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  #1  
Old 19 Aug 2012
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Stuck in Tashkent, need chain tools

Hello all,

My wife and I are half way around the world in Tashkent on our F800GS and loving our trip so far. Today we started some maintenance today, replacing the front and rear sprockets and intending to replace the chain. We got to the point where we were installing the new chain and found, to our dismay, that we don't have the right chain tool. I know, stupid mistake. Wrong chain or wrong tool, whatever the case we are stuck.

Does anyone know where we can find someone near Tashkent with a chain tool that can punch the rivets out of a DID 525 VX chain and then rivet the master link? Maybe a traveller is near or someone knows a local mechanic with a chain tool? Would a bicycle repair shop be able to help? Any suggestions?

Thanks for your help.

Jeff and Si
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  #2  
Old 19 Aug 2012
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Hi Jeff,

Hopefully you will find a traveler with a 525 chain tool. Failing that you will have to resort to third world caveman technique.

When I needed to remove a link from a stretched chain on a rental bike in Costa Rice, this consisted of stopping at a roadside transmission repair shop where the owner Señor Pollo cut the chain off with a metal blade in an angle grinder, carefully ground the heads of chain rivet, used a hollow transmission input shaft against one side of the chain while he used a ground down pin punch to drive the pins out of the chain, remove a link, reassemble on the bike and had me hold a block of steel on one side of the chain while he carefully peened over the pin.

I'm not saying you should do this, more as information for someone slightly more desperate who may read this.

525 DID chains and tools can be rare as hen's teeth in the third world. More likely in Tashkent than a village in the mountains though.

I should think that a large C-clamp could be modified to work as a pin press in a pinch.

Others may have ideas.

Best luck.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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  #3  
Old 19 Aug 2012
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Thanks John. And good timing. I was just trying to figure out if a DID brand chain breaker/riveter is really needed for a DID 525 chain. DID seems very particular, a little contradictory, and generally confusing on their site: D.I.D. Racing Chains and DirtStar® Rims

Reading reviews and forums around the web has given me the impression that other chain tools generally work fine with any brand of chain but there are quite a few cases where all manner of chain tools break on first or second use.

What's your impression on this? I would hate to unnecessarily turn away a traveller with a perfectly good Motion Pro chain tool...

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Downs View Post
Hi Jeff,

Hopefully you will find a traveler with a 525 chain tool. Failing that you will have to resort to third world caveman technique.

When I needed to remove a link from a stretched chain on a rental bike in Costa Rice, this consisted of stopping at a roadside transmission repair shop where the owner Señor Pollo cut the chain off with a metal blade in an angle grinder, carefully ground the heads of chain rivet, used a hollow transmission input shaft against one side of the chain while he used a ground down pin punch to drive the pins out of the chain, remove a link, reassemble on the bike and had me hold a block of steel on one side of the chain while he carefully peened over the pin.

I'm not saying you should do this, more as information for someone slightly more desperate who may read this.

525 DID chains and tools can be rare as hen's teeth in the third world. More likely in Tashkent than a village in the mountains though.

I should think that a large C-clamp could be modified to work as a pin press in a pinch.

Others may have ideas.

Best luck.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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  #4  
Old 19 Aug 2012
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My two cents re: Motionpro Chain Tool

I have used, and have broken, a Motionpro chain tool while on a trip down to California from Alberta, Canada. If you read very carefully and follow the instructions exactly, you can break and rivet the master link without breaking the tool. The dealer warned me that they break easily and even explained what causes them to break but I broke mine while pushing the pin out. After having broken it, it was easy to understand why it broke but of course it was too late. The riveting pin is much easier to use and is far less likely to be a problem. I replaced the broken part easily and relatively cheaply but I'm also at home so that's a whole different game than what you'll deal with. If I was needing to replace my chain on the road again, I'd use an angle grinder to break it if available before I tried the tool again. Riveting with the tool is much easier and less risk of breaking. Take your time and really understand the instructions before you start and don't rush the job and you'll be fine though.
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  #5  
Old 19 Aug 2012
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Thanks Roger. Which MP chain tool did you have? The PBR? Motion Pro - PBR Chain Tool

I may order either the DID KM501E or Motion Pro PBR chain tool, a couple extra riveted master links and a couple clip master links and have them all shipped to Tashkent. Shipments can supposedly get here in 5 days but I'm a little wary of customs and other random delays.
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  #6  
Old 19 Aug 2012
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Either tool will work. I have the Motion-Pro and what Roger said is true. Although the tool works fine for pressing on plates and riveting replacement hollow or soft tip rivets, it has a hard time pressing out the old rivets when trying to break a chain. It is easier as he suggests to grind off the old rivet heads with a grinder before pressing them out. Or cutting the old chain off with bolt cutters if you are replacing it.

I looked at the picture of the DID K501E tool and it can cut plates off so perhaps a bit more versatile.

Alas, fixing flats and replacing chains wasn't on the curriculum at University. I've had to learn the hard way.

Safe travels.

Best,
John Downs
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  #7  
Old 19 Aug 2012
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Would it be possible to use an old non did or O ring chain. one that has a split link? it would give you the ability to continue your journey without delay.
I ride an Enfield so can't use modern chains. I always carry at least one spare chain and extra split link, but these old chains disappear quickly. 8k miles is quite a good life for them. Wish I could use the modern chains, However the split link allows me to change a chain in about 5 minutes using just a screwdriver and pliers.

