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Too much chain slack between your front and rear sprocket leaves horsepower on the table. Keeping on top of chain maintenance is one way to ensure this never happens. But nobody wants to adjust their chain after each ride. You want a chain that’ll handle your bike’s power with ease and won’t stretch out too quickly. Firstly, this means getting the best motorcycle chains with the appropriate tensile strength to handle your engine’s power output. And then you’ll need to make sure you get a reliable model that won’t corrode when it gets the first whiff of wintery weather. Generally, when it comes to chains, you get what you pay for. Spring for an X-ring model with a high pitch, so you can spend less time adjusting and more time riding.
DID 525VX3 X-Ring Chain
- Suitable for 1,000cc motorcycles
- High tensile strength
- Not the cheapest 525 chain
Unibear 530 Gold Motorcycle O-Ring Chain
- Fantastic value
- 10,000 lbs of tensile strength
- Comes pre-greased
- Gold finish
- O-ring rather than X-ring
EK Chain 530 Z 3D Chain
- Highest tensile strength
- Weight-reducing cutouts
- QX2-rings have great wear resistance
- Rivet-style master link
- High price point
Best Motorcycle Chains: Reviews & Recommendations
Our Verdict on the Best Motorcycle Chains
If you are looking for a reliable chain that's made for mid-to-high capacity machines, I recommend the D.I.D X-Ring 525VX3 X-Ring Chain.
For a more pocket-friendly option, consider the Unibear 530 Gold Motorcycle O-Ring Chain.
Q: Can you replace a 520 pitch with a 530 pitch chain?
A: 520 pitch and sprocket combinations can only be replaced with other 520 pitch combinations. A 530 pitch used in place of a 520 chain can cause mechanical issues and accidents.
Q: How long do motorcycle chains last?
A: The lifespan of a motorcycle chain depends on the user, weather conditions, and its quality. A high-quality motorcycle chain can give you months of service if you don't subject it to high impacts.
Q: How do I know when I should replace my motorcycle chain?
A: Mechanical mishaps can spell doom if you aren’t attentive to your motorcycle’s needs. Whenever you notice a drop in performance, consider looking at the state of your chain. The sprocket might have eaten away at your chain’s link, so regular maintenance is key.
Q: What is slack?
A: Slack is the degree at which your motorcycle chain hangs. It is normal for slack to increase, especially after substantial mileage. Retightening your chain ensures it is tight enough to transmit full power.
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