Tuesday Tip: Chain Lube

We received this question from Nick about the best way to lube your chain:

I feel dumb asking this but what is the proper way to lube a chain? I have used foams, liquids, and tacky sprays, but I never know how, how often, when, and where to apply the lube to get the most benefit and avoid having it drip everywhere. Furthermore, every time I lube my chain, it gets all sticky and covered in dirt and grime. How do the pros keep their chain’s looking brand new?

Basic Chain Lube Application
Fortunately for Nick, lubing your chain is easy to do. Here’s a few tips straight from PJ1:

  1. To ensure proper adhesion clean all other oils, greases or lubes off the chain before application.
  2. Make sure the engine is not running and the transmission is in neutral.
  3. For best results, store the can at room temperature and shake well before use.
  4. Spin the wheel counterclockwise slowly by hand and apply chain lube to the lower inside “loop of the chain on top of both edges of the side plates.
  5. Apply liberally for approximately 2 revolutions.
  6. Wipe off excess lube to prevent fly-off.
  7. Make sure to apply chain lube AFTER you ride; the chain & sprockets are still warm, so the lube will penetrate completely and won’t fling off.

Excess lube flying-off the chain and covering the swingarm, subframe, brake caliper, and everything else in reach is frustrating—especially for us obsessive clean-freaks. PJ1 has these specific fly-off prevention tips on their website (www.pj1.com):

  1. Remember to apply the chain lube to the inside of the chain on the surfaces that contact the sprockets — this would be the inner (closest to sprocket teeth) edge of each row of side plates. The foaming action will carry the lubricant down between the side plates and into the spaces between the rollers and pins. Some of the lubricant will travel to the outer surfaces of the rollers but, remember, the goal is to get the lubricant “inside the chain.
  2. Wipe the chain down with a clean rag, removing the excess oil from the outside surfaces of the chain.
  3. Allow the chain to sit for at least 5-10 minutes, as it gives the carrying agent time to evaporate causing the chain lube to become tacky.