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Recommendation for a quality chain and somewhere to get it from please?

BlackLightning998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi there,

Can I have some recommendations on a high quality chain to fit on the Rapide please. I think the bike is running original sprockets so don't think I have the opportunity to fit an O-ring chain, so am looking for a 5/8th by 3/8th 106 pitch.

Recommendations on where to get it from please? Is there a specialist motorcycle chain supplier people would recommend I use? I usually buy my stuff from VinParts who give great service but Russ hasn't come across something to recommend right now.
 

BlackLightning998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi,

Try Sprockets unlimited. http://www.sprocketsunlimited.com/

Very helpful and offer a good range of chains.

Regards,
Simon.
What a fabulous site - many thanks indeed. Interestingly googling "classic motorcycle drive chain suppliers" had not found them myself.

I've told them what I need and look forward to hearing from them and placing an order.

Thanks again Simon - great tool this Forum, yet again.

Regards

Stuart
 

Comet Rider

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Suppliers

Try Revolution Bearings and Seals, not far from Stalbans.

They hold all chains and bearings required for a Vincent, as they supply both the VOCSC and others.

Reasonably priced and excellent service:D

Neil
 

nkt267

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi.Russ is right, I always use Sprockets unlimited they are a great couple to deal with.I doubt if you will contact them at weekends or mondays as they are always at some bike jumble somewhere in the country.But midweek is usually good to talk to them.Very fast friendly service and good advice as well..John
 

BlackLightning998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Final Drive Chains - an update following experience - at least what not to use.......

Afternoon all,

I'd been discussing with on another thread, but felt it would be better placed here for "search" facility tracing on chains.

Hope my sad experience (and hole in my wallet) is of use to others - NOT to do the same.

At the foot of my post are a couple of replies, one, for balance, commenting on different experience from Sprockets Unlimited than my own.

Regards

Stuart



Robert,

I'll move this to "chains" thread eventually but will reply here for now.

I guess my inexperience and lack of mechanical experience and competence coupled with a thought that a full time chain replacement specialist, "Sprockets Unlimited" would be giving me good, technically sound advice led me to a path of destruction and high personal cost.

I did less than 10,000 miles on the IWIS MEGALIFE final drive chain.

I accepted the recommendation from Jane, the owner of a company called "Sprockets Unlimited" to buy IWIS Megalife on the basis that I think what they said was that it had sintered bronze bushes that release lubrication at temperature and therefore lasted longer. I have the paperwork somewhere extolling it's virtues.

I can "call them out" as I have emailed them with my problems and findings, inviting Jane, the owner, to have a dialogue with me but she has not responded to that particular email, though has to others, from the same address. I sought to discuss with her my evidenced based experience, and the IWIS company website which suggests to me that I was supplied with a product which is inappropriate for a motorcycle application. As she has not responded, I feel free to post my views and findings here as they are all evidenceable, though they are, of course, my own opinion and findings.

When, at the Manx GP last year, I had a terrible tight spot mid-week it led me to chat to people more knowledgeable than me who pointed me to the IWIS company website where this special chain, IWIS MEGALIFE is apparently produced for food production companies (where perhaps chains run enclosed without lubrication which can risk contamination of food products). I am sure it is a highly specialised and perfectly engineered and suited product for that environment but there sure is a huge difference between that application and the final drive of a Vincent out in the open air, the elements and the torque. I had email conversations with the technical department of IWIS who were very pleasant and sought to be helpful, sent me a free stretch guide and a can of lubricant and said that they knew of several motorcycle customers who had been using it quite happily over long distances - BUT however hard I tried they would not be drawn on whether IWIS would recommend it for the rear of a motorcycle, nor comment on the fact that their own website where it is listed for the food production industry (but did not dispute that fact). They neither would recommend it for a motorcycle, nor say it was unsuitable.

The IWIS website says MEGALIFE is suitable for:

"5. Areas of Application / Industrial Uses
Packaging and Food Industry
Printing Industry
Conveyor Equipment
Textile and Clothing Industry
Paper Manufacture and Book Binding Industry
Electronic Industry and Circuit Board Manufacture
Wood, Glass and Ceramic Industry
Medical Technology
...and everywhere else where re-lubrication is limited or not at all possible."


When I was recommended it by "Sprockets Unlimited" I never thought to check the IWIS website for application advice to check what they were telling me.

