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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,
I need to replace my 1996 900SS chain. Does anyone have any recommendations that won't break the bank? Maybe middle of the road.

Put way too much money into this bike trying to get it on the road, but it was worth it.
 

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Sorry, but quality costs. My advice is to look at the total package price for both sprockets and a chain, prefer the rivet type, which might run you a few bucks more for the special tool. New chain on old worn sprockets is just throwing money away.
So now your wallet is looking a package prices, $150 is a low dollar figure there in my opinion so snag any sale deals on that price point. That will probably be $50-100 off, and all this is in US dollar money - don't know what kind of internet deals you can get in Canada.

The last couple I've gotten from Revzilla clearance or from Sprocket Center - Here's a good set that would only be better at $135 rather than $150


Arguments on forums about chain brands is as common as ones on oil, but I feel that if you take care of the adjustments and lubrication but especially changing them before they are worn out that most brands of quality will do fine on only 85hp with 400lb bikes.

200mph bikes with 200+ rwhp is a whole deal different, ain't no cheap parts for that.
 

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any appropriate did/ek/rk/tsubaki x-ring will be fine. as rock says, neglect is the biggest issue with chains.
 

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I use RK with New Sporckets
 

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I will say that the D.I.D ERV-3 is a top quality X-Ring chain, light weight, good performer and has been replaced by a new model, the ERV-7 this year. Retailers are trying clear their ERV3 inventory at a nice discount. I picked up a 120 link ERV3 on Amazon for about $120.

I also recommend replacing sprockets at the same time. I've purchased from Sprocket Center before (linked above) and liked the transaction, I'm not sure how I feel about the BikeMaster chains though. They're probably fine, personally I'd spring the extra $60 for the DID chain for peace of mind. You'll need to borrow a chain breaker and riveting tool, ask around in your local club, someone certainly has one to loan for a day.
 
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You can get an appropriate length RK gold XSO ring chain on Amazon for around $80. I think I ordered a 116 link chain and wound up cutting about 4 links off. 520 pitch is what the manual calls for.

I don't necessarily replace my sprockets with every chain. Depends on how worn the sprocket is. If it shows next to no wear, I just leave it alone.

I've had sprockets last the entire life of the the bike, and others that were worn beyond what I'd call serviceable after a few thousand miles.

I've had OEM sprockets that looked brand new after 30K miles and a couple new chains. Proper chain tension, lubrication and cleaning is key.

I don't lube a chain without cleaning it first, and I check chain tension frequently.

I had an old Kawasaki once that I never replaced the sprockets on once in 60K miles. I sold it with the original sprockets on it.

They did not show any evidence of wear in all that time. There wasn't any deformation of the teeth nor the pocket between the teeth.

I didn't believe it myself but upon first chain replacement, I checked the teeth and was astounded they could be in such good condition. That never changed.

The only things I did was maintain good tension (not over tight nor over loose) and keep my chains clean and lubed.

I don't use chain lube as I've found gear oil to work much better as a chain lube. It's thick and doesn't fling off as much as one would think.

On that old Ninja, I used 90wt. On all my bikes now I use Amsoil full synthetic 85/140. Apply liberally and wipe well down to prevent dripping.

A quart bottle is less than most cans of chain lube and I've been on the same bottle now for 3 years.....and that's with 3 bike chains to lube.

I use mineral spirits to clean my chain before applying gear oil. It takes a few times to get used to applying the gear oil but after a few goes, you get where you don't use too much and cut down on how much wiping down is needed.
 
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Last time I did my chain I bought a kit from Sprocket Center. I used a DiD X-ring that worked fine. One issue I had was that the J-Sprocket front sprocket I got did not have the hole for the lock ring screws properly threaded. They sent an AFAM replacement that was fine. Make sure you have a good quality chain tool and watch some videos on how to use it if you are not familiar with the process. A good tool can be expensive but it is not a place to scrimp as improper installation can be dangerous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You can get an appropriate length RK gold XSO ring chain on Amazon for around $80. I think I ordered a 116 link chain and wound up cutting about 4 links off. 520 pitch is what the manual calls for.

I don't necessarily replace my sprockets with every chain. Depends on how worn the sprocket is. If it shows next to no wear, I just leave it alone.

I've had sprockets last the entire life of the the bike, and others that were worn beyond what I'd call serviceable after a few thousand miles.

I've had OEM sprockets that looked brand new after 30K miles and a couple new chains. Proper chain tension, lubrication and cleaning is key.

I don't lube a chain without cleaning it first, and I check chain tension frequently.

I had an old Kawasaki once that I never replaced the sprockets on once in 60K miles. I sold it with the original sprockets on it.

