Top 10 Best Motorcycle Chains in 2018 – Review & Buying 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.
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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.
RK Racing Chain 520-SO-120
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 for ($61.8)
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 for ($76.43)
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.Buy from Amazon.com for ($100.84)
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.Buy from Amazon.com for ($148.66)
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 for ($12.58)
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 for ($72.27)
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 for ($69.42)
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 for ($58.66)
Volar Motorsport O-Ring
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 for ($69.99)
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 for ($41.53)
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.