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Master link clip tool

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by maylar, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. maylar

    maylar VIP MEMBER

    May 13, 2007
    Bike is on a lift. I typically use long nose pliers, but just can't seem to get them to grab the end of the clip this time. None of my other small pliers have flush ends on their jaws. Using a small screwdriver (in my experience) risks bending the clip. This is just proving to be an annoyance that is very frustrating. What should be a 2 minute task has proven to be impossible for the first time in 45 years. Having shitty vision and needing a magnifier up close doesn't help either. Getting old sucks.

    I ordered one of these from Amazon:

  2. jbruney


    Jan 5, 2019
    Why not pick up some clip on magnifiers for your eyeglasses.... surely you wear eyeglasses? Or the headset type.
  3. maylar

    maylar VIP MEMBER

    May 13, 2007
    I have both. Headset magnifier with an LED and closeup glasses.
  4. Craig

    Craig VIP MEMBER

    Dec 20, 2005
    So far the glasses work for me , I do have hand held magnifier hanging on wall for doing electrical and other tiny stuff ,getting old ,while painful is still better than that other option for now anyway , still able to enjoy the results of keeping the bikes going, mostly ..
  5. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    May 26, 2010
    Sounds like will work out what's best for you
    Never give in to it just keep battling
    Arthritis/old age etc
    Craig likes this.
  6. Craig

    Craig VIP MEMBER

    Dec 20, 2005
    Never give in is best policy !!! except when dealing with your other half , then it best to plan ahead and appear to be giving in !
    HRD likes this.
  7. HoveToo


    Jan 1, 2012
    You might try some circlip pliers to force open the tail end of the clip and catch it with the small screwdriver.
  8. o0norton0o

    o0norton0o VIP MEMBER

    Apr 27, 2015
    I have a tool to drive out a link that is resisting being driven out. It grabs the chain plate on each side of the barrel and the mandril screws down and pushes the link out.

    chain breaker tool1.jpg

    Here's a link to a tool that has an offset jaw to drive the clip on and off the master link. Like most people here I use a small screwdriver and poke the clip on or off as needed. No special tool required.

    but nothing to install the master link shackle.
  9. MichaelB

    MichaelB VIP MEMBER

    Jan 14, 2004
    That's the one. Curious how well it works.
    I use a good square jaw plier similar to that, but not offset.

    Regarding the vision, I have all the glasses, magnifiers etc...
    I always need more light.
    The head mounted minors light is working well, puts the light right where I need it..
  10. cliffa


    May 26, 2013
    I'm baffled as to why anybody needs anything other than pliers (or good quality pipe wrench) to remove and refit the spring clip, but anyway each to their own.

    However, a thought occurred to me today.

    A few years ago I (as it turned out needlessly) replaced the drive chain on my Yamaha TR1 ( known as XV920 in the U.S.). For anyone who isn't familiar these bikes, they have a fully enclosed grease filled chaincase (much like the Norton Rotaries and MZ's) only much harder to work on as the chain is a whopping 630 !! and you can only pull the lower boot back about 2 inches. After a struggle I got the new chain threaded through and eventually after using twisted bailing wire to bring the ends together got the joining link in and the outer plate on. But I could not get the spring clip on for all the begging and cursing I could muster. I eventually took the joining link back out and measured the width of the inner plates, then on the joining link the distance from the inside of the outer plate to the bottom of the clip groove. I found it was a few thou short. At first I thought the plate under the clip must be too thick, then I got out my magnifyers and could see that the pins were a bit proud the the outer plate. I put the link in my vice, pins downwards, closed the jaws until they were just touching the pins, gave each pin a single blow with a hammer then measured again - perfect. I had the bike buttoned up 15 minutes later, after much scrubbing my hands, free of grease an hour later and the backache subsided around 3 days later!!

    So anyway, Maylar, if you haven't managed to get the clip fitted yet it may be worth checking that there is enough exposed groove to actually get the clip into.


    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
    Craig likes this.
  11. Triton Thrasher

    Triton Thrasher

    Feb 10, 2009
  12. maylar

    maylar VIP MEMBER

    May 13, 2007
    Removing the clip is my problem. Installing them is easy with long nose pliers. This particular clip is thin and the edge of the open end lines up with the outer plate - I haven't been able to grip the clip without also gripping the outer plate with any of the pliers I have. New pliers arrived yesterday, will give it a go this weekend.
  13. Steves


    Oct 16, 2016
    Broad blade screwdriver and a small hammer.
    Yakatak and blaisestation like this.

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