprockets.  If a chain is too loose it will flop as your drive and could shear off teeth or break due to the slack.

If you’re wondering why so many motorcycles use a chain drive, check out our article on motorcycle drives.

If you’re tired of constantly tensioning your chain then the first place you should look is your chain lube.  The two top reasons a chain stretches prematurely is either too much tension or inadequate lubrication.  Each time the chain wraps around one of the sprockets the pins holding the links together pivot in the linkage.  Depending on the number of teeth on your sprocket this pivot could be 15-40 degrees.  If you’re riding at more than an idle, that much movement will cause a lot of heat and wear if it isn’t properly lubricated.

After reading this you may be ready to go drench your bike chain in any oil you have lying around the garage.  Besides the type of lubricant you use being important, it’s worth thinking about the mess an oily chain will make as it wizzes around your rear sprocket.  Over lubricating, your chain will make a mess, attract and hold dirt and will reduce the efficiency of your bike.

On a dirt bike, we recommend cleaning and lubricating your chain after every ride. On a street bike, the chain should be lubricated every 500-1000 miles depending on your riding habits and riding environment. This will ensure peak performance and sustainability for your bike.  When it comes to what kind of lubricant to use, we recommend PJ1 Black Label Chain Lube.

PJ1 Black Label Chain Lube is a heavy-duty lubricant that allows you to go longer in between lubes and reduces chain wear, therefore chains stretching.  PJ1 Black Label Chain Lube is also water and corrosion resistant so you don’t need to re-lubricate your chain if you get caught riding in the rain or wash your bike.  PJ1 Black Label allows goes on as an extremely thin-bodied lubricant so it easily penetrates your chain to get lubrication to where it really needs to be but thickens after it is applied so it doesn’t fling off your chain as your ride making a mess or leave your chain high and dry.  Pick up a can of PJ1 Black Label Chain Lube from one of our dealers today!

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash