Master link types interchangable between chains?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by west5786, Mar 11, 2021.

  1. west5786

    west5786 Adventurer

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    Had a question about fitting master links and chains. All the advice I see online says "use the master link that came with your chain." Trouble is I am looking to purchase a kit with front sprocket, rear sprocket and chain for my WR250R, but all of the chains offered in the kit use clip master links and I am looking to use a rivet master link, (already have the tool on order).
    If I stay with the same pitch (520), o ring or x ring sealed and same brand can one order a separate rivet style link and use that instead of the included clip style master link? (And maybe keep the included clip link as a spare?)
    I see online that you can pick up lots of different master links, but the majority seem to be meant for, or share the name of, an offered chain model. So I wasn't sure if each chain had different sized pins or other parts that would be incompatible with certain master links.
    Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
    #1
  2. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

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    The DID chain I usually order only comes with a clip style master. I order the matching rivet at the same time. Then toss the clip master in my camelback. Make sure to order the matching rivet link, even within DID brand, they have different widths and pin diameters.
    #2
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  3. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    The pins on chains can be different diameters. When you're putting on a master link, the pin diameter matters.

    The standard chain size specifications tell the sizes of parts where the chain touches the sprockets. Some chains tell strength too.

    What the chain size specifications don't tell is the diameter of the pins.

    So the rollers will always be the same OD and there will always be the same distance between the inside faces of the plates, but some chains will be wider. Most important here is that chains can have different diameters of pins.

    Since different manufacturers are all competing to make good strong chains, the pins are likely pretty close to each other in diameter. But they don't necessarily match. Some may be too large to fit and some may fit loosely. The pin length can vary a lot depending on the widths of the plates and the widths of the O or X rings.
    #3
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  4. svtride

    svtride Been here awhile Supporter

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    DID offers 3 types of master links, though not all are offered for each chain they sell.
    A type 2 ML came with my last ERVT chain. The graphic below lists the retention hierarchy.
    IMO, it's not worth cross mixing ML and suppliers, too many details to keep track of.
    grab867.jpg
    #4
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  5. west5786

    west5786 Adventurer

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    Thank you. The replies confirm what I expected. On the website I was shopping on (Motorsport.com) they seem to only offer one type of link for each chain model, pretty much only clip type. Should I be shopping on a different site then if I am after rivet type? I am trying to stick with a little lighter chain, and the light duty ones seem to all be clip type. I don’t need a heavy, overbuilt chain for my little bike.
    #5
  6. bwringer

    bwringer Gimpy, Yet Alacritous

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    Yep, master links are specific to their chains. Many or most 520 chains do not have a rivet style master link available.

    EK does seem to make rivet masters for a few of their 520 chains.

    ZVX3: https://www.amazon.com/EK-520ZVX3-X-Ring-Chain-Master/dp/B079QGC2YM
    ZVX3 Screw type: https://www.amazon.com/EK-520ZVX3-X...9e1b1&pd_rd_wg=D2s1t&pd_rd_i=B079QLDZPN&psc=1

    MVXZ2: https://www.amazon.com/EK-Chain-520...9e1b1&pd_rd_wg=D2s1t&pd_rd_i=B071XW9BK2&psc=1

    I tend to use EK's high-end chains like those, so that's what I'm familiar with. I'm sure there are others.

    If you already have some other chain, then you'll need to figure out whether the manufacturer made a rivet master for it. If not, then you'll need to buy a different chain.



    Or, you know, just properly install the clip and don't worry about it. They are reliable, but ONLY if installed and used correctly. Which is rare.

    Everyone seems to know what direction to install the clip, but from what I've seen, not a lot of folks understand that you have to pry the side plate out a bit after installing the clip so that the side plate is hard up against the clip. Side plates on sealed chains are a very tight fit and you have to press them on. Once you get the side plate pressed on sufficiently, install the clip, then you need to carefully pry the side plate back out just that teensy bit so the clip isn't loose.

    Also, master link clips are also supposed to be one-time use items, but not a lot of folks ever actually pay attention to that. Unless you're doing a lot of gearing changes, there's rarely much reason to remove the master link again until the chain is being replaced.
    #6
  7. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Let me give you a tutorial on how to use parts fiches?

    As an example?

    I went to the Motorsport site.Pulled the drive parts, that is chains/sprockets and links.

    For a DID 520VX3 this shows up:

    X001-Y002.jpg

    BUT if one clicks on the part, and then "type" (options in some cases) you get the choice of either clip or rivet.So that one is in stock:

    https://www.motosport.com/did-520vx3-chain-master-link

    Go back in there with your exact model/year, pull out the "Drive" parts and click around!
    #7
  8. west5786

    west5786 Adventurer

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    Thank you all for the insights.
    Bwringer, I had never heard that approach to pressing the plate to the clip. Thanks for the tip, I will remember it.
    I gave up on the package deal and added parts individually. Same front and rear sprocket, started working through sealed chains until I came upon the DID 520VX3 and saw that you could order clip or rivet type. Funny enough it came out to be the chain model that H96669 used as an example, so thanks.
    It came out more expensive than the package deal, but I will get what I really want so I am happy.
    #8
  9. RidingforRebelGears

    RidingforRebelGears Been here awhile

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    Try a EK brand SRO6 series. They are available with a rivet link and are around $60.00-$65.00 plus made in Japan. Good for up to 650cc with 8,400 tensile.
    #9
  10. TheAntiCrash

    TheAntiCrash Been here awhile

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    I learned my lesson on slight diameter differences on chain manufacturers .
    With every new chain extra master links are ordered.
    #10