A Cautionary Tale

Team Junk

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We were headed to the next town to the north of us today, a 22 mile drive, to have lunch at the Hanger Hotel, a cool place for a bite if you happen to be in Fredericksburg Texas. About half way I noticed a bike chain in the road and thought to myself that’s not good. An amazing distance further up the road I noticed a Kawasaki crotch rocker on the side of the road. Been there done that so I turned around and went back to pick up the chain in the middle of the road. We were in the GF’s car and the only thing I had to pick it up with was a piece of pink tissue and a pink gift bag.

We get back to the bike and I walk up with the pink bag with the guy looking at me kinda funny. He asks me if I saw the master link. Nope. He had been riding with a buddy who hadn’t noticed him missing at that point. He was on the phone with someone so I figured he had things handled.

We continued on and spotted his buddy headed back to look for him so figured he would be ok. While having lunch I looked online at the only parts house that was open there to see if they had master links. Nope.



On the way home they were still there so when we got to Kerrville I went to the one hardware store that was open on Sunday to see if thy had one. Nope. They had 420 links and 620 and up but no 530.

I got the 620 like just in case we could ghetto it in. Also got them bottles of water as the temp was in the high 90’s. They were waiting for his son to come in the pickup.


So. always keep a master link on your keychain just in case .
 

Jim

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Good on ya for helpin' a brother. :)
A little safety wire and you'll never have to worry about losing the master.

IMG_20190721_201735.jpg
 

tim61

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Our race club used to require clip type master links to be wired like that....until I was able to show that it doesn't stop the masterlink clip from coming off, as the clip slides forward to come off, not laterally. Now the club requires a dab of RTV on the clip so it won't move forward allowing it to release.

Tim
 

Jim

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until I was able to show that it doesn't stop the masterlink clip from coming off, as the clip slides forward to come off, not laterally.
Not sure how you were able to show that, as the open side of the clip would have to expand to slide off the pin. Tightly wrapped .032 safety wire prevents that expansion. Since I spent my life as an aircraft mechanic, I'm pretty confident in my safety wiring skills... maybe others just need to practice... :sneaky:
I've been safetying masters like that since the seventies... haven't lost one yet.
 
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MaxPete

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I rode a 1975 XS650B for many thousands of miles and then one day in 1979,...out of the blue...for no apparent reason, it spit the chain out in on Hwy. 11 around North Bay, ON. I had Madam MaxPete duJour on the back and she just about jumped off when the chain went bang and the engine wound out. I walked back to get the chain and lo and behold, the remains of the master link was sitting on the road a ways further back - spread wide open. There was no sign of the side plate or clip of course.

Anyhow, I had a cracked case (no leak - it was the flat portion just behind where the clutch cable enters the LH engine case cover) but no other damage. I hitchhiked to town to get a new link and we got going again.

I never did figure out why that happened. The master had been on there for a long time, the chain was properly lubed and adjusted - but for some unknown reason, it picked that moment to pop off. Jim’s wire fix would have prevented that, I’m sure.

Pete
 

Jim

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Jim’s wire fix would have prevented that, I’m sure.
For anyone thinking of doing this... consider, you're creating another maintenance "check item." Every time I adjust a chain, I check to make sure the safety wire hasn't worked loose. If it has, I cut it off and redo it... it has to remain tight to work. A minor detail yes... but if it's loose it ain't doin' much.
I'm from a world (aviation) where redundancy is essential. That's my mindset. I like the peace of mind that comes from little things like this.
 

Jim

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It's essentially wired to itself -- how is the side plate supposed to hold the clip on? If the clip goes, they both go.
So, you're not gettin' the mechanics behind this. Fair enough, not everyone does. Try this; safety wire a link as shown and then try and remove it. All will be revealed... :doh:
 

Mailman

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For anyone thinking of doing this... consider, you're creating another maintenance "check item." Every time I adjust a chain, I check to make sure the safety wire hasn't worked loose. If it has, I cut it off and redo it... it has to remain tight to work. A minor detail yes... but if it's loose it ain't doin' much.
I'm from a world (aviation) where redundancy is essential. That's my mindset. I like the peace of mind that comes from little things like this.

I like it! I am going to make a point of doing it to both of my bikes. I have never lost a link or thrown a chain but it is a worry that I’ve always had. For exactly the reasons Pete outlined, a cracked case.
Thanks Jim, I’ve already got the wire!
 

TwoManyXS1Bs

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A good thread, Team Junk.
I updated the "Drive Chain" thread, with historical experience of master link clips, and a link to this thread.

http://www.xs650.com/threads/drive-chain.511/page-3#post-603324

We were headed to the next town to the north of us today, a 22 mile drive, to have lunch at the Hanger Hotel, a cool place for a bite if you happen to be in Fredericksburg Texas...

Oh good grief.
I was across the road from there that afternoon. Had I known, I could've brought a couple spare #530 master links, and new chain...
 
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