Master Link in Stock Chain - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-03-2015, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Master Link in Stock Chain

I'm not a big fan of grunge brushing a chain to clean it and having to deal with the crud flying everywhere, so I decided to look into taking off the chain completely for soaking in solvent and easier deep cleaning and lubing.

I got my 09 V used about 5 months ago, so I reckon the previous owner most likely had never deep cleaned the chain, as it was still stock OEM. The pins on each link are the mushroom capped kind (hammered pins I suppose), so my question is can I put a clip style master link in an endless chain such as this? Will adding a master link make the chain more vulnerable to damage? I have the master link already, but I don't want to do any damage to the chain and being able to remove it easily will make cleaning it a breeze.

And finally, if putting a master link in this chain is a sound idea, do I have to grind down the pins to even get them out with a chain breaker?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-03-2015, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, and I believe there is a riveted master link already installed, but it has orange paint on the pins so it looks like it was factory installed, not added by the previous owner.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 01:13 AM
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If there is a master link in the chain it was installed by the previous owner.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 02:25 AM
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Rags and Kero (parafin) to clean chain - gunk does fling.
throw out the rags!

I would NOT be breaking the chain unless you are fitting a new chain.
Breaking a link then putting a new master link back with the old chain is not worth it. You could potentially create a weaker point in the chain as the master link has not worn with the rest of the chain and sprockets.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 06:45 AM
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I would stick with a rivet on the Versys. Read a few chain horror stories from those who went with a clip master link on the Ninja 650.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
I would stick with a rivet on the Versys. Read a few chain horror stories from those who went with a clip master link on the Ninja 650.
did they put the lock clip on backwards or something? not sure why it would be any different for the 650 than any other bike.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 08:02 AM
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I wouldn't put a master link on the stock chain. I do use a master link on my replacement chain. I put silicone over the master link on the replacement chain.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 03:34 PM
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In general, riveted master links are much more reliable than clip on master links. If it was me, I would park my V in a place where I would not mind having slop come off the chain while grunge brushing it. Then when finished, move the bike to its normal clean parking spot.

Another way to clean your chain is to wash your bike, then dip your grunge brush into the left over semi-soapy water in your bucket, and then scrub your chain with the wet brush while manually rotating the rear wheel. Then rinse (not with a pressure washer). Then spray it down with WD-40, and the next day, hit it with your favorite chain lube, like Dupont Chain Saver in a bottle. No gunk flying using this method.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 03:52 PM
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My chain has a sealed clip master link and have not had a problem but I wouldn't put one on a used chain due to uneven wear . but it is your bike your life do as you please

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 04:26 PM
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Using WD40 on my chain, it is ALWAYS pretty clean, as I spray it (hot), spin the wheel several times, then wipe the chain w/ a rag, and MY chains have seen LOTS of dirt.



I would STRONGLY advise AGAINST 'breaking' your chain to clean it, OR to scrub it really hard w/ ANYTHING...!

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by JaxInsany13 View Post
Will adding a master link make the chain more vulnerable to damage? I have the master link already, but I don't want to do any damage to the chain and being able to remove it easily will make cleaning it a breeze. And finally, if putting a master link in this chain is a sound idea, do I have to grind down the pins to even get them out with a chain breaker?
You do have to grind the pin heads off to easily press the pins back through the link. You will need a punch or a chain rivet tool to press the pins through the outer plate.

Like others have said, I wouldn't recommend putting a clip master link in the stock chain. There are plenty of 520 oring clip master link chains out there that you could replace it with.

Versys is only 60hp. The heavier 520 chains handle the load easily. A properly installed clip link should be fine.

Regarding your desire to soak the chain. I think the solvent will be doing more harm to chain life than the dirt. Its hard to get "lube" inside the chain links. I've found that setting up in an area where the ground can get dirty with the wheel spinning freely in a stand and using WD40 and a rag is the least amount of work. Wash the bike and the WD40 displaces any water that got on the chain. Let dry overnight and lube the chain with Invaders favorite chain lube, i forget the brand right now, but it is good stuff. Let stand for a few hours and your good to the next washing. THe wd40 is also good at getting the "spun" lube off the wheel.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 08:43 AM
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Master links are brand specific and even model specific.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 09:36 PM
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Sports bike 'whip' the small 520 size chains pretty good. Good luck keeping a clip in. The link probably won't come out, but after the first clip comes out that you KNOW was put in correctly on the right side facing the right direction, I'd add a riveted link. It's the first time I needed one too. But if you don't drive it like you stole it (to stay alive in the big city), you may be all right - ??

