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endless or split-link chains?

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by bernieL0max, May 7, 2006.

  1. Hi,

    My RF900 needs a new chain; now I've got people trying to convince me that the best [easiest] thing to do is install a split-link chain... however the owner & workshop manuals tell me never to do this.

    The alternative is to remove the swingarm and other bits and pieces to replace it with the proper endless chain; This is more work than i can find time to do myself, so this option requires me to pay a professional.

    It seems as though many people are using split-link chains every day without failure so who do i trust?

    Recomendations or advice anyone?


  2. I've just replaced my chain and sprockets last week, My brother did all the labour in about an hour and a half, so ask your bike shop how much they will charge you. My chain was $120 for an endlesss type.My back sprocket cost $40 and the front one was $20(all up $180 in parts)
    they Tell me chains vary in price anywhere from $70 to a couple of hundred, I chose mid range, and am happy with it.
  3. Oh, that reminds me... my back procket looks perfect - i could pass for brand-new; so is there any sane reason for me to do chain & sprockets as a set?

    I havent seen the front sprocket yet; if it looks worn I will replace it.

  4. Matt

    From what I understand from watching my husband replace chains on our bikes (various makes RK, DID and Regina) chains all have two ends when they come out of the packet. What makes them "endless" or not is the choice of link you use to secure the two ends with. Most chains come with a choice of two; a clip link and a rivet link.

    Do NOT use a clip link on a bike over 250cc in fact I wouldn't use one at all. We use the rivet link and therefore the chain looks "endless". Your bike certainly puts out too much horsepower for a clip link. You don't want to see the damage a broken chain can do your bike and possibly to you if it causes the bike to drop.

    We do have access to both a chain breaker and a chain riveting tool - that does make our lives a lot easier, although an angle grinder will do the chain breaking job quite nicely.

    Changing a chain and adjusting it doesn't take very long if you now what you are doing and a mechanic will do it in no time at all. The major cost will be the chain itself and/or a sprocket. It is possible that you may want to change the front (you said the rear looks fine), fronts don't last as long. If you are not confident to do this yourself - DON'T but insist that the riveted link be fitted. Any chain you choose will almost certainly be too long and will also require links to be removed - once again if you are NOT confident or don't have someone to show you - see a mechanic.
  5. The way i understand it is that if the sprockets are even slightly worn then they will accelerate the wear of the chain to compensate for the initial lack of wear. Make sense?

    Considering how much more expensive the chain is than the sprockets... personally i'd just spend the extra bit and do both front and rear, aswell as the chain.
  6. No reason to replace it.......
    I was just giving you an example of how long it takes to do :roll:
    So you can ask you bike shop how long / how much they will charge to do your chain...then you will know if they are being honest or charging you extra :idea:
  7. OEM chains are usually endless. They come already joined up which means you have to take lots of bits off to install them.

    Most people use aftermarket ones which you link up. They are just as good as endless ones and a lot easier to install.

    Use a rivet type though. Ive had a clip come off, the plate wasnt goint to fall off in a hurry but still pretty bad.

    You should be able to find someone to help you do it and lend you the riveter, its a fairly basic job and one worthwhile learning.

    Replace sprockets with chain. The old chain wears into the sprocket, the new chain wont fit it properly and will wear faster. Frount sprockets for 250s are about $15, so you just do it.
  8. I use a clip type chain on my track bike and I dont see a problem with it, so long as you aren't slack with maintenance.

    There is no drive pressure exerted on the clip, it uses a link plate to transfer the drive forces through, the clip just retains the link plate, and it's not easy to get on or off either.

    Saying that though, my track bike only runs 30-40km at a time, and I go over the bike after each session and check a few things, including chain.
    If you're after peace of mind, there's no harm in getting a rivet chain, you'll just have to destroy it when you remove it (grind rivet head off and punch out a pin)
  9. Its virtually impossible for the clip to come off while riding forwards (unless you put it on backwards) so mine must have got caught on something while reversing. No idea what though, mabey my leg pushed the chainguard into the chain which then pushed if off as it moved past?

    Whatever caused it to come off I wont be using one again when the rivet alternative is clearly more secure.
  10. Endless.
    A local with an RF900, who in his wisdom, installed a split link chain, which came apart. I think the story goes that it broke the crankcase.
  11. ok, my bike takes a 532 pitch 110 link chain... every bloody place I've called wont give me a straight answer; most want to sell me a 520 conversion; one tried to sell me a 530 chain - telling me it would fit!

    can anyone suggest somewhere that might have the correct chain in stock? or at least know what I'm talking about to order the right thing...

  12. Haven't dealt with them personally but have heard decent things about www.chaingang.com.au. Let us know what you think if you do go with them...
  13. chaingang are highly recommended