Drive chain replacement for vintage motorcycles

Drive Chain Replacement for Vintage Motorcycles

When it comes to vintage motorcycles, maintenance is key to keeping your bike running smoothly. One crucial maintenance task is replacing the drive chain. A worn-out drive chain not only affects the performance of your bike but can also be a safety hazard. In this article, we will discuss the steps involved in replacing the drive chain on a vintage motorcycle.

Step 1: Preparation

Before you start the replacement process, you need to gather the necessary tools and materials. You will need:

  • Socket wrench set
  • Pliers
  • Chain breaker tool
  • New drive chain
  • New master link

Now that you have your tools and materials, you can begin the replacement process.

Step 2: Removing the Old Drive Chain

The first step in the replacement process is to remove the old drive chain. To do this:

  1. Put the bike on its center stand or a rear paddock stand to lift the rear wheel off the ground.
  2. Use pliers to remove the clip or spring that holds the master link in place.
  3. Use the chain breaker tool to break the chain at any link.
  4. Remove the old chain from the sprockets.

Now that you have removed the old chain, you can move on to installing the new chain.

Step 3: Installing the New Drive Chain

Installing the new drive chain is a straightforward process:

  1. Wrap the new chain around the sprockets, ensuring that it is properly aligned.
  2. Insert the master link and secure it in place with the clip or spring.
  3. Adjust the tension on the chain according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Once you have completed these steps, your new drive chain is installed and ready to go.

Step 4: Maintenance Tips

Now that you have installed your new drive chain, it’s important to maintain it properly to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Here are some maintenance tips:

  • Regularly clean and lubricate the chain to prevent rust and wear.
  • Check the chain tension regularly and adjust it as needed.
  • Replace the chain and sprockets if they show signs of excessive wear or damage.


1. How often should I replace my drive chain?

It depends on the manufacturer’s recommendations and your usage. Generally, a drive chain should last between 20,000 and 30,000 miles before needing to be replaced.

2. Can I reuse the old master link?

No, it is not recommended to reuse the old master link. Always use a new master link when installing a new chain.

3. What type of lubricant should I use on my drive chain?

Use a lubricant specifically designed for motorcycle chains. Avoid using general-purpose lubricants as they may contain additives that could damage the chain.

4. How do I know if my chain tension is correct?

Refer to your motorcycle’s owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended chain tension. You can also check the tension by measuring the slack in the chain with the bike on its center stand. The slack should be within the manufacturer’s recommended range.

5. What is a cotter type chain?

A cotter type chain is a type of chain that uses a cotter pin to secure the master link instead of a clip or spring. Learn more about cotter type chains here.

At our company, we are a leading provider of drive chain solutions in the Chinese market. Our products include drive chains, bush chains, mill chains, leaf chains, conveyor chains, and cotter type chains. We have state-of-the-art fully automatic CNC production equipment, as well as fully automatic assembly equipment. We pride ourselves on our high-quality products, competitive prices, and excellent customer service. Contact us today to learn more about our products or to place an order.


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