FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions - Chains and Sprockets

There's more than one chain available for my bike, how do I decide which one for me?
Generally, like everything in life you get what you pay for! However we only sell quality chains from reputable manufacturers, like Japanese produced DID and RK, or JT Chains by JT the world’s largest and most established sprocket manufacturer. We always suggest that you fit a chain as recommended by your motorcycle or quad manufacturer. If your machine had an X-ring chain fitted as standard, then fit at least a similar type or higher specification chain to avoid problems.

Do you want a sealed chain (X or O-ring) or a non-sealed chain?
Standard non sealed motorcycle chains are less costly but require daily lubrication to ensure a decent life span. Our comprehensive range of X-Ring sealed chains come pre-lubricated and will out last any non-sealed chain but will still require some lubrication to maximise lifespan and performance. There are also different grades of chain for strength and application, so you can often see standard roller chain, heavy duty, standard X-ring and Heavy duty X-ring. Please refer to our chain product information that gives a guide to chain suitability for machine application eg on road, off road, ATV, Rally, Enduro and then by displacement (cc) or power output.

I want the same chain that was fitted to my bike when it was brand new from the manufacturer
No problem our most popular lines are Japanese produced D.I.D and RK Chains identical to those fitted on brand new Motorcycles and Quads. Combined they are the World’s No.1 original parts (OE) suppliers for Japanese and European motorcycle manufacturers.

What are the "pitch" and "length" of a motorcycle chain?
The pitch of a drive chain refers to the thickness of your sprockets and chain. Its normally stamped on the exterior links on quality chains. Drive chains come in a variety pitches to accommodate different motorcycle applications and sprocket type. Typically light weight 50cc machines use a 420 pitch, 125cc 428 pitch, 250cc to 500cc will mainly be 520 pitch, above 500cc to 900 cc 525 pitch and larger cc going up to 530 or even 630 pitch. The pitch can also vary depending upon the age of the bike and horsepower. The length refers to the number of connecting links your chain has. But you don't need to worry! Just put in your make, model and year and our database will find the right chain for you. Just beware that if you choose non-standard sprocket sizes then you may need to adjust your chain length accordingly.

How long before my chain "stretches"?
Chain elongation is a normal part of wear and tear for all motorcycle chains. This happens when the pins and bushings in the chain wear down. JT specifications for tensile strength often beat comparable Japanese standard chains. It's impossible to tell how long a chain will last as this depends on a range of different variables such as gearing, machine power output and riding style. Maintenance and correct tension of your chain is essential to ensure a long life. Always use a dedicated chain lubricant and check your chain tension weekly as per your machines manufacturer recommendations which are normally detailed in the operator’s manual. Most good quality chains will require an initial adjustment within the first few hours of use.

How do I take care of my chain?
We sell both sealed and non sealed motorbike chains. While our premium drive chains come factory lubricated and sealed it is still best practice to maintain the chain by properly lubricating it on a regular basis. Pick up your chain cleaner spray from the Maintenance Products section of our store. Without proper care and maintenance, your drive chain will elongate and wear more rapidly than is expected. This is especially true of non-sealed chains. Maintenance is essential.

What's the difference between split link and rivet link chains?
This is the type of connecting link to join the chain upon installation. Split links are normally used on lighter chain types and smaller capacity machines. They are especially popular with enduro and MX riders because they are quick to remove and replace with no specific tools. Rivet links are normally standard on larger capacity motorcycles and are mostly regarded as a more reliable connection for high horsepower road machines, however most modern race machines use split link connectors. Rivet links do require a rivet press to connect the link and a chain splitter to remove. Normally 420, 428 and 520 chains come as standard with split link connectors, but 525, 530 and 535 come with rivet links, we can provide 520 chains with Rivet or Split link connectors. We can supply a full range of chain pressing and cutting tools.

Are spare rivet or split joining links available for my chain?
Yes we can normally supply spare split links for 420, 428 and 520 chain sizes and Rivet links for 520, 525 and 530 chain sizes.

How do I fit a chain?
Modern motorcycle and quad drive chains are straight forward to install and set up. Fitment instructions are normally supplied on the packaging with chain boxes and check out the download area on our web site with full fitment instructions. We would recommend that a competent mechanic install chain and sprockets. If you are unsure always seek professional assistance from your local dealer.

Is my chain fitted properly?
To check if your chain has been fitted properly please measure the chain tension as stated by your manufacturer. To check chain tension (sometimes called sag) the measuring point must be half way between the rear sprocket and the front sprocket. Always make sure to adjust your motorcycle chain accordingly.

