Best Motorcycle Chains

12 Best Motorcycle Chains

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Whether you prefer winter or summer riding, having the best motorcycle chain is crucial for a safe and enjoyable experience on the road. Your bike’s shaft system relies heavily on the chain as it powers your bike and provides the necessary performance enhancements. Not only is the chain responsible for the transfer of power, but it also plays a crucial role in ensuring your safety while riding.

In this post, we will explore some of the best motorcycle chains available on the market.

It’s important to note that before embarking on a ride, it’s essential to ensure that your motorcycle chain is in excellent condition. Whether you’re planning a long ride or just a short trip, avoid hopping on your bike without verifying that the chain is in great shape and order.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the best motorcycle chains:

The JT Sprockets 120-Link Drive Chain is an incredibly built motorcycle chain engineered for optimal longevity and durability. It transfers power, offers top strength, and delivers high performance.

Made for on-road and off-road activities, this great X-ring model comes from a heavy-duty steel alloy material that works for effective action and less friction than you find with the traditional O-ring sealed chains.

The JT Sprockets Drive Chain is a cutting-edge technology intended to beat the needs of modern motorcycle enthusiasts. They have high-grade delivery for off-road, dirt bikes, ATVs, enduro, and street riding.  

It is molded with quad-engrossed rivets to provide that additional sturdy screw capable of holding out against external plate forces.

Overall, the JT Sprockets Drive Chain won’t disappoint you on the trail or tracks.

Features

  • Tensile strength: 8598 lb-f;  
  • Made from high-grade steel alloy
  • 120-link system
ProsCons
Less frictionPoor quality connecting link
Great performance for on and off-road ridingToo cheap

2. DID 520VX2-120 X-Ring Chain

The DID 520VX2-120 X-Ring Chain is known for one thing: increased performance and strain. This motorcycle chain is excellent for off-road riding and delivers sturdiness, behemoth performance, high responsiveness, and a stylish look.

Regarded as one of the best-performing X-Ring chains currently leading the market, this affordably priced model has a gold-plated finish that offers you that magnificent and shiny look.

Compared to O-Ring chains, the excellent 520VX2-X will last 35 times longer than many of its counterparts dream of now and in years to come. Dirt doesn’t stay on this chain, and even if does get on it is easily washed off without serious effort.

When you’re on rough and off-road terrain, you need a lock that gives you both power and confidence. This lock is equipped with both types of master locks, making it the perfect choice for off-roading. However, it also works well for all your street and off-road activities making it on out our best motorcycle chains.

It comes with a connecting master link and a high tensile strength, of up to 8,210 pounds. It is ideal for low-capacity motorcycles, which you can see in its high compatibility with 750cc engine displacement motorcycles. Installing this model on sports bikes or large touring two-wheeled vehicles is not advisable.

Features

  • X-ring chain
  • Works with low-capacity bikes
  • Reduces power loss to the rear wheel
  • Tensile strength: 8,210 lbs.
ProsCons
Long-lasting, durable, and lightweightRestricted to 750cc-engine displacement
It doesn’t retain dirtNot suitable for touring bikes

3. RK Racing Chain GB520MXU-120

RK Racing Chain GB520MXU-120

The RK Racing Chain GB530XSOZ1-120 is an excellent motorcycle chain ideal for outstanding reliabilty and power.

Suppose you’re looking for a solution that is lightweight, durable, and reliable. In that case, this is the best buy for you as it comes as an X-Ring chain, providing more confidence and reliability than the regular O-Ring.

Based on your needs and requirements, this chain is designed to work on multiple bikes as it comes in different model sizes, including 530, 525, and 520.

The RK Racing Chain owes its durability and versatility to the X-ring style it comes in. It is one of the industry’s sought-after and leading motorcycle racing chains.

Featuring two lubrication points, this X-Ring chain comes with dual seal points to help retain its performance for eight times longer than a standard motorcycle chain.

