D.I.D. chain woes and request for recommendations - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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D.I.D. chain woes and request for recommendations

I have used D.I.D. X-ring chains for years on my old Speed Triple and typically got 20,000 miles out of them, just like clockwork.

As documented in this thread, the original chain on my Versys wore out faster than I expected while I was on a trip and I had it replaced at a dealership 850 miles from home. Unknown to me at the time (and as confirmed by Invader in a helpful post in the same thread) there are two versions of D.I.D. 520 VX2 chains, with either a rivet master link or a clip-style master link and the dealership ordered and installed the clip-style master link. Much later, while cleaning the chain, I noticed that the master link clip was missing. I bought another one locally, watched it like a hawk, and soon saw that it, too, was gone. I then safety wired the master link and never had another problem until now.

With 16,000 miles on this chain, it has an extreme tight spot and needs to be replaced. A close inspection shows that one link looks visibly different, as if the pins and holes in the plates are much more worn than other links. It's so bad I can't adjust the chain to specs. It's too loose except when the bad link is on the rear sprocket, and then it's too tight. Needless to say, it's also noisy.

Like I said, I've always had good luck with D.I.D. X-ring chains on a bike that is harder on chains than the Versys, but this one's shot at 16,000 miles and has given me trouble, instead of the usual 20,000 miles I'm accustomed to.

A search of the forum shows that others here also have positive things to say about D.I.D. X-ring chains. So my questions:

Does anyone have experience of putting a lot of miles on the Versys with another chain that you'd like to recommend?

Do you think I got a bad D.I.D. chain, or maybe it's just bad luck?

I'm pondering now what to buy as a replacement chain. Open to suggestions.

Whitehorse Press is going out of business so it's time for a final sale. Signed copies of my book are now $10 with free shipping in the U.S. while they last.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 08:13 PM
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had to replace my chain/sprockets at 27,000km or 1,777 miles dues to extreme tightness and sprocket riding on oem chain, I did stick a 44 t rear sprocket on at 15,000km which may of increased time failure.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 08:21 PM
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Check this link out to show what im talking about
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...98&postcount=1
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Kiwi,

So how much distance do you have on the RK chain so far and do you have an opinion yet on whether you'd recommend it?

Whitehorse Press is going out of business so it's time for a final sale. Signed copies of my book are now $10 with free shipping in the U.S. while they last.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 08:34 PM
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Ive come 11500km on the new chain/sprockets so far with hardly an adjustment, it is currently set at 2nd mark on swing arm so plenty of adjustments left before you run out on 6th mark.

Im careful about recommendations as its to early in the piece to say but so far so good and think I will get more kms this time.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 10:23 PM
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I've have about 15000km on my did chain using Dupont chain saver with no issues or stretch. Wonder if they used a different brand master link that was rivited on along with a second clip on master link
. Would recommend purchasing a chain riviet/breaking tool and doing the install yourself. Rk are supposed to be another good brand.

From the description sounds like an issue caused by bad install. All chain plates should be identical.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 10:30 PM
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Yes, there are DID but some come from Thailand. Somehow there is a difference of quality with the ones that come from Japan. Used Japan DID chains and no issues so far.

Heard a few chain issues here which had been reported to DID Malaysia.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 10:47 PM
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My Thailand DiD gone bad at 18k km, with broken O-rings in a few places. This was the original chain that came with the bike. This Thai made O-rings are notable for their early life failures, some occurring at 6k km.

Replaced with a X-Ring DiD (japan made) at 22k km, original damper 15T front and 44T (Jomthai) rear sprockets.

Present Ride: Yamaha Super Tenere 2012
Previous Ride:
2011 to 2015 2011 Versys Spark BlackKawasaki Ninja 2010 to 2011 250R 2008 Plasma Blue
My V's Farkle Log:
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
Would recommend purchasing a chain riviet/breaking tool and doing the install yourself.
I normally do install my own chains and have and use a rivet tool, but this time, due to my poor planning, I had to replace a chain 850 miles from home while on a trip, so I had a dealer do it. I should have replaced it at home before I left, but I (wrongly) thought the chain would last the trip.

