5. Measure/Cut The New ChainMeasuring Chain

If you’re using the same size sprockets, lay the old chain down on a clean surface beside the new one to mark the length. Now, pop the pin out of the new chain to cut it to the correct number of links. For different sprocket sizes, you’ll measure the chain to length once the sprockets are mounted. Wrap the new chain around both sprockets. If the chain has not been cut to length, turn the chain adjusters in equal amounts until the middle of the adjustment range is indicated on the swingarm. Snug up the axle nut to keep the axle from moving. Pull the chain taut and fold the chain over where it meets the other end. You goal is to mark the rivet that needs to be removed so that you can slip the master link into position. Remove the rivet as described earlier.

  • 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!