Keeping your dirt bike in shape starts with the chain, a key part of its maintenance. Suppose you desire to substitute it, what would you do? Never fear – swapping out that tired old chain for an upgraded version couldn’t be simpler! Our guide on installing a chain on your dirt bike will walk you through all the necessary steps and provide expert tips on ensuring your ride runs smoothly well into the future.
When To Replace A Dirt Bike Chain
Every other year, your dirt bike needs chain upgrades to run smoothly. When chains get too worn out, the pins inside can slip and wreak havoc on delicate engine parts – leading to further damage and a faster rate of wear down than anticipated. Don’t let an old chain make your ride suffer; give it tender loving care with regular replacements!
Types of Dirt Bikes Chains
The standard chain is the most common type used on dirt bikes. It has been constructed using a sequence of metal links that fit together perfectly, ensuring its strength and durability.
The O-ring chain is an upgraded version of the standard chain. It features a series of O-shaped rings that fit snugly around the metal links.
These rings help to seal in lubrication and keep dirt and debris out, which results in a longer-lasting chain. All types of sprockets are compatible with O-ring chains that come in different sizes.
The X-ring chain is an even more upgraded version of the standard chain. It features a series of X-shaped rings that fit snugly around the metal links.
These rings help to seal in lubrication even better than O-rings and keep dirt and debris out, which results in an even longer-lasting chain. X-ring chains come in different sizes and are compatible with all kinds of sprockets.
A heavy-duty chain is a chain that is specifically crafted to withstand harsh environmental conditions. It is made from thicker and stronger metal links and can withstand more wear and tear than other chains. There are various sizes of heavy-duty chains, however, not all types of sprockets are compatible with them.
The sealed chain is a type of chain that features sealed bearings within the metal links. It helps to keep lubrication in and dirt and debris out, which results in a longer-lasting chain. There are various sizes of sealed chains available, however, not all sprockets are compatible with them.
The non-sealed chain is a type of chain that does not feature sealed bearings within the metal links. It allows dirt and debris to enter the bearings, which can shorten the chain’s lifespan. Although non-sealed chains come in different sizes, they may not be suitable for all sprocket types.
Tools Needed To Install a Chain on Your Dirt Bike
- You will need a chain breaker tool to remove the old chain from your bike.
- You will need a pair of pliers to remove the master link from the old chain.
- You will need a ruler or tape measure to measure the new chain.
- To adjust the length of the new chain, you’ll require a pair of scissors.
- You will need a hammer to install the new master link on the new chain.
- You will need a vise or clamp to keep the new chain in place while working.
- You will need a set of Allen wrenches to adjust the tension on the new chain.
- You will need a clean rag and some degreaser to clean the old chain before you remove it.
- After installing it, you will need some lubricant to lubricate the new chain.
- You may also need an impact wrench to remove the old sprockets if they are seized on the bike.
Steps to Install a Chain on Your Dirt Bike
- Set your bike on a level surface and put the kickstand down.
- Remove the old chain from your bike. To do this, first, remove the master link or disconnect the old chain at the rivet. Then pull the chain off of the sprockets.
- Clean the sprockets with a brush or rag. It will help to ensure that the new chain will have a good grip on the teeth of the sprockets.
- To ascertain the length of the new chain, take a measurement of the old chain. To do this, wrap the old chain around the largest front and rear sprocket. Then add two inches to this measurement to account for slack.
- Cut the new chain to length using a chain breaker tool. Ensure you cut precisely at the measurement you determined in step four, as too much or too little chain can cause problems when riding.
- Connect one end of the new chain to the front sprocket using a master link or by pushing a pin through one side of the chain and out the other (called “riveting”).
- Wrap the new chain around the rear sprocket and then back around to the front sprocket again. The chain should now be wrapped around both sprockets and form a loop.
- Connect the other end of the new chain to the rear sprocket using a master link or by riveting it in place.
- Adjust the tension of the new chain using an adjustable wrench or pliers. The chain’s tension must be adequate to eliminate any slackness, yet not too tight that it causes binding when manually turning the sprockets.
Things To Remember For Installing Chain on Your Dirt Bike
The Length of the Chain
The length of the chain is an important consideration when installing a dirt bike chain. The length of the chain will impact both the required slack in the system and the maximum tension that can be exerted on it.
The Type of Chain
Dirt bikes can be equipped with two primary types of chains, each with its own set of pros and cons. The first type of chain is a standard chain typically made from steel. Standard chains are very strong and durable but can be susceptible to stretching and breaking.
The second type of chain is a reinforced chain, typically made from titanium or another strong metal. Although reinforced chains may cost more than standard chains, they are less prone to stretching or breaking.
The Condition of the Chain
Another thing you need to consider when putting on a dirt bike chain is the condition of the chain. Replacing the old or damaged chain might be necessary before utilizing it on a dirt bike. Moreover, inadequate lubrication of the chain can lead to friction and eventual wearing out.
The sprockets on a dirt bike are important in how well the chain works. If the sprockets are worn down or damaged, they can cause the chain to slip or come off entirely. Moreover, inadequate lubrication of the chain can lead to friction and eventual wearing out.
The dirt bike tensioner helps keep the chain tight by applying pressure to the system. Improper functioning of the tensioner can lead to the chain coming off or becoming loose gradually.
Moreover, an improperly adjusted tensioner can exert excessive pressure on the system, leading to potential damage to the sprockets or other components.
FAQs on Installing a Chain on Your Dirt Bike
What is a dirt bike chain?
A bicycle chain intended for dirt bikes is known as a dirt bike chain. Dirt bike chains are typically made from thicker, heavier-duty materials than regular bicycle chains. They often have unique features that help resist the abrasive effects of dirt and sand.
Why do I need a chain on my dirt bike?
For dirt bikes, chains are particularly crucial, but they are also a necessary component of any bicycle. The function of the chain is to transmit energy from the pedals to the wheels, and your bicycle would be immobile without it.
How do I install a chain on my dirt bike?
In just a matter of minutes, one can easily install a chain on a dirt bike with relative ease. To begin, take off the previous chain from the bicycle and proceed to insert the fresh chain into the drivetrain.
Once the new chain is in place, you must adjust its tension and connect the two ends together using a master link.
What are some tips for maintaining my dirt bike chain?
To extend the lifespan of your dirt bike chain, there are a few practices you can adopt, such as regularly cleaning it with a brush or rag to eliminate dirt and grime.
- Lubricate your chain regularly with quality bicycle chain oil.
- Inspect your chain regularly for any signs of wear or damage, and replace it if necessary.
How often should I replace my dirt bike chain?
Dirt bike chain replacement is typically advised by manufacturers after covering a distance of 1,500-2,000 miles (2,400-3,200 kilometers). The aforementioned figure will differ based on the frequency of your bike rides and the degree of maintenance you provide to your chain.
If you frequently ride in muddy or sandy conditions or don’t clean and lubricate your chain regularly, you may need to replace it more often.