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what's a master link made of?

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just wondering if the pins on a master link are some kind of hardened steel or if it is the same metal as the rest of the links pins. So the story - my buddy puts on a bigger rear sprocket to gear down for a supercross, now chain is too short, we put on one I had in the garage but masterlink was different brand and not long enough so I use my motionpro chain tool to squish/rivet the masterlink like any other link. I don't use masterlinks on my chains, just rivet them together. Tighten down a fair bit harder than I usually do to make sure it is squished and it looks flattened but not as rounded and shaped like they usually look after using the tool. Said I wasn't sure if that was the same metal but we both agreed it looks fine. Last moto Saturday night, two laps to go, in a close second and his chain comes off and the masterlink we put on is gone, at fault. I felt really bad, wish I had a new in box chain around like I usually had, won't try squishing a masterlink again. Any insights out there? I want to say his chain was perhaps too tight and it did come off after a landing so possibly played a roll.

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My vote is to always use a masterlink. It takes the guess work out of wondering if the rivet is mushroomed enough to hold properly. (His probably wasn't)

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