The 4.4-weighted RK Racing Chain GB530XSOZ1-120 can deliver a tensile strength in the neighborhood of 8,500 lbs/ft. it can withstand any extreme weather conditions

Features

  • 8,500 lbs/ft
  • Available in 520, 525, and 530 sizes
  • X-Ring
  • Weight: 4.4 lbs
ProsCons
Perfect for both street and off-road useLess ideal for off-road because it’s O-Ring
Incredible durability and longevityLimited to bike with 400cc engine displacement

4. Niche GOLD 530 X-Ring Chain

Niche GOLD 530 X-Ring Chain

The Niche 530 X-Ring Chain boasts cutting-edge engineering and top-class qualities.

When it comes to high performance and power transfer, this is a go-to product. It delivers over and above the regular OEM chains. It won’t give in to the elements because it’s made with durability and resistance to withstand extreme conditions.

The Niche 530 X-Ring features a 120-link system and is built from tapered steel components. Its quad-riveted screws allow for smooth rotation at high speeds with minimal friction. It is also known for its exceptional durability compared to traditional O-rings, making it a reliable choice for long-term use.

If you have to cut down on the number of rollers or links to fit your motorcycle, it’s easy to do that with the Niche 520 X-Ring Chain. All you have to do is to make o ring chains use the pin and connecting master link to reduce the links.

You can be sure this model won’t fail or disappoint you because it has a longer lifespan and won’t wear or tear as long as you frequently lubricate and align it, especially after every y 350 miles.

Overall, if you want this model on many Asian motorcycles, uniquely Suzuki, Honda, or Kawasaki, it works perfectly.

Features

  • 120-link system
  • Made from hardened steel
  • 530 X-Rings
ProsCons
VersatileThe new one is not pre-lubricated
Ideal for on- and off-road use and multiple usesNot viscous oil

5. RK Racing Chain O-Ring 520-SO-120

Like its sibling, the RK Racing Chain 520-SO-120 is an incredible motorcycle chain with durability, reliability, and longevity making it also one of the best motorcycle chains.

Designed from sturdy carbon steel, this model has undergone severe heat treatment to withstand the elements and extreme weather conditions.

It is equipped with durable rollers and bushings thanks to its steel material construction. It is no surprise that many of the teams in the World Championship and AMA World Superbike have taken it up as their go to option.

Although it only comes as a 520 chain, this O-ring chain won’t disappoint or fail when you need it most because it’s both durable and reliable. It is suitable for several motorcycles, including touring bikes, O-Ring motorcycles, and sportbikes.

It also comes with its pre-elasticity, hard press, and harp drill to deliver optimal performance with the enhanced, long-lasting feature.

Being an easy-to-maintain O-Ring chain, the RK Racing Chain 520-SO-120 is packaged with several tools that will help you tune it if it needs to be corrected or installed. It comes with a clip-type master connecting link.

Features

  • 520 chain style and size
  • Two sealing points and lubrication pools
  • Made from steel material
Pros Cons
Suitable for sports bikes and touring bikesNot too durable
Reliable and durableMaybe  the low-priced top-quality chain

6. Pro Taper 520 MX Chain

The Pro Taper 520 MX Chain has undergone design, remodeling, and re-engineering to make it suitable for all off-road riding and activities. With its superior Chromoly steel alloy material, it can endure impacts, shocks, and wear from uneven and bumpy terrains.

The chain has a stylish gold-plated finish, making it look fabulous while being highly functional. It is an X-Ring model, which means it can handle any task thrown at it, providing a performance guarantee that surpasses most standard chains for off-road riding.

The Pro Taper MX Chain is lightweight and exceptionally durable, with strength and sturdiness that every motorcycle rider or owner can rely on. This chain can ride on any terrain, no matter how bumpy or uneven, and is resistant to corrosion and rust, thanks to its X-Ring design.

Moreover, the Pro Taper 520 MX Chain has a tensile strength of 8,800 lbs and comes with a clip-style master connecting link that can work with motorcycles with engine displacement of up to 750cc. Whether you’re a professional rider or a casual off-road enthusiast, this chain is the perfect fit for your motorcycle.