So, I scrapped the chain which despite heavy cleaning off the bike retained the tight section, bought a heavy duty IWIS (it is not their fault, I just was sold the wrong chain) from another supplier who laughed like a drain when I told him what I had fitted (which was a little painful as the MEGALIFE had cost pretty much twice the price of standard IWIS heavy duty chain). In fact he recommended IWIS, just a different type of IWIS!

I've learned my lesson, you were right, the real test of a product is to have it on your own machine, or one of someone you know and trust and see what the outcome is.

And I won't ever be buying from "Sprockets Unlimited" again.

And I won't ever be buying IWIS MEGALIFE again. Though I don't know, I imagine that the sintered bushes are perhaps of a softer composition than a standard chain and therefore they potentially wear out faster, particularly in the environment on the rear end of a Vincent unless kept hygienically clean and well lubricated - well, even I can't manage that.

Sadly, I copped for it big time and had already bought MEAGALIFE from Sprockets Unlimited for primary and final drive on my 1961 Bonneville - some lessons cost more.

Sad tale, hopefully others may learn from my mistake and save themselves some cash.

Had Jane chosen to enter into a dialogue with me on my experience, look at the evidence I had to present (the IWIS company website) and consider my potential request to refund or replace the chains on the basis they were inappropriate for the purpose supplied then this thread would read very differently. However she chose not to. I am fairly confident that the message reached her as my initial email enquiry was for a replacement chain, I then responded to her quote with a "reply all" and began the tale of the IWIS MEGALIFE, then........silence.

I HAVE bought IWIS chain again though.

Only done 1000 miles on the IWIS heavy duty now on the Vincent and off to the Manx GP again next week (which does give it a bit of a work out over the Mountain, and initial thoughts are fine, but there is a long way to go of course.


Regards
Last edited by BlackLightning998; Yesterday at 1017.
Stuart Metcalfe

Yesterday 1240 #11 vibrac
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That does supprise me
I have always used sprockets unlimited and found them an excellent firm
I used them for all my chains when racing before I moved to belt drive (just to save weight and adjustments in a non -lubricated primary) their advice to use a nickasil (yes same stuff as two stroke cylinders) chain gave me longer life during two day meetings.
Their turn around for alloy sprockets is very prompt
It goes to show one bad event can poison the best of records... Edit Post Reply Reply With Quote .
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Stuart, I worked in the bearings and power transmission industry for quite a few years, and one of the things I wouldn't allow was the sale of chains for motorcycles that didn't have "motorcycle" written on the box. They all look the same from the outside, but they are very different beasts inside. The first warning bell to me would be the self lubricating bushes (oilites) personally I don't think they are suitable for motorcycles, especially single and twin cylinder engines.

A lot of these distributors have no engineering background, and sell by numbers. They probably sold you the chain with the best intentions, but not the best of knowledge of the product or the application.

From the other direction, I used to turn down orders from industrial users who wanted to use 5/8 x 3/8 chain on all their machinery. Some local distributor had told them his motorbike used that size of chain and it was 50 horse power, so it was well oversized for a 1 kW electric motor (even after a 1000:1 ratio gearbox).

That's all a bit long winded, but what I'm trying to say is, if you want a chain for a motorbike, buy a motorbike chain, and don't rely on advice from people who claim to be experts.

H
 
Last edited:

Howard

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
My comments were/are generalisations. I don't know Sprockets Unlimited, and I've never used Megalife chain. The important part, is don't use an industrial chain on a motorbike final drive, they aren't meant for the duty, whether you buy because "it's the same chain but much cheaper" or "it's made for use on quarries/bakerys/oil rigs so it'll be great on the bike".

H

ps If this comes up twice ignore one, my first reply seems to have got lost in the ether.
 

BlackLightning998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Howard,

You are right on the money......the IWIS website says the following for applications for IWIS MEGALIFE - wish I had check it before I bought three of them!

"5. Areas of Application / Industrial Uses


Packaging and Food Industry
Printing Industry
Conveyor Equipment
Textile and Clothing Industry
Paper Manufacture and Book Binding Industry
Electronic Industry and Circuit Board Manufacture
Wood, Glass and Ceramic Industry
Medical Technology
...and everywhere else where re-lubrication is limited or not at all possible."
Regards
 

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