12 Best Motorcycle Chains (Review) in 2020


Best-Motorcycle-Chain-2020

Whether you prefer winter or summer riding, you need the best motorcycle chain to have a safe and fun time in the saddle of your motorcycle. And except your bike is driven by a shaft system, the chain remains the powerhouse of your bike.

Without the chain and the sprocket, it’s almost impossible to get any enhanced performance from your bike. The chain is primarily responsible for the transfer of power and to ensure safety.

JT Sprockets JTC520X1R2120DL Steel 120-Link Heavy Duty X-Ring Drive Chain (520 X1R2)
DID 520VX2-120 X-Ring Chain with Connecting Link
RK Racing Chain GB530XSOZ1-120 120-Links Gold X-Ring Chain with Connecting Link
JT Sprockets 120-link X-Ring Drive Chain
DID 520VX2-120 X-Ring Chain
RK Racing Chain GB520MXU-120
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JT Sprockets JTC520X1R2120DL Steel 120-Link Heavy Duty X-Ring Drive Chain (520 X1R2)
JT Sprockets 120-link X-Ring Drive Chain
DID 520VX2-120 X-Ring Chain with Connecting Link
DID 520VX2-120 X-Ring Chain
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RK Racing Chain GB530XSOZ1-120 120-Links Gold X-Ring Chain with Connecting Link
RK Racing Chain GB520MXU-120
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In this post, we will look at some of the best chains for your motorcycle as you prepare for the long riding contest. Here’s the warning: do not go out riding or hop on your bike without ascertaining that the chain is in great shape and order.  

I am sure by the time you’re done reading this post; you’ll come to a convincing conclusion as to what models of motorcycle chain is best on the market and what to look for when choosing one.

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

1. JT Sprockets 120-link X-Ring Drive Chain

The JT Sprockets 120-Link Drive Chain is one of the incredibly built motorcycle chains that are 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 a taste for a high-grade delivery for off-road, dirt bike, ATV, enduro, and street riding.  

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

Overall, the JT Sprockets Drive Chain won’t let you down when 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. Great for off-road riding, this motorcycle chain delivers sturdiness, behemoth performance, high responsiveness, and stylish look.

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

When compared to O-Ring chains, the excellent 520VX2-X will 35 times last longer than many of its counterparts dream of now and in years to come. Dirt doesn’t stay on this chain, and even when they visit, they are easily washed off without any serious effort.

It is also equipped with both types of a master lock, giving that performance and confidence you need when you are in the saddle of your bike riding on those uneven and off-road terrains. Although it may be specially intended for off-roading, it does work well for all your street and off-road activities.

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

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
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 piece of motorcycle chains that is ideal for outstanding performance and power.

If what you’re looking for is a bike chain that is lightweight, durable, and reliable, this is the best guy for you as it comes as an X-Ring chain, providing confidence and reliability than the regular O-Ring.

Based on your needs and bike 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 sought-after and leading motorcycle racing chains in the industry.

Featuring two lubrication points, this X-Ring chain comes with dual seal points to help retain the performance of the product. You’re holding a string that will live eight times the number of times a standard motorcycle will do.

The 4.4-weighted RK Racing Chain GB530XSOZ1-120 is capable of delivering 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 is in a class of its own considering the cutting edge engineering and top-class features it boasts.

When it comes to high performance and power transfer, this is the go-to guy. 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.

Boasting a 120-link system, the Niche 530 X-Ring is made from tapered steel components. It is capable of maneuvering rotation at top speeds with little or no friction, thanks to its quad-riveted screws. It’s known for its excellent longevity over the traditional O-rings.

If you have to cut down on the number 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 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 bikes, it works perfectly.

Features

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

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

Just like its sibling here, the RK Racing Chain 520-SO-120 is an incredible motorcycle chain that boasts durability, reliability, and longevity.

Designed from sturdy carbon steel, this model has undergone severe heat treatment to be able 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 then that many of the teams in the World Championship and AMA World Superbike have taken it up as their trademark bike chain.

