Chain broke at speed - doug_523i
I was tootling to work on my 750 Yamaha on Friday, 70mph on the motorway, when I heard a bang and the back wheel locked, I wrestled the bike to the hard shoulder (as you do) and found the chain had snapped. This chain is approx a year old, and is supposed to be best available, huge breaking strain, sealed o ring, gold coloured to prevent rust, etc. The chain appears to have whipped in an arc and shattered my nearside indicator before wrapping itself alongside the sprocket and bending the swinging arm in the process. The gearbox cover smashed into several pieces and water pump sprang a leak and deposited green gunk all over the hard shoulder. The question is: after a year's use do I have a right to expect a serious chain to remain intact and not trash my bike? I've ridden with some pretty ropey chains over the last 30 years, but I've never had one snap. I'm up to £200 now, with a swinging arm still to source, I know it's not a fortune but I don't see why I should have to shoulder the full cost. Any advice?
Chain broke at speed - Pugugly {P}
Who fitted it ?

Have you receovered the chain, may need to get it examined etc.
Chain broke at speed - doug_523i
I fitted it, using the same company's special £70 riveting tool. Yes, I have the offending chain, it has sheared at the base of the soft link, at the other end from the rivet. To the best of my knowledge, chains don't have sideways forces, so the rivet is there to keep the chain together, it's centrifugal, and tension/compression forces that act on it. I'd have put it down to experience, but most people I've mentioned it to have outraged, bearing in mind that I could have been killed if I'd not had the ability to get it to the hard shoulder, and kept it upright. The incident was 100 yards from the slip road I was about to take, M53 joining M56, so a few seconds later and I could have been into the armco.
Chain broke at speed - Tom Shaw
Might be worth contacting RIDE magazine. I'm almost certain that it was one of their staff riders who had the same thing happen on a Fazer two or three years ago, and they were in negotiation with the chain manufacturer as to whether this was caused by a fault in the chain or not. I don't know the outcome, as I stopped buying the mag soon after that. If it was another mag they might be able to tell you which one.
Chain broke at speed - martint123
Sorry, I missed the details when I just replied... 'base of softlink' do you mean the oposite side of the chain to the peened over rivet heads??. Is the sideplate still on the riveted side??

The only chain failure (not mine) I've seen was where a spring link came off, the sideplate (which takes the forces) popped off and the link broke in a similar way to what I think you were describing.

The RiDE rider was the Scottish guy Andy ??? and I think he ended up putting a second hand engine in it.... Phone or email them and ask - they've always been helpful with emails I've sent asking questions.

RiDE 01733 468081

Chain broke at speed - Hairy Hat Man
Well done for hanging on to the bike and getting it out of harms way. It could very easily have been a completely different story. I would suggest you're very lucky to have escaped without injury and relatively little damage to the bike.
I must admit, I was surprised you could actually have a soft link in a "performance bike's" chain nowadays. I thought they were all linkless and it's a case of dropping the swinging arm to replace the chain. Now I know there's a choice, I think I've made my mind up which I'll be buying when my chain needs replacing.
Chain broke at speed - martint123
It's one of the things I fear. I could rip a passengers leg off - nightmare. You did well to stay on the thing.

I'd be interested to know where it broke - sideplate??
Gold plates, could it be a DID??

Waste of time!!
* Your original purchase of D.I.D Professional O-Ring Chain is warranted against manufacturer's defects in material and workmanship for 6 months from the purchase date or 10,000 miles, whichever occurs first.
* Your original purchase of D.I.D Professional X-Ring Chain is warranted against manufacturer's defects in material and workmanship for 1 year from the purchase date or 20,000 miles, whichever occurs first.
D.I.D's sole liability shall be for defects in material and workmanship in the chain caused by the manufacturer. D.I.D.'s sole obligation under the express warranties made herein, shall be to replace the defective chain. D.I.D shall have no liability whatsoever for any personal injury or property damage caused by the chain and shall have no liability for any money damages, including consequential or punitive damages.

However, I think this is a USA warranty - I'm sure I got a UK warranty when I fitted mine - borrowed the suppliers tool to fit it as well. He did mention his was a genuine DID, said there were some ripoff copies around (but he would say that I guess).
Chain broke at speed - DavidHM
For a start, the Unfair Contract Terms Act (not my legal area of speciality but worth mentioning here, again) precludes any contract from limiting liability for death or personal injury. You can't do it, unless it's not your fault, of course. Excluding consequential property damage (likely to be far more than the cost of the chain) is sadly okay, though, and of course the onus would be on you to prove that it was due to workmanship rather than fitting. That is one advantage of getting someone else to fit and supply it; you can sue them regardless if anything goes wrong.
Chain broke at speed - matt35 {P}

I know zilch about bikes - but I know that for some years now, much of the chain sold is produced in China - including that sold by the major big name suppliers.
From 40 years in the bearing and power transmission game I would try to get a hardness test done before you part with the evidence and let the supplier know that you have done this.

Chain broke at speed - doug_523i
The chain is all bit mishapen after the fun and games, but it appears the pin has been pulled out of the sideplate, although after some thought I wondered if the chain had siezed on that pin and the damage was caused by the pin 'rocking' instead of turning around the sprocket. Yes, it is a DID X-ring, which I was led to believe had an enormous breaking resistance. You have to use a soft link where the bike has a bracing arm triangulating the swinging arm, as there is no gap to slip an endless chain around.

