Replacement Chain...To O-ring or not

I found nothing in the archives on this topic so here goes. I've noticed the rear tire on my wifes TTR(non O-ring chain) rotates a whole bunch easier than my WR. I ran across this article http://www.justxr.com/info/xr4report.html It advises replace the O-ring chain with a ERT Gold series chain non O-ring chain. Has anybody else done this? What size chain to the 1999 WR's require( I am at work w/out my manual) Where is the best place to purchase on of these? What chain lube do most of you use and what is your routine for lubing the chain. My master link clip is about worn out. Do most of you recommend modifying the stock setup or replacing it with a new one? The archives said just grind down the welds? Thanks

Non-o-ring chains on high performance dirt bikes are only for serious competition, IMO. Racers who change chains every week would be stupid to use o-ring chains, since they are more expensive and rolling resistance is increased over a "standard" chain. However, if you plan to keep the same chain on your bike for any length of time, an o-ring chain is your only option. The trade-off in power is more than made up by longer wear. I'm about to change my o-ring chain (and sprockets) after a year of riding at least 100 miles per week, in sandy conditions, no less. I doubt than a standard chain would have lasted anywhere near that long.

My chain maintenance regimen has changed a little recently. I used to hose down my chain with WD-40 a few minutes before I went riding. That seems to work OK. I didn't have any noticable o-ring deterioration, (evidenced by faster wear) like the chain manufacturers claim. A few months ago, I had to buy some aerosol wax-type chain and cable lube to lube my cables and I decided to start using that on my chain, too. I take about a 10-minute warm up ride and then I lube it. Regardless of what you use (the manual recommends 10W-30 motor oil), the key is to lube every time you ride. I do notice an increased occurrence of surface rust on my chain since I switched to the chain lube.

Hi Linemup1320,

The xr4report guy had lots to say, but some of it was iffy. Under no-load, a loose floppy worn out non-o-ring chain will free spin more easily, but so do non-sealed bearings on a skateboard or rollerblade. Do a little research and see what happened to them. Under load, sealed lubrication is your friend. Dry, gritty metal on metal eats power. That's whay all bearings of any stress are lubed, sealed or both. The same thing applies to chains, that's why all people who need durable, nonstretching chains use O or X ring chains.

The DID ERT is top of the line. So is their X ring. They would both have similar abrasion/hardness abilities and tensile anti-stretch abilities. However, all of the ERT will wear out from grit wheras only the rollers would wear out from grit on the X ring. The X ring my have substantially lower "flexing drag" than previous generation round profile O ring chains, but I'm going to guess it totals about an extra 1/4 hp at full speed vs a perfect lubed non-oring chain. Of sourse, when a regular chain gets dry and dirty, goodbye hp. Dirt bike chains don't get dirty, do they? :) I.e they always do, 5 minutes into the ride.

For maintenance, the standard is kerosene for washing and pre-lubing, and most recommend or see the advantage of lubing your chain when you put your bike away (not before you ride) so the lube can lose it's solvents and set up as a gooey grease or waxy film, depending which type it is. The secret is to let it set up properly. That will also coat the chain during storage and rust won't happen at all (chains don't rust while you ride!!). Fresh lube just flies off, like 10W30 would (nobody uses 10W30!!)

So, just get the best chain possible, clean and lube it before you put it away, and for goodness sake grease (moly) the master link whenever it is taken apart or installed. You will be rewarded with almost forgetting how to adjust your chain because you do it so seldom.

There's lots of chain discussion over at dirtrider.net, too.

Good info on the chains, I saw you asked a good place to buy one also. Mr.X in the back of Dirt Rider has awesome prices on standard and O-ring chains. I just ordered a steel front/Renthal rear and Regina o-ring for 100 bucks. The DID/RK and Regina chains run around 55 bucks up to 120links. Hard to beat those deals. Just fyi and good luck with your purchase.

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