Need to replace my chain... should I get oem endless or aftermarket master link? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Need to replace my chain... should I get oem endless or aftermarket master link?

I bought my used 500 with 14,500 miles and have put 2000 miles on it during the summer/fall. The chain is stretched (continuing have to adjust) and shear marks on the side.. so it's life is used up.
So what have you guys replaced with ... oem endless (I like the idea but the $$$ is alot $ 285+) or master link chain (if so what brand)?

(i know i will get sprokets as well )

2003 Vulcan 500 Ltd
19,000 miles and climbing
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 05:03 PM
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I'll need to raplace mine soon, as well. My gut instinct would tell me to use the OEM, but that price does kind of turn me off. I guess what it comes down to is do you want to risk your chain breaking at 75mph in rush hour traffic? I'm still quite new to this, so I'll be watching for some other opinions. Thanks for asking the question!
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 05:50 PM
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I have used quality aftermarket chains ever since the original one got too noisy. Regina & Tsubaki have been the mainstay. Yes they do have a master link but so far none have failed. I have however had a couple of master link clips disappear so you might want to consider safety-wire instead. 520-110 links. New sprockets might also be in order so inspect them before replacing the chain.

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 06:23 PM
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If you use a chain with a master link,make sure that the safety clip is installed with the closed end toward the way of rotation.

If at first you do succeed,try not to look surprised!
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Good info .... Thanks to all of you

I thought I had read in another thread on the 500 forum (but now I can't find it...) that a member had used the EK 520 chain with the screw type master link so you didn't need a riveting tool (or whatever special tool is needed)...... here is the EK link http://www.ekchain.com/access.htm

They "say" its as good as a rivet master link..... hhhmmm.

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19,000 miles and climbing

Last edited by Rick in NC; 10-19-2011 at 07:39 PM.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 07:14 PM
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Last edited by 500hopeful; 07-01-2012 at 08:43 AM.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 500hopeful View Post
BikerBill,
Can you elaborate on how safety wire is used on a chain master link.
Sorry, I just haven't been able to visualize how this would be done.
Interesting idea for sure.
Here are some pics of how it was done.
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--
'Biker' Bill
'97 EN500LTD 'Hidalgo'
175,000+ miles so far
VROC #3833
IronButt #6024
Levelland, TX

SlipStreamer Enterprise II, Vista Cruise,
Fiamm air horns, Cobra Spots, Drifter solo seat,
Pro-Tac backrest, 17/42 sprockets, Darkside rear,
ScottOiler, F&S luggage rack ,Throttle Rocker,
Viking bags, Victory Vegas handlebars,
Kuryakyn grips, LED & HID lighting,
4-gal AUX fuel tank

http://bikerbillsvulcan500rebuild.shutterfly.com/
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 08:34 PM
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On my crotch rocket I use the rivet-style master links you flare out with special tool. It's not going anywhere, and the only one I trust beyond OEM endless which is PITA to replace.

This is not my picture but it's the same deal, except mine's on a 530 (DID X-ring) chain.

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Last edited by whoaru99; 10-19-2011 at 08:44 PM.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 08:35 PM
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On the better chains a riveted link is the norm. I did my first riveted link with this new chain (RK's "RX-Ring chain") and found it not too bad.

If it were a dirt-bike I'd probably want a master-clip style link, but it's a street-bike with an oiling system, so although it looks dirty there really isn't any amount of build-up as the constant oiling flings off dirt (and oil).

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 10:01 PM
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My opinion is.....

If you're not replacing the sprockets, get a like $30 cheap chain with a clip-on master link. You won't get near as many miles out of it as a nice chain, but you don't want the old sprockets shortening the life of that expensive chain either.

Then when the sprockets are worn out, splurge and put a nice O-ring chain on it when you replace the sprockets.

I've never had a problem with clip-type master links. I think I'd probably want a staked one on a crotch rocket... but for cruising around at 10 mph over the speed limit, I think a clip-link is just fine.
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