Master link failure? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 41 Old 01-07-2014, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Master link failure?

I'm getting new chain and do not have a chain breaking tool. I'm curious to know if anyone has personal experience with failure of a master (or clip) link. For most of my earlier motorcycling years (even in the pre-O-or X-ring days) this was a common method of securing a chain, and in all that time I did not observe or even hear of the failure of a properly installed link, though a vague fear of such seems to lurk in motorcycling lore.

Testify, brothers! Has anyone seen a failure?

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post #2 of 41 Old 01-07-2014, 12:05 PM
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It's very rare but I've seen a few reports. You can get an EK chain with a screw on master link from Blair at SVRacingparts.com. You would need a 118 link chain if you don't have the tools to cut a couple of links off the typical 120 link replacement chain.

A good clip type link would need a tool to press on the side plate. The type that assemble without tools can get metal fatigue on the side plate opposite the clip. Travellingstrom had that happen a couple of times on one trip.

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post #3 of 41 Old 01-07-2014, 12:21 PM
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I had a clip that came off 1700 miles from home on an older bike of mine. I was able to get a hand full of clips at a cycle gear for the ride back. I was replacing a clip every couple hundred miles. Needlessly stressful and annoying. Really distracted me from what should have been a great ride. I have used rivet links since.
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post #4 of 41 Old 01-07-2014, 12:24 PM
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I had a master link break on my old 2001 Bandit back in 2002 or 2003. When it failed, the chain was thrown and broke a chunk off the clutch pushrod (?).

A year or so ago the clip came off my dirt bike's master link while I was on a ride about 20 miles from home, and the link disengaged and the chain went shooting out the back. I had some spare clips but as shitty luck would have it I launched them off into the woods as I was trying to install them. I ended up just putting the master link on with no clip and riding home in second gear at 15 mph (to minimize any excessive chain jerk). Incredibly, I made it. As I arrived home and killed the engine, I heard a "clink" noise, and the side plate for the master link fell off.

In the case of the Bandit, I had a backyard mechanic do the work and I actually spec'd out a non O ring, extremely cheap chain, in an effort to save money. In the case of the dirt bike, I had bought it used and had really never gone over the chain and master link; if I had, I may have noticed that the clip was not correctly installed, or whatever.

Despite those anomalies I continue to run master link chains and trust them. I have reached a point in my motorcycling career where I do my own chains and so forth so now any screw ups rest on me... both my Stroms currently wear DID X ring chains with clip style links, and in a cumulative 90,000 miles neither has had an issue with that setup.
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post #5 of 41 Old 01-07-2014, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeB View Post
I'm getting new chain and do not have a chain breaking tool. I'm curious to know if anyone has personal experience with failure of a master (or clip) link. For most of my earlier motorcycling years (even in the pre-O-or X-ring days) this was a common method of securing a chain, and in all that time I did not observe or even hear of the failure of a properly installed link, though a vague fear of such seems to lurk in motorcycling lore.

Testify, brothers! Has anyone seen a failure?
Seen a few first hand, and the consequences of many more. Rivet is the way to go. The tools aren't that expensive and it's a one time cost.

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'07 DL650, '01 DR-Z400S, '99 SV650 (race bike), '80 GS1000S, '85 RZ350, '08 Ducati 848
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post #6 of 41 Old 01-07-2014, 01:25 PM
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I have never had a problem with a properly installed master link

I have of course seen the clips on backwards and so abused by the installer that they never / or can clip into the little grooves.

I would think that a manufacturer with the swing arm in his hand would want a continuous chain for the ease of installation so not that it may/or not be a use problem
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post #7 of 41 Old 01-07-2014, 01:46 PM
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Have app. 15,000 miles with the screw-on link from Blair, no problemo. Will probably swap out the sprockets (16/43) and throw on a new chain as a winter project.

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Last edited by Illinois; 01-07-2014 at 01:48 PM.
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post #8 of 41 Old 01-07-2014, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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OK, chain and screw link ordered. Unfortunately on Blair's website I could only find chain/sprocket combos, and I already had the sprocket part covered. Thanks to all.

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post #9 of 41 Old 01-07-2014, 04:47 PM
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To add a little to the discussion-a properly installed clip type master link can be trouble free. BUT......that was in the old days when there was no such thing as an O-ring chain. I think the O-rings make it a LOT more likely to mess up the installation of a clip type master link and add to that the side pressure the O-rings put on the spring clip and there just has to be more chance of failure. The clip coming off is not the only thing that can happen. If you mess up the O-rings that link will likely rust and wear out over time and be weaker than the remaining chain.
I wouldn't be afraid to use one, but personally would change out to a rivet style when I could.

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post #10 of 41 Old 01-07-2014, 11:22 PM
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I have never had one fail. But I have seen the groove that the keeper seats in be defective. So I would look at that closely. Chain tools can fairly inexpensive, and you can penne the end of the link really easily without the tool.

By the way, make sure you get the right chain length. the '08 and later ones have a slightly longer swing arm, thus a longer chain. It's to accommodate the ABS wither you have it or not.
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