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The problem with dry, kinked drive chains.

kinked drive chains

Sometimes, despite our best intentions to maintain our bikes, we let things go a little longer than we should—especially if it’s an item that requires us to get down on the ground to take care of. Before we know it, that chain on our dirt bike or road bike is making noise and binding as we roll the bike around in the driveway. One look and the culprit is clear; the chain is a dehydrated mess.

Is there any hope for that dry, neglected chain? Will some serious lubrication straighten out those kinks? Can a weather-worn chain ever be refreshed and trusted to deliver reliable performance? To answer that, let’s start with a little lesson in chain design.

Chain Design 101

A chain is made up of only a few components, but each one plays a vital role to create strength, flexibility and to contribute to durability. Those external and internal pieces all work together to make the chain pliable enough to smoothly wrap around sprockets and snuggly engage sprocket teeth, yet strong enough to transfer some serious horsepower without breaking, and lubricated enough to keep performing for a lifetime. But, as we’ve all heard, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Or, to be more accurate, only as strong as its weakest link side plate, pin, roller or seal. If any one or more of those components fails, the entire chain will ultimately fail.

The Bad News.

Despite great advancements in motorcycle chain lubrication and technology, they are no match for the impact of Mother Nature’s wrath when she’s had a chance to do her thing. Once the key components of a chain have become dry, crusty and rusty, the damage has been done. Although a good cleaning and heavy drenching of lubricant may make the chain look renewed on the outside, those critical, hard-to-reach bits inside of every chain link are still likely to be dry and fragile. That means you could experience total chain failure on your next ride around the block, or that planned trek deep into the forest.

The Good News!

Fortunately, chains are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace, even on your own. In the course of a morning or afternoon, you can restore—and improve—your bike’s final drive performance to like-new or better. And, with advanced self-lubricating chain designs that require less maintenance, you can even help to keep that chain performing for the long haul. And keep that kinky stuff away from your bike.

SUNSTAR®, a world-renowned leader in motorcycle chain design and manufacture, has a wide variety of high-quality chains available for your machine.

Explore the wide range of performance chain options at sunstar-braking.com. Need help selecting the right parts for your needs? Just ask!

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