Things I'd rather do than put on a new master link

The following is just some mindless banter.

Here are some things I'd rather do than put a new master link on a chain...

Dig the half circle guide for the cam cover out of the bottom of the engine

Change a tire with only two medium sized screwdrivers

True up both wheels using a pair of needle nose pliers as a spoke wrench

Pull the tires while using a wobbly pile of foot long 2 X 4s as a bike stand

Damn, is there anything harder than putting on a new master link. I was using every tool you could imagine. Even used vise grips and a nut to squeeze it on. I have pulled, greased and put back on linkage in shorter time than it took me to put that thing on today.

Uhh, OK, I feel better.

You did loosen the chain tensioners before you worked on it right?

Have you ever thought about boring out the holes on the cover plate of the master link? Makes it slide on real easy! :)


I put one on friday and it was a pain it the ass. I almost took a sledge hammer to the bike, the truck and anything else in reach.

I just did mine Thursday night....5 minutes with a master link compressor tool and a pair of needle nose pliers to slide the clip on.

I now see it was the best $22. I ever spent.

Bonzai :)

Not sure I see what's so hard about it...should only take about 10-15 minutes, I just did mine last week--no special tools

I think sometimes it might depend on what kind of a o-ring chain you have. I used to have that problem alot when I ran reginas, but now all I ever buy is DID X-ring.

Never had a problem with them.


Darin in Missouri - My Hurricane 1999 WR400F

Enduro Heaven - Ozark Mountain TrailRiders

This is from a post I did last week...

I figured out a neat little trick for installing the master link during my last chain replacement. I've always used a couple of vice grips to pinch the master link so I can get the clip over the pins but it's a real pain, as you all know. This last time, the clip broke while I was installing it [the dang thing shot clear across the garage], so I had to wait 'til the next day to get to the shop and get a new one. I left the vice grips on the chain overnight. The next day, I took off the vice grips and the clip slipped right over the link with no trouble at all! The little o-rings were compressed enough to allow it to go on very easily. From now on, I'm starting the day before and finishing the next day when I'm replacing the chain. I only ride one day a week anyway so it shouldn't be a big deal.

Milkman, you may be right. I did have trouble with a Regina last year, maybe 30 minutes of cursing the master link. I've been using DID VMX's exclusively other than the one Regina for years. The DID just seem to last longer, does not rust as quickly, and don't stretch much once the initial stretching has occured.


1.) Squeeze the master together with a pair of vice grips. Go as hard as you can go. Spray some WD-40 on it if you can't see the guides on the pin for the clip.

2.) Move the vice grip to the bottom of the master.

3.) Place circlip in a position ready to be squeezed on the pins.

4.) Use adjustable wrench to slowly squeeze the clip on the pins.

Good luck, Dougie


By the master link tool - money well spent.....


I used to do the vice-grip thing, but found something that works better (for me, anyway!). I should also mention that I'm too cheap to buy the tool :)

I use a small c-clamp & small socket. Use the c-clamp to 'press' the plate on, with the socket between the front side of the chain, slipped over the pin (so it can poke out). Do one it with the socket over one pin, then the other....presto.

The plate stays on since you've squished it in place, clip slides right in.

i use the side plate from old master links on top of the new side plate and press them together with a small c clamp. Works in about five minutes every time.


I've always used RK chains and get the masterlink on in 5 or so minutes using two pair vice grips and 2 10mm nuts. Clamp, wait, repeat. As mentioned above, must be a brand thing.


Nice Idea!

I dont use O ring chains in the dirt,, its not worth it. The coal grit blows em right out, they where your guides out and the guides where the tips off the master link not to mention the $1 per link cost !! I cant tell you how many bikes I have seen have to get towed back in cause the ends wore off the masterlink and no one in the group had an extra O ring master link. I keep 2 extra links for regular chains inside the holes in my swing arm :) . The last stranded bike was a KTM, wich came stock with an O ring chain !

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