3. Press/Rivet Master LinkMaster Link

Assemble the chain-rivet tool with its press plates. Using a wrench, tighten the bolt until the plate is seated. If your rivet tool doesn’t have press plates, you can “walk” the plate into position by clamping down a pair of Vise-Grip pliers on alternating ends of the plate. Tighten the pliers’ adjuster a little between each step. Whichever technique you use, your goal is to have the outer side plates on the master link the same distance from the inner plates as on the adjoining, permanently riveted links. Proper alignment will make sure that the grease stays in the roller when the chain gets hot, but without the master link being so tight that it binds the chain.

Properly riveting the roller pins is vital to keeping your chain together. Use the right tool for the job, and you’ll have no worries. Place the chain tool’s anvil behind the pin you’ll be riveting. Line the pin up in the tool and tighten the alignment bolt. Push the riveter onto pin with the tool’s push bolt. Tighten the bolt down until it flares the end of the pin, preventing the plate from sliding out on the pin. Repeat on the other pin.

[Image Credit: Motion Pro]

  • 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!