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

It also comes with its pre-elasticity, hard press, and harp drill to be able 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 in the event 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

Our next item on this list is the Pro Taper 520 MX Chain. It is one model that has undergone a series of design, remodeling, and re-engineering with the final result fitting all off-road riding and activities.

With the Pro Taper, you have in your hand a great piece suitable to hold out against impacts, shocks, and wear that often result from crashes or dirt riding on those uneven and bumpy terrains. You’re sure of plush riding. 

The look is stylish and fabulous, thanks to the gold-plated finish of the chain looks. Besides, the watch is a complement to the superior quality Chromoly steel alloy material that it’s made from. Throw anything to this guy; it’ll handle it effortlessly and quite correctly.

This vintage performance guarantee is far ahead of what you see around with most of the standard chains for off-road riding. As an X-Ring model, therefore, the Pro Taper MX Chain is capable of handle any task thrown at it.

The material build confers lightweight and exceptional durability on this model plus high performance. The strength and sturdiness of the chain are two other qualities that every motorcycle rider or owner will look forward to seeing in their bike chain. It is because the motorcycle will be able to ride on any terrain, however bumpy or uneven it is.

On top of these features is added the Pro Taper MX Chain’s resistance to corrosion and rust. The fantastic fresh X-Ring design of this model makes it a tough guy for extreme weather conditions, including temperatures and other effects of the elements.

What’s more, the Pro Taper 520 MX Chain, featuring a tensile strength of 8,800 lbs, comes with a clip-style master connecting link to be able to work with motorcycles with engine displacement up to 750cc.

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

Although it doesn’t come as a modern design, the JT Sprockets JTC420HDR134SL Drive Chain is a suitable piece for heavy-duty and low capacity bikes.

It is durable, sturdy, and will fit any type of dirt bike, ATV, UTV, etc.  but it can hold out against all the impediments and abuse thrown at chain by off-road dirt bikes than street bikes.

It comes with a lightweight feature and excellent tensile strength. If you have your small machines and low capacity motorbikes, this is the ideal guy for you. It is made from advanced high-strength steel alloys. It also features a clip-on master connecting link that holds it together.

When it comes to pricing, this is a product for those who are on a budget. You don’t have to worry about this chain-breaking because with money that won’t shake you; you’ll easily make an order for 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 next guy on our list is the Unibear 530 Gold Motorcycle O-Ring Chain that doesn’t take the rear seat when it comes to the best motorcycle O-Ring chains.

Coming with a gold-plated finish, this model is a 120-link that boasts an excellent look and 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 performance.

The chain is also prevented against wear and tear to ensure it lasts longer as compared to many competitors in the market.

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

With a heavy-duty build, this motorcycle chain has an incredibly sturdy overall weight 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 chain on your bike that boasts exceptional rigidity, extra durability that reduces wear, shock, impact in the event of a crash. There’s also incredible rigidity, which makes the Unibear 530 Gold Motorcycle O-Ring Chain one piece that helps to enhance bike handling while reducing power loss during transfer.

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

Features

  • Heat-treated alloy steel
  • Tensile strength: 10,000 lbs
  • Comes with a 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

The Drag Specialties come at a time everyone is looking for a motorcycle chain that boasts sturdy bushings and solid rollers. It is the go-to guy if that’s what you want.

Featuring as a 530-series O-ring chain, the Drag Specialties chain is an excellent combo that behaves like every other quad riveting chain on the market, which reduces wear and tear. It features heavy-duty O-rings that are pre-lubricated and pre-stretched.

It keeps moisture, grime, dirt, and other contaminants, which often drag your motorcycle completely away from interfering with plush riding. The O-Rings feature means that this is a durable and long-lasting chain option for your bike.

If you’re using a stretched bike, this chain is the perfect thing for you because it is built with 130 master links. If you want to cut it to fit your motorcycle, this chain boasts that flexibility.  

Luckily, it’s easy to install and use, and the chrome-finish is an added feature to bring beauty, toughness, and style to the entire structure.

