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Discussion Starter #1
What makes a chain a motorcycle chain? I sized my very worn CB 750 chain at a farm store and it translated to size 60. I imagine that size 60 is an industrial specification. The chain in question is a DID made in Japan and that company also happens to be the number one choice in motorcycle chains.

So my question is why would the farm store chain not be equal to at least a standard motorcycle chain? I can tell you from experience of seeing what these chains will do around the farm that strength should not be an issue.

If someone can lead me to published information as to why an industrial chain can or can not be used on a motorcycle, I would appreciate it.

Slum
 

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If you're not looking for fancy chain - O ring or X ring - then I see no reason not to use farm supply chain. When I was at college in a mostly farming area, that was the only place to get chain, unless one wanted to ride 120+ miles and pay several times as much. Never had a problem, and, back then, I did more off-road and wheelies than now.
 

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Chain

I think in the beginning there was none of this fancy chain. And it worked because guys did not over tighten them, and they oiled them. Some bikes even had a drip oiler.
But then some genius came up with the Oring and other styles. Was to retain the oil better if I remember correctly.
That pre Oring Reynolds chain did good work. I used lots of it, some at fairly high speed.
Now for serious work I bought regular old style chain, and used it on my manure spreader. When the Sh!t has to fly, old style chain and sprockets worked fine.
I also think the Oring chain has more drag. My Suzuki uses 12 hp to get from the crank to the rear wheel.
I think I will go to the same store and buy a new chain for my XS400.

Thanks for reminding me. Unkle Crusty*
 

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About all I ever used was DID chain on my old Honda 750. Don't let the thought of buying chain in a farm supply store scare you. When I had the money, I would sometimes buy 10, 15, 20 feet of it and cut to fit.

Just make sure the chain is the right pitch, and always carry a spare link and master link.
 

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Chain

About all I ever used was DID chain on my old Honda 750. Don't let the thought of buying chain in a farm supply store scare you. When I had the money, I would sometimes buy 10, 15, 20 feet of it and cut to fit.

Just make sure the chain is the right pitch, and always carry a spare link and master link.
I have a spare front sprocket I will take with me. Will also check to see where the new chain is made. If I have a choice, it will be anything except Chinese. It also occurs to me now, as it did when the O ring chain came out: If it retains the oil better, how does the oil get in. With the race bikes in the off season, I would often soak the chains in oil. Used to mix STP to help the oil stick. Same with the dirt bikes, but they could get thrashed sooner, from the creek crossings and mud and dust, and everything else in the jungle.

I think the first CB750 had the pre O ring chain. Would have to look it up. Going by memory and that tells me sometime in the seventies.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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If you're not looking for fancy chain - O ring or X ring - then I see no reason not to use farm supply chain. When I was at college in a mostly farming area, that was the only place to get chain, unless one wanted to ride 120+ miles and pay several times as much. Never had a problem, and, back then, I did more off-road and wheelies than now.
Wow thanks I had to go look up what a "X ring" chain was.. lol

never heard of it before. I guess I've been away from off road riding too long :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
so the chain was 39 dollars for 10 feet plus 3 dollars for a 3 pack of connecting links, bought at Rural King. The best online deal from a motorcycle store was 60 bucks for 120 links.

I guess that you could buy 2 of the ten foot long chains and use 2 joining links on the 'scrap' 4 foot remaining sections to make 3 chains total, so long as two joining links do not compromise the chain strength ?

BTW, DID chains are made in Japan.

Thanks for your input. Now I have confidence in my decision.
 

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The connecting links will pull the same load as the chain.

On the first bikes I owned, I would even use agricultural sprocket blanks... much cheaper then factory sprockets.

As far as lubrication, why wouldn't chain saw bar oil work? It's made to stick to the chain and not 'throw' off.
 

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Chain saw oil will work no problem. But it will get kind of messy.

Crusty has it right... almost, in my opinion. Remove chain and clean it with solvent, WD40, PB blaster, whatever, first. Once clean, put it in a pan of oil. I heat my oil which, to my mind at least, seems to help the oil penetrate better. I would do that twice a year when I was riding a lot. My chains would last quite awhile.

