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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I may need to add 2 links to my chain in order to get my rear wheel to go back a bit more to fit a 200 tire on. Since I'm still on the stock chain with about 6,000 miles, I've been told that I might as well just get a new chain. Never got one before, so don't know much about them, but I know that I want to stay with 525...mainly because I recently got sprockets for 525 so don't feel like doing the conversion, and also because the minimal weight savings to a 520 is not worth the risk of failure for me. I'd rather be safe than sorry...so my questions are:

1. I guess first off, what's a good way to check to see if the chain needs replaced to begin with?

2. What are some good recommendations for a 525 chain suitable for an 1198? What tensile strength rating should I look for?

3. I keep seeing DID pretty much everywhere. Is that really the brand to go with, or are other brands like Bikemaster and EK just as good?

4. I noticed there are a couple of ways to connect the chains, depending on type/model...rivet or clip. Any pros and cons to each? Which is easier to use/do if I have to do this at the track? I've seen those chain tools that push the pins from the links out and then back in, but that's about all I know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Also, if my chain is still in good condition, is there any place that sells individual links and master link so that I can just get a couple and lengthen my stock chain? Or is that a big "no no"?
 

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Rivet and only rivet type! Say that because I've witnessed two buds' chains break at the clips. I've only ever changed one chain in my life so I don't have a lot of other input except for I have a chain tool you can borrow if you're ever up by me.
 

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With even 6000 miles on it, adding links or a new master link is going to cause a tight spot. The links with mileage on them will already have some distance stretch to them and adding links with no stretch is going to make it impossible to adjust the chain properly.

DID ZVM-X and RK GXW series are great chains and good strength.
 

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Imy questions are:

1. I guess first off, what's a good way to check to see if the chain needs replaced to begin with?

2. What are some good recommendations for a 525 chain suitable for an 1198? What tensile strength rating should I look for?

3. I keep seeing DID pretty much everywhere. Is that really the brand to go with, or are other brands like Bikemaster and EK just as good?

4. I noticed there are a couple of ways to connect the chains, depending on type/model...rivet or clip. Any pros and cons to each? Which is easier to use/do if I have to do this at the track? I've seen those chain tools that push the pins from the links out and then back in, but that's about all I know.
1. Chain Replacement Criteria

All 520 and 525 chains have links that are 15.875 mm long, pin-to-pin.

16 links x 15.875 mm = 254 mm nominal length

If the chain is assembled on the motorcycle, engage a low gear and rotate the back wheel so as to create 45 lb. of tension in the upper strand of the chain.

Measure the distance between the centers of two pins which are separated by 16 links (pin 1 to pin 17). Rotate the back wheel to move the chain and take this measurement for three different segment lengths of chain. Chains stretch different amounts at different locations , and often when the chain stretches in one pin connection it results in a detectable pulsing effect. Sometimes this is misinterpreted as an engine stumble or hesitation during acceleration.

If the measured distances are less than 256.5 mm the chain is still good. When you exceed this number for any 16 link chain segment replace the chain and also the sprockets because the sprockets are worn-in to match the stretched chain and won't mate properly to a new chain.

Your chain should be frequently inspected for wear, tight joints, missing or damaged o-rings, and wear or damage to the component parts, especially the riveted master link that is often the weakest link.

2 & 3. Tensile Breaking Strength 9,000 – 10,000 lb. D.I.D., Regina, AFAM, Tsubaki, RK, EK all make/supply high end chains.

4. If you check the EK chains website and catalog you find that they recommend only a rivet-type master link for all their strongest chains but allow clip-type or screw-type links for the less powerful bike applications that use lower tensile strength chains. Rivet-type links will have the same strength as the other machine-made links if peened over properly.

The concern is that the master link connection is not machine assembled and consequently is often weaker, mainly because of the lack of consistent quality assembly by the owner or cycle shop employee.

This is the same position taken by the other chain manufacturers. D.I.D., for example, only supplies clip-type links with their low-end series chains for use on lower-power, lower-weight bikes. They are not supplied (nor recommended) for their premium superbike and racing chains.

To be fair, you'll find plenty of people who have run chains with the non-riveted links with no ill effects. They don't fail easily or often, but they're not totally fail-proof either. So I guess it's debatable as to what to do.

But keep in mind that if a failed chain simply exited off the rear of the bike every time then, I guess, it's no big deal. However, often when a chain breaks the financial consequences can include penetration of the engine casing, bending the transmission output shaft, damage to the clutch slave and clutch push rod, the shifting spindle, rear wheel hugger, and the left exhaust can. It's been shown that (on some bikes) the chain wedges between the drive sprocket and the engine casing so as to stop the engine so quickly it can bend the crank.

