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I have a 2019 dl1000 which uses a 525 chain. I would like to upgrade to a did vx3 xring gold chain which I believe uses a Master Link. I am a bit of a sucker for esthétiques! But I also really like the xring it is so much easier to pivot the links than a standard o ring. I could always feel the difference on my thumpers. What’s the General opinion on master links on a Liter Bike?
 

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I don't get your question. Every chain has a master link of some sort. (*) Your question is probably: What type of master link do you get, and are you happy with that?

As far as I know, there's three common types. First is the link which is secured with a little clip. These are easiest to install and remove. For various reasons these are not recommended for liter bikes.

The most common type for our bikes is the riveted type. With these you need a chain splitter/riveting tool. The pins through the master link are slightly hollow at the end and after installing the 2nd plate you use the tool to peen this pin end open ever so slightly so that the outer plate cannot get off. If done correctly this is 100% secure, but getting it right requires some practice.

The third type is relatively new. It uses torque-to-yield bolts to secure the master link to the rest of the chain: You screw a bolt with a little stud onto the master link to secure the outer plate. Once you've reached the design torque, the stud brakes free automatically and you are left with a clean and properly torqued master link.

Both of the last types are perfectly acceptable master link types for the DL1000. If installed and greased properly, the master link is as strong as the rest of the chain and will not require any further attention other than what you do to the rest of the chain anyway. (Lubing, mostly)

(*) Well, that's not quite true. It is possible to get a continuous chain without a master link, but in order to install/remove such a chain you need to disassemble part of the swingarm assembly. This is something that can be done relatively easily during the manufacturing process of the bike, but takes way too much time upon replacement. So most people don't do this: They simply cut the continuous chain with a Dremel or something, and then install a chain with a master link as the replacement chain. So for all practical purposes, every replacement chain has a master link.
 

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I don't get your question. Every chain has a master link of some sort. (*) Your question is probably: What type of master link do you get, and are you happy with that?

As far as I know, there's three common types. First is the link which is secured with a little clip. These are easiest to install and remove. For various reasons these are not recommended for liter bikes.

The most common type for our bikes is the riveted type. With these you need a chain splitter/riveting tool. The pins through the master link are slightly hollow at the end and after installing the 2nd plate you use the tool to peen this pin end open ever so slightly so that the outer plate cannot get off. If done correctly this is 100% secure, but getting it right requires some practice.

The third type is relatively new. It uses torque-to-yield bolts to secure the master link to the rest of the chain: You screw a bolt with a little stud onto the master link to secure the outer plate. Once you've reached the design torque, the stud brakes free automatically and you are left with a clean and properly torqued master link.

Both of the last types are perfectly acceptable master link types for the DL1000. If installed and greased properly, the master link is as strong as the rest of the chain and will not require any further attention other than what you do to the rest of the chain anyway. (Lubing, mostly)

(*) Well, that's not quite true. It is possible to get a continuous chain without a master link, but in order to install/remove such a chain you need to disassemble part of the swingarm assembly. This is something that can be done relatively easily during the manufacturing process of the bike, but takes way too much time upon replacement. So most people don't do this: They simply cut the continuous chain with a Dremel or something, and then install a chain with a master link as the replacement chain. So for all practical purposes, every replacement chain has a master link.
Sorry I wrote this early in the morning I was referring to the clip style
 

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I don't get your question. Every chain has a master link of some sort. (*) Your question is probably: What type of master link do you get, and are you happy with that?

As far as I know, there's three common types. First is the link which is secured with a little clip. These are easiest to install and remove. For various reasons these are not recommended for liter bikes.

The most common type for our bikes is the riveted type. With these you need a chain splitter/riveting tool. The pins through the master link are slightly hollow at the end and after installing the 2nd plate you use the tool to peen this pin end open ever so slightly so that the outer plate cannot get off. If done correctly this is 100% secure, but getting it right requires some practice.

The third type is relatively new. It uses torque-to-yield bolts to secure the master link to the rest of the chain: You screw a bolt with a little stud onto the master link to secure the outer plate. Once you've reached the design torque, the stud brakes free automatically and you are left with a clean and properly torqued master link.

Both of the last types are perfectly acceptable master link types for the DL1000. If installed and greased properly, the master link is as strong as the rest of the chain and will not require any further attention other than what you do to the rest of the chain anyway. (Lubing, mostly)

(*) Well, that's not quite true. It is possible to get a continuous chain without a master link, but in order to install/remove such a chain you need to disassemble part of the swingarm assembly. This is something that can be done relatively easily during the manufacturing process of the bike, but takes way too much time upon replacement. So most people don't do this: They simply cut the continuous chain with a Dremel or something, and then install a chain with a master link as the replacement chain. So for all practical purposes, every replacement chain has a master link.
Thanks for the reply you kind of said what I some what suspected. I am a little uncertain about the strength of the clip style on a 100hp engin also.
 