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 X-Ring chain
Comes with rivet-type master link

10. Vortex V3 Chain and Sprocket Kit

Vortex V3 Chain and Sprocket Kit

If you want a motorcycle chain that’s gone through a series of upgrades and setup 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 design from lightweight, sturdy, and top-strength material.

This kit has no compatibility issues because it comes in different sizes and styles. It is made in the more efficient and 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)
  • 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 Chain is a QX-Ring which delivers high performance and transfer a lot of power. But if you want to know the features that stand this model out of others, it’s durability. Typically, the EK Chain 525 SRX Chain will hold heavy-duty motorcycles, particularly those for off-road riding.

Apart from the great look, this model is famous for its high tensile strength that reaches up to 9,000 lbs, making it the perfect match for higher-capacity bikes.  

This QX-Ring chain means that it features four contact patches, and they help you to cut or stop abrasion that often drags your bike as you ride on. It is capable of reducing the friction for as high as 40%. It, coupled with its lightweight, will cause quick throttle release and enhanced performance.  

If you’re not excited by the friction reduction function, then you should, when you realize that this model is a lightweight yet sturdy model thanks to the pre-drilled holes that help keep the net mass of the chain low.

Features

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

12. Renthal O-Ring 120-Links Chain

Your first sighting of the Renthal C291 R-32 O-Ring 520-Pitch 114-Links chain may charm you. Although this chain is the best fitting for street bikes, it is nonetheless one model designed to cater to an extensive range of motorcycles.

It features a large variety of links that make suitability and compatibility with many motorcycles a walk in the park.

Designed to offer durability, on-road peace of mind, and confidence, this model is manufactured from a very sturdy shot-peened alloy steel material.

The blend of this top-strength material with extraordinary carbon alloy steel bearing pins and Nitrile O-rings is incredible given that the combination offers excellent tensile strength

You don’t have to worry in the event of crashes because this chain is made to provide high resistance to load and impact. It is also resistant to wear and tear, making it one of the most durable motorcycle chains on the market.

The Nitrile O-ring chain guarantees an improved lifespan thanks to its vacuum lubricant injection that comes with the links and joints. This pre-pressed feature of this chain enhances performance.

The Renthal C291 R-32 O-Ring 520-Pitch 114-Links Chain proudly features gold-coated side plates, which ensure that this accessory can withstand high corrosion and rust. It also helps to keep your chain protected from 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

It’s common knowledge that money is tough to come by. Before you finally decide to settle for that motorcycle chain model, you must be very clear about what you’re buying.

Try to know certain specific features that a good chain and sprocket system must possess. Otherwise, you end up splashing pounds on what’s not what a penny.

Here are a few features you must look for when considering buying a motorcycle chain:

Material of Build

Construction material is the first thing to consider when you plan to make an order for your bike chain. It determines a lot of things, including safety and durability. Typically, high motorcycle chains are made of top-strength steel material.

Models made of steel guarantee durability, sturdiness, strength, enhanced bike power, and performance, longevity, etc. Some others are also built with carbon steel alloys or gold side plates. Chains made with any of these materials are less pliable to wear and tear that often plagues them. Gold-coated plate chains are corrosion-resistant and rustproof.

Flexibility limit

Typically, the elastic limit or what is better called the tensile strength of a motorcycle chain goes a long way to inform you how much load the string can carry. In other words, you can determine the weight capacity of a chain will tell the number of shipments your bike can comfortably take without gasping for breath. If a motorcycle is overloaded, it harms the chain.

Typically, heavy-duty chains are capable of load capacity of 8000 pounds. If you have a pre-stretched motorcycle chain, you’re sure of better efficiency and invariably excellent delivery.

Size

Before buying a motorcycle chain, try to measure the size. The size will tell whether it is compatible with your bike or not. Of course, you’re not unaware that motorcycle accessories are designed to suit a particular machine.

The size of a motorcycle chain is often measured in pitches.  By that, I mean the length between rollers of the string to another. Do your homework well before making an order. You’re sure of optimal efficiency and top speed if the size of the chain and sprocket system is accurate and matches your bike.

