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#884081 06/28/22 12:41 pm
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Read a lot of old chain/sprocket threads. One intimated a520 x-ring chain "might" fit a b44 (69 vs).

Is anyone running that setup?

Just trying to sort a few things out while I wait for bearings ( and Ms sprocket)to show up

Mainshaft sprocket was hammered but rear sprocket seems ok leading me to believe the easy one was changed once


Dave
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Yes…I will have to wait till I get home to give you the brand but I run 520 X ring chain on all my BSA unit singles.

Dennis Brown RIP turned me onto it years ago and I’ve never looked back. Dennis was a professional mechanic, a BSA unit single fan (Norton too) and a hell of a nice guy.


Gordon

Update!!!! Just had a memory flash ( doesn’t happen very often)

Parts Unlimited and I purchase it from Dennis Kirk.

I can not say that other 520 x ring will work but I can say with 100% certainty that the Parts Unlimited 520 x ring chain fits BSA unit singles. I use it on the 250,441 and B50 with excellent results. But you might need to upgrade your chain tools.

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 06/28/22 3:33 pm.

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Thanks! I saw threads about it but no one ever came back and reported actually doing it.
Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
But you might need to upgrade your chain tools.

Probably will, I like having the right tool for the job


Dave
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Yes….the master link is a press on with a clip. So you need a chain press ( for lack of the correct term) and there’s a tool that helps you remove it.

Not sure if you’ve ever pressed a link together but pay attention……you’re working with a dimension. Too little and the clip won’t work…. too tight and it’s in a bind.

But really it’s very easy with the correct tools. I’m a tool junky so it wasn’t a problem for me.

I had ridden my B44 sidecar rig up to Coudersport, PA for Mike G’s OSMR. I had purchased some bulk standard 520 chain and had a new one on for that trip. Damn stuff worked GREAT on my B25 trials bike but couldn’t hold up on that trip and I was re-adjusting the chain at almost every gas stop.

Dennis and I were at one of the OVBSAOC’s events and he told me about using the Parts Unlimited x-ring. Best advice I’ve taken in decades. IMO that chain is amazing. I have not yet worn one out……..which sucks because it means I’m not getting enough riding in.

Dennis Kirk has it at a reasonable price and I will snap a pic of the box it comes in tonight when I get home.

Gordon

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 06/28/22 4:26 pm.

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Why fit an o’ring/x’ring chain?

I have an Iwis megalife chain on my A65 which has been on 12 years. It has seldom seen any adjustment, and gets lubricated before any long ride out.

I think sometimes, some people think a “o/x’ ring chain requires less maintenance”. Personally I don’t think they do, they require the same amount as the sprockets need just as much lubrication as the chain links. If it’s a Heavy Duty chain (DID 520 NZ for example) and it’s adjusted correctly and with enough slack so it won’t snatch under full suspension compression then both sprockets and chain should last a very long time and hardly need adjustment.

Not wanting to pee on anyones chips here, I just don’t see the need.

2c


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[quote=Allan G]Why fit an o’ring/x’ring chain? /[quote]

Allan……I read what you wrote but you never really state WHY NOT use x-ring.

I maintain my x-ring chain just like I did my non x-ring…..myself I never saw it as a maintenance free item…..it’s a freaking motorcycle chain. If you’ve ridden with me you know I carry and use good chain lube.

So…….is there a good reason to not use x-ring?

Gordon

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 06/28/22 7:13 pm.

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I'm sitting on the fence on this question, on one hand I agree O ring, X ring chains usually last longer and require less maintenance, on the other hand good quality heavy duty chains work well and are a less expensive. Its worth checking the tensile strength of chains on the manufacturers website, usually the higher the tensile strength the less adjustment is needed and higher lifetime.

Single cylinder bikes like B44's, B50's are quite hard on chains, mainly I guess because of the power impulses. I need to replace the chain on my B44 after its only done a few thousand miles, it was an inexpensive standard chain, so will probably use a heavy duty X ring type.

