Staked chain vs. Master Link

What is the deal with Staked endless chains. Are you 650R guys running regular master link O-ring chains? I've heard that due to its torque a staked chain is needed for the 650R. Any help out there :D

I have just extended my chain to fit a new sprocket (Aus model with std 108 vs US with 110)

I went to the dealer I bought the bike from, to purchase two riveted links and ended up with two clip type links because he said that's all anyone uses in a dirt bike and that's all they stock. Anyway, I was reading the factory manual, you know, as you do, when you don't have anything else to do, and it says use only riveted style links.

Out of curiosity I went to another dealer and asked, the parts guy said they only sell riveted links and that's all Honda advise to fit, which is what my manual says for the XR650R.

So it depends who you ask I guess but I've changed mine to riveted for the satisfaction of knowing it's stronger.

I am running a riveted link:thumbsup:


The difference between clipped and stacked is the outside plate can still move under great stress because there is still a very small play. This movement if great enough can pop off the clip and plate from one post. A staked master link has no play in the plate because the posts have been smashed making the post swell in the plate. A lot less to no movement with the plate.


> Pictures can help tell the story. It failed at the master link and the clip is still on one post in the picture.

All about the XR650R

Rivited master link........ :D:D

Thanks for all of your responses. It looks like staked(riveted) it is. Next question is how do you install it. What brand and model of chain are you using and I assume I need a special tool to secure the chain. Thanks, walt :D

The masterlinks with the press on sideplate and clip are ok but you have to check them they rub on the chain guides this can lead to a loose clip after a while, the rivet type is best but you need a special tool, the ones that the side plate just slips on and then the clip holds it are no good too loose a fit.

I don't have a 650R (yet) but I've always wire-tied clipped master links for added security. Rivet type links are better, but I've wire-tied clipped links when there was no other option. It never became an issue.

Granted, one person's experience is hardly conclusive...

I have run clipped master links on my XR650s since Feb. of 2000 with no failures in some 8000 miles of woods and desert riding. My XR shares riding time with 3 other bikes that why its only 8000 miles.

If I owned a stake tool I suppose I would go with the staked chain. It seems to me it's more a matter of preference.

the 'staked' master link is a new thing to me, ... I've never used anything in 40 years of riding but plain old master-links, and that includes drag bikes ... maybe I've just been real lucky, but I guess I'll stick with the clip-type, at least until my first 'busted engine case' .. I have seen that happen, but only with terribly neglected and abused chains ... :D

I just ordered a new chain and sprockets, all OEM stuff. Probably lots more money, maybe $60 to $70 more but this stuff has lasted me for 5 years so I figured why not. Lasted way longer that my handlebar supplier that makes sprockets.

Should I purchase the stacking tool or just take it to the dealer.


The reason this subject came up is because me and a friend are racing Vegas to Reno in Oct. on his very low mileage '01 650R and I was going to buy the Ironman sprockets/Regina chain combo and I received an email from Bruce Ogilvie at Team Honda who sent me a list of XR650 race setup tips. One is to use a staked chain. more specifically a DID ERV2. he says they have been using this grade of staked chain since 1994 with no problems. It also says that using a master link is asking for a "race failure".

I own a '94 XR600 with a Primary Drive X-Ring chain and it has been good to me for at least a couple thousand miles. Master link was a little worn from the guides before I last replaced it, just to be safe.

I was riding with a friend who rides a CRF450R and he hit a jump on the trail :D and threw his chain off in the air and landed, hit the throttle and then realized his chain was gone. :eek::D We were able to replace the master link and ride another 6 hrs. with no problems. Luckily the chain flew off and away from the bike and caused no damage except for the master link.

I thought all chains had a master link until I tried to remove the stock chain on this 650R last year. Thanks again, Walt :D:eek:

raced a built 650R for 3 years with masterlinks--never had any issue.

i want to be able to take the chain off if bailing wire, irrigation hose, or barbed wire (all three happened to me!) wrap around it and make a mess of things...

during that time i've had 3 chains crack. i think its far more likely a link cracks than a masterlink somehow breaks or comes apart.

Though I have a master link chain on my XR650 when I add links to accomadate a different sprocket size I stake the added links. I borrow the stake tool from my local Honda shop. If you do not have a good relationship with your local shop they will have to do it for you. :D

600ish - Run the ERV2 or ERV3, staked/rivet link, with the Ironman and call it done. You will not break a chain, gauranteed.

We put tons of miles on bikes and have broken many chains, never an ERV2, not even a totally worn out ERV2


And how many times have you seen a clip missing from a chain on a bike? I don't know about you, but I've seen it many times. It can happen as easily as rolling your bike backwards and the clip catching in the chain guide and popping it off.

600ish - Decided to not race the ole 600 eh? See ya up there!

I checked out the DID website and found some interesting info.

It appears that there are actually three types of links available, anyway the site explains it all including the strength of each type.....

probably a dumb question, ... but ... is there a 'special' master link designed for staking ? ... or, do you simply leave the clip off, and peen the linkpin ?? ... I assumed staked master links were of a different design, but all my catalogs just show "master link", no details .. :D

It's a special link for staking.

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