How to Shorten a Motorcycle Chain with a Chain Breaker

A common task with a custom bike is having to install a motorcycle chain that is longer than stock. A good way to do this is get a chain that is a bit longer than you need and cut, or break, it down to size using a chain breaker. There are also other handy but necessary tools, such as a chain puller that helps tension the chain just right for you to install your master link on your drive chain or primary chain. Shortening a chain is an easy task, here we show you step-by-step if you haven't done it before. Perhaps you have a Harley-Davidson Sportster or Dyna and you have used a chain conversion kit, well this will teach you how to install your chain now that you ditched the belt!

If you have a hardtail frame on your motorcycle with any stretch to it, that is longer wheelbase than stock, you will need a longer chain. Fit your chain around the sprocket on your motor and rear wheel. On a bike such as a unit Triumph a bit of heavy grease on the end of the chain will help hold it in place while you turn the drive sprocket by hand (with bike in neutral) to thread the chain around it. If you already have a chain on a bike a simple way to thread the chain is to attach the new chain to the end of the old chain with a master link and pull it through.



You want to have your wheel adjusted as far forward as you can so you have room to adjust the slack out of your chain as it breaks in and stretches a little. Pull the chain as tight as you can, it is easiest to line up on the rear sprocket for easy access.


Mark the pin you need to remove so that you don't mistakenly break the chain in the wrong spot once you remove it from the bike.


Loosen your chain breaker tool and tighten it down over the link you need to break.

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Using a wrench or socket wrench tighten the chain breaker to push the pin out of the chain.



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Your chain is now ready to install on your motorcycle with a new master link. Be sure that you break the chain so you have the closed link on both ends of the chain, if you cut it one short your chain may be too short to use! You are now one step closer to being on the road.

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