4 Best Motorcycle Chains For Durability & Outstanding Performance

When it comes to your motorcycle chain, you’re going to need to choose a chain that covers all the bases. While you may already be using one of the best chains in the business, they’re all going to need replacing at some point or another, especially if you’re a fan of riding your motorcycle regularly.

However, what chain are you going to replace it with? After all, you’re going to want a sturdy chain, one that isn’t going to break or falter at high speeds, ensuring your health and well-being while riding, and is up to the test when you’re really getting stuck into your road trip adventures. This means we’ll be checking out each chain’s tensile strength to make sure it’s got the power you’ve been looking for.

You’ll also want to be looking for a chain that’s actually going to fit your bike in the first place. This means counting the links, looking for easy-install connecting links and the ability to scale the chain down to the size you need.

With this in mind, we’ve searched high and low for the best chains on the market. We’ve taken everything into account, ranging from the metal materials used and the durability they provide, all the way through its ability to match your sprocket.

While there is a ton of options out there for you to choose from, all sitting in different price brackets that will guarantee to suit your budget, we’ve managed to narrow down our final results to just four of the best.

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get you back on the road and doing what you love the most!

RK Racing Chain GB520XSO-120 120-Links Gold X-Ring Chain

RK Racing Chain GB520XSO-120 120-Links Gold X-Ring Chain

To kickstart our list of best chains for your motorcycle, we’ve chosen this absolute winner from RK Racing Chain, a dedicated supplier that has been in the industry since 1932, ensuring this is a chain that is backed by decades of experience.

Falling into the mid-range price bracket, this is a motorcycle chain that is built to last and provide all the performance details you’ve been looking for. With this model, every link has two lubrication pools and seal points, ensuring that it will never dry out while you’re using it, protecting your chain in use and increasing the overall lifespan, especially when compared to your conventional chains with O-rings.

In terms of quality, it’s simply outstanding. This gold chain offers an impressive 8,500 pounds of tensile strength per feet, completely minimizing the risk that it’s going to break while you’re out riding, guaranteeing safety and performance for a truly competitive price. While steel-colored options are available, in terms of compatibility, there are 520, 525 and 530 versions available.

In short, there are not many downsides to this chain. While you’re going to need to invest in a chain tool, unless you’ve got one already, this is a chain that gives you everything you could need.

PROS
  • Highly durable chain that’s built to last
  • Double lubrication pools
  • Double seal points
  • Affordable price bracket
CONS
  • No included chain tool

JT Sprockets Steel 134-Link 420 HDR Heavy Duty Drive Chain

JT Sprockets Steel 134-Link 420 HDR Heavy Duty Drive Chain

Next up, we’ve chosen an incredibly affordable motorcycle chain that’s ideal for off-road racing bikes, ATVs and all other vehicles that you may require a chain of this caliber for. In short, this is one heavy-duty chain that has quality and performance written all over it, while maximizing your riding opportunities thanks to its lightweight and versatile design.

Easily one of the most popular budget chains on the market, this unit has been designed using expert manufacturing techniques which have been masterfully combined using high-grade special steel alloys. This ensures that your chain won’t break while you’re using it and can keep up with the speeds and styles of riding that you’re accustomed to.

As with all JT Sprocket chains, the advanced development behind this product have been designed to meet or exceed the specifications of most power transfer chains, making it completely suitable for motorcycles, street cycles, MX, off-road vehicles, MX, Enduro and more, giving you everything you could need, regardless of what you’re after.

In terms of specifications, you can enjoy a feather-light weight of 1.63 pounds per hundred links, an average tensile strength of 4189 pounds per feet, two rivet presses per pin and clip master link, making this one of the easiest chains to install. This means no faffing around the fitting process, giving you more time than you need to ride around doing what you love.

PROS
  • 5-6 feet total length (can be cut for custom sizes)
  • Included master link
  • Oily surface for outstanding grip and maximum performance
  • Suitable for all kinds of chained vehicles
CONS
  • May need to be cut to the required length

530 GOLD Motorcycle O-Ring Chain 120 Links with 1 Connecting Link

530 GOLD Motorcycle O-Ring Chain 120 Links with 1 Connecting Link

Provided by the motorcycling experts down at Unicode’s headquarters, if you’re looking for a mid-range chain for your bike that guarantees quality, durability and a high-performance ride, there may not be any need to look further than the 530 GOLD O-Ring chain.

Shipped brand new and pre-greased, this particular chain prides itself on being one of the only maintenance-free chains in the market, especially in this price bracket. This is great for you to easily install your chain and then never have to worry about the upkeep, giving you more time to focus on your riding passion.

As you would expect from a leading and extremely popular motorcycle chain, these O-ring chains are designed to go the extra mile with a sturdy connection that minimizes the risk of breaking mid-ride and can be effortlessly installed with you need it thanks to integrated connection link. There are 120 links in total, but this can easily be removed using your own chain tool, so it matches the required length of your bike.

However, what really sets this chain apart is the incredible 10,000 pounds of tensile strength. That’s far greater than any other chain in this price range, guaranteeing your safety and bike’s well-being while you’re out on the road.

The chain itself is made using high-quality, high-density, heat-treated alloy steel links with a pitch size of 5/6 inches. With 4-side riveting for even less maintenance, this is a chain you can trust to last for many years to come.

PROS
  • 4-side riveting for minimal maintenance
  • Superior 10,000lbs per foot tensile strength
  • Heat-treated alloy steel construction
  • Effortlessly installation with connecting link.
CONS
  • Not recommended for off-road motorcycles
  • Not suitable for high-performance motorcycles (1200cc+)

RK Racing Chain 520-SO-120 120-Links O-Ring Chain

RK Racing Chain 520-SO-120 120-Links O-Ring Chain

Finally, to conclude our list of some of the best motorcycle chains that have been designed with you in mind, we’re taking it back to RK Racing with this outstanding mid-range and extremely affordable 120-link chain that oozes quality and durability.

While the standard design comes in the 120-link format, there are countless options to choose from ranging from smaller 62-link chains, all the way through to an impressive 140-link variety, ensuring you’re able to choose the best chain to suit your vehicle. Installation takes a matter of minutes thanks to the high-quality connecting Master link, spares of which are available to buy at any time.

What we really love about the RK Racing chains is the fact that they are used by professional racing teams all over the world, including FIM World Championship riders and AMA World Superbike/Cross teams, and have been for the last quarter of a century. This fact alone is one of the best reasons to invest in this high-performance chain as you know that it’s been trusted by the best of the best.
Regarding this model, the metal used has been specially heat-treated for maximum durability, originally produced by hi-carbon, practically unbreakable steel metals and come integrated with solid rollers and bushings, all combining to create an impressive 7,700lbs per feet of tensile strength, ensuring this is one chain you can put your faith in never to let you down.

While there are many reports that this chain will last around 10,000 miles, a minimum of around 8,000 with excessive use, by ensuring you look after your chain by following the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions, this then guarantees to be a chain that will last for many years to come.

PROS
  • Hi-carbon, heat-treated steel design
  • A variety of link versions to choose from
  • Trusted by motorcycle racing professionals for over 25 years
  • Integrated connecting link for easy installation
CONS
  • Mid-range price range
  • No riveting link
  • Lasts around 8,000 miles

Summary

As you can see, when it comes to choosing the best chain for your motorcycle, whether you’re using for on-road, off-road on both, there’s plenty to choose from. All you need to do now is list out the requirements you’re looking for, your budget for the purchase and then simply pick the one that ticks all the boxes, allowing you get back onto the road and chasing that horizon.

Leave a Comment