Chain Selection Help
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EK 520 ZZZEK 520 ZZZZZZ -The Ultimate Street Performance Chain 
Chain Selector

How to select a chain for your bike
  • X-ring or O-ring or NO ring? Most applications should use a sealed chain, X or O-ring. Unless it is a dedicated RACE bike, then use a non-sealed (no-ring!) race chain - see below
  • Which one, X or O rings? X-rings are a little more high-tech ring design... and usually a bit stronger and a bit more dollars, O-ring is the basic. Most applications would use one or the other rather than a non-sealed (no-ring) chain - see below
  • Strength ratings? Choose one rated to at least your engine size, stronger doesn't hurt. Stupid hurts!
  • Color? Totally personal preference. 

Deciding on a sealed chain or not. X-ring/O-ring or not. A street bike uses a sealed chain, as would most applications. The exception is racing. Racing applications normally use a non sealed chain (no-ring). The sealed chains have little rubber seals / rings at each side of each link (pin) to seal in the grease and seal out the water, dirt, mud, sand, dust, debris from forming a grinding powder/paste inside and causing early fast wear. Race chains or non-sealed chains need a lot of attention in cleaning, lubricating very frequently and checking the adjustment / re-adjusting the slack due to the fact they tend to wear faster. They are just not made to, or be expected to give a high mileage life. Back in the day an 'oil bath' would keep the chain lubricated...  and usually in an enclosed case. The little seals cause a friction, a little drag as the chain goes around, X-rings are just a modern more high-tech O-ring designed to make less friction or resistance to the motion of the chain. This ever so slight resistance of the rubber rings is why hard core racers use a non-sealed chain so no power is lost - and usually replace them much more often too.

Next is the strength. One would need to choose a chain rated to at least the size of their bike (engine size). A chain a little stronger than what the minimum requirement is sure doesnt hurt, infact it's my preference. A good long life without frequently needing adjustment. If you modded your bike, drop the clutch a lot, or just plain ride the snot out of it, go with something strong enough to endure that. It's all got to do with pin diameter, sideplate thickness and heat tempering. 

Color or finish. Totally your personal preference. Most street bikes don't really show a lot of the chain, after all it is a mechanical part. But it does look so cool when parts of the chain are exposed and it's eye catching red or metallic pink, maybe a black on gold combo. Most all the chains are available in a plain finish too.

A Master Link will come with each chain. EK decides which type will accompany it, clip or rivet. Many chains EK makes offer more than one master link style and are available as extras. EK also makes screw type master links for many of the popular chains, just need an 8mm wrench.

All of the chains we list include full specifications, tensile strength, maximum engine CC's, weight per one hundred links, wear life index, available master link types, the type of master included in the package and most have a horepower rating too.

More Info

More Info


EK recommends installation by a qualified motorcycle mechanic. Always replace with equivalent chain and correct master link as recommended in the manufacturer’s service or owner’s manual. Failure to install a replacement chain and master link equivalent to those of the motorcycle’s original equipment type, size and pitch can be dangerous and result in serious injury and property damage.

DETECTING A WORN OUT CHAIN: Rust, kinks, stiffness, excessive stretching (1.5% for non-sealed and 1.0% for sealed chain) and abnormal rattling noise are all signs of a worn out chain, which can break at any time. Replace immediately if any of these conditions are present. In the case where even one O-ring or Quadra-X Ring is missing or damaged, the entire chain should be replaced immediately.


1. Place your motorcycle on a center stand so the rear wheel can spin freely.

2. If the front sprocket is difficult to access, it will be easiest to use your old chain to route the new chain through and around the sprocket (fig. 1).

a. Using pliers, remove the master link and connect the new chain to the old chain. Pull through until the new chain reaches the rear sprocket.

b. Remove the old chain and connect both ends of the new chain using the new master link (fig. 2).

c. Make sure the closed end of the clip is facing the direction of rotation (fig. 3).

d. If installing an O-ring or Quadra-X Ring chain, be sure to slide the seal over the master link pins before installing the master link plate and clip.

e. EK recommends using a riveted-type master link for all street and dual-sport motorcycles, and EK’s clip-type as an alternative for off-road use. Try using EK’s patented screw-type master link, provides rivet-like fit and strength without special tools or removal of the rear wheel.

3. Standard chain adjustment for most street models is 1" to 1 3/8" (2.5 to 3.5cm) of slack. We strongly recommend checking chain slack every 300 to 350 miles (480 to 560km). Refer to your owner’s manual for proper adjustment specifications (fig. 4). Check adjustment marks on swingarm so both sides are adjusted equally.

CAUTION: If chain is not adjusted equally, the sprocket/wheel alignment will be off, causing chain to derail, possibly causing damage and/or injury.

MAINTENANCE: Lubricate your chain every 300 to 350 miles (480 to 560km) with a quality lubricant such as SAE 80-90 wt. motor oil or aerosol lubricant designed specifically for motorcycle chains. When operating in hot, dry and/or dusty conditions, you may need to lubricate more frequently. Apply a moderate amount so lubricant penetrates between pins, rollers and bushings (fig. 5).

CLEANING: Do not use harsh solvents or chemicals, such as gasoline or benzene. EK recommends using a biodegradable degreaser with a soft (non-wire) bristle brush or clean cloth for removing dirt. Use kerosene (paraffin oil) if necessary, let dry and lubricate immediately within 10 minutes.

CAUTION: Replace chain immediately in the event of contact with battery acid. Immediately clean chains that come in contact with rock salt or salt water. Always lubricate after cleaning (fig. 6).          


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NEW: Got the first batch of EK's new metallic color chain in. This stuff is a bright 'candy' color and looks so cool!
See the special in the right column!

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