Chain experience

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Jan 10, 2005
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Does anyone have any preferences, good or bad experience etc of Renold HD v DID HD chain? or any other brands for that matter. I only do 3500 miles a year and the last Renold HD (Synergy) has not lasted well despite being regularly lubed with Castrol chainwax. It has stretched so badly in 6000 miles that when there is zero play at the tight spot there is 1.5" at the loosest point (off the stand). That's with a new front sprocket and rear drum because the original lost 8 teeth at some point!
I don't really want to fit an oiler or go to 520 "O" ring conversion. The last DID I fitted did 12000 miles and wore more evenly but was twice yearly dipped in Duckhams Chainguard. Unfortunately that's all gone and I don't know of any similar grease I could heat and liquefy. Thanks.
I found that the Renold racing chain also had bad lasting, one trip 500 miles got caught in the rain on the way back. The chain when hot sucks up water and all the tool steel goes away quick. 520 X ring by DID is the only all weather chain IMO. The chain is packed with grease and the x-section O-rings hold it in and the water out. Yes the convertion costs but with all things new it lasts a long time still no adjustment needed after 8000 hard miles. Because of it's flexablility you will also note that shifting is also eased. I am told that there are O-ring 530 chains that are norrow enough to run on a Commando. But can't find the info right now.
I tried using several different motorcyle chains without much sucess for long lasting performance. I now order cut to length industrial chain which just happends to be made by Tsubaki. It comes with a new master link and with tax included cost $28 CDN. It lasts as long as any Motorcycle branded chain i have tried and have never had any issues with it. The Norton does not come with gobs of extra power so strength is not as issue in my opinion. Any concerns about the chain not being strong enough should leave you wondering about whether or not you are abusing the rest of your bike.

Several of the guys i ride with all use this same chain so there is some history here to support the use of this chain
530 Chain

Does anyone know where I can get a 530 chain with sprockets as a kit?
Thanks guys, that's really useful. Norbsa's recommendation has to be the way to go.....8000 m without adjustment is just amazing....mine needs doing every 500 minimum. I will seriously look at this over the winter but for now I'm going back to a DID with PJ1 for lube. I'll also research that 530 "O" ring that's no wider than the stock 5/8 chain. Thanks.
This from another board explains why new /old mix is doomed.
John RGS
Golden BritBiker
Member # 3677

Icon 1 posted June 09, 2006 09:54 AM Profile for John RGS Email John RGS Send New Private Message With Quote : Though Panic is correct, the pitch will be the same, I should have put the following in to elaborate further.

New chain, new sprocket
When a new chain meshes with a new sprocket, every roller that is in contact with the sprocket is pressing more-or-less equally against the corresponding tooth of the sprocket, so the load and stress are shared out equally. From the center of each roller to the center of the next is known as the "pitch" of the chain. The sprocket teeth are made so that the center curve that makes up each "valley" is the same distance from the next. The diameter of the sprocket is determined by the pitch and the number of teeth.
The chain and sprocket have worn together. You can see daylight under the chain in some places. The worn chain has "stretched" so that it no longer matches the original pitch of the sprocket. The sprocket has worn so as to effectively increase its pitch to match the worn chain
. On a new sprocket tooth, the surface that the roller presses against is perpendicular to the pull of the chain. The worn teeth have become ramps, causing the chain to ride up under load.

The rollers ride up on the sloped teeth until they reach a radius that corresponds to the longer pitch of the worn chain. The effective diameter (and thus, the effective pitch) of the sprocket has become larger, since the chain is no longer riding in the bottoms of the valleys.

New chain, worn sprocket
A new chain on a worn sprocket. Most of the driving is happening on the front side, where the chain first engages the sprocket. Due to the mismatch in pitch, the rollers in the part of the chain that is about to leave the sprocket is doing very little to push their teeth forward, instead, they are being forced upward by the slope of the teeth.

Since the teeth/rollers on the front are doing most of the work the load is concentrated on them.

In addition, as the roller follows its tooth around the sprocket it rolls up the "ramp," while under load. This promotes wear to the insides of the rollers and to the "bushings" they roll on. With a properly meshed chain, the roller only turns a tiny bit as it rolls onto and off of the chain.

Due to the pitch mismatch, the chain will not reliably mesh with the sprocket under load, and will tend to jump forward, skipping over the teeth.

Worn chain, new sprocket
A worn chain on a new sprocket. Due to the pitch mismatch, the load is only carried by the teeth/rollers on the back, the chain hangs slack on the front. The new sprocket will wear rapidly to match the pitch of the worn-out chain.
hey keith, when i bought my bike last year it came with an o-ring chain already on it. it was a 530 "omega". it was just starting to show signs of wear (had some stiff spots) so i decided to replace it. the same chain did not fit! the studs for the master link were longer and rubbed the where backthe tranny case flares outward. i figured i would use the rivet master link intead, for all the other links cleared fine. the steel was so hard, even the shop next door to me could not sucessfully rivet the master. (special tool for that brand?) so now i have a regular 530, which is working quite well. i keep it clean and lubed and have not had to adjust yet with 400 miles.
Keith, Although Duckhams chain guard has gooooone!

We can get Silkolene equivalent here in Australia. This is the regime I use with a standard chain, on my Trident and will try the same on the Norton when she is finished. Latter on the 520 x ring sounds like the hot set up. But the hot grease is far better than the chain wax, I use the spray grease for maintenance between bi-annual hot grease sessions.

Cheers RichardS
Norbsa, Jerome, Richard
Thanks for all that info. The sprockets look Ok but aware there could be issues with new chain compatibility. Yep, unfortunately Duckhams has long gone, think I bought the last can in 74! which got brought out when I got my Commando in 98 after years of other models which all had "O" ring chains. That Silkolene equivalent you get in Oz sounds the ticket. Found a Tsubaki supplier over here and waiting for dimensions. Not sure if what is available is the same as that $28 Cdn chain. From their US site split pin width is close to Renold at 21,0mm. the HD DID is 22,55 over the rivetted pins so that's out with at least another 2mm for the link.
Who'd have realised a chain question could raise so much interest. Thanks again for the time & trouble.
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