My A65 and Norton both use DID heavy duty chains, non O/X ring, they seem to require little adjustment but get a clean and soak in boiling graphite grease once in a while.

I believe the IWIS chains are pre-stretched which is why they last so long and are so good.


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You make some really good points gunner. I agree with you 100% about the importance of making note of tensile strength. I asked a well known (UK) vendor one time what the TS was of the chain he wanted to sell me and he got offended.....told me I didn't need to know that....he knew the correct chain to send me. That didn't go over very well.

I do believe there are several good motorcycle chains out there. I found one I'm happy with. Where the recommendation came from is about as important to me as the chain's performance. I was lucky to be able to consider Dennis a friend.

This is the chain he recommended.......I've been very happy with it. I don't remember the price......but it seems to me it was about the same as a good standard chain. I get them from Dennis Kirk.

[Linked Image]

Gordon


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DAMadd Offline OP
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Thanks for the lively debate. My reasoning was the sprocket I ordered said uses 520 chain so I searched it.

The first thing that came up was an x-ring 520.
I remember reading here that guys wanted to use xring 530 on their a65's but there wasn't room. So I read some old b44 threads.
I'm not committed to either but if the chain fits....
The parts book says 100 link , does that translate to 520?

Also anyone have a pic of their compression release arm, I took it apart to replate it and didn't make note ( I was kinda thinking it would have a flat not a spline) of it's relation to the internals

Last edited by DAMadd; 06/29/22 12:55 am.

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DAMadd….520 is the chain size. 100 links is its length.

We’re going to assume you are working with your 69 Victor Special?

100 links “should” fit stock gearing…….If you ordered both sprockets in 520 you got that covered.

Stock tooth count? Gear Box -17 tooth, Rear - 49 tooth. Chain (520) 5/8”x1/4” with 100 pitches (links)

It’s common to change all three at one time so they wear as a “set”

I lent a unit single out one time and when it came back the chain was rubbing the chain guard ( common problem….usually just misaligned) No matter which way I tweaked the guard I couldn’t keep it from fouling???? THEN I noticed the chain didn’t fit the rear sprocket correctly….someone had replaced the chain with a 525!! which is just a bit wider than the correct 520 chain. Problem solved.

I also just recently purchased a unit single and it had the correct 520 sprockets but had a 530 chain mounted.

Strange stuff happens to these poor bikes when they pass through different hands.

Gordon

PS…I’ll look but it’s going to be difficult to get a pic of the valve lifter on my bikes with the tank in place. Hopefully someone else can help you there.

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 06/29/22 12:56 pm.

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Originally Posted by gunner
I'm sitting on the fence on this question, on one hand I agree O ring, X ring chains usually last longer and require less maintenance, on the other hand good quality heavy duty chains work well and are a less expensive. Its worth checking the tensile strength of chains on the manufacturers website, usually the higher the tensile strength the less adjustment is needed and higher lifetime.

Single cylinder bikes like B44's, B50's are quite hard on chains, mainly I guess because of the power impulses. I need to replace the chain on my B44 after its only done a few thousand miles, it was an inexpensive standard chain, so will probably use a heavy duty X ring type.

My A65 and Norton both use DID heavy duty chains, non O/X ring, they seem to require little adjustment but get a clean and soak in boiling graphite grease once in a while.

I believe the IWIS chains are pre-stretched which is why they last so long and are so good.

I believe Renold are supposed to be pre-stretched, but the one I had required frequent adjustment (this was a newer made chain early 2000’s and not an old original one), the Iwis megalife was tested on a Vincent which clocked 100,000 miles (or so I was told) I was convinced enough to go for it and been happy, I used the chain lube as recommended and not the white grease stuff which I believe is for sealed chains.

The company I bought my Iwis chains from has since closed due to berrievement so I switched to the DID hd chain, their normal chains don’t last long so I’m hoping for better from the HD.

Can’t comment on the pulses from the single cylinder but my 400/4 is more likely to stretch the chain than my A65, correct chain tension is a must.

