I did a kind of phone pole and phoned a few mechanics, and shops and got amazingly consistent replies.
Most say good 520 chains these days will not snap, most sell DID and say they are good with few probs and are happy to fit… but the Regina O or X ring chains are consistently the best by reputation, and the X-rings out last 2 sets of sprockets and the even the bikes they are fitted to. OK so far sounds great…
An american magazine test found that the the claimed breaking strain on all chains were easily 100% exaggerated some OM replacement chains were 1/4 the strength they claim. But RK DID and Regina were the best for strait breaking strain. They jet washed all 13 chains and found that only the Regina X ring chains kept their lube in after 4 mins jet wash, hence I guess their super long life reports.
A friend who was a KTM enduro works “spanner monkey” said that they would use non ringed chains for most races as the ringed ones are a little stiffer especially for the first 200km and it saps some horse power that the works bikes have worked hard to get, so money no object they they would change them every race. He was sponsored by RK, but they sold those chains to unsponsored racers if they were doing long events and bought and fitted Regina instead as they only needed adjustment once after fitting, other makes would stretch too much under race conditions leading to some adjustments mid race that are a problem you do not need when on the clock.
So I will let you know how I get on….with my long term test review of motorcycle chains..
oh yeh some motorcycle chain facts
there are two types of stretch
1 “mechanical stretch”, this is caused by the metal stretching a bit, most good quality chains will only stretch a little this way, mainly in there first 300 miles, as they should be made of good metal. some are better than others but metal quality is the issue.
2 “wear stretch” is the most common one that causes chain to need replacement, this can be slowed down by lots and regular lubing, ringed chains have some tiny rubber seals on every link that keep in some lube for “life” these are very good but the quality of the lube and the rubber are critical, only one make seems to get this 100% right it seems.
Steel sprockets do not really wear as in wear down due to friction from use, in practice they get damaged by the chain if it has stretched, as it will pull at the top of the link more than the bottom, so if you buy a good x ring chain and steel sprockets it should last a very long time and not need any lubing just cleaning.
Also never use sticky chain lube (wont fly off types) if off road; as all the sand and grit sticks to the chain, gets in and will make it wear much faster. Use the “dry” type of lube after every clean and do not use the jet wash close up on ringed chains, as it will wash out the grease they put in when new and the chain will wear out like a fucker.
I would guess that all the chain makers all know how to make chains that last the life of the bike; but it is good business to have them wear out, as people are used to chain wear and put up with the costs. Some makes sell much better chains but charge more.
if all things were equal i would buy £10 chains and adjust them all the time and change them frequently B4 they ruined the sprockets, but these cheep chains can snap, and that can be dangerous as hell. So I reckon buy a first rate chain and don’t jet wash it. I am going to get a Regina x ring and steel r sprocket, as the chain will be about the same price as DID or RK (the other two “quality” makers) and it has the best (recent) reports.
Up date…. the Regina X ring was the right one to go for it, has needed only one adjustment and the sprockets look new after 6 months of hard hard use. RESULT!! highly recommended.
second Up date… 15 months later the chain is still doing great, though there is some slight wear to the front sprocket but i have only had to adjust the chain one time .