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X-Ring vs. O-Ring vs. Regular Chain..?

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  • X-Ring vs. O-Ring vs. Regular Chain..?

    Should you get an X-Ring, O-Ring or Regular Chain as your next replacement?

    Well it depends.. How much Money vs. Time vs. Aggravation do you want to spend or would you rather just go riding rather than getting greasy.

    Let's look at the differences between the three in terms of friction and wear:

    We'll use DID's charts as an example from one of the best chain manufacturers who makes all three types.

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  • #2
    How do ring type chains work? Primarily they are designed to keep the original factory applied lubrication in the rollers and the dirt, sand and water out of the rollers.
    Let's look at a pic:

    One is from RK chain who seems to have an even better design than X-Ring with another 3rd lip in the ring adding only slightly to the resistance.
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    • #3
      Duh? Is that a question. X-ring chains are the best unless maybe their is a Z-ring chain out their that is better. I thought everbody that had a brain realized that X not XXXX was the way to go.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dogonit View Post
        Duh? Is that a question. X-ring chains are the best unless maybe their is a Z-ring chain out their that is better. I thought everbody that had a brain realized that X not XXXX was the way to go.
        The title is a conversation starter. Looks like it worked

        Yes most experienced riders know X-Ring is the way to go vs. just about anything else.. Even "XXXX" lol

        BUT - Allot of people, especially new riders don't know and ask the question quite often.

        Z-Ring???, not that I've heard of, is that like a unicorn, mythical?....

        HOWEVER There is an "XW" Ring from RK that is supposed to be better (it has a 3rd center lip). Did you look at the image above showing the third lip? I haven't tried it but a friend of mine in Africa runs it and claims it's the only thing that holds up in the heat and sand. He says he cut off a link to reduce the length when going to a smaller sprocket when the RK - XW had 12k miles and the roller was still filled with grease. He's still running it and that was LAST year!
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        • #5
          Yes they exist.https://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p...T-Z-Ring-Chain https://www.google.com/search?q=z-ri...HA4xwxVhUwM%3A

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          • #6
            Cool! Let me check it out. I really thought you were funnin me

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            • #7
              Looks like a good solution the way it hold lube in the side of the ring,
              Z-Ring.jpg


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              • #8
                A third lip 'll never hurt...

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                • #9
                  I have an X-ring on now for 11,000 plus miles.

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                  • TW Admin
                    TW Admin commented
                    Editing a comment
                    That is incredible. Road, Street? A combination?

                  • Lyterx
                    Lyterx commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Mostly street. Put new 14t front and 45t rear sprockets on with new chain.

                • #10
                  I have a "regular" non-o-ring chain with over 30K miles on it. It has been high maintenance but I have gotten a lot satisfaction out of making it last that long. BTW, it is not done yet.
                  Last edited by Tony; 08-13-2016, 04:17 AM.

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                  • #11
                    There is a lot to be said about the satisfaction of keeping mechanical things maintained and running in great condition. Tony If your chain is as well maintained as we all know it is your bike must be tuned and running like a Swiss watch. I swapped to an o-ring but to be honest with you I did enjoy the feeling I got when finishing cleaning and lubing the chain, the deep clean soak it in kerosene type of cleaning. It's kind of what it feels like after getting your teethe cleaned. Call me weird... I'm in the sand all the time though. I just had to get away from running chain lube because the sand dust would stick, even to wax based lubes. I run totally dry food safe silicone spray now. It's a dry film lubricant. I only use it to keep the o-rings from cracking. It's totally dry, nothing sticks to it. I just blow the dust off with an air gun. Thanks for joining the discussion!

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                    • Tony
                      Tony commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Both bikes run OK. It is in the "Looks department" they are suffering. Both bikes are approaching 30 years old and their age is showing.

                    • JerseyJeeper
                      JerseyJeeper commented
                      Editing a comment
                      The looks of the nut on my seat...now that needs some work!

                  • #12
                    Changed my Stock Chain after the West Virginia ride with Montezuma and Borneo last November....right around{a bit less} than 5000 miles...Montezuma changed his as well, at the same time with about the same miles...he went "O" Chain, I re~ordered the original stock chain,,,and caught some Hell over on the other site...I am now at 1100 miles on the replacement "stock" chain...and it is still at about 1 5/8" play...Montezuma's "O" chain has about 1800 miles on it, and is more or less, within the same play as mine...

