Main Motorcycle: 1973 Triumph TR7RV
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA USA
Other Motorcycle: 1964 Triumph Mountain Cub
Hi, Earlier this year I went through all the research on chains. Have '73 TR7RV 20x47 sprockets. I bought bike new & it came with 107 links, with cranked link. The cranked link was riveted from Renold. The Renold chain indeed has narrow side plates. The new Renold chain has a for better word, less hour glass shaped side plates on both the normal links, cranked link, & master link compared to the original. It is suppose to be a little stronger. Renold states all cranked links must be riveted. Renold sells a cranked link chain with a cotter pin retainer. Don't use those for motorcycles. It would be very hard to remove rear my wheel without a master link.
Doing experiments with a new chain, I found with new chain, 106 links the adjuster was all the way forward & did not have quite enough play. 108 links was just at the rear of the adjuster with proper tension, but no room to take up play for wear.
I got a 107 link Renold from Raber's. We laid out the Diamond chain next to it. It's a fair amount wider overall & much heavier. At that time Raber's didn't have a cranked link Diamond.
As stated I got the Renold 107 which had a riveted cranked link. Cranked links are indeed weaker, but in practice they are strong enough for these bikes.
I also have an extra strong Diamond chain from a Harley I used to use to pull the Triumph chain off for servicing. The extra strong is even thicker side plates than normal Diamond & slightly rubs the trans case wall.
The normal Diamond is much closer than the Renold, but doesn't seem to cause problems. I ran one for several thousand miles on my '70 TR6C. I changed front sprocket on it to 20t, so was 20x46. No cranked link needed. However... I never looked for rubbing on case.
At my house, the same day that I put my new chain on, John put a new Renold chain on his '69 Bonnie with 19x46 sprockets. He got the normal long chain & as I recall we removed 4 links or so. No cranked link needed & adjuster was slightly to rear of center, with room for wear adjustment.
I'd have to did out my notes, but the Renold chain is rated at about what would be for a 400cc bike. Personally I've not seen any of these chains break unless the chain were very bad worn. That includes the cranked links.
Another factor I considered was the greater clearance of the Renold chain. Also the Renold chain is much lighter in weight which makes it a little more efficient & have a little less force on itself as it goes around the sprockets.
If you look down your chain line the trans case on the right of chain is rather close. Side loading the Renold chain with top run slack as would be on deceleration the chain can't hardly be pushed to touch the case without forcing it. On the other hand, the standard Diamond chain would rub.
Now... here's a question I can't answer. Will the Diamond rub under actual riding conditions?
If anybody is running a wider chain such as Diamond or DID, could you take a flashlight & give a really good look to see if the wider chain rubs or not? Thank you.
I worked at a Harley dealer & we sold only Diamond chains. The normal size. They were strong & lasted quite well. I only have a few thousand miles on my new Renold chain & it's lasting ok so far. The original had 11k on it & was not worn out, but had some wear & I wanted to change it to help reduce sprocket wear.
At the end of the day all things considered I felt the Renold was worth the price whether you need the cranked link or not.