Clip Style Master Link - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-16-2018, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Clip Style Master Link

Hey folks,

Ordered a new chain: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It has a 'clip' style master link. Anyone have experience with this style? All I'm familiar with is a rivet style... the clip doesn't inspire much confidence in me since it is tool-less. It looks like they sell a rivet style master link, would it be worthwhile to go ahead and get one of those?

2015 Versys 650
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-16-2018, 05:13 PM
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I have heard horror stories of clip style links, ...I have no idea if they are true or not.....but if they are , you will surely die in a fiery wreck if you use the clip style link...


but on a serious note, I believe the prefered method is a rivet style master link..thats all Ive ever used..

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-16-2018, 05:38 PM
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I had the clip style on my 1984 GS1150ES with no problems. I was a lot younger then so that bike got rode hard! Wish I still had it.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-16-2018, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by sternman318 View Post
Hey folks,

Ordered a new chain: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It has a 'clip' style master link. Anyone have experience with this style? All I'm familiar with is a rivet style... the clip doesn't inspire much confidence in me since it is tool-less. It looks like they sell a rivet style master link, would it be worthwhile to go ahead and get one of those?
Rivet style master links are of course safer as they are pretty much guaranteed to never come apart. That said, if you install a clip master link properly, they are directional, and DO NOT take it apart to remove and reinstall chain causing it to loosen, you should be OK. Every time I've read a story online about someone losing their master link it is usually preceded by a story of installation woes or removing it to clean chain and then just installing it, probably incorrectly.

If it was me I would just bite the bullet and buy a Stockton or Motion Pro chain tool. Lot's of HOW TO videos on YouTube.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-16-2018, 08:03 PM
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ive been running clip style master links for over 20 years and have only ever had one fail and that was due to it being improperly installed. just have the opening on the trailing edge and for added security i put a dab of superglue on it to hold it to the backing plate then paint it with some nail polish to make it easier to find and to help when cleaning the chain (to tell when its gone around twice)

yes im a guy.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-16-2018, 09:44 PM
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You can do what you want but--the people that say there ok have never seen one come off destroy the engine block- lock the rear wheel and the bike crashes-I have seen this more times than I should have all because it's cheaper-clip style links are ok for light weight dirt bikes-Versys is to heavy and to much HP-so there you have it two different opinions-your choice-one more thing if the clip types are so good why doesn't Kawasaki use them on this bike-think about it

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-16-2018, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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I already have a Stockton chain tool, so does that mean if I DID buy a riveted master link (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1) I could just break the riveted link and install this, right? Honestly for $7 I'd like the peace of mind, plus the gold link makes it easy to track when cleaning.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sternman318 View Post
I already have a Stockton chain tool, so does that mean if I DID buy a riveted master link (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1) I could just break the riveted link and install this, right? Honestly for $7 I'd like the peace of mind, plus the gold link makes it easy to track when cleaning.
I meant break the clip master link

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 05:54 PM
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I run the clip style master link on some of my bikes .I just put some silicone on the plate. Years ago we use to run them on our track bikes (Gsxr1100 -750) never had a problem.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sternman318 View Post
Hey folks,

Ordered a new chain: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It has a 'clip' style master link. Anyone have experience with this style? All I'm familiar with is a rivet style... the clip doesn't inspire much confidence in me since it is tool-less. It looks like they sell a rivet style master link, would it be worthwhile to go ahead and get one of those?
Seriously....l don't fret one bit about a clip style master link..... I've used them on all my bikes and I ride my bikes like they're rented.... get a quality chain with high tensile strength, install it correctly, keep debris out of the chain guards, keep your chain properly lubed and adjusted and you'll not be having any problems...

The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done." George Carlin, US comedian and actor (1937 - 2008)


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Last edited by gmctech; 06-17-2018 at 08:14 PM.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 08:12 PM
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You can do what you want but--the people that say there ok have never seen one come off destroy the engine block- lock the rear wheel and the bike crashes-I have seen this more times than I should have all because it's cheaper-clip style links are ok for light weight dirt bikes-Versys is to heavy and to much HP-so there you have it two different opinions-your choice-one more thing if the clip types are so good why doesn't Kawasaki use them on this bike-think about it
Funny.... what you describe is FOR THE UNEXPECTED FAILURE OF ANY CHAIN may it be riveted or clip style.... I've seen Factory riveted chains do the same thing....

