Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Chain and no Agony

Follow up to Chain & Agony and How to Size and Replace a Motorcycle Chain...

The whole process of breaking the chain and installing it took about half an hour this time around.  The o-ring chain I got was easy to break using the tool I picked up, and installing the new master link on the chain took only moments.  The three in one DRC Chain Tool I got (chain breaker, outer plate presser, rivet presser) was easy to use and looks good doing it.  It might be my favourite tool at the moment.

The chain-breaking tool comes with two sizes of /privet pushing bit.  The blue bit was for 500 sized chains (the Ninja's is
a 520).  You back off the big bolt and install the push pin, then use the smaller outer bolt to push the pin into the rivet on the chain. The tool automatically centres the rivet, so you're true all the way through.
The new chain was a 120 link chain, the Ninja takes 114 links, so that's 6 links off the end.  The hole in the
top is where the chain pin falls out once you've pushed it through.
Close-up of the blue chain bit .  There is a pin inside it that the outer bolt pushes through, pushing the rivet
right out of the chain.  Once the pin falls out the chain falls apart.  You end up with a clean break and two
inner chain links ready to be re-attached on the bike with a master link.
Six links of the 120 link chain removed.  One pin is pushed right out, the other was pushed
out far enough to dismantle the chain.
I installed the master link on the sprocket - it keeps everything lined up and made installation easy.  After
pressing on the side plate (gently, checking that it's in line with the other links and the chain has play in it),
the only tricky bit was installing the retaining clip, it took a few tries.  When you get it though you know for
sure because it makes a very satisfying click.
With the chain back on and lubricated, everything is tight.  The change to how the bike feels is subtle
but very satisfying.  The engine feels much more firmly connected to the back wheel now.  No sags and tight
spots like on the old chain.

I got this mighty DRC Pro chain
at Royal Distributing in

Now that I've got a handle on this and the right tools for the job, chains don't worry me any more.  This process also emphasized how surgical bike mechanics are.  I started off doing heavy equipment repair as a millwright and then did a couple of years in automotive.  Compared to that kind of work, motorcycle mechanics feel more like surgery than butchery.  Patience and a careful hand are more important than brute force.

Now more than ever I'm looking for an old bike to dismantle and rebuild to get an inside feel for how motorbikes go together.