Bikes,  Tools

Get the Best 415 Chain Tool for your Motorcycle

I had to do so much research on this topic that I decided it would be a great idea to document my findings. I’ve been relying on my trusted Motion Pro PBR tools for almost a decade now and never thought I’d have to use anything else until I decided to do the 415 chain conversion on my Yamaha R3.  

Before I start explaining why the Motion Pro PBR tool wasn’t working, let’s have a quick look at the anatomy of a chain. 

No need to memorize all the elements depicted in that picture. The two key measurement units for a chain will be the Pitch and the Width. The Pitch is the distance between the center points of two pins in a link. The Width is the distance between two parallel inner plates.  

My first roadblock happened when I tried to break the 415 chain to adjust it to the proper length. The Extractor Pin of the Motion Pro tool was too big for the diameter of the holes in the 415 chain plates (and larger than the pin). It’s a reasonably easy problem to fix when you are in your garage and equipped with road cycling tools and a Dremel. I simply grinded the mushroomed portion of the rivet and used a mountain bike chain breaker tool.  

Since I am refusing to use the clip-on master link (They are not reliable enough when torsional forces are applied), I knew I would need to invest some money and buy a chain breaker tool that I could use for the 415 chain.  In order to press the link plate on the pins, you’ll need an anvil block that can accommodate the 415 chain – Watch the video below to see why the Motion Pro isn’t a good option for this step.  I am sure this tool would have been able to rivet the hollow nose pin, but I had a feeling that the ball on the rivet tip was too big, and I was concerned about flaring the pin too much. D.I.D flare dimensions can be found here.   

So, after doing some research, I decided that the best option (at a decent price point and good quality) would be the following unit from ABN (AutoBodyNow): 

I purchased this unit from Amazon, but several companies are re-branding and re-selling this kit (Spears, Kimpex, etc.).  

The nice thing about this kit is that you can change the size of the breaking pins/tips, and you also have two different sizes of anvil.  The instruction booklet claims that it can break all chain types from number 35 to 630! The press plate with the two holes isn’t optimal for the 415 chain (it’s a tight fit and would probably benefit from having larger diameter holes), but it still works.  

Confused about chain sizes? 

I must admit I didn’t know much about chains before starting this project. Once you understand the basics, it’s not too difficult to determine what type of tools are required.  This table should help you identify what tool will be needed for your specific chain type/size. 

  Chain SizePitch – Inches Pitch – mm WidthInches Width – mm 
#40 1/2 12.7 5/16 7.9375 
415 1/2 12.7 3/16 4.7625 
420 1/2 12.7 1/4 6.35 
428 1/2 12.7 5/16 7.3975 
520 5/8 15.875 1/4 6.35 
525 5/8 15.875 5/16 7.3975 
530 5/8 15.875 3/8 9.525 
#50 5/8 15.875 3/8 9.525 
630 3/4 19.05 3/8 9.525 

A quick way to determine the Pitch of a chain is to take the first digit and multiply it by 1/8. The result of this operation will give you the Pitch in inches.  In most cases, you can use the second and third digits to determine the Inner Width. Here is an example: 

415 chain 

The first digit (4) is used to determine the Pitch:  

4 X 1/8  = ½ inch 

You can use the same concept to determine the roller Width by using the other 2 digits (_ 1 5) : 

            (1 X 1/8) + (5/10 X 1/8) = 1/8 + 5/80 = 10/80 + 5/80 = 15/80 = 3/16 

Another example for the 520 chain

5_ _ : will give us a pitch of 5 X 1/8 = 5/8 

Inner width will be determined by using the last 2 digits (_ 20) : 2 X 1/8 = 1/8 = 1/4 

** I couldn’t figure out why this isn’t working for the 428 size! Let me know if you have some knowledge about that.   

Some cautionary words 

I’ve always used my Motion Pro PBR tool without grinding the mushroomed part of the rivet and never had any issues. I would not recommend using the breaking tips with this new unit without properly grinding the rivet first. The pins are smaller and weaker; therefore if you want to use this for more than one chain swap, take the time to grind the pins and make sure you lather some grease on the breaking tip.  

Overall, this is a good unit, but I will still rely on my Motion Pro when working with the 520 chains.  

 Watch the full video to get some extra insights:

Geek during the day, wine and cigar aficionado in the evening. You can find me on a race track in the summer time and wrenching on motorcycles during the winter months.