This topic is like the dreaded what tire is best, what oil is best etc etc stuff.... it's all opinion and personal experiences, and alas no matter what we've all experienced and believe to be true rivet or clip style, if they're not installed properly and properly maintained failure is imminent....
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 11:20 PM
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Funny.... what you describe is FOR THE UNEXPECTED FAILURE OF ANY CHAIN may it be riveted or clip style.... I've seen Factory riveted chains do the same thing....

This topic is like the dreaded what tire is best, what oil is best etc etc stuff.... it's all opinion and personal experiences, and alas no matter what we've all experienced and believe to be true rivet or clip style, if they're not installed properly and properly maintained failure is imminent....
so you have seen a factory riveted chain fail at the master link--do tell I would like to hear about it-because in 54 years of working on bikes I never have-only clip types

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-18-2018, 08:18 AM
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so you have seen a factory riveted chain fail at the master link--do tell I would like to hear about it-because in 54 years of working on bikes I never have-only clip types
Hahahaha. yeah okay there.... I've seen a few FACTORY CHAINS fail... if you never have then I don't know what to say about that except you must not have had much interaction with performance bikes... you seem to totally forget that SOME these chains and their clips are tested for LARGE bikes and SOME are tested for tiny dirt bikes and you MUST purchase the PROPER TENSILE strength rating.. for someone to just come out here and blast off that ALL clip chains will fail proves a point and it's not a good one... I have a chain with clip on my Versys that's rated at over 10,400 pounds strength.. that's NOT BREAKING-- EVEN AT THE CLIP.... I can also get a 3000 lb chain for my bike thats waaaaaaaay cheaper and looks identical.... THATS GONNA BREAK... to say that all clip chains are bad and the ones you've seen broken were a clip chains serves nothing without the empirical evidence of those chains ratings.... what you are saying is like saying all Brand X Model Y tires blow up on cars without knowing what speed they failed at, the care and maintenance they were subjected to and what the speed rating of said tires were that blew up... the factory chains I've seen go kablewy were not well maintained nor adjusted and worked on by hacks.... I did my due diligence and found out the underlying causes of these chains failures... oh and on a side note yes I've also seen clip chains failures and guess what? all were either severely ill maintained or EXTREMELY LOW TENSILE STRENGTH.

The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done." George Carlin, US comedian and actor (1937 - 2008)


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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-18-2018, 08:28 AM
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Back when I began riding, clip-style is all there was, but now that AFAIK all street bikes come from the factory with "endless" chains, I've always gone with the rivet style for replacements. Never seen any hard data, but it just seems like it would be a more reliable connection. However, if I was stuck and had to use a clip, I wouldn't hesitate and wouldn't be worried if I knew it was installed properly. If my Versys pumped out 100+ HP, maybe that would change the equation. Like mentioned above, doing a rivet-type master link is not a very difficult DIY using a good chain tool (I have the Motion Pro), but it takes a little "feel" pressing in the new rivets and if you go a hair too far you'll end up with a stiff link or a fractured rivet. I actually fumble around more with getting the greasy o-rings into place that with the rivets. Of course, if you're having a shop do the work, none of that is your problem.

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-18-2018, 09:04 AM
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Rode and raced dirt bikes for years and never had a problem with the clip type master links.

Most of my early street bikes had them too and never a problem.

But.... I did have a problem on my Versys last year. The previous owner had a local shop install a new chain on the bike and yep the shop installed a clip master link. I discovered this during chain maintenance. I inspected the clip for proper installation and security. All was fine.

Then last year I decided to install a new DID gold chain. When I found the master link on the old chain to remove it, the clip was gone!!! Holy crap! After saying a few choice words and catching my breath I inspected the master link. Fortunately the side plate was firmly in place. In fact so firmly that I had to grind it off.

Thankfully the clip links of today are not like the clip masters of old. With the old ones you did not have to press on the side plate. It went on with an easy push of your fingers. The links today are a much safer design as the side plate must be pressed on before you can install the clip. This is why my chain did not do a fly off hand grenade maneuver when the clip fell off.