Most riders, and yes I say most, don't know how to properly lube a chain. Sounds silly, but if anything, they use too much oil. It's not the quantity, it's where you put the oil.

As far as dirt riding? I NEVER used oil on my old Bultaco. Oil just captures the dirt. I used WD 40. Kept everything clean and lubed.
 

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Your chain is 6' long on that bike Slum?
 

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It also occurs to me now, as it did when the O ring chain came out: If it retains the oil better, how does the oil get in.

Unkle Crusty*
I can think of two ways: put the chain in a container of lube, and pull a strong vacuum, then release it, or heat the container to the temp limit of the lube, then let it cool. Either way would force some lube past the O rings, replacing the air that was forced out of the chain links.
 

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Links

On my Norton that I rode at the track, the two front sprockets were British, and the 3 or 4 rear sprockets were Suzuki 500 parts. I used links, and half links, to adjust for the changing sprocket sizes. Never had a problem.
Bike weighed about 325 pounds, and we were making 85 hp. Had a full fairing.
140 plus at the end of the straight at Kent was easy. My chain was always more lose than most others.

The chain on my XS400 is still not running smooth. Have washed it and oiled it, and ridden it. Thought the kinks would go away. Being cheap.
A new chain could help me with my speed record attempts. New the bike did 100 with a skinny kid in leathers. I am nudging 90 loaded with gear. Will be happy at an indicated 95.

Used to wash my chains as Ketch said. Also had a Bultaco 250 GP bike for a while. Sweet bike, not enough hp to match the Yamahas.

I have listened to other guys say they have lost chains due to the link. Not sure what they were doing wrong.
On my manure spreader, I made a chain tensioner from a piece of metal and spring, with a piece of oak on the end that the chain ran over. The spreader would bent and flex, the oak piece would go up on down, and all the gears would be turning while the steaming manure would fly. It was a mechanical marvel, and a beautiful sight.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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On my Norton that I rode at the track, the two front sprockets were British, and the 3 or 4 rear sprockets were Suzuki 500 parts. I used links, and half links, to adjust for the changing sprocket sizes. Never had a problem.
Bike weighed about 325 pounds, and we were making 85 hp. Had a full fairing.
140 plus at the end of the straight at Kent was easy. My chain was always more lose than most others.

The chain on my XS400 is still not running smooth. Have washed it and oiled it, and ridden it. Thought the kinks would go away. Being cheap.
A new chain could help me with my speed record attempts. New the bike did 100 with a skinny kid in leathers. I am nudging 90 loaded with gear. Will be happy at an indicated 95.

Used to wash my chains as Ketch said. Also had a Bultaco 250 GP bike for a while. Sweet bike, not enough hp to match the Yamahas.

I have listened to other guys say they have lost chains due to the link. Not sure what they were doing wrong.
On my manure spreader, I made a chain tensioner from a piece of metal and spring, with a piece of oak on the end that the chain ran over. The spreader would bent and flex, the oak piece would go up on down, and all the gears would be turning while the steaming manure would fly. It was a mechanical marvel, and a beautiful sight.

Unkle Crusty*
A piece of metal, a spring, and a piece of oak for a chain tensioner. A true mechanic instead of a parts changer. You have my respect Crusty!
 

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If it retains the oil better, how does the oil get in.
The key is seeing to it that the lubricant doesn't get out. You don't need to put any in as this was done when the chain was assembled. What you're doing is protecting the outside of the chain by cleaning it regularly and correctly (no high pressure washers and no penetrating oils. Clean, lube, put away over night.

No the non O-ring chains I've done the hot oil bath after a good douching in kerosene or other cleaning agents. I used to carry a bottle of 90 wt in a saddle bag for trip chain maintenance. Hit it every 500 miles.
 

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Pressure washer

The pressure washer is one of my favourite tools. But too much pressure can be a problem. Took a bunch of paint right off the belch mobile. I will have to roll on a new coat sometime.
I try and be careful with the bike, same with the tractor. Humidity goes up around the distributor and it goes on strike.
Just the XS400 has a chain of the two winter bikes.
Suzuki is hiding until nicer weather, but it is happening right now.
I have extra gear oil for the tractor. Use it too.

Unkle Crusty*
 
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