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Rivet style ONLY.

Honestly, I'm a little surprised a clip style is even available for this chain. Most high-end street chains offer only rivet style master links.

It's not so much the strength; the clip style is likely every bit as strong. It's the fact that a rivet master eliminates one possible source of failure. A faster, heavier, more powerful bike increases the chances of problems a little, and the consequences are potentially more severe. It's not a race bike where you're changing gearing multiple times a weekend, so there's no reason whatsoever to take that small chance.

If you ever do need to remove the chain for whatever reason, just grind the heads off the master link rivets and replace it; it's only six or seven bucks. This situation is very rare.

All that said, failures of PROPERLY INSTALLED clip master links are nearly nonexistent. It's that PROPERLY INSTALLED bit that's the trouble. Most people know to place the closed end of the clip facing the direction of the CHAIN'S travel (but far too many also fail to do so).

But not one rider in ten seems to understand that you have to tension the chain plate against the clip after installation (basically, pry it back out a little so it's tight against the clip). Or that if you remove a master link clip, you must replace it. And checking for the clip must then become part of your daily routine.

Riveting also takes a little skill and a special tool (unless you get the EK chain with the break-off rivets; they have bolt heads you tighten with a wrench that break off cleanly when the proper deformation is achieved.) but once a master link is riveted correctly, it's pretty much bulletproof and you can mostly forget about it.


Also, somewhat tangential, but on a DL1000 an upgrade to 530 chain and sprockets (same pitch, slightly wider) has been proven to be very much worth the modest added cost. Instead of 20,000 miles or so from the stock size 525, you can reliably expect 30,000 to 40,000 miles from a 530 chain and sprockets.
 

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Do you have enough miles on your 1000 to need a new chain? Or are you just wanting the DID?. The factory chain on my 2018 was an RK X-Ring and was changed at 34,000 mi. and would have went 5K more.
 

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I have the riveting tool and I don't mind using it, in my workshop. But suppose something happens to the chain on the road. Can you simply use that EK screw type master link with any 525 chain (e.g. a DID) or is it only intended for EK chains? I'm thinking of getting one or two of those EK screw type master links as backups, to throw in my on-board toolkit but that only makes sense if it works with my DID chain.
 

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I have the riveting tool and I don't mind using it, in my workshop. But suppose something happens to the chain on the road. Can you simply use that EK screw type master link with any 525 chain (e.g. a DID) or is it only intended for EK chains? I'm thinking of getting one or two of those EK screw type master links as backups, to throw in my on-board toolkit but that only makes sense if it works with my DID chain.
I suppose it has happened, but an outright chain failure while riding at speed would be catastrophic. You would likely have more serious problems to deal with than replacing the master link, IMHO.
But if you want a spare, I would get a master link of the same manufacturer and model as the chain. I suspect that the only thing common between different chains of the same pitch is in fact, the pitch. There may be different roller sizes, rivet hole diameters, plate dimensions, etc. Like wheels. 17- & 19-inch wheels are common diameters, but there are many different axle diameters, rim and offset dimensions.
 

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I suppose it has happened, but an outright chain failure while riding at speed would be catastrophic. You would likely have more serious problems to deal with than replacing the master link, IMHO.
But if you want a spare, I would get a master link of the same manufacturer and model as the chain. I suspect that the only thing common between different chains of the same pitch is in fact, the pitch. There may be different roller sizes, rivet hole diameters, plate dimensions, etc. Like wheels. 17- & 19-inch wheels are common diameters, but there are many different axle diameters, rim and offset dimensions.
Yeah, I thought as much. Thanks.
 

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Yep, master links are definitely not universal; they're specific to the chain brand and model.

And also yep, chain failure, especially if it's a quality o-ring or x-ring chain properly riveted and at least glanced at every so often, is exceedingly rare nowadays.

I do carry two master links for my KLR650, which uses a 520 chain that's only available with a clip master. I've never had to use them, although I once spotted a missing clip on a friend's bike, and the clip from my spare happened to fit his chain just fine.
 

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Hogwash on clip style not being OK. I bought a well used Suzuki Bandit 1200 that had 2 clip style master links from previous owner due to him making an error on chain length.. That bike had way more power than any Strom and I flogged it.

Zero issues with the chain although I wouldn't install 2 like that myself
 

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I don't have a problem with clip style master links at all. I just use silicone to keep the clip from coming off and have the closed end facing the direction of chain travel.
 

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I have fitted heaps of clip type chains - sure mostly dirt bikes, but without an issue. It is important though to ensure that the clip is properly installed. You must squeeze the O-rings until the grooves are totally exposed and ensure that the clip is fully inserted into the grooves at both pins, and as D.T. says always with the closed end of the clip pointing in the direction of chain travel. If it lasts one ride it will be good until the chain is worn out.
 
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