So what is the score card? I am done with clip type master links. When I installed my new chain I used the rivet style master and now sleep better at night.
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-18-2018, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by gmctech View Post
Hahahaha. yeah okay there.... I've seen a few FACTORY CHAINS fail... if you never have then I don't know what to say about that except you must not have had much interaction with performance bikes... you seem to totally forget that SOME these chains and their clips are tested for LARGE bikes and SOME are tested for tiny dirt bikes and you MUST purchase the PROPER TENSILE strength rating.. for someone to just come out here and blast off that ALL clip chains will fail proves a point and it's not a good one... I have a chain with clip on my Versys that's rated at over 10,400 pounds strength.. that's NOT BREAKING-- EVEN AT THE CLIP.... I can also get a 3000 lb chain for my bike thats waaaaaaaay cheaper and looks identical.... THATS GONNA BREAK... to say that all clip chains are bad and the ones you've seen broken were a clip chains serves nothing without the empirical evidence of those chains ratings.... what you are saying is like saying all Brand X Model Y tires blow up on cars without knowing what speed they failed at, the care and maintenance they were subjected to and what the speed rating of said tires were that blew up... the factory chains I've seen go kablewy were not well maintained nor adjusted and worked on by hacks.... I did my due diligence and found out the underlying causes of these chains failures... oh and on a side note yes I've also seen clip chains failures and guess what? all were either severely ill maintained or EXTREMELY LOW TENSILE STRENGTH.
This will be my last post on this subject-I'm not saying click type's are bad they have a purpose just not on this bike-and I was only giving my observation of 50+ years of what I have seen--that is a pretty speech you gave- and in all that you still did not answer my original question

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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-18-2018, 09:46 AM
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Rode and raced dirt bikes for years and never had a problem with the clip type master links.

Most of my early street bikes had them too and never a problem.

But.... I did have a problem on my Versys last year. The previous owner had a local shop install a new chain on the bike and yep the shop installed a clip master link. I discovered this during chain maintenance. I inspected the clip for proper installation and security. All was fine.

Then last year I decided to install a new DID gold chain. When I found the master link on the old chain to remove it, the clip was gone!!! Holy crap! After saying a few choice words and catching my breath I inspected the master link. Fortunately the side plate was firmly in place. In fact so firmly that I had to grind it off.

Thankfully the clip links of today are not like the clip masters of old. With the old ones you did not have to press on the side plate. It went on with an easy push of your fingers. The links today are a much safer design as the side plate must be pressed on before you can install the clip. This is why my chain did not do a fly off hand grenade maneuver when the clip fell off.

So what is the score card? I am done with clip type master links. When I installed my new chain I used the rivet style master and now sleep better at night.
When dealing with such a little thing that could save your life or your bike it's always better to go with the safer way-works for me
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-18-2018, 12:43 PM
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This will be my last post on this subject-I'm not saying click type's are bad they have a purpose just not on this bike-and I was only giving my observation of 50+ years of what I have seen--that is a pretty speech you gave- and in all that you still did not answer my original question
same here.. but yes you did say clip styles are bad and I thought I answered you but I guess I didn't. to be honest no; in my error that's one thing I neglected to inspect was if actually the master link that failed... but none the less a Crimp pressed factory chain failed multiple times... and in other respects I cannot remember the master link on a clip styles that was appropriately manintained and proper strength ever breaking... so right back at ya dude... answer my queries or not but case is clooooosed in my book and please stop giving CNN style info & reporting "anecdotes" to scare people into your way of thinking and doing things.
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-18-2018, 03:10 PM
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Properly installed clip types are safer than improperly installed rivets! When I install and use a clip style, I "seat" the heads of the link into the clip using my breaker tool. Then a dab of silicon. Finally, I pay attention to the chain frequently.
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 12:22 AM
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In 52 years on bikes I have always used clip type chains. When the original chain is replaced it is always with a clip type, always the side plate is seated properly exposing the clip groove, and always with the rounded end of the clip traveling in the direction of rotation.
I guess I must be lucky as I have never had a chain come off, or break - except for perhaps my early days on dirt bikes when I knew nothing about maintenance.
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