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Pros and Cons of O-Ring Chain

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Motorcycle chains need to be cleaned once a week or twice a month based on how regularly they’re used. The dirt and corrosion that accumulate in them usually shorten the lifespan of the chain.

An O-ring chain is a high-performance motorcycle chain found in modern speedy bikes. The chain has small O-rings in every link of the chain to ensure the pins between the plates are well-lubricated. This article the pros and cons of buying an O-ring bike compared to other motorcycle chains.



1. Long-lasting: O-ring chains have long operational life especially in off-road conditions. It can last 3 times longer than a standard roller chain.

2. Less adjustment: O ring chains require fewer adjustments as compared to roller chains which need to be adjusted more frequently because they stretch a lot. O-ring stretch less.

3. Built-in lubrication: The grease applied on the chains ensure they are highly lubricated and it helps reduce wear and tear.

4. Cheap: Although the initial outlay cost may be high, the longevity effect on O-ring chains makes them cheaper.

5. Little maintenance: O-ring chains come with a grease pre-applied from the manufacturers making them low maintenance. You can clean them once or twice a month to remove all debris and dirt and occasionally apply lube to the chain.

6. Resistance to contamination: A well-lubricated O-ring chain seals the rollers protecting them from contamination with water, mud, and dirt.

7. Suitable for wet terrain: If you’re likely to ride in wet and dusty conditions, the O-ring chain will be the most appropriate for your bike. It can also endure rough riding and some style racing.

8. Long-distance rides: If you ride more than 30+ miles in a desert, the O-ring chain will be more efficient due to the sealing rings. The chain offers additional rolling resistance and provides you with a smooth ride for long distances.

9. Self-lubricating rubber: O-ring chains have a self-lubricating rubber insert between the outside link plates and the inner roller link plates.

10. No premature wear. The lube used on the chain proves a long-lasting coating that prevents premature wear when you ride through the mud.



1. Expensive: O-ring chains cost three times more than the cost of standard roller chains making them very expensive.

2. Group replacement of parts: In case of any replacement, you have to replace the front sprocket, rear sprocket, and the chain as a group for you to reap the maximum benefit of long life. Replacing a single sprocket or chain leads to quick wear of the new component.

3. Effects of countershaft: If the countershaft (CS) sprocket is worn out, it affects the chain and this will then impact the rear sprocket.

4. Hefty weight: A longer pin and additional O-rings add weight to the O-ring chain making the motorcycle-heavy.

5. Rust: If you don’t lube the O-ring chain, it will rust with time. The more dirt that accumulates to the chain also shortens the lifespan of the O-ring chain.

6. Increased friction: The movement of the chain between the rubber increase friction creating more drag and less power to the rear wheel. It has a high compression force to seal.

7. Horsepower: O-ring chain robes the bike’s horsepower. When riding a bike with an O-ring chain you will feel a big difference in the bike’s power compared to when riding on a standard roller chain.

8. Racing performance: If racing performance is part of your goal, then you need to stick to the standard roller chain. The O-ring chain has a slow speed and can affect your racing performance.

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