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EK Screw Type Master Link

Most motorcycle manufacturers install chains that don't have corrosion-resistant coating. Such chains require regular сopious lubrication so that the plates won't rust. As a result, the rear wheel, swing arm, chain guard, hugger and crankcase are always covered with grease and dirt, so the meticulous cleaning is needed. The only solution is a chain with a corrosion-resistant coating or getting a motorcycle with shaft or belt-drive.

All chain manufacturers have rust-resisting models that are more expensive than similar ones without coating. The price is also affected by tensile strength. High-strength rust-resisting chains, as a rule, are equipped with oil seals with one or two lubricant cavities on each side, therefore they have a maximum mileage.

We decided to test the EK screw type master link, which is installed without a special tool. How to press master link is shown in the video, but we did not say that the outer plate of the link is slightly thicker than the others - this is done for a more secure plate fixing on the pins.

In the video, we say that master link is non-universal. This is due to the fact that different chain models have different plate thicknesses, so nuts can pull the link too tight or not pull it enough. If there is no way to check the thickness of the plates, then we do not recommend buying master link at random - it may not fit.

Despite the simplicity of the process, the link can be damaged, so we recommend to use a caliper gage, especially before breaking off the pins. The internal distance between the outer plates should be the same as on the other links.

During the replacement process, we decided to compare the chains of different manufacturers and came to some conclusions:

  • On the average, a high-strength chain is 10% heavier than a standard one, and it is equally more tensile. The chain strength depends on the plates thickness (except for cheap Chinese chains where plates and pins are made from low-quality alloys).
  • The weight of a particular chain model is almost the same for 520, 525 and 530 thicknesses, because they have the same plates. The only difference is the pins length, which can be neglected. When switching from 530 to 520, the weight decreases due to the installation of lighter sprockets, not the chain.
  • Oil seals can have one or two lubrication cavities. In the first case, the resistance is less (two friction surfaces), but lubricant retention is worse. In the second case, the resistance is more (three friction surfaces), but lubricant retention is better.
  • The link is leak-free. If the plates are rust-resisting, only oil seals and rollers are lubricated to prevent wear. The grease meanwhile does not get inside the oil seal, but only protects it from above.
  • When cleaning, you shouldn't press the brush too hard against the oil seal. If the seal is not leak-free, the chain will quickly wear out.
  • All manufacturers have high-strength chain models, which are stronger than the factory ones. You can choose a 520 chain with the characteristics of the original 530 chain. For city motorbikes, we recommend a 520 kit with steel strockets and a high-strength rust-resisting chain - this is the best solution in terms of durability, weight and functionality.

In general, it's a good solution, especially for those who maintain their motorcycles on their own. There's no need to buy expensive tools or contact customer service. 

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