Why Gear/Axle Lubes and Kerosene?

The Realities of Chain Lubrication and Cleaning


  1. All lubes wear-off over time.
  2. Excess lube will get thrown-off.
  3. An un-lubricated and neglected chain is an accident waiting to happen.
  4. Heat build-up from friction and heat-retaining ("blanket effect") layers of road-grit on the chain surfaces, accelerate wear and/or potential failure.
  5. Chain manufacturers recommend Kerosene as the best cleaning solvent.
  6. Chainlink seals can be damaged by certain types of solvents.
  7. Expensive lubricants and cleaners waste money.

So... Let's get real...

A modern roller-chain is a complex machine and requires routine cleaning and lubrication in order to function optimally... If a chain is routinely and properly lubricated and cleaned, lifespan and efficiency (power delivery and mileage) is optimized. (For more detailed information about motorcycle chains and chain design etc, go to the Chain Links page here)

Modern lubricants perform a couple of  functions... Reduction of  Friction, Dissipation of Heat, Adhesion (stickiness/tackiness) and Cushioning. These attributes are all found in Gear and Axle oils....  

We prefer and recommend 85W-140 Axle Oil GL-5. All of the above attributes, are optimized in these types of lubricants and will provide many, many comprehensive lube sessions when used with Velocity. It doesn't take a lot of lube to get these benefits when using these types of oils... A thin layer of a quality high viscosity gear-oil sticks-to to the surfaces of the chain extremely well and flows into the gaps reaching the rubber seals and cushioning impact. So adhesion and viscosity are very important attributes, along with any special wear and cushioning additives that may be in the oil mixture/blend... Any type of lube applied in excess or does not adhere well, will get thrown from the chain and sprockets, this includes waxes.. 

In regard to cleaning a chain... Kerosene is inexpensive and readily accessible as a solvent cleaner... It is petroleum based and will not damage rubber or silicone seals and it can be filtered and reused and recycled... Every chain manufacturer recommends kerosene as the suggested cleaning agent. Kerosene loosens the crud on the chain and makes it easier to wipe-off. Velocity is designed to take advantage of the emulsifying (loosening) effects of kerosene on that crud to flush it away, however, if your chain has been neglected for sometime, more vigorous brushing with an appropriate brush like our Velocity Chain Brush may be required. The more you clean your chain the more effective Velocity will be able to manage the build-up of road-grit and crud. 

If you don't use one already... Every garage and maintenance shop, needs to have a 12-14 inch drywall mud pan, to use when chain cleaning... More Information

Note: It is essential practice to lube your chain after cleaning with any solvent or agent and DO NOT  use 'carb cleaners' or 'parts cleaners' or other heavy solvent materials on a chain with rubber/nitrile/silicone seals... those solvents will destroy your chain!

 (Back to "Chain Lubing and Cleaning ")

(*Recycle Oils and Solvents Responsibly...)

Maintain your Chain!