If you were off roading then I’d fit the O’ring chain etc. but I don’t see the need for the extra cost on a road bike. Not got anything against them, just don’t see the need to buy a dearer chain when a standard one will do. Either chain not properly adjusted and maintained will fail prematurely.

So it was more a question than an argument.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

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Something else to throw into the equation is the use of a permanent chain oiler such as a Scott oiler.

These keep the chain permanently lubricated by dripping oil onto the chain at a regulated rate and claim to extend chain life by 3 times.

I've heard people rave about them and wouldn't mind trying one, but at £100 not exactly cheap.


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Originally Posted by gunner
Something else to throw into the equation is the use of a permanent chain oiler such as a Scott oiler.

These keep the chain permanently lubricated by dripping oil onto the chain at a regulated rate and claim to extend chain life by 3 times.

I've heard people rave about them and wouldn't mind trying one, but at £100 not exactly cheap.

I don’t think I have heard any bad reports about them either. As long as it doesn’t put out too much oil that it goes everywhere then it should all be good.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

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I “think” if you check…….the chain recommended by Dennis is NOT expensive at all. NOT a $25 chain by no means but a LOT less than many non-oring/x ring chains out there.

Dennis wasn’t the kind mechanic that thought money meant everything.

So……you get a sealed chain for a reasonable price ( check if you don’t believe me….) that fits a BSA unit single.

The ONLY downside I see is you need to purchase a couple of tools to work with them. I “guess” you could jury rig something to work but the tools didn’t cost much and made the job a snap.


Gordon

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 06/29/22 5:32 pm.

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Never understood why makers don't fit roller chain tensioners, perhaps there's a good reason.


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Originally Posted by gunner
Something else to throw into the equation is the use of a permanent chain oiler such as a Scott oiler.

These keep the chain permanently lubricated by dripping oil onto the chain at a regulated rate and claim to extend chain life by 3 times.

I've heard people rave about them and wouldn't mind trying one, but at £100 not exactly cheap.


They don’t cost £100 second hand from breakers.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/15505553...r=&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY


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Originally Posted by Allan G
Originally Posted by gunner
I'm sitting on the fence on this question, on one hand I agree O ring, X ring chains usually last longer and require less maintenance, on the other hand good quality heavy duty chains work well and are a less expensive. Its worth checking the tensile strength of chains on the manufacturers website, usually the higher the tensile strength the less adjustment is needed and higher lifetime.

Single cylinder bikes like B44's, B50's are quite hard on chains, mainly I guess because of the power impulses. I need to replace the chain on my B44 after its only done a few thousand miles, it was an inexpensive standard chain, so will probably use a heavy duty X ring type.

My A65 and Norton both use DID heavy duty chains, non O/X ring, they seem to require little adjustment but get a clean and soak in boiling graphite grease once in a while.

I believe the IWIS chains are pre-stretched which is why they last so long and are so good.

I believe Renold are supposed to be pre-stretched, but the one I had required frequent adjustment (this was a newer made chain early 2000’s and not an old original one), the Iwis megalife was tested on a Vincent which clocked 100,000 miles (or so I was told) I was convinced enough to go for it and been happy, I used the chain lube as recommended and not the white grease stuff which I believe is for sealed chains.

The company I bought my Iwis chains from has since closed due to berrievement so I switched to the DID hd chain, their normal chains don’t last long so I’m hoping for better from the HD.

Can’t comment on the pulses from the single cylinder but my 400/4 is more likely to stretch the chain than my A65, correct chain tension is a must.

If you were off roading then I’d fit the O’ring chain etc. but I don’t see the need for the extra cost on a road bike. Not got anything against them, just don’t see the need to buy a dearer chain when a standard one will do. Either chain not properly adjusted and maintained will fail prematurely.

So it was more a question than an argument.