Features

  • Tensile strength: 8,800 lbs
  • The material of build: high-strength Chromoly steel alloy
  • Clip-style master connecting link
  • X-Ring chain
ProsCons
Great value for moneyMay exceed the elastic limit
Designed for 4-stroke bikesLess durable
Lightweight and durable designNeeds adjustment

7. JT Sprockets JTC420HDR134SL Drive Chain

JT Sprockets JTC420HDR134SL Drive Chain

The JT Sprockets JTC420HDR134SL Drive Chain may not have a modern design, but it’s perfect for heavy-duty and low-capacity bikes. It’s sturdy, durable, and can fit dirt bikes, ATVs, UTVs, and more. It can withstand the abuse and impediments thrown at chains by off-road dirt bikes better than street bikes.

The chain is lightweight and has excellent tensile strength. It’s ideal for small machines and low-capacity motorbikes because it’s made from advanced high-strength steel alloys. Additionally, it features a clip-on master connecting link that holds it together.

If you’re on a budget, this chain is perfect for you as it’s reasonably priced. You need not worry about it breaking since you can easily order a replacement.

Features

  • Tensile strength: 4,189 lbs
  • Designed from high-grade steel alloys
  • Standard chain: neither O-Ring nor X-Ring
ProsCons
LightweightLow-quality master link
Uncompromising chain strengthToo cheap

8. Conibear 530 Gold Motorcycle O-Ring Chain

The Unibear 530 Gold Motorcycle O-Ring Chain doesn’t take the rear seat when it comes to the best motorcycle O-Ring chains.

With a gold-plated finish, this model is a 120-link with an excellent look and a permanent, sealed, and injected greasing system. The lubrication is sealed between the sturdily-made bearing pins and bushings. It helps to ensure smooth riding, reduce friction, and increase output.

This model is also protected against wear and tear to ensure it lasts longer as compared to many competitors in the market.

The build of the Unibear links is such that it’s made from top-strength, top-grade, and heated steel alloy. The heated treatment of this material is to ensure solid bushings.

With a high quility build, this motorcycle chain has an incredibly sturdy overall weight of up to 6 pounds, making it one of the strings with the most substantial weight on our list.

Despite the heavyweight feature, you have a product that boasts exceptional rigidity and extra durability that reduces wear, shock, and impact in the event of a crash. There’s also incredible rigidity, which makes the Unibear 530 Gold Motorcycle O-Ring Chain one option that helps to enhance handling while reducing power loss during transfer.

You won’t have to worry about corrosion or rust because it is adequately pre-greased and pre-pressed with the right gold-coated finish. The clip master link is another feature of this great piece.

Features

  • Heat-treated alloy steel
  • Tensile strength: 10,000 lbs
  • Comes with clip-style master links
  • O-Ring chain
ProsCons
Extra durability and tensile strengthHeavyweight
Perfect for heavy-duty motorcycles

9. Drag Specialties 530 O-Ring Chain

Drag Specialties 530 O-Ring Chain

Are you looking for one of the best motorcycle chains that is durable and can withstand wear and tear? Look no further than the Drag Specialties chain. It comes equipped with sturdy bushings and solid rollers, making it the go-to choice for many riders.

Featuring a 530-series O-ring chain, the Drag Specialties chain is an excellent option for reducing wear and increasing durability. The heavy-duty O-rings are pre-lubricated and pre-stretched, providing an added layer of protection against moisture, dirt, and other contaminants.

This chain is perfect for stretched bikes, as it comes with 130 master links. If you need to adjust its length to fit your motorcycle, it’s easy to do so. The chrome finish adds durability and style to the overall design.

Installing and using this chain is a breeze, and its durability means you won’t have to replace it anytime soon. So why not choose the Drag Specialties chain for your motorcycle?

Features

  • Features O-Ring chain links
  • Additional long chain
  • Tensile strength: 9,500 lbs
ProsCons
Perfect for stretched motorcycles and Harley-DavidsonNot as durable as the X-Ring chain
It comes with a rivet-type master link

10. Vortex V3 Chain and Sprocket Kit

Vortex V3 Chain and Sprocket Kit

If you want a motorcycle chain and sprocket combinations that’s gone through a series of upgrades and setups with no compromise on standard and quality, it is the Vortex V3 WSS Chain and Sprocket Kit.

