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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now I am currently well away from HAVING to change. I still have the original in, and the KTM tech who did my last "still in warranty" service was surprised at it's "way better than average" condition. But sort of implied that not refitting an OEM was the way forward and that the OEM chains "suddenly" degrade. He did not push the fact and suggested I look about for cheaper suppliers.

I am so out of date when it comes to M/C chains - it's better to consult.

Now I know there are many mfrs. Not all are available here.

Here's the thing - I do NOT want a ruddy gold chain. If I wanted colour then I'd get RT's Orange chain.

What I have just spotted is a Black coated chain from DID called the ZVM-X Black – Raven Edition


A 520 X ring with beefed up side plates. - which , startlingly, is actually available locally. As is the straight forward ZVM-X in steel finish. These seemed to be rated a bit "better" than DID's own VX3.

OK - it is overkill for me. But I like overkill on key components.

Anybody got experience of the ZVM-X series?

The place I have found will sell either a 120 or will do made to measure custom lengths. Thoughts?
Am I right in thinking the 790D has 116 Links? - They do not list the 790 on their web. Unsure as I have seen "kits" saying 118?

Final Question - RIVET LINKS.
My gut tells me that SOLID RIVET links have to be better than the HOLLOW END sort. TRUE/FALSE?
 

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I used to be a DID chain guy but their quality has gone way down hill.

The last 2 chains I bought were EK which are made in Japan.

These are a high quality chain at a reasonable price.

 

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Now I am currently well away from HAVING to change. I still have the original in, and the KTM tech who did my last "still in warranty" service was surprised at it's "way better than average" condition. But sort of implied that not refitting an OEM was the way forward and that the OEM chains "suddenly" degrade. He did not push the fact and suggested I look about for cheaper suppliers.

I am so out of date when it comes to M/C chains - it's better to consult.

Now I know there are many mfrs. Not all are available here.

Here's the thing - I do NOT want a ruddy gold chain. If I wanted colour then I'd get RT's Orange chain.

What I have just spotted is a Black coated chain from DID called the ZVM-X Black – Raven Edition


A 520 X ring with beefed up side plates. - which , startlingly, is actually available locally. As is the straight forward ZVM-X in steel finish. These seemed to be rated a bit "better" than DID's own VX3.

OK - it is overkill for me. But I like overkill on key components.

Anybody got experience of the ZVM-X series?

The place I have found will sell either a 120 or will do made to measure custom lengths. Thoughts?
Am I right in thinking the 790D has 116 Links? - They do not list the 790 on their web. Unsure as I have seen "kits" saying 118?

Final Question - RIVET LINKS.
My gut tells me that SOLID RIVET links have to be better than the HOLLOW END sort. TRUE/FALSE?
DID VX3 chain. 10,000 K on this chain and yet to adjust it. You are just adding weight and robbing power using a heavier duty chain than you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I used to be a DID chain guy but their quality has gone way down hill.
The last 2 chains I bought were EK which are made in Japan.
These are a high quality chain at a reasonable price.
I remember you saying before - but simply cannot find them here.
 

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I have a DID ZVMX - I put it on when the stock chain started to squeak after every couple of hundred miles. It’s been good so far, and I have about 3,000 miles on it. I needed to adjust the tension after the first ~600 miles, and since then it hasn’t needed any adjustments.
 

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But sort of implied that not refitting an OEM was the way forward and that the OEM chains "suddenly" degrade. He did not push the fact and suggested I look about for cheaper suppliers.
I don't what brand is fitted OEM. For a long time KTM used Regina which many people swore by, and others like me swore at. I've never had a good run from a Regina chain on any bike.

As far as OEM "suddenly" degrading, that's a symptom of a surface hardened chain, which most decent chains are. After the initial bedding-in, you don't have to adjust the chain much over it's life, as the surface hardening takes all the abuse. Then, when the surface hardening is worn through, the underlying soft metal is exposed and the chain wears rapidly. Once you have to frequently adjust the chain, it's already had it.