That's interesting info about the Thailand vs. Japan manufacture. I did not know that. Since there are two versions of the 520 chain, I'll bet I got the Thai version. Could be related to the issue of having a clip master link instead of a rivet one.

Hmmm, so maybe I should give D.I.D. another chance, since I've had good experiences in the past, but just make sure I get a "made in Japan" chain.

Whitehorse Press is going out of business so it's time for a final sale. Signed copies of my book are now $10 with free shipping in the U.S. while they last.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013, 02:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by down_on_two View Post

DID VX2 Chain

Don't use it. Blew threw two on a trip to Newfoundland. Although cross-referenced as an OEM replacement by DID, the rollers and pins are to narrow for the OEM sprockets.
Quote:
Originally Posted by invader View Post
I got DID's 520VM which is excellent, before they came up with 520VX2 "GREAT VALUE X-RING®"

"All New for 2012;
D.I.D has merged our Professional O-Ring V Series and our top selling Premium X-Ring® VM Series into “ONE” New Pro-Street X-Ring® VX Series."

http://www.didchain.com/streetChains.html
I suppose DID's apparently unchanged Super Street Series X-Ring 520ZVM chain would still be made in Japan.

http://www.didchain.com/chainSpecs.html

I'd probably go with an EK 520SRX (as previously used on 2002 WR426F) or EK 520MVXZ if I needed a chain now.

http://www.ekchain.jp/product/street_bikes.html

Last edited by invader; 08-25-2014 at 12:22 AM.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 02:00 PM
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Hey kiwi!!!!!

Kiwi or anyone who can answer:
I see the chain you bought is an RK 520XSO, but I can only find it without the X in the middle, or the X at the end, is this the same chain???
http://www.amazon.com/RK-Racing-Chain-520-SO-106-Connecting/dp/B007A8OJX4/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1392574598&sr=1-1&keywords=motorcycle+chains
ALSO, is the chain link installing & removal tool OK, it is significantly cheaper than the others, but if it does the job then it works for me!
http://www.amazon.com/Motorcycle-Chain-Cutter-Breaker-Riveting/dp/B0099Z4MJ2/ref=sr_1_8?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1392577395&sr=1-8&keywords=motorcycle+chains
PS, how many links does the V need???

Last edited by Britmick; 02-16-2014 at 02:17 PM.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 04:37 PM
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I think chain life depends on these things much more than brand although I do find my gold plated DID chain is slightly less susceptible to rust than the stock chain.

- keeping it dry to prevent rust, storing bike inside
- keeping chain clean and removing the grit that destroys the O/X rings - links bind when the X/O rings wear out allowing the sealed in grease to escape
- keeping chain well lubed frequently
- avoiding over tensioning chain as too much tension will kill it in a few hundred miles, also keeping too much slack from occurring with frequent tension checks (~500 miles)
- packing the master link with grease when you install it
- making sure the rear wheel is aligned with string (most precise method of alignment, see youtube) or a Motion Pro gauge, and not just the markings on the swing arm

Last edited by twowheels; 02-16-2014 at 04:40 PM.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 04:31 AM
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In 38 years of riding motorcycles I have never had a master link come off. My OEM is shot after 20,000 km of looking after it. Not too impressed. Rear sprocket looks fine haven't checked the front yet, I'm thinking of buying a cheap chain until I prepare for my 7,000 km trip in May and then replace the lot.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 06:35 AM
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Never had a clip come off because I've been using rivet masterlinks. Help a few folks out who lost theirs. Think I would replace the front sprocket and get a quality chain, keep the rear sprocket, maybe flip it.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Britmick View Post
Kiwi or anyone who can answer:
I see the chain you bought is an RK 520XSO, but I can only find it without the X in the middle, or the X at the end, is this the same chain???
http://www.amazon.com/RK-Racing-Chai...orcycle+chains