They did not show any evidence of wear in all that time. There wasn't any deformation of the teeth nor the pocket between the teeth.

I didn't believe it myself but upon first chain replacement, I checked the teeth and was astounded they could be in such good condition. That never changed.

The only things I did was maintain good tension (not over tight nor over loose) and keep my chains clean and lubed.

I don't use chain lube as I've found gear oil to work much better as a chain lube. It's thick and doesn't fling off as much as one would think.

On that old Ninja, I used 90wt. On all my bikes now I use Amsoil full synthetic 85/140. Apply liberally and wipe well down to prevent dripping.

A quart bottle is less than most cans of chain lube and I've been on the same bottle now for 3 years.....and that's with 3 bike chains to lube.

I use mineral spirits to clean my chain before applying gear oil. It takes a few times to get used to applying the gear oil but after a few goes, you get where you don't use too much and cut down on how much wiping down is needed.
Thanks for the response, do you think this will work? https://fortnine.ca/en/dirt-bike-motocross-consumables-chains/rk-520-xso-performance-rx-ring-chain
 

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" you think this will work?"

Yes, in the 116 link length, cut off 4 links. BTW, you can find this cheaper on Amazon, I think, but it could be the Canada dollar messing with the price - that is a Canadian website. Your internet link goes to a 120 link length in gold, more expensive, and you must cut off 8, but yes it will be fine as it is rated to 80Hp.

Me? In RK chains I'd go for a slightly stronger chain rated to 150Hp, the 525XSO RX-Ring model from them is a 525 size because I'm overweight and like to take a skinny girlfriend as passenger from time to time. This is why I went with DID, because I could get a higher rated 520 chain, which is significantly lighter than the 525 size.

Not to split hairs, but the 1996 900SS was rated at 86Hp,...


520XSO RX-Ring

    • Tensile Strength: 8,300 lbs
    • Max CC Rating: 750cc Street, 750cc Off-road
    • MAX Horsepower: 80 HP
    • Master Link Included: Rivet *Clip Sold Separately


525XSO RX-Ring
  • Tensile Strength: 8,400 lbs
    • Max CC Rating: 900cc Street, 750cc Off-road
    • MAX Horsepower: 150 HP
    • Master Link Included:


In any case, order this tool with whatever riveted chain you get.

 

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if you're going ek i'd use an mvxz2 on a 900. the sro6 is rated to 650cc on the ek spec sheet.
 

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I found this on there website, it's like $99 for the natural. Not sure what the big difference is.
The RK gold chains are Ti nitrided.
RK makes a number of different chains in 520 pitch. Some rated for higher tensile strength than the GB-XSO ring chains.


Just look around. Amazon has them cheaper than any place I've seen and they have most of the different 520 versions.

Just pay attention to who is providing the chain to Amazon.
 

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Takes me about 30 sec to remove a chain--Die grinder with a cut off wheel lol--easy pesy
 

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Any quality name brand that is made for the displacement of the bike (ek,rk,did,regina,tsubaki). AVOID cheap chains (JT, bikemaster,parts unlimited due to shorter life). Be sure to match your engine size to the brands spec chart so you do not put the right size (520) chain on but one that is designed for a much smaller less powerful bike. remember the 900ss may only make 80Hp but it also makes comparable torque to a inline 4cyl 750 (2005 gsxr = 52 vs 94 stock 900 =54).

Run away from no name ebay/amazon trash that is sold for 1/2 the cost of the name brands. I have had a few come through the shop that were worn out (from new) after a couple of dyno runs! this was in 525 (1000ss) 530 (1986 gsxr750), 520 (m620). If they will not last 3 pulls on the dyno when new how long before they are blowing a hole in your engine cases?

you could easily upsize to a 525 and end up with a stronger but heavier chain, not common to see buy possible. I considered it on my 851 which came with a 520 chain just to get a longer life out of them as the bike wears out chains by 10,000 miles in current condition where my m900 will easily cover 12,000 miles.
 

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Whatever name brand chain you use, I recommend you use DID master links. The others I’ve used seem to be case hardened or something and don’t mushroom as consistently.
The mushroom sometimes cracks rather than spreads. This won’t be as strong.
I used a JT last time, it seems fine. The strength rating was higher than most. I didn’t realize they weren’t regarded as being a good chain. I normally use DID chain because I don’t know whether other brands are good or not.
 
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Be careful if/when mixing brands as though the base size may be the same the details may not be. Measure pin diameters carefully and keep them as close to the size of chain you are using, a RK may not be the same size as a DID and so on. If you change fit you may get a weak point.
 
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