Motorcycles represent a special breed of vehicles that are a load of fun to ride, that give you ultimate freedom on the road, but which also require you to own and wear special safety equipment at all times. Therefore, it makes sense that you should ensure you get the best motorcycle chain on the market.
While motorcycle gloves, goggles, and other pieces of apparel are a must, and wearing them goes without saying, you shouldn’t forget about taking good care of the machine itself.
One of the most important parts of a motorcycle would be the chain.
No matter how powerful your engine is, or how tough and rugged your tires are, if your chain breaks out there on the road, all of your other equipment will be pretty much useless.
For this reason, we’ve decided to prepare for you an article that will talk about motorcycle chain, in particular. Down below, you will find some of the toughest, most durable motorcycle chains currently on the market, so you don’t have to worry about a broken bike chain in the middle of nowhere.
Our 3 Favorite Motorcycle Chain
Top 5 Best Motorcycle Chain Reviews- 2021
So, which are the best motorcycle chains? Consider the following:
1. RK Racing Chain 520-SO-120 120-Links O-Ring Chain with Connecting Link
For the passionate motorcycle riders, don’t leave your ride unprotected! The RK Racing Chain 520-SO-120 is perfect for your bike because it’s durable and lightweight. It can be used in all sorts of riding conditions without any issues, so you’ll never have to worry about getting stranded! It’s also both strong and flexible which protects the o ring chains from damage during any activity. Whether it’s summer or winter, this high quality and durable product will keep you racing all year round.
- The best thing about this chain is that it’s affordable and has a lot of advanced features.
- It is pre-stressed, meaning it will provide you with maximum performance
- The pre-stretching also ensures a longer lifespan, which saves you money in the long run.
- It comes with a clip style master link. This type of connecting master link is more convenient to connect and disconnect compared to some other types.
- The tensile strength is 7700 lbs/ft
- Some users report reliability issues with this chain
2. RK Racing Chain GB520XSO-114 114-Links Gold X-Ring Chain with Connecting Link
RK Racing Chain is the producer of chains that must be seen to believe. With their latest GBXSO models, they have outdone themselves once again by creating a revolutionary chain with superior features and capabilities not found in any other product on the market today. The durable chain is made from durable steel to stand up to 8500 pounds per feet tensile strength for long lasting durability. This new chain model also has two lubrication pools which help keep it running smooth even when you’re really putting in some miles! They are available in 114-Links so that every rider can get exactly what he needs no matter his size.
- The RK racing chain 114-Iinks gold X-ring motorcycle chain comes with: 8,500 lb/ft tensile strength
- It carries a brand name that has a reputation for a high-quality chain
- It is available in the 530, 525, and 520 options
- The riveting master link is very useful in emergencies. It allows you to fix a broken chain at any time and continue riding without the need for an expensive motorcycle chain replacement.
- The chain is made of the highest quality materials. It’s no wonder why this durable and long-lasting product has become a customer favorite.
- Isn’t it a nice feeling when you can tell that something is going to last? I like the way this chain feels because it doesn’t stretch easily.
- It is quite pricey
3. RK Racing Chain 530XSOZ1-112 112-Links X-Ring Chain with Connecting Link
RK Racing Chain GB530XSOZ1-112 112-Links Gold X Ring Chain with Connecting Link, made in Japan. Gold motorcycle chains are always a perfect color for the season and we are pleased to offer you our upgraded racing bike chain, which features an X-ring that ensures smoother shifting. This durable and reliable racing bike accessory is perfect for your demanding cycling needs! Shipping weight of 4.6 lbs with a product dimension of 2.794 cm (H) x 25.907 cm (L) x 12.192 cm (W). This motorcycle chain has been designed to drive your bike with the least amount of friction.
This awesome motorcycle chain is perfect for a rider looking to have their engine running as smoothly and efficiently as possible!
- This motorcycle chain weighs at 5 pounds, and that’s a pretty good weight.