From a rider safety point-of-view, a chain link failure, when it causes rear wheel lock-up, especially when leaned over in a corner, can be quite upsetting.

Considering what's at stake, it's hard to justify using anything but a riveted link.

Chain Riveting Tools

I have mixed feelings about any suggestions that a backyard mechanic should assemble a drive chain by hand-peening the master link.

If you don’t want to invest in the proper tool, then temporarily install a clip-style master link and then ride down to a local shop to have them press-on the rivet master link. That way, you won't have to worry about pinching the chain too tight or splitting the rivet head.

There’s a lot of cheap tools on the market that won’t last. The only tool I can recommend using is the $139 Motion Pro Jumbo Chain Tool.

Jumbo Chain Tool | Motion Pro

The instructions for its use can be downloaded at:
Motion Pro

the video here:
Motion Pro
 

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hey

just to post some info on weight savings on 520 as i ve done the swap

chain:

525 1930gr
520 1700gr

rear spocket:

525 stock 1130gr
520 afam aluminum 440gr

front sprocket is the same, perhaps the drilled is 10-20 grams less

yes the afam is a whopping 700grams lighter and with 520 chain you lose aroung 1 kilo. i suppose the 525 sprocket is also a lot lighter than stock
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the info Shazaam and others! That's exactly the tool I was planning on using. I guess I'll just get a new chain that has plenty of links and be done with it.

Fuzion, personally I don't refer to 700 grams as "whopping". I'd rather take a big dump in the morning and I'll be pretty close to that (yeah yeah I know rotating mass is more important :D). Shazaam is absolutely right about all the things that could go wrong when a chain fails. I've heard of some cases like that and it's not pretty. I've also seen lightweight sprockets break which is why the AFAM ones I got recently are all steel, not aluminum. The risk of failure is just not worth it to me, which is why I asked about what's recommended. The weight savings from chain and sprockets will not make me faster by any significant amount, so I'd rather go on the safe side. I've seen some chains (120 links) go for like $45 of brands I've never heard of which seemed pretty sketchy considering DID chains are 3-4 times that! Most brands seem to give you tensile strength specs, so I just wanted to know the rating that I should be looking for.
 

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A lot of good info there Rub. As to chain brand, I have developed faith in DID as a good product over many years on many bikes. A safe choice.

I also agree with the rivet link idea, as previously discussed.. An 1198 given any sort of harsh treatment - you know, the sort any of us would dole out when it gets a bit close and exciting on the track - places a high demand on the chain. Decelerating as well as accelerating..

I also stuck with the 525 chain, as it needs less adjustment (almost none) compared to the 520. And of course has a higher load rating. 520 is still a trailbike size to me.

The rivet process is not all that simple, even with a good tool. It requires some experience and feel to get right. As mentioned above - the right balance between strong riveting and adequate O-ring clearance.

And yes, as [email protected] said - new links inserted in a used chain is not a good idea. It will cause wear and may vibrate.

Thanks Fuzion for the weights - something of a fascination for me. The DP alloy rear sprocket in 525 isn't quite as light as the 520, but saves over 600g on its own.

The drilled fronts only save about 30g from memory, depending on which one you get. TPO make a Ti retaining nut for the front which saves a bit more. (And of course more can be saved with the AEM Ti rear sprocket studs).

I hope you can find gearing which works with your tyre and longer chain. I'm sure you will enjoy the increased weight on the front wheel. I did.

And be sure to get your exact ride height before you change the tyre or move that rear eccentric. The larger section tyre and longer chain will change a lot of your set-up dimensions.

Good luck with it.
 

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Thanks for the info Shazaam and others! That's exactly the tool I was planning on using. I guess I'll just get a new chain that has plenty of links and be done with it.

Fuzion, personally I don't refer to 700 grams as "whopping". I'd rather take a big dump in the morning and I'll be pretty close to that (yeah yeah I know rotating mass is more important :D). Shazaam is absolutely right about all the things that could go wrong when a chain fails. I've heard of some cases like that and it's not pretty. I've also seen lightweight sprockets break which is why the AFAM ones I got recently are all steel, not aluminum. The risk of failure is just not worth it to me, which is why I asked about what's recommended. The weight savings from chain and sprockets will not make me faster by any significant amount, so I'd rather go on the safe side. I've seen some chains (120 links) go for like $45 of brands I've never heard of which seemed pretty sketchy considering DID chains are 3-4 times that! Most brands seem to give you tensile strength specs, so I just wanted to know the rating that I should be looking for.
You posted while I was typing.. :)

Yes - you don't want to break a chain. Take all reasonable steps to prevent that!