A 520 X ring with beefed up side plates. - which , startlingly, is actually available locally. As is the straight forward ZVM-X in steel finish. These seemed to be rated a bit "better" than DID's own VX3.

OK - it is overkill for me. But I like overkill on key components.

Anybody got experience of the ZVM-X series?
Not that particular one, but an EK EXW / RK GXW (on a different bike). It was much heavier and almost double the price for only a 10% life increase. It was a failed experiment, but useful lesson. I buy only mid-range X-ring chains now. It looks like the ZVM is a much more reasonable increment though.

I change the front sprocket as soon as it has easily visible wear (16,000 km on my 790 Adventure) because the front sprocket does 3 times as much work. That means the worn front sprocket won't take out the chain and then rear sprocket prematurely. Also consider the quality of sprockets. For best results, use the best. I'm surprised at how often people buy a really top-quality high-durability chain, and then undermine by it using cheap sprockets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't what brand is fitted OEM. For a long time KTM used Regina which many people swore by, and others like me swore at. I've never had a good run from a Regina chain on any bike.

As far as OEM "suddenly" degrading, that's a symptom of a surface hardened chain, which most decent chains are. After the initial bedding-in, you don't have to adjust the chain much over it's life, as the surface hardening takes all the abuse. Then, when the surface hardening is worn through, the underlying soft metal is exposed and the chain wears rapidly. Once you have to frequently adjust the chain, it's already had it.

Not that particular one, but an EK EXW / RK GXW (on a different bike). It was much heavier and almost double the price for only a 10% life increase. It was a failed experiment, but useful lesson. I buy only mid-range X-ring chains now. It looks like the ZVM is a much more reasonable increment though.

I change the front sprocket as soon as it has easily visible wear (16,000 km on my 790 Adventure) because the front sprocket does 3 times as much work. That means the worn front sprocket won't take out the chain and then rear sprocket prematurely. Also consider the quality of sprockets. For best results, use the best. I'm surprised at how often people buy a really top-quality high-durability chain, and then undermine by it using cheap sprockets.
Thanks - That there is great info. It's my first chain drive since the mid '80's. And chains have come a long way. Will drive up to see the guys at the local shop. They are more RACE than ROAD oriented, but so are 90% of dealers out here in the hills.

Sprockets - Will stay on steel and can't see a reason not to stay with KTM. I will stay with a damped front too. I am running a -1 (KTM DAMPED) and that only has about 1000Kms on. The original looks new.

BTW - OEM is CZ.
 

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OEM is CZ. True. I am aware that a lot of people here do not care for it. It is working well for me and not too noisy if lubed regularly.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OEM is CZ. True. I am aware that a lot of people here do not care for it. It is working well for me and not too noisy if lubed regularly.
I agree. I think a CZ would be a chain that enjoyed an oiler.
The inference I made from my KTM tech's comments was however that when they go (as so well explained by @bikemoto ) it can be very fast, Like within 100 miles.
 

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I really do not like Gold. I cant say why,
Plain steel colour


All Black
Agreed...chains look sexy au naturale.
And like @QCS, I have had no problems with oem CZ chain with normal maintenance. Was expecting needs adjustment at service last week but dealer reported within spec (they are heavily back logged after covid restrictions though so take that for what its worth), and I suspect I am not riding as hard as you guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
They can and will rust if not 100% cared for.
Ooooh - I am so tempted to play "Devil's Advocate". ;)

When I last had Chain bikes in the early-mid 80's I used them for everything (I had no car) - year round - rain, sleet, salted roads. Never had a rusty chain.
I had no space indoors to maintain and it became a chore. Eventually my dad fitted a plastic roof over a space next to the house. Was dry at least.

A chain oiler resolved 90% of all that. O-ring chains plus an oiler would no doubt have solved it all.
My 790 is a "toy" - maintaining it is part of the joy. Some days I'd rather tinker than ride. I'm old - bite me!.