Can I change just one of my sprockets?
Yes you can, but it’s common to change the chain and the sprockets too. Changing both sprockets and the drive chain will ensure even wear and tear on all three and buying all three at once means bigger savings on postage and packaging. Buy a complete chain and sprocket kit and make savings by keeping an eye out for our weekly deals for even bigger savings on multi-item orders!

I'm buying multiple items but they are heavy should I be worried about postage?
Heavy duty and super heavy duty chains for your motorcycle can be heavy, but don't worry, if you're in the UK we can ship up to 25kgs for free. If your purchasing from outside the UK then shipping costs will increase with weight, this will be calculated and displayed in the checkout.

Fitment database
We have a large fitment database that is updated and checked regularly to ensure accuracy. But mistakes can happen and if you get a chain or sprocket that doesn't fit your bike please contact us and we'll be happy to help.

Gear Ratios: I want to increase my acceleration, or top speed, or improve my fuel economy.
Your gearing ratio is the ratio of teeth between the front and rear sprockets. This ratio determines how engine RPM is translated into wheel speed. Changing front or rear sprocket sizes will change this ratio, and therefore change the way your bike puts power to the ground. OEM gear ratios are not always ideal for a given bike or riding style, so if you’ve ever found yourself wishing you had better acceleration or found that your bike feels slow to respond at low speeds, you may simply need to alter your current gear ratio into something that’s more suitable for you. Most bikes come with “tall gearing” i.e. geared in such a way that they reach very high speeds, but for real world riding they can feel sluggish on the lower end. If you want a more relaxed feel at cruising speeds, simply reducing your rear sprocket by a tooth or two will allow you to sit at your normal cruising speed at a lower engine speed (RPM), this can bring the benefit of a less buzzy feel and improve your fuel economy. We can supply most common sprockets in a range of teeth size + or - so you can fine tune your ratio. A detailed gear ratio chart is also available from our download area. If you make a radical gearing change from stock, there’s a good chance you’ll find that your existing chain length is too short on the assumption you’re going for a bigger sprocket at the rear to improve acceleration, please contact us for advice on suitable chain length.

I want to convert my bike to a different pitch chain and sprocket kit
For larger bikes many OEM components are 525 or 530, but with the strength of a high quality chain and sprockets, there is usually no danger in switching to the lighter 520 setup, this is very popular for racers and track day riders who want the minimum weight and drag from their drive chain set up. Important - always ensure you fit all components of the same pitch; different Pitch sizes are not compatible with each other.

Genuine Warranty?
We are official distributors and only deal with genuine quality brands. These top-quality products are meticulously made by skilled technicians to provide outstanding performance for all riders. All our brands are warranted against manufacturer’s defects in material and workmanship. Premium drive chains from RK and DID may also feature extended warranty cover with mileage limits. For full details check out our warranty page. Please note warranty is not applicable to chains and sprockets used in racing competition or in a competitive event.

Non standard or custom applications
If you machine is a one-off custom, turbo tuned street-fighter or a kit car powered by a GSXR1300 motorcycle engine and not featured on our application data base then please don’t hesitate to call our sales team for bespoke advise on suitable chain and sprockets.

I'm a trade customer what’s the deal?
We run a dedicated support team for B2B sales and would be happy to open an account for genuine workshops and dealers with trade discounts. Please use our trade contact form.

I race or run a race team do you have a sponsorship program?
Race Proven Technology: All our Brands support top riders through a program designed to rigorously test and develop our products by working with their teams at the most demanding racetracks in the world. DID = VR46 RK = Mark Marquez say no more.
JT Sprockets are used by Road, Endurance, and Motocross race teams worldwide. All of them depend on the excellent quality and wide range of gear ratios offered by our sprockets.
We are pleased to be able to offer product support sponsorship packages to selected riders competing in all types of motorcycle competition.
We are looking for riders who race regularly in full championships who will represent us well both on and off the track.
Rider/Team requirements:

  • Must hold a valid race licence, prominently display our product logos on your bike, provide feedback to help us keep our products at the top. Provide frequent updates with your racing and results.
  • To apply, please contact us directly via email at info@urbanmoto.co.uk. We will respond with details of the support we can offer depending upon the class and profile of you and your events.

The full range of products available through the scheme are:

  • JT Sprockets
  • JT Drive Chain
  • JT MX Brake Discs
  • DID Race Chain
  • RK Race Chain
  • HiFlo Oil and Air Filters
  • BS Batteries