My BMW made me forget about chains, one thing I do miss is the shaft drive
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  #8  
Old 20 Aug 2012
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Motionpro chain tool

Yes, I have the PBR kit. I also carry an old style clip type master link with the o-rings that I got at the local Honda shop as an emergency repair option but would only use it to get me through a pinch. The thought of having a chain come loose and break the crankcase while on a trip (or anywhere for that matter) is just not something I can live with. I was also able to find a 525SRX-SLJ screw type connecting link from EK (Enuma Chain Mfg. Co., LTD) part number 706429 from Parts Canada that doesn't require riveting. I haven't tried it yet but it looks promising. The only issue I see with it is potential for side clearance. The little nuts stick out about 1/4" from the side plate. Hope your repairs go well! My trips are limited presently to 7-10 days so any down time in a parking lot is to be avoided if at all possible. I spend the winters up here tearing the bikes apart and fixing ANYTHING that looks iffy. Summers are strictly for fun...
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  #9  
Old 20 Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roger2002 View Post
I was also able to find a 525SRX-SLJ screw type connecting link from EK (Enuma Chain Mfg. Co., LTD) part number 706429 from Parts Canada that doesn't require riveting. I haven't tried it yet but it looks promising. The only issue I see with it is potential for side clearance. The little nuts stick out about 1/4" from the side plate. ..
I have used those on my bike for many years as I love EK chains. I still have one of these as an emergency link, even though I am overseas with a different brand chain. The think is, it is simple to use and those bits that stick out have never caused me a drama on my Vstrom

Cheers from Kazakhstan
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  #10  
Old 20 Aug 2012
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Thanks for all the advice.

We've ordered a DID KM501E chain breaking+riveting tool, 19mm and 27mm wrenches for use with the tool, a metal file to file off the rivet heads and adjust length of new chain, and two compatible clip and two compatible rivet master links.

Today we'll visit the VM Biker Bar and several auto shops to see if anyone can help size and rivet the new chain. If so, we'll remove the swingarm, install the closed chain.

We'll also ask around for spare clip style master links that we could use to get us through our tighter visa schedule.

If anyone hears of a biker coming through Tashkent in the next week two might have a chain tool, please let them know about us.

The extra expense is painful but this shipment gives us a fall back fix in case we don't find any way to reliably work on this chain over the next few days. If we're back in business sooner then we'll have our shipment forwarded to a new address and will be better prepared next time.

Any other ideas? Please keep them coming!

Thanks again,
Jeff and Si
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  #11  
Old 20 Aug 2012
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This has worked for me.

Hi I have cut the heads off the rivets on a DID 525 EK chain with hacksaw before (about half hours work)

I have also one more than occasion flared the heads with lock pliers (Vise Grips). In the first occasion this lasted for the life of the chain. The second time has done near on 15,000kms, without failure.

This method doesn't give the same nice flare as tool does, but remember it the is not much load on this part of the chain, all you need too do is make sure it stays on there nice and snug. May sound dodgy, but desperate times wtc.
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  #12  
Old 20 Aug 2012
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had a chain snap on me on the BAM Road in 2009. fitted the new chain in situ and flared it using a screwdriver as a flaring tool, a rock for a hammer to hit the screwdriver and another rock being held behind the chain,

As craig says, there is very little lateral load on the rivet, and the tiniest bit of flaring will hold it all together for the life of the chain
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  #13  
Old 20 Aug 2012
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For the first fifteen years I rode motorbikes, I didn't even know there was such a thing as a chain tool. I only ever used a file or angle grinder and a punch.

Cheers

Nigel in NZ
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  #14  
Old 21 Aug 2012
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This is the inspiration we need! Thanks all. We just don't have the experience to know what's a clever workaround and what's plain dumb, so hearing what has worked well enough for others is very helpful indeed. We don't want to be stuck on a mountain pass in Pakistan because we were foolhardy in Uzbekistan!

Thanks again.

Oh, and we stopped by the VM Bar here in Tashkent a couple times today. It's allegedly a biker bar but we have reason to believe there are no more than four bikers in the area so maybe that explains why the bar was closed both times we stopped by. Wondering if it went out of business. On the other hand today is a gov't holiday for the end of ramadan so we'll try again tomorrow night. We're quite enjoying the city anyway.
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  #15  
Old 21 Aug 2012
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How about this. We have a Motion Pro T-6 chain tool (official instructions: "doesn't rivet!" - http://www.motionpro.com/documents/p...0_I08-0358.pdf) which we used to break the old chain. We also have a Leatherman with a file which we just used to file the head off a rivet on the new chain and then the chain tool again to break two links off, making the new chain the correct length. The master link that we have has dimpled pins. I include this because we read there are master links with non-dimpled pins that are impossible to rivet without special tools. Anyway, the MP chain tool has a flat headed extractor pin that pushes chain pins out. Other MP chain tools that actually rivet come with a second pin with a semi-rounded head. We were thinking that maybe we could file the extractor pin head to round it out then use the chain tool to attempt to deform the dimpled pin heads. Something akin to another roadside method we read on ADV, seating a hard BB in the dimple and clamping down with pliers. Except instead of clamping we'd be wrenching the chain tool. On the other side of the chain we'd use MP's slotted back plate to hold the pins and chain plate.

Does anyone see any potential pitfalls with this approach? It must have less risk of screw-up than two rocks and a screw driver but we are trying to be cautious since we only have one master link.

Thanks again all!

Jeff and Si
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