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EK 520 ZZZEK 520 ZZZZZZ -The Ultimate Street Performance Chain 
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  1. Master Links

    My theory in master links - if a manufacturer makes a clip link for a particular model chain then it's ok to use. It would be the same tensile strength, correct size and most importantly the correct part for the application. Drag racers are a big user of clip masters with high strength, high tensile strength chains and they don't seem to have any issues. They like to change sprockets (gearing) for different tracks / conditions and would be stuck with a permanent rivet link. Not to knock the rivet link, it is the most secure and permanent type of master link. Great especially of one doesn't plan on removing the chain for maintenance or anything else anytime soon. If that happens one just needs a new rivet link for the job - and the tool to install it.

    After seeing online posts for so long about what people do and say about master links - it's just freakin scary! "Sure, any 530 master will work", oh yea, no. If the pin diameter isnt the same, the master will either be loose or not go thru the hole. A pot luck perfect fit isnt gonna happen without the corrct part - we dont really want to install the weak link into the chain... I believe clip links got such a bad name from all the interchanging going on. If it's not the exact correct one from the manufacturer, dont use it. To clarify, I would use it to get me home or out of the woods, but just that emergency, not longterm, been there, done that, doesnt work. People also seem to want clip links for extra strong, high tensile crotch rocket chains - if the manufacturer doesnt make it, your stuck with a rivet link. I cant understand how anyone would use a much weaker master that doesnt fit properly on a two hundred dollar chain. Buy the tool or find a friend with one. Good clip links like the semi-press fit that EK makes have a very tight fit to start, the sideplate needs to be put on with a pair of pliers or a little socket and pliers to press it on. A good tight fit right from the get go. Some even super glue the clip in place, ok, just clean the grease off first.

    A hammer and punch isnt gonna do it for a rivet link, neither is a vice or a vice-grip - not if you want it to stay on. It's hardened steel, it's not suppose to distort easily. There is quite the amount of force required to  flare or mushroom the rivet head. A quality tool works wonderful. There are a bunch on the market, and a brake line flaring tool doesnt cut it either. My last few wore out just from flaring soft brake / fuel lines. There are fifty dollar chain tools and hundred dollar plus ones. Naming no names, the cheaper one(s) that are made to flare besides 'cut' chain work a few times, then break. So many people have told me that while they are ordering a quality one and that seems to be true with online reviews too. Speaking of the correct way the flare should be *about* 12 to 15 thousandths larger (.4mm-ish) than the pin youre flaring. For the EK mvxz chain, this would be about 224-236 thousandths flared.

    Most commonly the 520's come with clip links, especially the mx ones, although the trend is now towards rivet links. Both are generally available. The 530's are usually rivet links, with clips available for most separately except for the high end, high tensile chains. Original equipment chains made by the big chain manufacturers for the motorcycle manufacturers directly, are made to their specs. These chains are not available on the aftermarket. If you cut your factory chain there are no master links available. Very, very few and far between, we/ve gotten a couple Kawi ones from EK, but normally it aint gonna happen. People seem to sell these O.E. chains on ebay with no master link and dont mention there are no masters for them. At the factory assembly line many are machine installed, a true 'pin' link, kinda like a rivet link but without the hollowed end to allow us to flare it for installation. This is done by machines and is the true endless chain, the connecting link comes out looking just like all the other links on the chain. Most bikes, dirtbikes, atv's cant use an endless chain as a replacement part as they go thru (around) the frame and need to be connected once installed.


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