Most people wonder if a motorcycle chain can break and what happens if it fails. A motorcycle chain can break if you forget to service it from time to time. If it breaks while riding, you will lose the driving force the engine applies to the rear wheel immediately, and it also loses power. Since a broken chain can be hectic, it is essential to know how to handle it if it breaks and prevent it from occurring again. The article will discuss how to break a motorcycle chain, the causes of a broken chain, and how you can take care of your chain.
Parts of a bike chain
A motorcycle chain is made up of four parts, namely,
- The outer plate
- The inner plate
- Rivet and
Ways you can use for breaking a chain.
Here are several ways on how to break a motorcycle chain to repair or remove it.
1. Using a chain tool
If you are using a chain tool to break your chain, you will need to follow the following four steps.
- Be sure the chain is taut.
If you are trying to break your bike chain, make sure you shift the chain to the largest front and rear sprockets. When done adjusting, shift the chain to the smallest cogs to make the chain wrap around the pulleys and make it as taut as you can.
- Locate the connecting rivets
Connecting rivets are very different from the typical rivets and can be differentiated by color or particular flaring. If you intend to break the chain, make sure it is several rivets from the connecting rivet. If you encounter trouble knowing your connecting rivets search the internet with your chain brand.
- Place the chain tool on the rivet that needs cutting
Ensure that the tool’s driving pin and the rivet are in a straight line and that they are in contact.
- Force the rivet out to break the chain
Once the driving pin and the rivet are appropriately aligned, turn the tools’ head handle using force and drive the rivet out of the front plate through the rear plate.
The method demonstrated above will make it easier for you to locate the hole when deciding to join the link. If you don’t want to repair the chain, push the rivet out using the chain tool.
2. Breaking a chain using pliers
Using pliers is another way in which you can break your motorcycle chain. The process with pliers happens in three steps.
- Move the chain so that taunts appear.
Check above as the same process has been discussed when using a chain tool.
- Search for the master link
Master links have unique side plates that have different colors from the other links. The master link has an arrow showing you the inside of the loop.
- Use the pliers to disengage the master link.
Once you have found the master link, use your pliers to squeeze until the link breaks. One head of the pliers should be the outer side of the master link, while the other should be the outer side of the opposite pin.
3. Cutting using a bolt breaker
A bolt breaker is another way you can use to break your motorcycle chain. The cutting happens in three steps.
- Adjust the cutter to match the strength of the chain
Many bolt cutters have an adjustable bolt that gives you the comfort of adjusting the breaker to the chain’s tension being broken. For bike chains, the weakest setting will suit the purpose.
- Mark where you want to cut
For your cut to be smooth and proper, you need to mark the place you need to cut. You can use a marker pen or paint.
- Align the cutter with the mark
Open the blades of the cutter and position the cutter on the marks you have made. After you have aligned the two, press the cutter, and your chain will be broken.
These are just some of the ways you can use to break a motorcycle chain using tools.
How to break a bike chain without a chain tool
If you want to break a motorcycle chain, it’s not a must; you have the proper chain tools. You need tools like a hammer and a nail.
The first thing you will do is to lay the side of the chain on a softwood. Take a nail that is of the same diameter as that of the pin in the link. After that, you need to place the nail on the pin’s center and tap sharply with the small hammer you choose. The process should not be vigorous.
When the pin starts to move, place a small nut underneath the chain, ensuring that the plug is in a central position as the middle hole. Once the pin and nut’s alignment is in place, tap cautiously, aiming to hook through the centerpiece. If you follow these simple steps, the link should snap apart.
Causes of a broken chain
Chain breaking is widespread because of so many factors. Here are some of the common ones.
Like many parts of your bike, chains can be damaged if they are hit hard either intentionally or by accident. In most cases, chains break if they are involved in a rock strike. Chains that have failed due to impact can be harder to replace or fix than a broken chain from wear. It is hard to fix an impact chain because the impact may have destroyed many chain links, while wear may have destroyed one chain link.
Many parts of a motorcycle can be destroyed by wear and tear because they are constantly being used. You cannot compare a newly purchased chain to a 3000 mile ridden chain. The comparison comes to place because a ridden motorcycle chain has a longer link than a new chain. As the chain continues to age, the chainrings and gears will wear at the same rate as the chain does.
- Lack of maintenance
If a motorcycle chain reaches a point where it breaks, it simply means that the motorcycle owner neglected taking care of the bike or assumed other bike parts were more important than the chain.
- Poor quality chains
The other reason why chains break is the lack of quality chains. If you do not know how to choose a chain for your motorcycle, seek help from a mechanic to avoid buying cheap chains that will lead to them breaking.
- Lack of lubrication
If you do not lubricate your chains often, rust can build upon them, leading them to not function well by becoming weak, which eventually leads to breaking.
- Wrong tension
Tightening a chain too much can make the links to stress, and the weakest link will likely break at a point. When the chain is loose, its possibility of coming out of alignment is very high, causing a jam.
Tips on how you can maintain your motorcycle chain
If you don’t want your chain to break, you need to take care of it as often as possible. Here are tips to get you started.
- Clean off the dirt from every ride
After every ride, take a step to clear off the dirt that might have accumulated from the ride. You can do so by wiping it down using a wet dowel or by using an air compressor.
After every wash, lubricate your chains to avoid rust from forming. Rust can occur if you don’t dry your chains well. The rusting does not only rust the chains but any movable part that likes the brakes.
- Check for tension
From the information above on tension, it is essential to regularly check on how tight or how loose your links are. If you find that the alignment is not in order, regulate them accordingly. You can do the checking at least once or twice a month.
These are just some of the tips you might find helpful as you start taking care of your bike.
As seen above, you have learned parts of a chain, ways you can break one with or without tools, and ways to take care of your bike chains if you have experience wear and tear, rust, and tension.