ALSO, is the chain link installing & removal tool OK, it is significantly cheaper than the others, but if it does the job then it works for me!
http://www.amazon.com/Motorcycle-Cha...orcycle+chains

PS, how many links does the V need???
No, it has O-rings instead of X-rings... Here's an RK 520XSO: http://www.amazon.com/RK-520-XSO-RX-Ring-Chain/dp/B000GS1WK8/ref=sr_1_41?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1392636952&sr=1-41&keywords=RK+520XSO
Gold: http://www.amazon.com/RK-Racing-Chain-GB520XSO-114-Connecting/dp/B004XAY5A4/ref=sr_1_2?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1392638028&sr=1-2&keywords=RK+520XSO+114

Yes that works: http://www.amazon.com/Motorcycle-Chain-Cutter-Breaker-Riveting/dp/B0099Z4MJ2/?tag=533633825-20

114 links.

Last edited by invader; 02-17-2014 at 06:54 AM.
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 09:36 AM
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I know the original post was about 5 months ago, but thought I'd butt in anyway. Usually street bikes use the riveted link and off-road use the clip type. If the clip comes off, it usually means it was installed with the opening facing the wrong way. With the master link on the top portion of the swingarm, the opening for the clip should face the back of the bike, that way, as the chain moves the open ends can't catch on anything. As far as the life of a chain, I've also got an RC51 which I easily get over 22,000 miles on, and I've got to be the worst in the world when it comes to chain maintenance. Any brand name x-ring or o-ring chain on a Versys should easily get 25K or more. Basic rule: when you put a new chain on, put new sprockets on, too.


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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invader View Post
Thanks, I ordered both of the above (it seems the RK 520SO is for 'bikes under 500cc as it has a lower foot-pound strength) & as I applied for & got the Amazon Credit Card I got $30 off the order as I raised it to the $100 magic # to receive the full discount by adding 2 quarts of oil!!!
(2 x Royal Purple 01140 API-Licensed SAE 10W-40 High Performance Synthetic Motor Oil -$15)

So basically I got $100's of stuff ( chain,link splitter/riveter & oil) for $70!!!

Last edited by Britmick; 02-17-2014 at 11:22 AM.
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 01:02 PM
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That's a good deal!
I have two DID 520VX2 on shelf, bought from separate sources in the last few months. Both say made in Japan. Versys is getting a new rear tire and chain & sprockets next week. I used both RK and EK X-ring replacements. Meh. Trying DID on mechanics recommend. I hadn't seen this thread before now.
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Britmick View Post
Thanks, I ordered both of the above (it seems the RK 520SO is for 'bikes under 500cc as it has a lower foot-pound strength) & as I applied for & got the Amazon Credit Card I got $30 off the order as I raised it to the $100 magic # to receive the full discount by adding 2 quarts of oil!!!
(2 x Royal Purple 01140 API-Licensed SAE 10W-40 High Performance Synthetic Motor Oil -$15)

So basically I got $100's of stuff ( chain,link splitter/riveter & oil) for $70!!!
Why did you get automotive oil?

http://www.royalpurpleconsumer.com/p...ple-motor-oil/

This is what you needed, if you're commited to Royal Purple oil: http://www.amazon.com/Royal-Purple-Performance-Synthetic-Motorcycle/dp/B000E2D6PK/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1392681215&sr=1-1&keywords=Royal+Purple+01315

http://www.royalpurpleconsumer.com/w..._Motor_Oil.pdf

You failed to inquire first, informing us of you oil intentions.

Well, there you go, 'buddy'... What goes around comes around.

Last edited by invader; 02-18-2014 at 08:14 PM.
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invader View Post
You failed to inquire first, informing us of you oil intentions. What the hell were you thinking? Not such a smartass now, are you, you ignorant senile SOB.
Wow what bought that on?
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