12 Best Motorcycle Chains
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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. A shaft system drives your bike, and 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 ensuring safety.
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 knowing that the chain is in great shape and order.
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 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.
- Tensile strength: 8598 lb-f;
- Made from high-grade steel alloy
- 120-link system
|Less friction||Poor quality connecting link|
|Great performance for on and off-road riding||Too 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 features a gold-plated finish that offers your bike 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 when they visit, they are easily washed off without serious effort.
It is also equipped with both types of master locks, giving that performance and confidence you need when you are in the saddle of your bike riding on 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, 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.
- X-ring chain
- Works with low-capacity bikes
- Reduces power loss to the rear wheel
- Tensile strength: 8,210 lbs.
|Long-lasting, durable, and lightweight||Restricted to 750cc-engine displacement|
|It doesn’t retain dirt||Not suitable for touring bikes|
3. RK Racing Chain GB520MXU-120
The RK Racing Chain GB530XSOZ1-120 is an excellent piece of motorcycle chain ideal for outstanding performance and power.
If you’re looking for 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 more 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 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 the product’s performance. 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 can deliver a tensile strength in the neighborhood of 8,500 lbs/ft. it can withstand any extreme weather conditions
- 8,500 lbs/ft
- Available in 520, 525, and 530 sizes
- Weight: 4.4 lbs
|Perfect for both street and off-road use||Less ideal for off-road because it’s O-Ring|
|Incredible durability and longevity||Limited to bike with 400cc engine displacement|
4. Niche GOLD 530 X-Ring Chain
The Niche 530 X-Ring Chain is in a class of its own, considering its cutting-edge engineering and top-class features.
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 can maneuver rotation at top speeds with little or no friction, thanks to its quad-riveted screws. It’s known for its excellent longevity over traditional O-rings.
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 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.
- 120-link system
- Made from hardened steel
- 530 X-Rings
|Versatile||The new one is not pre-lubricated|
|Ideal for on- and off-road use and multiple uses||Not 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.
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 trademark bike chain.
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 bikes, 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.
- 520 chain style and size
- Two sealing points and lubrication pools
- Made from steel material
|Suitable for sports bikes and touring bikes||Not too durable|
|Reliable and durable||Maybe 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 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 complements the superior quality Chromoly steel alloy material 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 with most standard chains for off-road riding. As an X-Ring model, therefore, the Pro Taper MX Chain is capable of handling 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 can ride on any terrain, however bumpy or uneven.
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.
Whatâ’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 work with motorcycles with engine displacement up to 750cc.
- Tensile strength: 8,800 lbs
- The material of build: high-strength Chromoly steel alloy
- Clip-style master connecting link
- X-Ring chain
|Great value for money||May exceed the elastic limit|
|Designed for 4-stroke bikes||Less durable|
|Lightweight and durable design||Needs adjustment|
7. JT Sprockets JTC420HDR134SL Drive Chain
Although it doesn’t come as a modern design, the JT Sprockets JTC420HDR134SL Drive Chain is suitable for heavy-duty and low-capacity bikes.
It is durable, sturdy, and will fit any dirt bike, ATV, UTV, etc., but it can hold out against all the impediments and abuse thrown at chains by off-road dirt bikes than street bikes.
It comes with a lightweight feature and excellent tensile strength. If you have 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 you can easily order a replacement.
- Tensile strength: 4,189 lbs
- Designed from high-grade steel alloys
- Standard chain: neither O-Ring nor X-Ring
|Lightweight||Low-quality master link|
|Uncompromising chain strength||Too 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.
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 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 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 chain on your bike 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 piece that helps to enhance bike handling while reducing power loss during transfer.
You won’t have to worry about 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 of this great piece.
- Heat-treated alloy steel
- Tensile strength: 10,000 lbs
- Comes with clip-style master links
- O-Ring chain
|Extra durability and tensile strength||Heavyweight|
|Perfect for heavy-duty motorcycles|
9. Drag Specialties 530 O-Ring Chain
The Drag Specialties come when 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 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, often dragging your motorcycle 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 perfect 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 adds beauty, toughness, and style to the entire structure.
- Features O-Ring chain links
- Additional long chain
- Tensile strength: 9,500 lbs
|Perfect for stretched motorcycles and Harley-Davidson||Not as durable as the X-Ring chain|
|It comes with a rivet-type master link|
10. Vortex V3 Chain and Sprocket Kit
If you want a motorcycle chain 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.
- Tensile strength up to 11,000 lbs (SX3) and 9,000lbs (RX3)
- It comes in two sizes: SX3 and RX3
|Vintage quality||Requires a rivet for installation|
|More affordably priced than OEM parts|
11. EK Chain 525 SRX2 Chain
The EK Chain 525 SRX2 Chain is a QX-Ring that delivers high performance and transfers much power. But if you want to know the features that stand this model out from others, its 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 friction by 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 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.
- Tensile strength: 9,000 lbs
- Made from sturdy billet steel
|Perfect for higher-performance motorcycles||It’s a new product|
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 many 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 are 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 protect your chain from extreme weather conditions and chemical reactions.
- Nitrile O-Ring chain
- Tensile strength: 7,644 lbs
- Pre-pressed and pre-greased
|Features vacuum-injected lubrication||Works better for off-road activity|
|Durable alloy steel plates||Relatively 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 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 planning to order 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, 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, which often plagues them. Gold-coated plate chains are corrosion-resistant and rustproof.
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 that 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 a load capacity of 8000 pounds. If you have a pre-stretched motorcycle chain, you’re sure of better efficiency and invariably excellent delivery.
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 the 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.
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 offer value and are not too unreasonably priced.
It’s most times, either you take a value and forget pricing, or you take the 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 I must 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:
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. You’ll discover that the chain is essential if you’re an off-road or racing enthusiast.
Efficiency and Performance
One great benefit of the best motorcycle chain is that it ensures and transfers 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 you can save much fuel. Fuel economy by motorcycle chain is a consequence of the part’s capacity to withstand the elements. Typically, bike chains are lightweight and designed 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 are quite easy to maintain. They give early signs that alert riders about wear and tear.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: 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 for handling 1000cc engine displacements. If you are a 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.
Q: What does a slack chain mean?
When someone tells you that measuring the number and extent of hangs your motorcycle chain makes, remember that they’re talking about slack. Chain slack increases with the frequency of use of your motorcycle. I mean, the more you use the bike, the more degree of hang. The solution is to re-tighten the chai or replace it if it’s worn out before re-tightening.
Q: 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.
Q: 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 reduce its life span. 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. 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 dirt, grit, and other contaminating deposits off.
The X-Ring motorcycle chain types are the best pick if you need efficiency. 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 using lubricants 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.
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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