- Riders like this motorcycle chain because it will last you for so long, and I’m not just saying that. This will last for over 20,000 miles comfortably.
- This motorcycle chain is quite durable and thick, which helps to provide extra support to your bike.
- It has been designed to minimize friction as much as possible
- This is an excellent chain for the money. It’s better than most of its competitors in terms of prices.
- It delivers increased durability and better performance than most of the other chains
- With it, you get tensile strength in the 9500 pounds/ft
- The manufacturer has included a rivet-type master link with each chain
- However, it isn’t the best chain out there on account of the fact that there are cheaper chains in the market
4. JT Sprockets (JTC525X1R120RL) Steel 120-Link 525 X1R Heavy Duty X-Ring Drive Chain
The JT X1R heavy duty motorcycle chain is one of the best motorcycle chains which meets the durability requirements of all types of motorcycles, from street bikes to ATV with a high power transfer. This tempered steel chain is 10.22 mm in diameter and 22.6 mm long, with an inner plate thickness of 2.2 mm and outer layer at 2.2mm thick each for a total weight per 100 links to be 4 pounds 17 ounces and 8930 lbf tensile strength on average Manufactured using leading edge technology and with only the highest grade of special steel alloys, JT advanced power transfer chains meet or exceed the requirements of all modern motorcycles, street bikes, MX, enduro, off-road, and ATV. The black steel is durable and tough on both dirt or pavement for any type ride you’re looking at taking. For large-scale performance under extreme conditions, this chains has what it takes!
- This motorcycle chain is quite affordable; it’s not expensive at all.
- Since this was designed as heavy duty motorcycle chains, it’s able to deliver excellent performance. In fact, the chains are strong enough for any type of terrain and weather condition because they’re made from a special alloy.
- This motorcycle chain JT x-rings are low friction, meaning they’re easier to use and more durable than other chains.
- It is made of high-quality steel alloys, which provide tensile strengths upward of 8,900 lbs/ft
- It also comes with a rivet-type master link
- There’s only the 120 links version, meaning you might have to remove a couple of links
5. Unibear® O-Ring 530 130Links Motorcycle Chain,GOLD, With 1 Connecting Link, Japan Technology
The Unibear O-Ring 530 130 Links Motorcycle Chain is the last thing you’ll need to get for your motorcycle. This brand new chain will keep everything running smoothly, and it’s made of high quality materials that are built to last! The chain connects at one point, has an average tensile strength of 10000 pounds and can be used on any motorized vehicle with the correct size pitch (5/8 inches). The latest technology of Japan has created a way to ensure that you are getting the best quality roller chains for your motorcycle. They always strive for our customers’ satisfaction, so these products were designed with their needs in mind.
- If you need something affordable, consider investing in the Unibear O ring chain
- It delivers tensile strength of more than 9,400 lbs/ft
- This motorcycle chain is made with durable steel links that will withstand wear from the engine and road. The durability of this bike makes it a great choice for anyone looking to buy something they can rely on.
- At close to 6 pounds, it ranks among the heaviest chains you will come across
- This motorcycle chain is so tough that it could last you more than 15,000 miles without any problem at all.
- There’s only the 130 links version meaning you might need to get rid of some of the links
Function Of The Motorcycle Chain
Therefore, you need to keep the chain in good condition until it proves problematic. When this happens, swap it almost immediately for a new one from any of the best motorcycle chains reviewed below.
Types Of Motorcycle Chain For 2021:
There are different brands producing bike chain out there. In general, however, all of these chains fall into these categories:
Heavy Duty (Standard Chain)
Old in style, heavy duty motorcycle chains have no ring in between the inner and the outer side plates. As such, they are typically lightweight and relatively affordable to produce. However, it is hard coming across these types of chain on a modern motorcycle. If you ever do, then it will most likely be on low hp or off-road use bikes.
O Ring Chain
O ring motorcycle chain sits smack between the chain’s side plates. This means that they create far less friction in comparison to metal-on-metal. They achieve this by pooling lubrication right next to the inner plate.
