Chain Replacement

Changing a motorcycle chain is a relatively easy job for even the most inexperienced mechanic. Back in the old days, you needed little more than a hacksaw, a pair of vise grips and a correctly sized chain. Many beginning mechanics installed their first replacement chain in this manner. However, times have changed, and riveting master links, rather than clip connectors, are the standard. So, while the process is still fairly simple, you will need a specialized tool (or a friend that has one).

  • john phyyt

    Why oh Why does every chain NEED to go through the Swingarm. With true engineering excellence surely a way could be found to create one which allows the chain to be freed by removing the swingarm , thus allowing an endless chain to be installed without the compromise of a joining link.

    • Gruf Rude

      I carried sufficient tools to remove the swingarm pivot bolt on my KLR for my ride to Alaska and carried a spare endless chain & sprocket set in case the original chain was destroyed. The chain breaker/riveting tool was too heavy/bulky to carry. No problem removing the pivot bolt to remove the old chain and install the new. Of course, the KLR has a simple swingarm; the chain does not thread through it as it does on some single-sided swingarms.

  • Branson

    This is a tremendously useful and well-written article Evans, and concise. Thanks for doing it!