Chains do not stretch, well not on any BSA any way
The side plate holes wear oval & the pins get grooves in them
If you think your BSA has the power needed to stretch a side plate then you are very much mistaken
Perhaps some ofthe 100Hp + bikes could do it but again I doubt it
Yes the chains get longer but that is because the wear not because the steel stretches


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The issue with non sealed chains isn't just lubrication. Dirt can work its way in between the plates and act like grinding paste on the pins and bushes


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[Linked Image]

The master link for the chain Dennis recommended......is a press on version. Still has the clip but the side plate needs to be pressed on. So you "might" need a tool to put it on and another to take it off.

Gordon


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Gotcha. Thanks. The aspect of these chains is they wear longer
Owned a bunch of motorcycles, belts, chains etc, just want to get bang for the buck. Most classics don't have the room for modern chains but if they do have the room then why not?


Dave
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Also does anyone have torque spec for the rear sprocket? Checked Haynes, Factory service, and Ratio books to no avail. Seems like the kinda thing that should have a torque spec.
Guys had to change these at enduro's and stuff no? This is for the b44


Dave
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Originally Posted by DAMadd
Also does anyone have torque spec for the rear sprocket? Checked Haynes, Factory service, and Ratio books to no avail. Seems like the kinda thing that should have a torque spec.
Guys had to change these at enduro's and stuff no? This is for the b44

I don't think I've ever seen a torque spec for those. They are 5/16" ( I think) and you see "other" 5/16" bolts being torqued from 8lbs to 25lbs???? The bolts have split washers......that IMO are unique. SO.........when I know I'm going to replace a rear sprocket I use new spring washers and tighten the bolts until I close the split in the washer ....plus a "little" extra for good measure. My bet is I'm around 15lbs+ but I've never checked it. You can use the old spring washers if they look good......but since they are fairly cheap and I don't change rear sprockets very often.....I just loaded up on spare washers (thank you Peter Quick) Probably have enough to last me til my end days.

Not much help........but I've never had a rear sprocket bolt back off......not yet.

G

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 07/11/22 11:37 pm.

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Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
Originally Posted by DAMadd
Also does anyone have torque spec for the rear sprocket? Checked Haynes, Factory service, and Ratio books to no avail. Seems like the kinda thing that should have a torque spec.
Guys had to change these at enduro's and stuff no? This is for the b44

I don't think I've ever seen a torque spec for those. They are 5/16" ( I think) and you see "other" 5/16" bolts being torqued from 8lbs to 25lbs???? The bolts have split washers......that IMO are unique. SO.........when I know I'm going to replace a rear sprocket I use new spring washers and tighten the bolts until I close the split in the washer ....plus a "little" extra for good measure. My bet is I'm around 15lbs+ but I've never checked it. You can use the old spring washers if they look good......but since they are fairly cheap and I don't change rear sprockets very often.....I just loaded up on spare washers ( Thank you Peter Quick) Probably have enough to last me til my end days.

Not much help........but I've never had a rear sprocket bolt back off......not yet.

G

+1

One thing I would do on top of that is to use high tensile bolts and loctite. 22ft lb was suitable for 5/16 head bolts so I would start there - proving your using high tensile bolts.

Though from memory I thought they were more like 1/4” with a small hex head (I used cap screws on my bolt up sprocket, not as pretty but practical). 5/16” is a pretty big bolt. But I could easily be wrong, I’ve been using a fixed sprocket for
A good few years.

Last edited by Allan G; 07/11/22 10:31 pm.

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Allan I'm pretty sure they're 5/16" and if still stock they are "special material" EN14B. 5/16" UNF 13/32"

I agree with Allan, a little dab of medium strength loctite couldn't hurt and I've probably been guilty of that at one point or another myself.....especially back before I got new washers.

G


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Thanks guys!
I just got the lock washers in the mail from Peter Quick (thanks!) That's why I was wondering. There are 10 so I suppose the torque could be moderate, and I have the stock "special" grade bolts. They're not the thru bolts, they thread into the drum. All good- just making sure I wasn't missing something obvious


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