By so doing, the life of the chain is significantly prolonged especially in comparison to the standard chain. Therefore, you can easily expect to get 12,000 to 18,000 miles out of a motorcycle O ring chain that’s well maintained.
X Ring Chain
The last among the motorcycle chains types, x ring chain are a more modern variant of the O ring motorcycle chain. They use the typically X-shaped piece of rubber in between the bike’s side plates. Manufacturers suggest that this type of design enables the chain to hold onto lubrication better while delivering more than 40% life to the chain.
The reason behind this unusual design is that X ring chains are unlike their circular O ring chain counterparts. This is in the sense that they come with multiple pools of lubrication and points of contact with the side plate.
In general, however, X-plates tend to cost more than O ring chains. That said, they are becoming more common and quite affordable with each passing month.
What To Look Out For In A Motorcycle Chain
With regards to investing in a chain, consider the chain type, the ring type, and the total number of links.
1. Type Of Chain
In general, you’ll typically have to make a choice between 530 and 520 motorcycle chains. Most chains you will see will have a 530 or a 520 number embedded. This number denotes a measurement of the chain’s size.
The first number, which is almost always a 5 these days, denotes the length of the pitch right in between the pins. As such, this number is used to show buyers how big the links on the chain are. Some time back, chains started with a four but this is no longer the case.
The second number, on the other hand, denotes the total width of the chain pins.
This means that you get more thickness with a 530 chain than with its 520 counterparts. However, if the sprockets are changed, then you can use both of these types of chains interchangeably.
2. Type Of Ring
There are three types of rings on motorcycle chains: x-ring, non-o rings, and o rings. The oldest are the non-o rings that are quite in vogue at the moment.
After they had stopped being the standard, the non-O ring motorcycle chain was replaced by the o ring design motorcycle chain. This type of ring is expensive to produce but is typically better sealed against dirt and best for dirt bike as well as being a whole lot tougher.
The last type of ring is the X-ring which is even pricier. This ring type is, however, quite durable and will cause less friction on your bike’s chain. Less friction, in this case, almost always leads to better performance.
3. Chain Links Requirements
Last but not least, you might want to understand how many chain links your motorcycle needs. Chains range from 80 all the way up to a maximum of 130 links. That said, most of the bikes you will come across will typically have around 110 links.
Some manufacturers of bike chain offer a wide variety of lengths while others only sell 130-link chains that you will have to deduct from to get the overall number of links you need.
However, as you modify the motorcycle chain, keep in mind that although removing the links is easy, adding extra links isn’t.
How To Maintain Your Motorcycle Chain
What you should not, however, is that the best motorcycle chain requires three main types of motorcycle chain maintenance. These include:
Use the best motorcycle chain lube to lubricating your motorcycle chain, you will ensure that the rollers and links continue working efficiently both with each other and with the sprockets they connect with. However, you need to keep in mind that chain lube will cause your chain to accumulate a buildup of grime and dirt. This is why you must always ensure you only use fresh grease every single time.
You should also adjust the motorcycle chain because it tends to stretch after spinning around the sprockets whenever you are speeding on your bike.
The only advantage you stand to gain from not adjusting and lubricating your chain every once in a while is that you can replace the sprockets and chain more often. This will, therefore, increase your bike’s mechanical capabilities.
Last but not least, remember that chains deteriorate – even with regular lubrication. To this end, you need to adjust them to make up for the stretching they undergo. That said, you should get replacement chains whenever you have a knack that your bike isn’t handling quite as well as it did when you first bought it.
So, there you have it – the best motorcycle chain you can find. Although each of these chains offers great value in one way or the other, we have a particular preference for the RK Racing Chain GB520XSO-114 114-Links Gold X-Ring Chain with Connecting Link.
The advanced X-ring design, the affordable price, and the durability of this chain deliver the kind of service that will have you speeding for miles on end without having to get a replacement chain.
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