See comment below. Thanks Craig for passing that along.
For those of us owning motorcycles with chains, proper maintenance is key. Other than riding with your chain adjusted too tight (and, unlike valves, chains tend to loosen with running) or the rear wheel mis-aligned in the swingarm, the worst form of neglect is to run it without lube.
“But wait; the nice salesman said I wouldn’t need to bother lubing the O-Ring (or X-Ring) chain,” you protest.
I won’t expound on a conspiracy theory that sales folk get a commission on every chain/sprocket replacement by their Service Department (absolutely untrue), but I might wink that the “no lube” argument makes selling you a chain-drive motorcycle one step simpler.
Figure it out: it’s moving parts, dry rollers on dry sprocket teeth.
Motorcycle chain lube
Unless you’re turning hot laps in a sand pit and using molasses for chain lube (essentially plating your chain with abrasives), cleaning and lubing the chain will have more positives than negatives.
That said, what’s an inexpensive, readily-available product that sprays on and leaves no sticky residue? I find DuPont Teflon Multi-Use Lubricant, under six bucks at any Lowe’s, to be the answer. Industrial tests indicate an increase in chain life five times greater than other brands.