Top Best Motorcycle Chains – Our Analysis & Guide
Finding the best motorcycle chain means making sure your bike works properly so that you enjoy a good power transmission and thus keep your safety high when riding. Considering the many motorcycle chains for sale and identifying the best product for your needs might prove to be a daunting task. To simplify your decision-making process, we have examined some of the most appreciated products in this line and we have concluded that the RK Racing Chain 520-SO-120 is the first option to keep in mind. The product uses special heat-treated hi-carbon steel components and comes with solid rollers and bushings which further ensure durability and high-performance. The chain will help you get a better power transmission and can be used for both street and off-road motorcycling. In case you can’t find this item, a reliable alternative in terms of quality and performance is the D.I.D. 520VX2GB-110.
These new motorcycle chains are pre-stressed to provide maximum performance in all terrain and weather conditions. They are pre-stretched to last you a long time and feature a classic O-ring design with clip-type master links. The product is made of heat-treated hi-carbon steel components and comes with solid rollers and bushings.
The pins in the master link on this product had to be clamped back in, making the entire changing process difficult.
Designed to last you a long time, these chains are perfect for bikers who prefer riding off-road or during the cold season. They are the preferred accessories for various world champions.
Keep a touch of elegance with these golden chains from DID. The greater rigidity of the new VX2 series provides smoother handling and quicker response, reducing power loss. It works with engines up to 750cc with a total tensile strength of 8210 lbs. The chain can be used in all terrain conditions and is delivered with a master link included.
This chain comes with 110 links, which might be a bit short for some bike setups. Check your motorcycle manual before ordering.
This product will match most brands of motorcycles and, thanks to the master link included, you can easily swap chains for dirt and street wheels but you will need help from a mechanic to install it.
Also To Consider
Created to meet the needs of both street and dirt bikes, this chain will keep your performance at a high level while delivering durability and quality at the same time. The RX Ring seal design comes with two lubrication pools and seal points, as opposed to the other popular version, the O-ring chain. It is perfect for Harley-Davidson bikes.
Keep in mind that it comes with a riveted master link so it needs to be pressed together. A more convenient style would be a clip one.
Designed to meet the needs of powerful Harley-Davidson motorcycles, this chain will work on all types of terrains, including concrete and off-road. It is easy to install and extremely durable.
10 Best Motorcycle Chains (Reviews) in 2021
The chain you use counts a lot when it comes to your bike’s overall performance. That’s why utmost attention must be paid when choosing the one to perfectly suit your needs. In order to make the whole process easier, we have compiled a list of motorcycle chain reviews to get you one step closer to making an informed decision.
- 1. RK Racing Chain 520-SO-120 120-Links O-Ring Chain
- 2. DID 520VX2GB-110 Gold X-Ring Chain
- 3. RK Racing Chain 530XSOZ1-110 110-Links X-Ring Chain
- 4. DID 520ERV3-120 Gold Chain
- 5. RK Racing Chain M420-110 420 Series Chain
- 6. DID 520VX2GB-120 Gold X-Ring Chain
- 7. DID 520VX2-120 X-Ring Chain
- 8. DID 520VX2-106 X-Ring Chain
- 9. Volar 530 x 150 Links O-Ring Motorcycle Chai
- 10. Renthal C241 R1 Works 420-Pitch Chain
- This Year’s Buying Guide
1. RK Racing Chain 520-SO-120 120-Links O-Ring Chain
A good motorcycle chain will get you the best power transmission as well as a smooth performance. The first model to consider when looking for such a product is the 520-SO-120 from RK Racing Chain. The chain is committed to ensure durability, increase your performance, and keep your motorcycle working properly.
Just like all the RK Motocross chains, this model utilizes heat-treated hi-carbon steel components and features solid rollers and bushings. Given such features, the chain is built to last and face long-term use. By offering a better power transmission thanks to the flat contact patch that holds the lubrication in place, the item will add to your performance.
With an average tensile strength of 7,700lbs, the chain is designed to handle the high horsepower ratings of today’s bikes ensuring eight times the wear of a standard chain and three times the wear of a non-O-ring chain.
Buy from Amazon.com
2. DID 520VX2GB-110 Gold X-Ring Chain
Another option you might want to bear in mind when looking for a new chain for your motorcycle is the 520VX2GB-110 from D.I.D. The product was not only designed to boost your performance by increasing the power transmission but it was also created to last and keep up with long-term use.
The rigidity of the VX2 series ensures a quicker response as well as smoother handling. Moreover, it reduces power loss and thus helps the rider enjoy a higher performance. The construction is committed to keeping dirt out and lubrication in place. It will thus withstand the horsepower of modern bikes.
With an 8210 lbs tensile strength, this model was built to provide 35 times the wear of a standard chain used under the same conditions. Most customers who tried this chain have offered positive feedback appreciating the product for its overall quality and strength.
