Find the Best Drive Chain for Your Motorcycle
A high quality chain is a key piece of your motorcycle. Inspecting and maintaining your drive chain and sprockets is a crucial part of your regular maintenance, too.
If you’re looking for a new chain, whether your current chain has worn out or you’re putting the finishing touches on your latest project, RK Racing chains are an excellent choice.
The RK x-ring chain is a durable, long-lasting, and performance-oriented motorcycle chain that’s suitable for a variety of street and off-road applications.
Remember, whenever you’re replacing chains or sprockets, it’s a good idea to replace all of them.
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About the RK Racing Chain XW-Ring Motorcycle Chain
RK Racing Chains are a solid choice for a drive chain upgrade or replacement.
The RK Racing XW-ring motorcycle chain features:
- 520 pitch.
- Available in 70 to 150 links.
- XW-ring construction for maximum lubrication, protection, and longevity.
- Rivet style master link (requires tool to install).
- Available in a variety of colors to add some custom style to your build.
This is a high quality chain that’s suitable for up to 1000cc street bikes and 750cc off-road bikes.
Main Types of Motorcycle Chains
You’ve got a few options when it comes to motorcycle chains. The main types include:
- Standard motorcycle chains.
- O-ring chains.
- X-ring chains.
Standard motorcycle chains are non-sealed. These were the original type of chain, but can still be used today.
If you’ve biked up a barn find or an older project bike, chances are pretty good that you’ll find a old, rusty non-sealed motorcycle drive chain on the equally rusty sprockets.
Non-sealed chains require more maintenance (cleaning and lubrication) than their o-ring and x-ring counterparts.
O-ring motorcycle chains feature o-rings on each pin. These help keep the chain better lubricated and protected from dirt and grime. These come pre-lubricated from the manufacturer and require less maintenance, but should still be inspected reguarly.
X-ring motorcycle chains are similar to o-ring chains, but feature less surface area and reduce drag. These are common in racing or performance applications, and are typically a bit more expensive, but also last longer than o-ring or non-sealed chains.
Which is Best? Motorcycle Chain Rivet Link or Master Link
Motorcycle chains come with two connection methods, either using a master link clip or a rivet.
Master links clips are easier to install and remove. However, these come with more opportunity for failure, especially if installed incorrectly.
Master link clips that require no tool to install are suited for small-sized motorcycled. These are typically only found on non-sealed motorcycle chains.
Master link clips that feature a press-fit as well as the safety clip are suited for mid-sized motorcycles.
Rivet links require a chain tool to install and remove, but offer a bit more strength and security in the connection. These are typically recommended for high-torque bikes, performance applications, and more powerful engines.
Press fit master link and rivet links are found on both o-ring and x-ring motorcycle chains, depending on the application.
Most new chains will include either a new master clip or a rivet.
What size motorcycle chain do you need?
The size, pitch, and length of your motorcycle chain depends on sprockets you have on your bike.
Pitch corresponds to the distance between the chain’s pins. Common pitch sizes are 520, 525, and 530, or 420 for smaller bikes. You need to choose the pitch that matches your front and rear sprockets.
Size refers to the number of links in the chain. This will also depend on the size of your sprockets.
If you’re running a stock set-up, you can refer to your motorcycle’s service manual for the correct type and size of chain to use.
Best Motorcycle Drive Chain: More Top Rated Options
In addition to RK X-Ring chain, some other great choices for the best chain include:
D.I.D. X-Ring Motorcycle Chain
D.I.D. is a solid choice for motorcycle chains.
This 520 x-ring chain is a good choice for street and off-road bikes up to 800cc.
Includes a clip-style master link.
RK Racing O-Ring Drive Chain
This 520 o-ring chain from RK Racing is a good choice for street and off-road motorcycles up to 400cc.
Comes pre-stressed and pre-stretched to prolong its useful life and performance.
JT Sprockets Heavy Duty X-Ring Chain
This is another decent x-ring motorcycle chain best suited for small to mid-sized street, off-road, and dual sport motorcycles.
520 x 120 links with a rivet style master link.
Motorcycle Chain Breaker & Riveter Tool
If you’re replacing your own chains with either a rivet link or a press-fit master link, you’re going to need a chain breaker tool.
Some of the top choices for the best chain breaker and riveter tools include:
- ABN 13-piece Motorcycle Chain Cutter and Riveter
- RK Racking Universal Chain Tool
- Motion Pro Chain Breaker
ABN Motorcycle Chain Tool
If you’re looking for a budget chain breaker tool that you can use on everything from small bicycle chains to motorcycle chains up to 630 pitch, this ABN chain breaker is a good choice.
RK Racing Universal Chain Tool
RK Racing’s universal handheld chain tool is a great mid-budget option for replacing and installing most motorcycle chains.
Motion Pro Chain Breaker
This Motion Pro chain breaker can be either used by hand or placed in a vice to make breaking and installing your chain easier.
This is a more expensive, but super convenient tool for 520, 525, and 530 motorcycle chains.
Motorcycle Chain Lube & Cleaners
Keeping your motorcycle chain clean and well lubricated is an important part of motorcycle maintenance.
A properly maintained drive chain will last longer, perform better, and reduce the chance of a break while riding.
Some useful products to keep up with cleaning and lubricating your motorcycle chain include:
Do you have experiences with any of these motorcycle chains? Maybe you’re using something different? Share your experience in the comments below.