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Risk of clip type chain

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by norm79, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. The factory warranty of my VTR250 has expired and I thought it is time for me to pick up the tools and do some maintainance myself. I believe being able to service the bike myself is part of the fun for riding.

    The first job was to replace the chain, front sproket and the rear tyre which I just completed this afternoon. Everything went well except I was not sure about the type of chain I bought. By the time I found it was the "clip type", it was too late, I had cut the chain and all shops had closed for the long weekend. So I cliped it in and did a test ride.

    Now the question is, how much risk by using the clip chain instead of the Rivet one? The VTR workshop manual suggested not to use the clip type chain but not sure why the supplier still sold me this one (RK, 520MO).

    I originally asked for the DID chain but three suppliers said they never had them and one said it would cost me around $250. All of them suggested this RK chain (for around $90) for VTR250. So I assume this is a common problem for VTR250 owners?

  2. The risk is next to nothing. The're not as strong as a linkless chain, but then you're not really packing a punch with the VTR250. The only worry is installing the clip backwards (NOT COOL!), or having the clip catch on a dodgy chain guard while rolling the bike backwards.

    Make sure it's got nothing to catch on, and don't stress. :)
  3. Just replaced the chain on our VTR250 with a DID X-ring model at $129. Your supplier was lying about the price.

    Are you sure you have secured the clip correctly?

    Make sure you always have at least 25mm of slack (loose up and down movement of chain, vs play = press hard to see up and down movement). As it wears look for tight spots and set them to have the minimum play required.

    A loose chain does not really adversely affect anything - a tight chain can seriously damage the chain and gearbox/wheel bearings.


    Trevor G

    PS Keep it lubed - not so much that if flings off, just enough to keep the centre rollers black. Never let the rollers get shiney.
  4. clip link type chains are fine for smaller bikes, just check it more regulary once the chain has some more kays on it. i once found it wasnt there, so i just brought the replacement link for 8 bucks. i know of riders who did a few thousand kays on a chain missing the snap link...
  5. Clip type chains are fine as long as the clip doesn't fall off - good idea to stick a blob of silicone over it to help keep it in place. I've met plenty of riders on older 1000cc+ bikes that still use a clip link (in one instance three clip links :shock:) without any problems whatsoever.
  6. Thanks for the advises.

    Trevor, where did you get the DID chain from on that price?

    This sounds a bit worry. I bought the chain cutting / rivet tool for this job. Although the function was not fully utilised but it still helped to push to the plate allowing me to slap the clip in properly. I will take the advise and check the link everytime when lubricating the chain.
  7. said bikes had quite a few other mechanical issues aswell, including an excellent traction control system, the first ive seen on a 250 (clutch was stuffed) :LOL:
    where abouts did ya get that cutting and riveting tool????
  8. Got the tool from MAW from Castle Hill, $79.20 after discount to Netrider members. Good handy tool. They have other cheaper versions available.

    I also bought the rear type from them. Very nice people over there and reasonable priced.
  9. Don't worry about it. A correctly installed clip split link type chain won't fail on a 250. It's not likely to on any other bike either.

    Once upon a time, all chains were made that way and the world was not filled with snapped and flailing Renolds. Even on the early big Jap fours.
  10. Just to throw a spanner in the works -I personally will never use one again. I have had 3 come off on 2 seperate chains. And this is on my baby 400. And trust me I made f#cking sure the clips were on the right way round, the chain was the correct tension, the sideplates were set against the clip etc etc etc. Not worth the worry
  11. Was it from rolling the bike backwards? That's their biggest weakness.
  12. I've got a clip like RK chain on my ZX9R. No issues with he cli... Although my first 5 or 10 wheelies have definitely stretched it.

  13. Bzzzzzzzzz, wrong!

    Had my bike in for a service just before the GP, the mechanic informs me upon pickup, the clip was missing on my chain :shock: lucky the chain didnt come off and cause havoc with either the bike or my leg.
  14. Maybe I should have added the qualifier that it should be a check point in your weekly visual inspection.

    I'll certainly add the point that in 20 years around bikes, I've yet to meet anyone who's lost a (properly maintained) chain 'cos their split link gave up.
  15. In as polite a way as possible: both of you must be joking!

    A correctly fitted clip could never come off through rolling the bike backwards. Not even the old type with open ends still "available" for something to grab onto.

    Modern, closed-end circlips can not be "scraped" off by rolling the bike backwards - they are almost impossible to remove even when using a screwdriver to separate the ends from between the rivet pins!

    You only need one side of the clip to not be seated correctly for the master link to become unstable. That won't happen when it is correctly fitted.

    I guess really poor quality master links might have dodgy clips, but you wouldn't use poor quality gear, would you???


    Trevor G
  16. An incorrectly fitted clip can break, because bozo is stretching the clip too far open. That is bad technique, not the fault of the clip, because the overwhelming majority of bike chains don't lose clips.

    Either way, whether it wasn't secured correctly or was stretched and weakened, that is just poor technique. Checking it regularly is good, if you can't trust the folks who work on your bike.


    Trevor G
  17. Never had a problem fitting clips to my chains, run for 100,000ks on about 5 chains, using vise grips leveraging against the chain link plate, 100% success rate, never bothered with curclip pliers. break links with a chain breaker and I press links using the same, grind off rives using an angle grinder. archaic, but effective.
  18. i've used clip links exclusively and haven't had an issue yet. i put the clip on the inside facing towards the wheel. it's a bit more effort but less chance of catching anything. as always make sure its facing the correct direction and fully seated.

    this is on a hornet with a 55 tooth sprocket, and an f4i with 60 teeth. and i clutch very violently. all the force in the chain is radial. there should be minimal sideways forces on the links.

    i actually have a scary but good clip link story. i had a crap cheapo chain on the stunt bike. after some heavy use it stretched and the side plate hole had egged out to the point where the pin could slide right out. the only thing keeping that pin from falling off was that it was attached to it's partner pin by the circlip. had it been a rivet link, it would have been long gone. the moral of the story is... buy a good quality chain and install whatever clip it comes with carefully.
  19. I do wonder if, now that clip type split-links are not as universal as they once were, mechanics are less familiar with the amount of fiddling it can take to get the clip to seat properly and the requirement to not over-extend the clip when fitting.

    I did, before I gave up chains, have a couple of occasions when getting the split-link together was a hell of a sweat and it would have been tempting (if I'd been trying to make a living) to say "That'll do" when it still wasn't satisfactory.
  20. The silicone trick is good advice. Just clean everything first, cos it wont stick to oil.