Buy from Amazon.com
3. RK Racing Chain 530XSOZ1-110 110-Links X-Ring Chain
If you’re looking for a chain to match your street or dirt bike needs, a model you might want to check is the 530XSOZ1-110 from RK Racing Chain. Built with one thing in mind, to keep your performance at a high level, this chain also offers durability and quality that will allow you to use it extensively.
Measuring 11.6 x 4.7 x 1.2 inches, the chain has 110 links and comes with a rivet type master link. The “RX-Ring” seal design includes two lubrication pools and seal points, unlike the regular O-ring chain that has a single seal point/pool design. This means it can withstand the great horsepower of today’s bikes.
It also goes well with Harley models and the tensile strength provided is 9500 pounds per feet. The product has gathered positive feedback, the customers who tried it saying it fits right and it delivers extended durability.
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4. DID 520ERV3-120 Gold Chain
Another model from D.I.D. you might want to check before making a decision is the 520ERV3-120 Gold Chain. The product comes with the connecting link and is committed to providing half the friction of the O-ring chain. Ideal for off-road and road racing, this model is worth considering when looking for a quality and durable chain.
Extended life is one of the main features you get to enjoy with this chain. The product was designed to ensure a wear life that is 31 times longer than that of a standard chain used under similar conditions. Therefore, if you spend lots of your free time conquering miles with your bike, this chain might be the one you want.
The four contact points of the X-ring increase the sealing performance. This will further help your overall experience by keeping dirt and mud out and retaining lubrication better. Plus, friction is reduced thanks to the X-ring construction.
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5. RK Racing Chain M420-110 420 Series Chain
If achieving a greater performance with a durable chain is what you have in mind, another product you might want to consider is the M420-110 from RK Racing Chain. Built to last and keep up with extended use, this model is part of the motorcycle accessories your bike needs to give its best.
Made of quality steel that ensures durability and great wear resistance, the chain features two-point riveted pins and curled bushings. The product is pre-stressed and pre-stretched to ensure a better performance promising to outperform most heavy-duty chains available for sale.
With a tensile strength of 4200 pounds and a weight in pounds per 100 links of 1.6 pounds, the chain comes with a master link. The customers who bought and used the product have appreciated its overall quality, many of them considering it ideal for custom applications. Since the chain comes oiled, rust and breaks are prevented.
Buy from Amazon.com
6. DID 520VX2GB-120 Gold X-Ring Chain
Considering the fact that the chain you use will significantly affect the way your bike works, you need to get one that will ensure a better power transmission and thus enhance your motorcycle performance. A product that is committed to helping you enjoy that is the 520VX2GB-120 from D.I.D.
Built to resist the wear and tear of extended riding, this item is a must-check before making a decision. Thanks to the increased rigidity of the VX2 series, this chain ensures quicker response as well as smoother handling. Moreover, it reduces power loss, which translates into a performance incentive.
Featuring a tensile strength of 8210 pounds, the chain promises to provide a wear life 35 times longer than that of a standard chain used under similar conditions. Durability is thus one of the great features you will get to enjoy with this model. The master link you need is also included.
Buy from Amazon.com
7. DID 520VX2-120 X-Ring Chain
With the right chain and motorcycle oil for good lubrication, your bike’s performance will be notably enhanced. If quality and durability are the key aspects you desire from your new motorcycle chain, the 520VX2-120 from D.I.D. might be of your interest.
Just like other models from this company, this chain is engineered with great wear resistance in mind. Its design and the materials used ensure a smoother handling as well as a better response. Furthermore, power loss is reduced, which will only add to your overall bike experience.
One of the top qualities of this item is the wear resistance which is said to be 35 times longer than that of a standard chain used under the same conditions. Ensuring a tensile strength of 8210 pounds, the chain was built to last and meet a heavy rider’s needs. The package includes a clip style master link.
Buy from Amazon.com
8. DID 520VX2-106 X-Ring Chain
If excellent wear resistance is what you want from your motorcycle chain, the 520VX2-106 model from D.I.D. might be just what you need. Similar to other items in this series, this chain was built to provide a quicker response and smoother handling.
By reducing power loss, the chain will add to your bike’s performance. It suits motorcycles with a maximum engine displacement of 750cc and has a tensile strength of 8210 pounds. Besides such remarkable features, the chain is designed to provide a wear resistance 35 times longer than standards chains used under similar conditions.
The package includes a connecting link. Most reviews we have found coming from customers who tried the chain are positive. A dramatic change in power transmission has been noticed by some of the people who used the product and reviewed it online, the high quality of the item being the one often mentioned in the buyers’ feedback.