A standard for value, quality, and money, this incredible model is a lightweight, sturdy, and top-strength material design.

This kit has no compatibility issues because it comes in different sizes and styles. It is made in the more efficient X-ring chain type. So, you’ll always have a size that will fit your motorcycle.

Features

  • Tensile strength up to 11,000 lbs (SX3) and 9,000lbs (RX3)
  • It comes in two sizes: SX3 and RX3
ProsCons
Vintage qualityRequires a rivet for installation
More affordably priced than OEM parts

11. EK Chain 525 SRX2 Chain

EK Chain 525 SRX2 Chain

The EK Chain 525 SRX2 is a QX-Ring chain that delivers high performance and transfers a lot of power. It is particularly suitable for heavy-duty motorcycles, especially those designed for off-road riding. But what sets this model apart from others is its durability.

This model is well-known for its high tensile strength of up to 9,000 lbs, making it a perfect match for higher-capacity bikes. The QX-Ring design features four contact patches, which help to reduce friction by up to 40%. This, combined with its lightweight, allows for quick throttle release and improved performance.

If the friction reduction function doesn’t excite you, then you should know that this chain is also lightweight yet sturdy, thanks to pre-drilled holes that keep its net mass low. So, not only does it look great, but it also provides superior performance and durability.

Features

  • Tensile strength: 9,000 lbs
  • Made from sturdy billet steel
ProsCons
Perfect for higher-performance motorcyclesIt’s a new product
Less friction

If you’re searching for a dependable and versatile motorcycle chain, the Renthal R-32 O-Ring 520-Pitch 114-Links chain is definitely worth considering. While it’s ideal for street bikes, it’s designed to fit a wide range of motorcycle models.

The chain comes with many links, which makes it easy to install and compatible with many types of motorcycles. It’s made from a durable shot-peened alloy steel material that provides excellent on-road durability and confidence. The carbon alloy steel bearing pins and Nitrile O-rings are also incredibly strong, giving the chain excellent tensile strength.

Even in the event of a crash, this chain is built to withstand heavy loads and impacts, as well as wear and tear, making it one of the most durable motorcycle chains on the market. The Nitrile O-ring chain is specifically designed to last longer and features a vacuum lubricant injection that comes pre-stretched along with the links, x-rings, and joints. This pre-pressed feature enhances performance and extends the lifespan of the chain.

The Renthal R-32 O-Ring 520-Pitch 114-Links Chain comes with gold-coated side plates, which protect it from high corrosion and rust, as well as extreme weather conditions and chemical reactions.

Features

  • Nitrile O-Ring chain
  • Tensile strength: 7,644 lbs
  • Pre-pressed and pre-greased
ProsCons
Features vacuum-injected lubricationWorks better for off-road activity
Durable alloy steel platesRelatively price for O-Ring design

Motorcycle Chains: Buying Considerations

When it comes to buying a motorcycle chain, it’s important to understand what you need in order to make an informed decision. The following features are crucial when considering which motorcycle chain to purchase.

Material of Build:

The construction material of a motorcycle chain is the first thing to consider. It determines the safety and durability of the chain. Typically, high-quality motorcycle chains are made of top-strength steel material. Chains made with steel guarantee durability, sturdiness, strength, enhanced bike power, performance, and longevity. Some chains are also built with carbon steel alloys or gold side plates, which are less prone to wear and tear. Gold-coated plate chains are corrosion-resistant and rustproof.

Flexibility Limit:

The tensile strength of a motorcycle chain, or its elastic limit, informs how much weight the chain can carry without breaking. You need to determine the weight capacity of a chain, which will tell you how much weight your bike can carry comfortably without harming the chain. Typically, heavy-duty motorcycle chains have a load capacity of 8000 pounds. If you have a pre-stretched motorcycle chain, you can expect better efficiency and performance.

