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Chains

Chains

I found a chain with different length in the system than I have on my bike. Why?

We have most of chains on stock in given legths. If your motorcycle has a different length of the chain, in the catalogue there is assigned and to you will be delivered the chain with closest higher length (e.g. chains 106, 112, 118 links, on the bike 110 links => delivered chain 112 links).

Which connecting links are supplied for chains?

Types of chains 525 and higher are supplied with the rivet type of connecting link, which guarantees higher safety. Since April 2006, connecting links are supplied with spacers for correct riveting of chains. For correct and safe riveting of chain it is necessary to have a rivet tool, because of that it is best to visit specialized service. We remind a possibillity of buying the special rivet tool and chain cutter – you can find it in the catalogue of accessories - "CR-50 CUT/RIVET TOOL". It is also possible to use special screwing connecting link, for its´ unriveting is enough to have 8mm wrench.


Operating and maintenance of motorcycle chains

Motorcycle chain is a part, which is very important, even so often missed out. You can invest loads of money to the engine tuning and increasing the power, but if you miss out your chain, it could happen that you are standing at the edge of the road or race track watching everyone riding away. Chain on the common motorcycle consists of 600-800 parts. Even if a single part breaks down, you can throw away the whole chain. You can prevent from that with the correct installation and following maintenance.
There is a lot of myths and guaranteed advices about maintenance of chain. But the maintenance is not a science if you know what to do. We serve you a couple of tips for the maintenance of your chain.


Choice and labeling chains

What do the numbers in the name of chains even mean?
Numbers in the names (e.g. 428, 520, 530 etc.) mean proportions, tolerances, minimum tensile strength or other specifications by Japanese industry standards JIS (similar to ISO etc.)
First number
4,5,6 mean distance between chain pins = spacing
Originally, this numbers specified spacing in eights of inches, so the chain series 400 had a spacing of ½ inch, but today metric units are used, so chain series 400 has a spacing of 12,7 mm, 500 – 15,875 mm, 600 – 19,05 mm.
Second and third number
They mark a width of chain measured between inner surfaces of inner sideways pads. Marking ending with „20“ (420, 520,…) means a width of 6,35 mm between pads (2/8 inch). If the number ends with „25“ or „28“, the width is 7,94 mm (2,5/8 inch). If the number ends with „30“ or „32“, the width is 9,53 mm (3/8 inch).
Because a wider chain has of course higher strength, second and third number also mark strength of the chain relative to other chains with the same spacing. Higher numbers mean higher strength, e.g. chain 525 is stronger than 520. This additional strength is achieved because of a bigger rolling pin.
ATTENTION! This does not mean that all 520 chains have the same strength, it depends also on the width of pads and material. Chains of the same proportions can be different type and vary in additional marking, which varies according to the manufacturer (e.g. at EK 520SRO5 and SROZ)
How to choose the chain then?
It is necessary to replace your old chain with the same proportions chain, this means with the same JIS number. It should correspond with the chain mounted in the manufacture, but there are of course alternatives that are better and cheaper than the standard one, the result is higher durability and a period of change. Replacing sealed chain with non-sealed is not recommended, except special cases such as race use


Lubricating and cleaning of the chain

The base is regular lubrication of the chain, which has to be cleaned first. These operations are a bit different for sealed and non-sealed chains.
Cleaning the non-sealed chain is easier, we can do it with wire or other rough brush or suitable cleaner. At the non-sealed chain, we have to pay attention especially on sealing rings and because of that, it is necessary to avoid some things. Never clean the sealed chain with pressure washer, vapour cleaning, wire brushes or solvents such as petrol, alcohol, contact spray or acetone (these solvents can damage the sealing rings). Cleaning with the technical cleaning sprays, which require rinsing with water, can lead to a corrosion and because of that, using this products is not recommended. The best is of course special cleaning facility, which is supplied by most of oil companies. It is ideal to use a chain washer, e.g. Kettenmax

Non-sealed chains,
especially those used off-road and for the race use should be cleaned and lubricated a lot more frequently. Non-sealed chains can be lubricated with any quality chain lubricant or e.g. gear oil with specification SAE 80/90.

Sealed chains
should be lubricated each c. 500 km with lubricants specially marked as suitable for O-ring chains (not damaging sealing). A quality chain lubricant should fit well on the chain and have good penetration characteristics to go deep between bush and roller pins.
O – rings or QUADRA-X rings used e.g. at EK chains only seal lubricant applied at manufacturing between pins and bushes. As at the other ones, the chain needs to be lubricated regularly between bushes and roller pins to legthen its lifetime.