I suspect I'm just inviting a lot of hassle if I pursue this, but at the same time I wouldn't like it to happen to someone else, in less lucky circumstances. I've used the consumer's ultimate weapon, by replacing it with another make of chain. I'll mail Ride and see what they say.
Chain broke at speed - BrianW
As a veteran of well over 150k miles on bikes, I can never fathom out why a spring-loaded tensioner isn't part of the setup.

Ok, it won't prevent a breakage but it would stop that horrible flapping as the chain stretches and prevent it jumping off the sprockets (which has fortunately only happened once and then at lowish speed).
Chain broke at speed - doug_523i
I emailed the supplier today and they replied within the hour asking for a fax number to send me a claims form, they appear to be taking it very seriously.

Big thanks to Barry for supplying a good condition, used, swinging arm at a reasonable price.

Barry Jones Motorcycles
35, Naylor Street
0151 236 4300
Chain broke at speed - martint123
Good, keep us posted Doug.
I found an old RiDE mag that had Alan Dowds (I think!) replacing his fazer engine with one from a wrecker. The chain had been sent off to the importer, but he was getting fed up with waiting (6 months!!).
Chain broke at speed - THe Growler
No help to you but I'm glad of that old HD belt. You have to ask yourself - chain drive has been around for about 100 years, while motorcycle engine technology and power has increased exponentially. Primitive or what?
Chain broke at speed - martint123
The 'bike' I first rode had a belt - a mobylette (I was only 12, cost me 10 bob and ran it on a neighbours field) it never worked in the wet, all that happened was steam came off the belt ;-)

The chain on my current bike is about 2 times larger in each dimension than my last bike, but I will be examining it more often when lubing it (OK G, belt 1, chain 0 on that count)

Chain broke at speed - THe Growler
Ah, the Mobylette! My Dad bought one for his commute from Stanmore to the City (think 1956) when Stanmore was in Middlesex and a nice place to live. He used to look hilarious with his city bowler hat on and his neatly folded umbrella over his arm, pootling along at 25 mph. He then passed it to me when I was 16 and I used to ride it to Northwood daily. I never had the belt slip, but the plug used to oil every other day! The great thing was of course if the thing failed to proceed under its own power, you could just ride it home like a regular bike, albeit a bit like hard work.

He graduated to an NSU Quickly after that, a super little machine that was totally troublefree.

But we are OT. I never heard of a Harley belt breaking, they can tolerate stones and debris going right through them leaving a hole behind and still function, indeed the manual says don't worry about it, and I've heard of riders who have done 50k or more on them. Growlette's little Virago has a nice shaft drive which is foolproof but it adds to the weight and does affect the handling slightly I've noticed, with the torque effect.

I guess my point is all that BHP going through such a primitive transmission device like a chain when you think about it, it's amazing they don't break more often.
Chain broke at speed - No Do$h

Chap who used to live over the road from me (a HUGE builder) got his "born again biker" head on and did a direct access. Went out and bought a gronze and gold (two nasty shades of metallic brown) Jap import Virago. Couldn't understand
why everytime he looked in his mirrors the ground was littered with people lying on their backs, legs in the air, clutching their stomachs like they were extras for "The Life of Brian" Welease Woderick scene.

Boy, did he look stooopid.
Chain broke at speed - THe Growler
Maybe they were the ones with the problem.

Virago 535S, blue and cream, nice little bike for a 5'1" 48kg Filipina. I'm working on migrating her to a Sportster (yes, yes, chain drive) but she needs more confidence yet.
Chain broke at speed - No Do$h
As you say, good bike for a 5'1" Filipina lady. Somewhat comical for a 6' 105kg builder with Arnie-sized biceps.
Chain broke at speed - Edward
Silly question, but was the chain well lubricated. Cousin didn't bother until the chain on his ZZR600 snapped and went straight through the fairing, just missing him.
Chain broke at speed - Dynamic Dave
Silly question, but was the chain well lubricated?

Doug_R1 did mention "sealed o ring, gold coloured to prevent rust" in his original post.
Chain broke at speed - ChrisV
Dave, as you say Doug did mention that it was a sealed O-ring type chain, but as far as I know they still need regular lubrication. My chain lube specifically mentions O-ring chains in the list of uses on the side of the can.
Chain broke at speed - doug_523i
Lots of oil, I use the aerosol clear lube from Motul. I think that Castrol is rated better but it dries green, which ruins the effect of the gold, so I lube it more often with the clear. Maybe a scottoiler is called for.

I'm sure I read that Superbike mag has had two belts snap on a Buell. I started on a Raleigh Ultramatic moped, which shared lots of parts with the Mobylette, but it was still chain drive, the belt was the variable gearing. If I remember right, it was a long time ago, it had a little sprung jockey wheel that kept the tension right.
Chain broke at speed - dave_iom
This one was caught just in time

Chain had done about 3k miles
Chain broke at speed - THe Growler
Interesting about the Buell belts, so I called my Harley dealership pal in Tennessee. Says he's replaced a good few worn out or broken due to damage ones but he's never had a Buell in the shop with a snapped belt resulting from non wear and tear since they came out (1995 was it?) He says only gross abuse would cause that and claims magazine test riders often have (paid?) hidden agendas to rate or not rate specific marques and machines... He should know I guess.

I must know upwards of 50 or 60 local HD riders here and if someone had lost a belt you bet we'd have heard about it, especially here with all the debris on the road.

Your problem doesn't sound like a lube one to me. Faulty chain, has to be. Assume rear wheel alignment and chain adjustment was OK and no prior, as opposed to post-event (although you probably wouldn't have known about it) sprocket damage.
Chain broke at speed - THe Growler
FUnny you should say that, my little Honda trailie has just that.

Value my car