Pricing

As usual, brands, models, and features of the bike chain often determine the price they are offered. That’s not to say that all products provided at high-cost feature top-quality material. You’ll need to look for products that provide value and not too unreasonably priced.

It’s most times either you take a value and forget pricing, or you take price and drop the amount.  But always go with the words of wisdom which tell us that if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Don’t compromise the standard for the budget.

Why You Need the Best Motorcycle Chain

Maybe I should also ask, ‘why do I have to put fuel in my car engine?’ the chain is as important as any part of the motorcycle. And unless a shaft system powers your bike, the chain is as indispensable as your engine to your bike. Any damage or mechanical issue from the chain renders the motorcycle inactive.

Here are the reasons you need a chain on your motorcycle:

Speed

   The primary purpose of working out a chain for your motorcycle is to ensure high-performance speed and power.  Strings are meant to increase acceleration and braking. If you’re an off-road or racing enthusiast, you’ll find out that the chain is essential.

Efficiency and Performance

One great benefit of the best motorcycle chain is that it ensures and transfer great power. It is accounted for by its high capacity to withstand and handle heavy loads and long mileage. With a capacity for up to 8000 pounds load, the chains are flexible for use on any motorcycle, used or brand new.

Economy of Fuel

Using the best chain on your motorcycle guarantees that you can save a lot of fuel. Fuel economy by motorcycle chain is a consequence of the part’s capacity to withstand the elements. Typically, bike chains are lightweight and are designed with the capacity to resist corrosion, rust, and moisture.  They give great mileage and won’t drag your bike on the road. A plush riding confers confidence in low fuel consumption.

Low maintenance cost

Because it is well and constantly lubricated, motorcycle chains and sprocket system is quite easy to maintain. They give early signs that alert riders about wear and tear.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

The answer to the question depends on you. You’ll need to be sure of the frequency of your bike usage.
Typically, 530 motorcycle chains are a great option when it comes to handling 1000cc engine displacements. If you speed freak, then this is the best option for you. However, for riders who love versatility, power, and performance, you should go for the 520 bike chain.

What does a slack mean on a chain?

When someone tells you, he’s measuring the number and extent of hangs your motorcycle chain makes, bear in mind that they’re talking about slack. A chain slack increases with the frequency of use of your motorcycle. I mean, the more you use the bike, the more degree of hangs. The solution is to re-tighten the chai or replace it if it’s worn out before re-tightening.

How often should I replace my motorcycle chain?

Usually, it is advisable to check the lifespan of your bike chain following the user guide/manual. Some manufacturers often put the date their product will no longer be used to give optimal performance.

What is the lifespan of a bike chain?

It all depends on 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 so reduce its life span. Also, a slack, poor performance, wear, and tear can cause a drop in how soon the chain will need to be replaced.

What are the types of Motorcycle Chains?

There are three types of motorcycle chains. We have the O-ring, X-ring, and non-sealed chains.
The O-Ring chains are the most common among bike chains. They come with closures for the interior rollers and external links. Off-road bikers mostly use them. O-ring chains are always greased to keep off dirt, grit, and other contaminating deposits.
If you need efficiency, the X-Ring motorcycle chain types are the best pick. That’s why they’re preferred for street riding and racing. They attract less dirt and transfer enough power to your bike to increase its mileage. They’re much more efficient and economical in terms of using lubricant than others. They’re also easier to maintain. 
The third type of motorcycle chain is the non-sealed type. Although scarcely used, the non-sealed bike chains are ideal for premium motorcycles. They’re offered at a highly affordable price, but maintaining them is very costly.

Conclusion

 Our post has focused on the best motorcycle chains and a lot of other related themes you need to know about using motorcycle chains. Now, better than before, you have a grasp of 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 come to know that nothing pays off than getting damaged parts of your motorcycle with the best. How can you wheelie a bike? Learn it here.

Henry

Hello, My name is Henry, I enjoy sharing my experiences with the outdoors and particularly my Motorcycle collection.

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