                    I figured I would have to adjust mine after or during the Indiana Covered Bridge ride this week...BUT...not really, it is holding out well...

                    I mean, let's face it...take your choice, but how hard is it to "adjust" a chain? ...Nick is pleased with his choice...I am pleased with mine, and have no complaints...

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                    • #13
                      Chains are a subject near and dear to me. Years ago I had one snap on my H2 Kawasaki 750 and it took out the entire side case as the chain spooled up around the front sprocket.

                      Given the pain in the ass a TW presents when changing out the front sprocket I find it highly beneficial to buy the very best chain money can buy and do the job once with all new sprockets. My time is worth a lot more than the few extra dollars it costs to go to an X ring chain. They wear much better and do not require the time and attention of standard roller chains. The chain and sprockets wear in together so by switching to the better chain with brand new sprockets you could easily go for 10,000 miles with very little adjusting, cleaning and lubricating. YMMV but I will always do the upgrade and never look back.

                      Gary

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                      • Bags
                        Bags commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I agree with paying a bit more for something better. That said more is not always better. bigger is not always bad'er. Much depends on what suits one's use and application so I see it as buy or use what works for you. It's your money, time, and headache. As stated YMMV for sure.

                        That said I have a riding buddy that has a Ducati 996 that his chain broke loose on. It was a newer one too. That had some catastrophic and very expensive consequences. It busted up all kinds of stuff as it gave way and spooled up around stuff and lashed about. Busted and cracked a numerous things. He is a tight wad and paid the price. He ended selling it and now rides an FZ 1. Yamahas are much better on maintenance and cost of parts. Ducatis are cool but I'd never own one for various reason. Just my rules.

                    • #14
                      There are guys over on KLR threads saying they are getting 40,000 miles out of OEM chains..... What do you all think?

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                      • Bags
                        Bags commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I'm fairly certain it is a decent O ring OEM. At least on my 2008. It looks like an O ring to me. My TW also has an O ring. It had been replaced by the original owner. I'm the third owner of the TW. The 2nd only had it about 5-6 months. I did buy my KLR off of the original owner with almost no miles also. It looked like showroom condition and was meticulously maintained and taken care of. I have not messed with either chain yet on either bike. Both are fine for now.

                        I was wondering on the 40 K mile deal. Maybe but doubtful. I do know of a guy up near Miami University that has 42 K on a 2009 KLR. They are easier to do some long haul miles on Hoot but many are low mile rides even 5-10 years old. There are some exceptions though. Some guys beat the snot out of KLRs while others use them for what they truly are and take care of them like me. Like you do with your new looking TW.

                        I still have my KLR up on the motorcycle jack doing maintenance and going thru it everywhere. Last night I was out in the garage taking screws, bolts, etc; off and doing Permatex blue thread locker and anti-sieze where needed. I still have not found one loose bolt on the KLR. The original owner was a mechanical engineer and went thru the whole bike when it was new. She will be 100% as soon as I get my new tube in the front tire Tuesday. The one now has a slow leak at the valve stem.

                        Then it will be a nice warm up ride, oil & filter change, and mounting up my new skid plate after and then good to ride til next oil change. I'll be doing my TW's oil and filter at the same time. So as of Wednesday they are good to go. Then my plan is to do maintenance on the BMW. New tires that are already here, fluids, check over, etc; and then see about trading the beast in or selling it. I may still keep it. If I trade it in I'm looking at a new FZ 09, Versys 1000, or possibly a Super Tenere. I want something I can clock some serious long hauls on comfortably. I like the FJRs too but they are heavy 680 LB. +/- bikes. That was a big reason I went with my BMW K1200S initially. But it is way more of a sport bike than tourer. It is fairly comfy for what it is but I want a more upright ride.

                      • Bags
                        Bags commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I am also sort of entertaining a new Ninja 1000 ABS sport tourer but that is a lot like my K12 although more up right. So I'll probably wind up with one of the three above if I trade in and go new. I've never bought a brand new bike ever. Several almost new off of original owners butt never a brand new one.

                        I was about a week away from a new KLR then the one I bought popped up 2 years old with next to no miles for half price so I pounced.

                      • TW Admin
                        TW Admin commented
                        Editing a comment
                        You have quite an arsenal of bikes there bags! Nice..

                    • #15
                      So.....2020......O, X, Z, plain, or is there an even newer chain?
                      2018 TW200
                      2020 KLX300R

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