Tech Tip: The Dos & Don'ts When Purchasing & Fitting A New Drive Chain
When it comes down to a worn or knackered drive chain there are a couple of points that one must take into consideration before purchasing a replacement
Although replacing a drive chain does appear to be straight forward, today we will cover the dos and don'ts when placing an order for a replacement drive chain
Further below you will also find tips on how to cut your new drive chain to fit your specific application
The information below can be used here on the Classic British Spares site or perhaps other sites when selecting a new chain..
Lets get started..
Selecting a chain - "The Dos"
In order to obtain the correct chain length and pitch, you will need to take the time to inspect and document what your motorcycle currently has fitted to it
Spending the extra time doing so will make your chain purchase and installation a more positive experience
Lets go over a few "Dos" which will help you in the short and long term
Obtain your year, make and model of motorcycle that will require a new drive chain
Verify how many teeth on the front and rear drive sprockets currently fitted to your machine
Verify the chain count along with the correct chain diameter (width)
Refer to a parts book or workshop manual to reference the stock chain length assuming that all parts are “correct” for your application
- Have the proper tools on hand to cut a chain to any given length
Selecting a chain - "The Don'ts"
Now that we know what to "do", lets go over "the don'ts
Do not assume which type of chain you need without consulting your motorcycle
Do not rely strictly on a parts book to tell you which chain size you need - (parts get changed over the years)
- Do not blindly purchase a chain "assuming" that it will fit from the start
Cutting chain - quick tips
Assuming that you have followed the steps above and you now have the correct chain in hand, you may find that you need to cut the chain for your specific application
If that happens to be the case, below we will cover how to cut a motorcycle drive chain
Cutting a new drive chain does require the correct tools such as a chain breaker, however if do not have a chain breaker you can use the "bench grinder, hammer and a punch method" as an alternative
The bench grinder method
- Mark the desired chain length in which you need to cut
- Grind the rivet down
- Take your hammer and punch and apply blunt force over the ground river (you will be able to see witness marks) and hammer the pin out
- Verify that you have cut the correct link (if done correctly you should have an inner link exposed NOT an outer link - see below photo for details)
Remember, safety first!
The chain breaker method
If you have a chain breaker handy this is by far the easiest, cleanest and quickest way to properly size your chain
Just like steps 1-4 above, a chain breaker tool pushes the river pin out without having to grind or hammer the pin out... easy!
When cutting drive chains it is vital to cut the correct link of chain, I have seen many mistakes when folks cut the incorrect portion of the chain...
This is where most folks "give up"
Cut the inside chain link NOT the outside (see the photo above)
On your first try you may make this simple yet confusing mistake, if you study the chain, you will find which rivet to remove or cut to expose the inside link
If you have cut the wrong link of chain it’s not the end of the world, simply cut the chain back 1 link to where the inner chain link is exposed and use a half-link to make up the difference
Your chain, your responsibility
As a parts seller there is only so much we can do to help our customers in selecting a proper chain
We cannot see through the phone nor do we “assume” what you “might” need so it is very important to follow the steps above
Chains come in “pre/cut” generic link sizes (107,110,120,etc) from our manufacture which includes Renold and KMC so be prepared to cut a chain specific for your application
Unfortunately we will not be able to cut or prepare any drive chain other than what is supplied to us from our manufacture but we would be happy to assist you
Learning how to cut a motorcycle chain is a good skill to have
Chains and tools for purchase
Should you need a new replacement chain or tools we have a large selection for most vintage Triumph, BSA and Norton motorcycles
View the chart below showcasing our current stock - click on the "click here" text to make a purchase
*All drive chains, masterlinks and half-links both Renold and Taiwan are the "narrow / thin wall" variety as OEM
|Motorcycle Chain (all sizes)||Renold (Enlgland)||Click Here|
|Masterlinks & Half-links||Renold & KMC||Click Here|
|Chain Breaker||EMGO (Taiwan)||Click Here|
Thanks for reading today
Should you have any questions about today's Tech Tip blog post or you would like to leave us a comment, please join in on the conversation below commenting below
Thanks for reading, ride safe!