Even a child knows that without a chain you can't run a motorcycle. The chain is one of the essential parts of any ride. Chainsaw, bicycle, bike, etc. all need a chain to go farther.
So when it comes to motorcycle chains, there is a quite a variety of different sizes. All the numbers that go along with those sizes might be little confusing and tricky to understand. So today we are going to pick away at that and see if we can make some sense out of it.
You need to measure a chain before selecting. One way is that you can take a bearing and measure it with the string. You might see a little bit of side play in some cases.
There are some measures of chain below:
This whole chart is based on inches. So when you ride around on your motorcycle, and you are looking for a brand new chain and sprockets.
Then you look for an example 520 string. You might say well that number started off based on inches. That's how they came up with those numbers to 525, 530 and all that.
So if you look at the list on the left under the chain size, those three-digit numbers they all start with a four, five or six that the first number is the reference to what pitch that chain has.
In 520 chain we are just going to take the five, but before we can do anything, we have to understand what they did.
They took one-inch divide it into eight equal parts. So that's one-eighth of an inch each increment. That 520 chain they are using five to reference the pitch. So we are going to take an eighth of an inch.
We are going to times it by 5. So one to five that puts us at five eights of an inch. That is the pitch. So the first number refers to the ball. See if you focus on the last one is 630.
So then I take six increments one to six and that puts me at three-quarters of an inch. That is the desired pitch on that the 630 chain. If you are replacing motorcycle chain, then this chart is going to be very much helpful. Always remember that sprockets still have to match the chain.
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Let's Get Started
So when I was 12 I had a Honda XL 75. I am going to guess that the bike had probably like 8 horsepower or something. So really low power but I rode that bike so much that in one summer I completely wore out a set of chain sprockets on the bike.
So I replaced it by myself but I do not know what to do with the broken chain. So my dad showed me how to split the broken remaining chain. We did not have any fancy and unusual tools back in that day.
We were not that much rich, to be honest. I still do not have a chain splitter. This article is about what I learned back when I was 12 and I am going to reveal it to you all.
Things You Will Need:
- Piece of wood or metal to hold it up
- New link.
- Safety Goggles and gloves
Grab a marker (yellow or green would be very much perfect for it, make sure that it is a permanent marker so that it will not wash away) and then mark on the chain where you want to split.
Remember that this one is important because wrong after opening chain off the sprockets it will be very much hard to recognize the part where you want to split your chain. So do not do the wrong one.
Grab a pair of a good link from the nearest supermart. Make sure that you have the right one (not bicycle one of course).
If you damage a little bit the damaged link it is okay. Because you have no use for it. You have to grind off these rivets, and have to grind them off. If you do not do that, then it is going to be next too impossible to knock that link apart.
You have to make sure you have worn safety goggles and dress before grinding that off . Otherwise you might harm yourself following my instruction.
Put the chain on a flat surface (not on the wood because the sparks of grinding may cause a fire). You need to hold the chain tightly. If you do not, you might harm yourself and chain might go attack your face.
After that grind the links of chain where you marked it. Grind them so well that it becomes flat as earth (sarcasm). I assume rivets are gone after grinding on the top where you have to hold your chain.
You need to use a punch to knock that pin out of there. It is essential to use a puncher that has a smaller diameter than the pin that's in the chain.
You just need to prop chain up right beside that link so that you can successfully get that link started hammering it out of there. You need to estimate where that pin is going to be because after grinding it is hard to recognize the pin position.
It is usually in the right of the middle of the chain. After estimating the location of the chain uses a hammer to get the link out. You need to go from side to side.
Then you can really see it starting to move after hammering. After that, you will see links are going apart from the chain. Remove the links and voila, you have removed your chain links.
Another way is that you can use a bolt (big bolt is helpful). Take one or two of them. Grind the plates of the chain where you want to remove the chain and then place the grinned part on the bolt.
Hammer on the link (you need to estimate the position of the links again). After that, you will be able to remove the chain quickly.
What if you had tool?
With the tool, the workflow of removing, repairing chain gets easier than not having a tool. Must be mentioned because those are pretty handy and easy to carry. The name of that tool is chain tool (pretty obvious, isn't it?). This tool can repair any chain.
A chain tool is tiny mechanical apparatus used to break a motorcycle chain. It breaks it in a way that it can be joined with the same machine.
Chain have plates and links which are pinned each other. These pins of chain can be pop out with the chain tool. With the help of the toolchains can be removed partially or entirely.
It entirely depends on the user. Usually chain tool has two different positions. In those positions a user can insert a chain perpendicular to the tool which are
- Near to flexible screw position
- Lower down above the end
In every position, there are protruding tabs. One of those goes into the middle of the link. And other one fits into the middle of the next link.
The pin of chain is gripped in the center of the chain tool while the chain was properly in place. In this place the tip of the screw can push on the end of the pin.
Chain tools are designed for flat plated link chain, well most of them. For those who have complicated design and architecture, there are some specialized tools available on the market which can fasten the workflow of repairing chain.
An accident can occur anytime anywhere. The chain may collapse. It may make of steel, but it is not made of durable metal. So having a tool around is pretty much useful.
Because it is small and handy. The chain tool is easy to use and takes less energy, time and money. However, sometimes it is hard to get one, or you find yourself in an awkward place where you can not access it.
Then only then removing the chain links of a motorbike without tools helps a lot.
It needs fundamental tools and your experience of using a hammer as well as a grinder. If you are not good with grinder or hammer, then it is recommended not to use it and use an expert to do your work.
Sometimes these experts cost more than expectation (at an early age I have faced it too). So doing all the stuff by yourself saves money. You gather new experience at every step of doing work.