Time for a Cobrra Nemo2 methinks. It's been on my mind a goodly while now.
 

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Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive lighting

I do have the zvm-x Steal color chain installed.
I am very pleased with the performance. 3000km so far. I don’t use spray wax or lube. Simply soak a fiber cloth with gear oil. And apply a tiny layer on the rollers.
 

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@barbagris - just out of curiosity, how many k's has your 790 done? I've got 22,000 km on mine and the OEM chain is in surprisingly good nick, despite it not being particularly high quality. I'm certainly not looking to change it yet. It gets lubed with Tirox teflon wax spray every 500 km or so and I run it on the slightly slack side of recommended spec. I've been agreeably surprised how well it's performed given some of the comments on the forum.
 

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Ooooh - I am so tempted to play "Devil's Advocate". ;)

When I last had Chain bikes in the early-mid 80's I used them for everything (I had no car) - year round - rain, sleet, salted roads. Never had a rusty chain.
I had no space indoors to maintain and it became a chore. Eventually my dad fitted a plastic roof over a space next to the house. Was dry at least.

A chain oiler resolved 90% of all that. O-ring chains plus an oiler would no doubt have solved it all.
My 790 is a "toy" - maintaining it is part of the joy. Some days I'd rather tinker than ride. I'm old - bite me!.

Time for a Cobrra Nemo2 methinks. It's been on my mind a goodly while now.
Yea no oiler for me. No need. Clean and light coat. But yea I get it if riding in crappy weather alot. Agree. I much enjoy tinkering as riding. Both are my go to stress relief
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@barbagris - just out of curiosity, how many k's has your 790 done? I've got 22,000 km on mine and the OEM chain is in surprisingly good nick, despite it not being particularly high quality. I'm certainly not looking to change it yet. It gets lubed with Tirox teflon wax spray every 500 km or so and I run it on the slightly slack side of recommended spec. I've been agreeably surprised how well it's performed given some of the comments on the forum.
About 10,000kms. Overall I am probably over-lubricating. At a guess about every 400-600ish kms. i judge it by tank fills - not kms. At the moment I have some WD40 stuff (dry climate) - and it gets cleaned first with the cleaner in the WD40 pack - then re-lubed. But I'll admit to the odd lapse of memory, It did start to sqeal once - but I ride with earplugs so missed it starting - caught it the next trip. It's just had a dealer service and they set the chain to just slack of spec. I do not really "rag" my 790 that often either.

My future concern is really based on the premise that next year international travel will again be possible, and some runs will therefore be close to 800 kms close to non-stop - and at 140-ish kph. Not really Duke country, but there we are. So I would probably change to a new one out of pure prophylactic concern. We live smack in the centre of Spain (give or take 30kms). Trips to the coast to see friends or catch a ferry are 400-600kms. I say 800 as I cannot see them letting me relube a chain on the ferry - so need to add another 200kms to get to see my mum. And I am trying hard to retire which may increase those trips a bit.

I am sure I am over thinking it. Loads of folk do massive distances with a chain, but after 30 plus years of shafts - well I'm cautious. And most of my mates ride shafties too.

My interest in the Cobrra Nemo (and yes I know there are Chinese copies) is that it is a sort of manual thing. Their idea is 1/4 turn every tank-full - and the next 3 minutes it's dripping. And I infer it will become muscle memory (much like resetting the trip). I've a mate in the UK - Who is an Iron Butt'er and also a Blood Runner. He swears by the Nemo on his 1290SDR.
 

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OEM is CZ. True. I am aware that a lot of people here do not care for it. It is working well for me and not too noisy if lubed regularly.
Same here. I clean and lube it every 500 - 700 kms, and I've never had any issues in 27,000 kms. My mechanic checked my sprockets and chain recently, and although there is some wear, they're still within spec. Probably will replace in a couple thousand more kms.
 
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