That's what my mechanic told me and I didn't believe it at first. But he is the expert. Sure enough, the clip was missing within 2 days. Good thing I mistakenly bought a riveted link from Amazon for a spare clip! It came in handy when I needed it riding around without a master clip on ymmv
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kawdog View Post
Sports bike 'whip' the small 520 size chains pretty good. Good luck keeping a clip in. The link probably won't come out, but after the first clip comes out that you KNOW was put in correctly on the right side facing the right direction, I'd add a riveted link. It's the first time I needed one too. But if you don't drive it like you stole it (to stay alive in the big city), you may be all right - ??

That's what my mechanic told me and I didn't believe it at first. But he is the expert. Sure enough, the clip was missing within 2 days. Good thing I mistakenly bought a riveted link from Amazon for a spare clip! It came in handy when I needed it riding around without a master clip on ymmv
I've never had this problem...I think you clip might have been used or installed wrong. But I also replace my clip when I remove them

yes im a guy.
Silvie=latin for. Of the forest /woods. Fox= Vulpine (also my middle name)

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 11:00 PM
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I've never had this problem...I think you clip might have been used or installed wrong. But I also replace my clip when I remove them
Vulpine, you ride 2 up slow in the city. With potentially getting run over in Los Angeles traffic at any moment, I think we are talking apples and oranges, but you may be right. I am not going to risk it for no perceivable gain.

I demand bullet-proof reliability on the road. My clip was 2 days new when it flung off! I was not going to do a statistical sample with one week lead times on mastercliips at $10 each. And I don't have to look for a stupid friggin master clip every other time I ride my bike either.

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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 08:42 PM
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Vulpine, you ride 2 up slow in the city. With potentially getting run over in Los Angeles traffic at any moment, I think we are talking apples and oranges, but you may be right. I am not going to risk it for no perceivable gain.

I demand bullet-proof reliability on the road. My clip was 2 days new when it flung off! I was not going to do a statistical sample with one week lead times on mastercliips at $10 each. And I don't have to look for a stupid friggin master clip every other time I ride my bike either.
IDK about slow... and no i dont have LA traffic i have the **** tards that is PORTLAND traffic.
and over 2k miles later im still on the same clip (havent removed it at any point) and still have had no problem,
tho i no longer have my spare that i had under the seat due to giving it to someone on the side of the road who's chain had snapped, made his day and blew his mind(his words)

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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-07-2015, 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by JaxInsany13 View Post
I'm not a big fan of grunge brushing a chain to clean it and having to deal with the crud flying everywhere, so I decided to look into taking off the chain completely for soaking in solvent and easier deep cleaning and lubing.
Sounds like your main reason to be able to remove the chain is to avoid the messy part of cleaning it the old fashioned way. It would take less time and money to just spend some time prepping. Cut up pieces of cardboard to act as dirt barriers and use lots of rags.

You could safely soak your chain in kerosene but I don't think soaking would help. You need the grunge brush to actively remove the grit.

You could also remove the rear wheel to get at the chain better I suppose.

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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-07-2015, 09:57 AM
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addressing the original post and some comments after.

1) make sure the brand and style of master link is the same as the chain (read the side plates)
there are very slight differences in pin diameter, length and strength between brands, just because it fits in the hole, doesn't mean it's the correct one and slightly different ones will lose the easier clips from slightly different tolerances and/or rattling in the hole. one with too long of pins will catch the clip on chassis parts and flip it off. Some Hondas have a d-type chain, extra narrow o-ring...if you run a normal o-ring chain it will wear a hole in the engine case...good argument for run proper replacement chains only, and/or don't believe all chains are the same..lol

2) dot says endless chains only on street bikes, make your own choice here. personally, I run a clip so I can service it easier if required (carry over from dirt bike days when a thrown chain needs to be un-tangled from the axle). I also make sure the clip is still on everytime I lube, and carry a spare clip under the seat.

3) grind the rivet head flat before breaking the chain with a tool, a good quality breaker will push out a un-ground pin but few people buy the best quality ones unless they are mechanics. just price out the tools , they range from $20-$250, (can you guess which is a better one-lol) BTW-once ground flat, all you need is a punch and hammer.

4) suzuki endless chains are pre-riveted in the box, you have to remove the swingarm to change the chain if you don't cut and re-rivet.

5)paint brush, cake pan, and a couple of cups of deisel is my cleaner.
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-07-2015, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by scooter650 View Post
4) suzuki endless chains are pre-riveted in the box, you have to remove the swingarm to change the chain if you don't cut and re-rivet.
now i remember why i got rid of my zuks :/ whay a pain in the arse

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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 10:59 AM
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I have never EVER had any issues with putting a master link in a stock chain. From 65 hp Open two-strokes that were beating on rocks, roots, and mud to an old 100 hp Honda. Never Ever had a failure with a master link in place.In my poorer days Often I would break a worn chain that was stretched beyond it adjust-ability and take a link out, swap in a new master link and get another 3 months out of the chain..

I wouldn't do it now because I can buy a new chain, however I would have zero reservations doing it. Simply make sure the clip is seated and pointed opposite of rotation and your good.
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