Size:

Before you buy a motorcycle chain, measure the size to ensure that it is compatible with your bike. Motorcycle chains and accessories are designed to fit a specific machine, so it’s important to get the right size. The size of a motorcycle chain is often measured in pitches, which refers to the length between the rollers of the chain. Make sure you do your research and choose a chain that matches the size of your bike for optimal efficiency and speed.

Pricing:

The cost of a motorcycle chain is often determined by the brand, model, and features of the product. However, high cost doesn’t always mean high quality. Look for a chain that offers the best value for your money and isn’t unreasonably priced. Remember, if you pay too little, you may end up with a low-quality product. Don’t compromise quality for cost.

Why You Need the Best Motorcycle Chain

As a motorcycle owner, you may wonder why it’s necessary to keep your engine fueled and your chain in good condition. However, the chain is as important as any other part of your motorcycle. Unless your bike uses a shaft system, the chain is essential for powering your bike. Any mechanical issues or damage to the chain can render your motorcycle unusable.

Reasons why you need a chain on your motorcycle:

Speed:

The primary reason for having a good chain on your motorcycle is to achieve high-performance speed and power. Chains improve acceleration and braking. If you’re an off-road or racing enthusiast, you’ll need the best chain to get the most out of your motorcycle.

Efficiency and Performance:

One of the benefits of a high-quality motorcycle chain is excellent power transfer. It can withstand heavy loads and long mileage, with a capacity of up to 8000 pounds. This makes the chains flexible for any motorcycle, whether used or brand new.

Economy of Fuel:

Using the best chain on your motorcycle can help you save fuel. Bike chains are lightweight and designed to resist corrosion, rust, and moisture. They provide excellent mileage and won’t drag your bike on the road. A smooth and comfortable ride will give you confidence in low fuel consumption.

Low Maintenance Cost:

Maintaining your motorcycle chain and sprocket system is easy and cost-effective. They are well-lubricated, and early signs of wear and tear are easily noticeable, allowing you to take action before serious damage is done.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Should I go for a 520 or 530 pitch chain for my bike?

The answer to this question depends on your personal preferences and usage frequency. Typically, 530 motorcycle chains are a great option for handling 1000cc engine displacements and are ideal for speed freaks. However, for riders who prioritize versatility, power, and performance, the 520 bike chain is a better choice.

Q: What does a slack chain mean?

When someone mentions measuring the number and extent of hangs your motorcycle chain makes, they are referring to chain slack. Chain slack increases with the frequency of use of your motorcycle and can cause poor performance. To solve this issue, you can re-tighten the chain or replace it if it’s worn out before re-tightening.

Q: How often should I replace my motorcycle chain?

It is advisable to check the lifespan of your bike chain following the user guide or manual provided by the manufacturer. Some manufacturers often put the date when their product will no longer be used to give optimal performance.

Q: What is the lifespan of a bike chain?

The lifespan of a bike chain depends on various factors such as models, usage, and impacts. If there’s a mechanical issue or high impact due to accidents, it may force your bike chain to lose its value and reduce its lifespan. Also, slack, poor performance, and wear and tear can cause a drop in how soon the chain will need to be replaced.

Q: What are the different types of motorcycle chains?

There are three types of motorcycle chains: O-ring, X-ring, and non-sealed chains. The O-Ring chains are the most common among bike chains and come with closures for the interior rollers and external links. They are often used by off-road bikers and are always greased to keep dirt, grit, and other contaminants off. The X-Ring motorcycle chain is the best pick if you need efficiency and is preferred for street riding and racing. They attract less dirt and transfer enough power to your bike to increase its mileage, making them much more efficient and economical in using lubricants than others. The non-sealed bike chain is ideal for premium motorcycles and is offered at a highly affordable price, but maintaining them is very costly.

Conclusion

We have focused on the best motorcycle chains and much other related information you need to know about using motorcycle chains. Now, better than before, you understand what it means to use a motorcycle chain and what benefits you stand to benefit from going for the best model. Do not be in a rush; take your time, and you know that nothing pays off more than getting damaged parts of your motorcycle with the best. How can you wheelie a bike? Learn it here.

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12 Best Motorcycle Chains

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