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Old 01-21-2012, 01:31 AM   #1
rustbusket
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Default school me on chains

so the next step in my build is the purchase of a chain, i have an old chain that isnt long enough so im sure i can use it to guestimate the length that i will need. i have been looking at some chains and there seems to be a big gap in prices. i definitely dont want some cheapy chinese 30$ chain but i feel like 150$ and up is just too much to spend. i want a good chain but i dont understand where the tremendous price gap is coming from. am i missing something, is there something more i need to know about this very important part? i know its cosmetic but i would like to use a "gold" chain...since my paint scheme will have gold metalflake in it and i think it would go well with the overall look of the bike but thats just a sidenote to the important things i would like to have knowledge about. so what say you? opinions, suggestions, brands, suppliers...etc? thanks for all your help in advance guys, i know you wont let me down!
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: school me on chains

Dont buy a cheap chain cheap ones have to be adjusted because of stretching and broke chains can ruin tranny cases,Guess you just need to decide how much you are going to ride it.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: school me on chains

If you are running a high HP motor, get the best. The more expensive chains are for the high HP motors, and the cheaper ones are for cheapskates that don't want to spend anything for parts. Diamond makes a good chain, so does Subiki(spelling wrong, so sue me). Then you have to take into effect, a regular chain, versus a o ring chain. If you ride a sportster, the oring chain is two wide, and you take a chance of rubbing the trans case. Pic a medium range if you are running a stock bike. To get the number of links, run the chain around the front sprocket and as far around the rear sprocket as you can. Count the links and the missing links around the rear sprocket. Make sure the wheel is as far back as possible. Then get the closest chain to your count, plus a few for mistakes in measuring. Not really rocket science, but this works for me.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: school me on chains

Chains are sold by size and tensile strength. 520, 530, 540 pitch (and other varied sizes) and in O-ring, X-ring (Just another variation of the O-ring) and regular, old chain.

If you're not running a 75+ HP engine, you can get away with chain from Tractor Supply, if it's the correct pitch. They're sold by tensile strength.

The downside to non-O-ring chains, is lubing them, and their proneness to tight or bound links after time. O-Ring chains tend to last longer, and require little lube, and the O-rings keep the dirt/water out of the friction parts of the chain.

Most bike shops sell chains at a pretty huge mark-up. Some shops actually buy chain by the roll, and sell it in length, shich is MUCH cheaper for them, you and the world.

Parts-Unlimited sells quality chains, and are good quality. I ran D.I.D. and Regina chains when I raced and never had an issue, but you get what you pay for, when running a 140 hp engine.
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: school me on chains

DID. Tbasaki for oring /ring. Your gonna have to spend some cheese to get a colored one.
Don't use a $25 either. $150 for a 120 link gold.oring is about right.
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:38 AM   #6
Tiger Dale
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Default Re: school me on chains

Try Montec chains. Do a google search and you will find them. Very good chains at very cheap prices. I bought 1 up from standard for my '72 TR-6R and it is very good quality. It cost me $20 plus shipping. There are 2 heavier ones available. I don't reccomend o-ring chains for street bikes.

I have about 5,000 miles on mine and have only had to adjust it 2 times. A very high quality chain.

They are made in Connecticut, good old USofA.

dale
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:23 AM   #7
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Default Re: school me on chains

Quote:
Originally Posted by BadNewsSS View Post
im curious, why dont you recommend an oring chain for a street bike??
Because a regular non-Oring chain can last just as long, if you take care of it. Most guys don't clean, reoil and adjust chains properly, making them last.

The condition of your sprockets is another HUGE factor for chain life. If the sprockets are worn, the chain pitch doesn't match correctly, and the chain stretches even faster.

Even an O-ring chain will go south if you don't take care of it.

Last edited by Dave63; 01-21-2012 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:39 AM   #8
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Default Re: school me on chains

If we are Talking Sportster:

If a Dry Clutch early Sportster run a Regular 530 Tsubaki or Diamond XDL (Non O Ring Chain)
why? because the additional thickness of the O Ring unit or the Heavy Duty can come into contact with the right side clutch worm assembly when you pull in the clutch lever.
71> no issues there and you can run the O ring or Heavy Duty clutch lever Duty type chain

On my 69 XLCH I have run Diamond and the Tsubaki and have found that the Tsubaki needs less adjustments
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: school me on chains

+1 on the dont cheap out on the chain ^^
+1 on if new chain then go new sprocket^^
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: school me on chains

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Originally Posted by taxman View Post
+1 on the dont cheap out on the chain ^^
+1 on if new chain then go new sprocket^^
+2 and Ive been running an an LBV tensioner for a few years,so far,so good,
GBM
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:33 AM   #11
CB550 Matt
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Default Re: school me on chains

+++1 on buying good chains,ever see the reapair bill for fixing the tabs on the sporty case you just whacked when the bitter end whips around and hits the case and then possibly your leg?

even 300 hundred bucks at that point will look cheap.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:47 AM   #12
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Default Re: school me on chains

Sorry guys guess I should have mentioned it's a triumph w/ a 4 inch stretch. Sprockets are all good. I definitely don't want some cheap piece of shit strecthing, snapping and whipping the piss out of me. I would love to buy us made. Lots of info from you guys.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:54 PM   #13
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Default Re: school me on chains

Quote:
Originally Posted by BadNewsSS View Post
im curious, why dont you recommend an oring chain for a street bike??
They don't need them. They rob some horsepower to the rear wheel.

