Light Trials Chain Very Hard to Find in US

Discussion in 'Trials' started by motobene, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    This thread has been updated. Got some of the dimensions wrong first time.

    The chains that come on trials bikes are typically Regina or Iris 1.8mm plate thickness chain. Almost everything available in USA is the more porky 2.2mm plate chain.

    I just made a mistake in ordering a chain that I wanted to make you all aware of. Avoid any "heavy duty" designated chain.

    I saw an RK brank 520H chain on eBay for a good price for 120 links (typically you need no more than 104 or 102). I looked up the tech specs on the RK website and found it to be 2.2mm plate. This was wrong. It's actually 2.45mm. I thought, "OK, it's just pig chain like all the rest, but it'll do."

    What I got was 2.45mm-plate chain and it's wider at the pins and taller in the plate. Ack! The chain barely fits the chain tensioner block, and with the swing arm fully extended, the chin goes z-z-z-z-z-z against the frame. It is even heavier than the usual porky chain.

    For reference:

    On my Factory Sherco, Regina, no master link (assembled same time as the swing arm):
    Plate: 1.8mm, Tall: 13.8mm, Wide: 16,3mm
    This is what we can't get here, unless we pay $100 for the D.I.D. 520 ERS chain!

    Typical chain available in USA from many brands:
    Plate: 2.2mm, Tall: 14.4mm, Wide: 16.5mm

    Porkmeister 'heavy-duty' chains (avoid like the friggin plague):
    Plate: 2.4mm, Tall: 15.0mm, Wide: 16.8mm

    Argh! All that added pork for no good reason, as it is pretty much impossible to ever so-called 'stretch' chain plates even at 1.8mm. The load to plastically deform chain plates is just HUGE.

    Chain specs for D.I.D. are here:

    http://www.didchain.com/chainSpecs.html

    I have found two places in USA to buy the ERS2 1.8mm plate chain. Accu-Products, or on eBay from the same:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/D-I-D-DID-5...0-Links-RS250-TZ250-DID-520-ERS-/262239211590

    The following guys are a bit more expensive.

    http://www.moto-chains.com/site/898528/product/d520ers

    $100 for 'light duty' chain! This is a great chain and not crap like Iris. Paying that much for a chain is hard to swallow to save some ounces. Anyone find a source for 1.8mm plate chain that is more reasonable?

    I'd love to be able to buy this in bulk roll and resell it at a reasonable price.
    #1
  2. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    I'm headed to northern Italy around Thanksgiving (I know, too late for this season - for most of us). There's a Beta dealer in almost every city/town that we're going to visit. I could bring a few "light duty" chains back, if anyone is interested.
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  3. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    Thanks! Goods tend to be expensive in Europe, but maybe you could ask around when in Italia.

    What I'm looking for is a source of bulk chain or reasonably priced Euro chain already packaged. Ideally not the soft light Iris chain. I'd be OK with even that if it could be bought low enough to replace more frequently.

    Either packages of 102 or more links with master link at 50 Euro, or bulk roll with master links at about the same price.

    Doesn't make sense to get bulk if there isn't the margin left to resell it! The Japanese quality D.I.D. ERS 520 chain at a hundred smackers retail doesn't meet that requirement.
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  4. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    I won't forget about this Chris. I tried to find a light duty chain when I was in Austria and Germany last Thanksgiving. When I got back, I discovered that the chain I was trying to find didn't exist. So, it was not surprised that no shop could find it in their catalog(s). When we get closer to mid-November, I'll shoot you a PM and we can discuss the details.
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  5. Thesolidman1

    Thesolidman1 Adventurer

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    I'm curious what the advantages are other than weight. I have seen the lighter trials chains snap on riding buddies bikes, twice. Once, during a splatter, resulting in a crash. The OEM light chains wear out pretty quickly. I have been using a Renthal r1 'Works' chain as a replacement. Yes, it is heavier and bulkier, but I do not notice any difference when actually riding the bike. I realize in theory the heavier chain could affect the power delivery but in the real world, the heavy flywheel, slow revving, slow speed nature of the trials bike it doesn't seem to be a big factor. The strength and durability would seem to me to be a higher priority.
    #5
  6. heffergm

    heffergm Long timer

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    I'm happy with 520 non oring chain...
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  7. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    I'd venture that plate thickness was not a first cause in any of those failures. Riders can be very hard on their chains, and yes, some of the OEM chains from Yurp are not best quality.

    I too am 'satisfied' with standard chain. This thread is simply a hope for good quality 2mm-plate chain in USA for hopefully $50-75.
    #7
  8. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    It does exist. See this web site and note the specs for the ERS2. The Regina chain on my Sherco is this spec.

    http://www.didchain.com/chainSpecs.html
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  9. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    Well, that's odd. Every shop that I visited could not find that chain in any of their (D.I.D.) catalogs. I'm hoping the Beta dealers will be different. Trials doesn't seem to be very popular in Austria/Germany. Of course, you mentioned buying chain in bulk, too.
    #9
  10. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    Maybe it's only bulk OEM for trials bikes, and some specialty chain like ERS2 for 250 road racers, so it's not common in The either.
    #10
  11. DerViking

    DerViking Shred

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    Graydog and I are running Renthal non oring. $75 to your door, and bullet proof. We made this change after each breaking the Iris chains in awkward spots. A bit porkier sure, but fits through the tensioner just fine. I imagine it will out last the bike at this point.
    #11
  12. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    Yup, the commonly available chain works fine. Renthal or otherwise. So does the thin-plate stuff when it's not made lower quality like Iris chain.

    A look at eBay shows a baffling array of available chains:

    http://www.ebay.com/bhp/520-motorcycle-chain

    What is hard to know are the specs, material, and processing quality.

    I typically prefer Japanese chain when buying the common stuff, because the Japanese have been making chain a long time and typically have high quality standards. But without testing every chain it is hard to know.

    Check out this Chinese? chain. It doesn't engender confidence with "pre stretched" marketing bullshit on the box. But at $21, despite the 'tard marketing, it could be every bit as good as Renthal.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/WPS-Standard-Motorcycle-MX-ATV-520-Non-O-Ring-Chain-106-Links-/350847523553
    #12
  13. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    :lol3 Easy there Chris.
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  14. heffergm

    heffergm Long timer

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    #14
  15. hdscarbro

    hdscarbro Adventurer

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  16. Nobade

    Nobade Been here awhile

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    Hope KMC motorcycle chain is better than their bicycle chain. We used to say it stood for Kant Make Chain.
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  17. hdscarbro

    hdscarbro Adventurer

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  18. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    The RK 520MXZ4 is 18.8mm total width. They don't list the plate width.

    The plate thickness of chains available in USA is pretty much always 'standard' or 'heavy duty', 2.0+mm, not the light duty chain with the thinnest plates (1.8mm) that comes on Euro trials bikes.

    The really cheap stuff is sometimes pretty chunky in the plates, like 2.5mm. Bulk versus quality!

    I've been buying the thin, 1.8mm plate Regina chain from RYP (Sherco OE). This chain is a bit pricey, but it works fine and doesn't add weight to the bike.
    #18
  19. heffergm

    heffergm Long timer

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    You can get Regina EBXL from Splatshop. It's not cheap to ship, but the exchange rate isn't horrible at the moment, so it works out to about what Ryan is getting for the 101 link Sherco chain. And if you're like me, you might need something > 101 links.
    #19
  20. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    The Regina chain from RYP has the bizarre half link needed for the average Sherco.

    I'd like to reach back in time to 2000 and bop a Sherco (then Bultaco) engineer on the head and say, "A touch of length for no half link dumb dumb!"
    #20
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