Drive Chain Questions - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

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post #1 of 36 Old 01-29-2019, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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Drive Chain Questions

Hello All

I have a few questions about the drive chain on KLRs.

My chain has done almost 15000 km (9321 mile aprox) It has a few stiff links that no longer swivel. I suppose that I did not lube it often enough.
I have purchased a new chain. The new chain is a D.I.D. 520 VX2. This is the chain recommended for KLR 650s on the DID website.

The original factory chain is a "DID 520 VP2" This specific chain does not appear on the DID website.

pdwestman posted on another thread that the "DID 520 VP2" is on KLRs on his show room floor.
One question I have is does anyone know anything about the "DID 520 VP2"? is it a Kawasaki factory only chain?

My other question is about the joining link; The DID website says that if your bike came out with a continuous chain, then that chain must be replaced with a continuous chain, and if the bike had a clip link chain, then that chain must be replaced with another clip link chain.

However, I have read on this forum that many people use a clip link chain. The chain I have bought comes with a clip link included, but rivet links can be purchased and are cheap. My brother has a tool that can join rivet links.

So my question is; what type of join would you use for the chain?

Thanks guys

Matthew
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post #2 of 36 Old 01-29-2019, 08:35 AM
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I would use the rivet link hands down .. Especially if you will be off road ... It is easy to install and provides a level of certainty I dont have with clip style links ...

I dont know about the chain model but I did just replace mine with the chain you have and it worked great ... Very nice quality chain ...
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post #3 of 36 Old 01-29-2019, 08:40 AM
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I have no problem running a chain with a master link. Take a real hard look at your sprockets, worn sprockets will kill a new chain.
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post #4 of 36 Old 01-29-2019, 10:02 AM
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I use a quality O-ring (or X ring) chain with a clip style master myself; been doing it for the majority of my 41 motorcycles without issue.

Dave
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post #5 of 36 Old 01-29-2019, 12:43 PM
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timberfoot, The DID 520 VX2 with clip type master link will work perfectly fine. I prefer clip type chains on the KLR and my KX500.

May I suggest that your Low Mileage oem drive chain failed Early because it was run with TOO Little drive chain slack. Probably straight off the dealers show room floor.
They always came out of the crates with Too Little chain slack and too many dealerships never took the time to properly adjust them.

The lower chain run MUST be able to be Gently Lifted UP (not forced) and just touch the Rear tip of the rubber under-slider. If it is not left this slack, when the suspension travels thru its arc the chain will go TIGHT as the swingarm goes to level attitude, As in transmission shaft, swingarm pivot & rear axle are in a straight line. this repetitively too tight condition over-loads the internal rivet OD to bushing ID and causes galling of the steel parts.
No amount of chain lubing can reduce this, because chain lube can Not get past the o-rings, but neither can dirt & water, this is why o-ring chains that are Properly Adjusted can last longer.

20,000 miles is not un-common mileage on properly adjusted oem drive chains on the KLR.
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pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #6 of 36 Old 01-30-2019, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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s usual, thank you everyone for your replies

To be honest, I did think that the clip link would be okay. I have read many posts on this forum from people that use clip links, no one seems to have had trouble because of it.

Roadrash, I have also ordered new sprockets. I know that there has been some discussion on this forum about whether or not it is necessary to replace both the front and rear sprockets when replacing the chain. I have taken the advice of the Clymer manual, which suggests that all three components, Chain, front and rear sprockets be replaced at the same time. To be honest, the rear sprocket looks near perfect. The teeth on the front sprocket are slightly concave on the leading side, but only slightly.

Pdwestman, it is possible that my chain was run too tight for too long. I did monitor its tightness , but, for most of it's life I did tend to keep it on the tighter side of the of the recommended tension. I will take your advice with my new chain.

Thanks guys

Matthew
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post #7 of 36 Old 01-30-2019, 06:32 AM
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My 1974 CB750 has run for the past 45 years with a chain connected with a clip style master link. Hasn't came apart on it's own yet.. Those who have problems with them install the clip backwards.. Installed properly they are as good as any rivet type. You must also be careful with the clip and avoid springing it out of shape.
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post #8 of 36 Old 01-30-2019, 10:29 AM
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For insurance, I picked up an extra master link and keep it in the tool kit. I have never had one come off either, but like I said, it is insurance. You hope you never use it, but when you need it, you are glad you have it.

I would think that the factory chain is something that DID made for Kawasaki. Look at the stock tires. You can only get the same model at the dealer. As others have said, the chain you have will work great.

Last edited by Snowmoer; 01-30-2019 at 10:31 AM.
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post #9 of 36 Old 01-30-2019, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaddyD View Post
My 1974 CB750 has run for the past 45 years with a chain connected with a clip style master link. Hasn't came apart on it's own yet.. Those who have problems with them install the clip backwards.. Installed properly they are as good as any rivet type. You must also be careful with the clip and avoid springing it out of shape.
Yep and make sure you don't compress the O rings on the Master (I pry the side link back out against the clip after clip installation)

Dave
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post #10 of 36 Old 02-07-2019, 02:57 PM
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I have always used a DID 520 clip type master link, but I am considering going to a rivet type. The recently last three standard type clips I have installed have come off, so I tried e-clips. A few hundred miles back I noticed one of the e-clips was missing. Today I removed the chain to remove the engine and saw the other e-clip was gone. I have never had a removable link plate come off due to a missing clip, but if it weren't possible, we wouldn't be using the clips.

Several years ago I was loosing clips on a regular basis and discovered that the hardware store bolt I used to replace the factory lower left subframe attachment bolt was 2mm longer than the stock bolt. 8x30 compared to 8x28 stock. That two extra millimeters allowed the chain to nick the bolt when leaned just right and knock the clip off.

So, I am now considering going with rivet type master links. I have removed a riveted link from my buddy's Suzuki with the small file I carry in my road kit. I would carry a clip type replacement link rather than a rivet tool on the road.

Last edited by GoMotor; 02-07-2019 at 03:02 PM.
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