Buy from Amazon.com
9. Volar 530 x 150 Links O-Ring Motorcycle Chai
Strength and durability are the things Volar Motorsport promises to deliver with this O-Ring Chain. If such features are the ones you want to get with the product you add to your shopping cart, you might want to keep this model in mind.
The item features solid rollers and bushings that were designed to last longer, work harder, and endure high-impact. Shock absorption is further enhanced by the quad-stake riveted design and kinking is reduced thanks to the unique protruding bushings. The O-ring chain’s life is thus extended. The product is shot-peened and pre-stretched and has a tensile strength of 9,850 lbs.
Durability is ensured by the alloy steel used. The chain includes 150 links, comes with a rivet master link which should be installed according to the instructions included, and fits custom motorcycles. The people who’ve used the product say it works and looks great and it comes very well oiled.
Buy from Amazon.com
10. Renthal C241 R1 Works 420-Pitch Chain
Designed specifically for motocross and off-road racing applications, the C241 chain from Renthal is another model that might be of your interest. The product was engineered to deliver durability and strength and keep up with all the adventures and needs racing involves.
Maximum impact load resistance and great tensile strength are ensured by the alloy steel side plates which are shot-peened. Furthermore, the resistance of the chain is enhanced by the gold color side plates that prevent corrosion. The chances of chain derailment are reduced thanks to the chamfered inner links the chain features.
The friction between inner and outer link plates is reduced due to the extended bushings. Thus the power output is maximized. The great wear resistance is also ensured by the chromized bearing pins. If high strength, great power transfer, and a lightweight design are the things that raise your interest, then this model should not be ignored.
Buy from Amazon.com
This Year’s Buying Guide
Just like a quality full face motorcycle helmet and professional motorcycle tires make sure safety is not an issue when riding your bike, choosing the best motorcycle racing chain is critical when it comes to your security when riding. The power that originates from your bike engine will pass through the chain which will retain power transmission ensuring your bike rides steadily and safely.
Since your safety is directly affected by the chain you use, there are some factors that need your consideration even when your budget only allows you to get cheap motorcycle chains. We have highlighted them below in order to make it easier for you to get a chain that boosts your bike’s performance while keeping your ride safe.
Types of chains
The market offers three types of motorcycle chains. Standard chains come with no ring in between their outer and inner side plates. They are lightweight and paired with affordable prices. However, they are rarely used on modern bikes and when that happens, it is usually for off-road use only.
You will also find O-ring chains which, as their name suggests, have O-rings placed between their side plates. This way friction is reduced since you can use the lube right next to the inner plate. If you maintain such a chain properly, you can expect to use it for twelve to eighteen thousand miles of riding.
The third type of motorcycle chain available on the market and also considered a newer version of the O-ring chains is the X-ring chain that uses an ‘X’ shaped rubber between its side plates. Such models are appreciated for holding lubrication better and ensuring a lifespan that is up to 40% greater than the one provided by other types of chain.
Tensile strength and number of rings
The most important feature to consider when looking for a new chain for your motorcycle is its tensile strength which refers to the weight the chain can accommodate. You need to pay great attention to how much your chain can carry.
Choosing the tensile strength that best suits your needs depends on the load you intend to place on the chain. Go for one that won’t break if heavy loads are what it will need to put up with. The most appreciated chains generally come with a tensile strength of 8,000 pounds or more.
Another thing that will help you filter the products available on the market is the number of rings the chain comes with. If you don’t know the number of rings of your old chain, you will have to disassemble it to find it and get a chain with the same number of rings. If you go for a chain that has more rings, you will need a chain breaking device.
Just like when you’re buying other things for your motorcycle such as a new motorcycle battery or a quality motorcycle lever, one of the most important things is the durability the product provides. It’s just the same when it comes to a bike chain. The ideal chain is durable and strong enough to last for a long period of time.
You most probably don’t intend or want to change it too soon once you buy it. Therefore, pay attention to the materials used for the chain and how it is designed in order to get a product that will meet the needs of extended riding.
Keep in mind that chains require regular maintenance in order to work properly and last. If you have little time for this, though, you can go for one of those models that offer self-lubrication. This will spare you the lubrication-related tasks and will also reduce the friction between the metals.
Ease of installation
If you want to replace the old chain by yourself, another aspect to bear in mind is the ease of installation. Some chains come with installation instructions to simplify the process and thus save you time. Besides all the features mentioned above, there is one more important factor that will help you make a decision: the price.
The budget you have at your disposal will decide what gets added to your shopping cart. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a cheaper model doesn’t perform well. If it comes with the features that meet your specific needs, you can enjoy quality even when paying less.
Remember that the chain you use, unlike the motorcycle wax you go for to keep great looks, is a product that affects your safety when riding. Utmost seriousness should be paid to what model you buy and how you maintain it.