There is a lot of discussions about where to spray the lubricant. How is it then?
The sealed chain is filled with the lubricant inside already from the manufacture, which is sealed with the sealing rings. If the rings are allright, the lubricant can´t escape and the impurities can´t get inside. If they are damaged, you can´t get the lubricant inside properly and the chain is condemned to a change.

Where to lubricate then?
Sliding surface between the roller pin and the bush is not sealed and has relatively big play. Roller pin is also a contact point between the chain and teeth of the sprocket. The outer part of the roller pin has to be oily only for running on and off the pin from the space between teeth. Sometimes there is a wrong idea that the roller pin rotates on tooth. But the motion happens between the roller pin „standing in the tooth space“ and the bush, which rotates in the roller pin. This is the right place for lubrication, it is necessary to get the lubricant there. The lubricant gets from this space with a centrifugal force while operation after its warming up. The best way to deliver the lubricant there is with the special spray.
Besides this most important place, it is important to lubricate slightly also a surface of the roller pin. On the other places of the chain, the lubricant has only anticorrosive sense.
We recommend to wipe new chain with dry, clean rag before installation on motorcycle. The original lubricant is sticky, not to fly out because of the centrifugal force. Thanks to this, dust catches on the surface of the chain and together with the lubricant creates an abrasive paste. After using the dry rag to wipe, the chain remains preserved enough, but is not sticky anymore. During operation, the lubricant warms up and thanks to centrifugal force flies out, because of that is important to lubricate continuously. Before lubricating we recommend to get the chain rid of the dust. Lubrication oils in spray are very cappilary lifty so they can carry dust to lubricated places, which means the abrasive paste again.
If you use the chain cleaner, apply the lubricant after c. 10-20 minutes, when the cleaner´s solvents evaporate.
Naturally, the ideal solution is to use the chain washer, e.g. Kettenmax, which also delivers the lubricant on the right place a spares you the dirty work.


The change of the chain

Changing of the chain is relatively expensive matter, so everybody tries to use it for the longest time possible. But breaking the chain can cause damage a lot more serious and also more expensive.
When is it the best to change and how to recognize that?
The fastest and simplest way to recognize, that you need a new chain, is that you grab one link, which is in contact with the rear sprocket. If you can pull the link more than about a half of the tooth of the sprocket, it is time for the new chain. More reliable and exact is to use special gauges for chains.
We can also follow the chain tensioner on the rear arm. If you regularly set the chain play during prescribed maintenance of the motorcycle, than your chain is at the end of its lifetime, when the rear axle or tensioner reaches the last mark. Always follow the manual of your motorcycle.
If your chain creates an inappropriate noise when riding, or you find out that rear wheel is covered with the dirty lubricant, it is very probable that the chain has to be replaced. When you clean the chain, pay attention to the close check-up of the seals and roller pins. If you find some damaged or broken pin, change the chain immediately.
Is it always necessary to change sprockets?
To recognize the level of mechanical wear of the sprocket teeth you would have to have special measuring device. If you don´t use the chain for the race use and ride thousands of kilometers with it, it is probable that also teeth will be seriously worn. Due to the fact that the price of sprockets is a fraction of the price of the quality chain, it is worth changing sprockets always with the chain. Using more chains on one set of sprockets is meaningful only at the race use.

What is the right tension of the chain?
You can generally consider as usual that tension, when the sag is between 35-45 mm. But you should always follow the vehicle manufacturer´s instructions.
Is there some period of running in the newly mounted chain?
The new chain does not have any period of running in concerning the transfer of the power. But it is important to check the tension after first 100 km and then every 300 km until 1000 km.

EK chains with the unique technology ZST (Zero Stretch Technology) don´t have to be tensioned for the first 1000 km at all!!!


Defects of chains

Is it possible, that the damage is caused because of the manufacturing defect?
Chains of the well-known brands, which are used by the world leading motorcycle manufacturers in the production are developed and made with the newest technologies and are also subjected under strict quality control. It is not probable that chain like this would have some manufacturing defect. Even the power of the strongest motorcycles and ATVs does not reach over the strength of high-tech quality chains. On condition that you have chosen the right complements, the most probable reason is wrong installation, maintenance, incorrect setting of the chain play, wrong length etc. In case of the damage of your chain, turn to the specialized service, that should reveal the reason of the damage and recommend you the reparation. Technics ,business and service partners of the company Motopoint are regularly trained in the chain problems and its use. Don´t hesitate to turn on them.
You can find contacts on the headline in the section Business partners.

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