No need to be nervous about a good quality aluminium sprocket. They wear quicker than steel, obviously, but the weight-saving is worth it. I just replace all three (chain and two sprockets) all at once. But they won't break. Especially with the deep section of the 1X98 sprocket.

As to the "good dump"? Of course I've had that comment more times than I care to remember (usually from folk who weigh a lot more than I do!) with my weight-saving obsession.

But a rear sprocket is not only rotating mass, but also unsprung mass. Definitely worth reducing. And yes, 700g is "whopping" when it comes off your wheel. (My horrendously expensive CMC brake rotors were actually more about unsprung weight than braking).

You might be able to exchange your heavy steel sprocket for an alloy? I highly recommend considering this.

But be aware that extending the chain length severely limits your choice of sprockets and gearing. You may be able to get away with 15/40 with a new chain (if you don't run too much rear ride height) but may have to go to 15/41 to get the slack out of your chain adjustment.

Just in case you're not across this, once you extend your chain there are very few choices in gearing where you are able to get correct chain adjustment. Worth getting that bit sorted before purchasing the sprocket..

Unless you go to the 15mm longer swing-arm of course. (That was dearer than the rotors..)!

:naughty:
 

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Very hard to find the proper master link...
I been used Drive system (Brian) owner of DID chains in US, his number 714-650-0432, you can get master link for 525 or 520 at $6.50ea, I don't know if the price going up or not
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
What, no input on this from Tye?
Shhh!!! Don't fuck with something that's not broken! :p...don't even mention it in this case! haha


Pat, thanks for your input. Just to give you an idea, I'm running 14/37 at the moment, and I haven't taken the sprocket carrier off yet to get a clear view of the eccentric, but I'm betting I'm almost as far back as it goes. The tire I have on now clears the swing arm by about 13 mm as it stands (give or take 1...rough measurement). The new tire that I'll put on will be 15 mm bigger in OD, which means it will be 7.5 mm closer to the swingarm, reducing that distance to about 5-6 mm. I may get away with that, but I'm worried that once it's hot and at high speed it might rub, so I'm thinking that getting a new chain with 100 links will be a good back up plan.

Unfortunately, all of this change will occur track-side in the paddock. One of my friends that will also be racing with me that weekend has that Motion Pro chain tool, so he's done this before, so I'm hoping he'll be able to help me out and rivet the chain the right way (I've never done it before, but I'm always willing to learn). Of course, this is all assuming that I have room left for the eccentric to go back...if it's as far back already, then I'm pretty much screwed and all of this is pointless anyway :(

I'll find out more this evening after work when I get home and take the sprocket side off to get a good look at the eccentric and also to look more closely at the chain and measure it like Shazaam mentioned.

EDIT: also, regarding the weight savings, I get you point. But a big part of it for me at the moment is cost. This is not something that was planned so I'd rather not spend hundreds of $ now and then I may find that I don't even like the 200 Michelin and will switch back. Plus, I don't even have 1000 miles on my 37T sprocket and my 38 and 39 are pretty much new. Reducing unsprung weight and rotating mass would be great, but it's costly...and when I see guys out on track that are running some bone stock bike that's slower than mine and they're lapping 5 seconds faster....that's when I realize a few hundred grams of any mass isn't going to make up that difference. The main difference I need to make at this point is in regards to the right hand ;)
 
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What, no input on this from Tye?
Naa, we've had the "chain and sprockets" discussion before and I think it was one of the most destructive threads on the forum. Also, people don't want to know the lightest and best solution for racing, they're only focused on safety.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Don't bite. Fight the temptation.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok, so first off, I went and measured the chain per Shazaam's described method. It measured at about 254.5 mm, so just barely any stretch from nominal, and still well in the "good" according to that.

Took the sprocket and carrier off and saw my eccentric is about in the 4-5 o'clock position as seen in the picture. Also it doesn't seem to want to go any further. Not sure why, I don't see anything that's in the way :confused: I've heard people mention something about machining some bolt or something from the rear brake caliper to allow for some more clearance, but can't remember details. Like I said, as far as I can tell nothing is obstructing anything.

Not sure that I'd get much clearance even if I got it to 3 o'clock, maybe 2-3 more mm. Any thoughts? Right now, I'm contemplating to just put everything back together the way it was and HOPE for the best, that when I put the 200 rear on it won't rub at 160 mph :ahhh:
 

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