They were/are intended for wet and muddy conditions where endurance is considered over horsepower. Enduro racers, cross country, ISDT etc. it is beneficial. No factory motocross/supercross teams use o-ring chains. Ask why, because horsepower is more important.

Clean your chain, keep it properly adjusted and lubed (Belray No Fling is my choice) and it will last a long time. Lube them AFTER your ride when the chain is warm and the lube will be sucked into the rollers.

Oh yea, if you're changing the chain change both sprockets. They are made to be changed as sets. Any weak/worn part will wear the new one much faster.

TD
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:11 PM   #14
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Default Re: school me on chains

O-rings are nice for clean bikes where you don't want oil spiitting on them and use chain lube just like with a dirt bike just sparingly. Nothing wrong with orings the hp loss thing is trivial. Won't fit on a unit anyway. I recommend them for street bikes and it wasnt an issue on LG. Displacement bikes making 120 and more hp on the dyno installed dozens of them . Mine was 133 hp did 530 oring. Almost no stretch in 6 k. No reason not to use them. Lube once a year.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:31 PM   #15
Tiger Dale
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Default Re: school me on chains

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Originally Posted by Loffer View Post
O-rings are nice for clean bikes where you don't want oil spiitting on them and use chain lube just like with a dirt bike just sparingly. Nothing wrong with orings the hp loss thing is trivial. Won't fit on a unit anyway. I recommend them for street bikes and it wasnt an issue on LG. Displacement bikes making 120 and more hp on the dyno installed dozens of them . Mine was 133 hp did 530 oring. Almost no stretch in 6 k. No reason not to use them. Lube once a year.
Yea I guess with big HP bikes the horsepower thing is trivial and maybe with street bikes as well. I'm curious Loffer what do you use to lube them? Just used WD-40 for years on dirt bikes but that was mostly for water displacement after washing which was typically after most rides. Aren't they factory lubed in the manufacturing process with the o-rings keeping most of the lube in?

TD
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:24 PM   #16
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Default Re: school me on chains

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Dale View Post
Yea I guess with big HP bikes the horsepower thing is trivial and maybe with street bikes as well. I'm curious Loffer what do you use to lube them? Just used WD-40 for years on dirt bikes but that was mostly for water displacement after washing which was typically after most rides. Aren't they factory lubed in the manufacturing process with the o-rings keeping most of the lube in?

TD
Chain lube in the can. BEL-RAY super clean or the equal ,same stuff for the dirt bikes . Spray it on the chain and wipe the excess it throws alittle bit at first. My o-rings stayed nice over a few years plenty of miles . We put em on all the choppers chains are so big you dont get any stretch .

Anybody have colored regular 530 chains? i have looked alittle for then but not found any that i remember .
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:05 AM   #17
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Default Re: school me on chains

I run o-ring chains on my chain drive bikes. I mainly lube them to keep rust away and to protect the sprockets. RK or Tsubaki. I use DuPont spray lithium grease with teflon.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:44 AM   #18
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Default Re: school me on chains

I'm in the market for a chain on my current build, and I haven't bought a regualr 530 chain in over 8 years (been running O-rings on everything) but...... I've also got little notches cut in motor plates, primarys, and bearing supports, and I'd like to stop that from the rubbing.

I was assuming technology had changed in the last 8 years or so. I noticed on Ebay there were some "self lubing" NON O-ring chains. Anyone know anything about them? I'm hoping they are the same width as a regular 530 and not wide like the O-ring.

I don't run chainguards, and the oil splatter all the way from my ass to my ear got old, so I switched to O-rings. In my early crotch rocket days, I used some clear wax stuff for lube, but never could find it when I switched up to HD's.

What are you running? Any info on the "self lubing" 530 chains? And the actual width of them?

Sixball
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:54 AM   #19
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Default Re: school me on chains

No clue on the self lubing chains but i run chain wax as well still and it works well I get it off motorcyclesuperstore.com

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com...Chain-Wax.aspx
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:26 PM   #20
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Default Re: school me on chains

I've had an o-ring chain on my sportster for about 5 years now. Never had one problem with it even after riding around most of the North East states. I use maxima chain wax because I don't have a chain guard/disposable clothing, and because it's the same shit I use on my dirt bike. After reading this thread, maybe my next chain should just be a regular chain with no o-rings. My '74 Honda had a standard chain, I even reused it after i built the bike and it still worked. Now that I think about it I need a chain for every one of my bikes :\
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