Can Engine Oil be Used as Chain Lube?

Chain lube or lubricants provide effective lubrication and extend the life of your bike chains. This lubrication helps the chain in decreasing wear and tear from the sprocket and the chain.

The protective film of the lube prevents the formation of corrosion and rust. Another function of chain lube is to reduce stretching. 

Moreover, ideal lubrication for bike chains should be greasy and the lube should be able to penetrate the chains. This grease is meant to stay inside it so as to provide them with the designated protection. 

Furthermore, if you are a regular bike user or driving operations are fairly frequent, you should often be cleaning and doing proper maintenance of your bike. This includes lubricating it to ensure the optimal functioning of your bike. 

Why Do We Use a Chain Lube?

It is good practice to upkeep your bike now and then as it guarantees hassle-free running of your motorbike. One of the things that will benefit is regular lubing of the chains. 

This helps you in the smooth interaction of the moving parts of the chain. It avoids the build-up of rust, thus making your ride a lot more effortless and less cranky. Consequently, your safety is one of the most vital reasons why the regular use of good chain lube is a must.  

Can Engine Oil be Used as Chain Lube?

Engine oil cannot be used as chain lube and for many reasons. It might do the job temporarily but it will cause problems later on. Number one being the viscosity of engine oils. The thickness of the oil will draw more dirt on the chains. 

It will wear them out and cause more harm than good in terms of performance. Secondly, the grease in engine oils could intensify in colder conditions and might lead to solidification. 

Thirdly, they resist washing out and mild chain cleaners as well. Fourthly, any wrong choice of oil would result in unwanted friction and corrosion, hampering the bike’s operation. 

Conclusively, investing in engine oils would be futile considering the higher cost. That is why using the recommended chain lube for your bike would be much more helpful. 

motorcycle chain lube oil

Which Type of Motor Bike Chain Lubes Should You Use?

According to DrivingLife, there are three types of lubes; wet lubes, dry lubes and all-purpose lubes. 

Wet lubes, as the name suggests, are perfect for in rainy and humid conditions. Because the oil is more viscous, the rain won’t affect or wash off of the bike chains. The disadvantage to these oils is that their thickness draws in more dirt and grime. 

To prevent this, go through regular cleaning of your bike chains. That said, dry lubes are more suitable in sandy and dusty weather or areas. 

This lube is thinner as compared to wet lubes because it contributes to functional lubrication and protection to those specific conditions. Thirdly, all-purpose lubes are a mix of both wet and dry lubes. 

These are most suited to all-around varied and mixed conditions. However, one of the things to be mindful of is that the application of these oils should be done more frequently. 

Which Things to Consider While Buying a Chain Lube?

In this case, using just any lube or oil should be highly avoided. If your vehicle manual or dealership recommends an appropriate lube for your bike, going with that would be your best option. But prior to purchasing, there are a few important factors you must consider. One of them is the riding conditions. 

As mentioned before, the climate and the temperature of your location plays a role in deciding which chain lube would work perfectly with your bike. For example, mountain bike-riding would attract dirt much faster than during normal intercity driving. Thus, the condition demands a wet lube. 

Next is the type of chain. There are normal unsealed chains that need maintenance often and there are sealed chains that last longer and don’t require as much upkeep. Sealed chains come in O, X AND Z-Ring chain types. 

O-Ring erodes quicker and X-rings seals in the lube better. On the other hand, Z-Rings are stronger than the lot. Typically used in rough terrains and wet conditions, they mostly are on the pricier side. Subject to use, they tend to live longer. 

Moving further, we need to acknowledge the lube’s protection against all kinds of external factors. Water, dirt and grime on your chains if kept unchecked for a long time can severely deter the motor bike’s running. 

Your oil should be able to resist all these factors so before buying any lube, always check for its characteristics, properties, benefits and disadvantages for the same.

What Happens If We Don’t Use a Chain Lube?

A chain that is not lubricated, would be dry during bike performance. This heavily weighs in on your drive’s smooth shifting and riding. Gradually, rust will begin to deteriorate the chains, affecting the overall operation and your bike will evidently break down mid-drive. 

To stray away from all of these problems, using a chain lube and maintaining your bike gears is a top priority. Similar to how our bike needs petrol or diesel to run, it is equally as important to use the lubricate your chains frequently. 

Otherwise, your bike will suffer the consequences, both technically and financially. 

How Often To Lube Bike Chain?

According to Tutor, monthly cleaning and lubrication of your bike aid in the efficient protection and functioning of your bike. If you are a frequent bike rider, some also advise using the lube once every week. With regard to kilometres, cleaning and lubing your motorcycle chain every 480 to 500 km is also a healthy practice. 


Always keep a note of doing regular and proper checks of your motorbike to get the best out of it. With regard to bike chains, cleaning and lubricating them with the right lube will not only protect the chains against rusting and avoid damage to the bike’s operation. It will also lengthen their life. 

Likewise, it is also beneficial to do the necessary oil changes for your engines, gear and transmission systems. A well-maintained bike is equal to happier and smoother rides!



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