Tech Tips: Chain Removal and Installation 1

Is your chain stretched out or rusted beyond belief? Need to change it out? Check out our Tech Tips on swapping out your old, beat-up chain, for a fresh and correctly measured replacement.

Looking for chains, sprockets, guides, or other drivetrain related parts? Check out

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Transcribed version:

"Hey, this is Mike Lindsay from Vital MX. We're here at Chaparral Motorsports. Today, we're going to show you how to replace your chain and break a new one. Tools you're going to need, you need a chain breaker for when we're breaking the new chain; 10 and 12-millimeter end wrenches are usually what you're going to need to set the chain adjustment, and then a large socket or wrench to remove the rear wheel. On most full-size bikes, that's a 32-millimeter. First up, we're dealing with master link chains today, so we're going to pop the one off the chain that's already on the bike. 

A nice set of pliers usually works. Just push it forward, and then remove the current master link. Then, just pull the chain right off. Of course, make sure the bike is in neutral, so the chain pulls right off. It's always nice to have a nice clean floor or workbench to work with. You can lay out your new chain beside your old chain to decide how long it needs to be. The chain we're swapping right now is not actually that old, so we're not going to see any real stretching here. But quite often, you'll find chains that have stretched anywhere from half to maybe even three-quarters of the length of the link. 

Now that we've decided how long we need to cut our new RK chain, we're going to go ahead and push out the pin where we need to shorten it to. So we're going to take our chain breaker here, get it set up. Another really weird, quick way you can do this other than using a chain breaking tool is, these pins are knurled over, so you can actually take like a grinder and you can grind this down until the pin falls out if you don't have a chain breaker. A chain breaker is pretty simple. You tighten up the initial pin against this. You have a pin inside that is going to press and push the knurled pin out. Get it tightened up, and we're going to set up two end wrenches and put pressure on it until it pushes the pin out. 

There it is. Now, you just loosen the tool, and retriever your now cut chain. Now, we're going to go ahead and install our new chain on the bike. Once again, just make sure your bike is in neutral. Otherwise, the countershaft sprocket won't exactly move and you won't be able to retrieve your chain. Now that we've got our chain stretched out and in place, we're going to reinsert our new master link. 

Make sure that's pressed on enough that you've exposed both of the ridges here. Then, you always want to place your master link going the opposite direction of travel, just to make sure of any weird reason whether it wears out or if it catches something along, it doesn't try to pop off. Now that you've set that chain adjustment, make sure you time down your rear axle before you head out on the first ride, and keep it short because the chain definitely stretches the most within the first hour. You're probably going to have to set it one more time. Make sure you also check out for more Tech Tips."

Credit: Joe Carlino
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