How To Shorten A Dirt Bike Chain? [The Most Effective Ways]

How to Shorten A Dirt Bike Chain

Bike chains can be normally loose or broken.  A better option is to change the chain or buy a new one, but you can adjust without changing it.  If the chain length is not perfect, you cannot enjoy riding the bike.  For this, you can remove some parts and shorten the chain.

By the way, do you know how to shorten a dirt bike chain? Well, I had to handle such a situation last month.  The bike was not performing well because the chain of my dirt bike was loose.

So, I figured out a way to do it myself and shortened the chain accordingly.  I will share the methods that I used to easily shorten the chain.  Hopefully, the ways will make it easier for you to shorten the dark bike chain.

2 Simple Ways That You Have To Follow To Shorten A Dirt Bike Chain

Are you thinking about how to do it?  Well.  No worries.  Here are some easy step-by-step guidelines.  Hopefully, these will benefit you in the work of Chain Shorten. You can follow the 2 types of procedures. They are:

1. With Tools:

In this method, you need to use a hammer, small nails, and a plier. You can do the work easily with the tools. But if you have no, no worries about that. Without tools, the method is also given below for you.

2. Without tools:

It is possible to do without tools. Make sure you know the methods and try to follow those below. Maybe a minor hassle. But if you use some tricks, you will not need any tools.

3 Easy Steps To Shorten A Dirt Bike Chain With Tools:

There are some things you need to keep in mind when it comes to riding a dirt bike.  One of the essential parts is the accuracy of the chain length.  It may be necessary to shorten the chain for full enjoyment. First, let’s see the process step by step of how you can do the work with the help of tools. 

Step – 1: Take Out The Chain From Bike:

Once the bike chain is loose, decide if you want to shorten the chain.  To shorten the chain, disconnect the chain from the bike. You need to find out the master link. Because this is the easiest way to remove the chain from the bike, do it with tools named plier easily.

As a precaution, do the work after the bike is cool.  This is not a difficult task for you like a bike rider.  Just a few minutes to do it.

Step – 2: Estimate The Size Of The Chain:

Don’t start cutting immediately after taking out the chain. Clean the chain to find out the problem. Think first about how many parts must be cut. This step needs to be completed carefully before cutting the chain. 

Measure the size of the chain of your bike. You guess just the extra part and cut it. That is, determine the number of links you need to adjust. Usually, the chain is much larger which you may not need. So you can count the links and eliminate the unnecessary links.  

Step – 3: Minimize The Extra Links And Rejoin:

Now you are ready to remove the links from the chain. You have already decided how much to omit. Now you have to be patient and finish the job slowly. Make sure that your troubles are not in vain because of the slightest mistake.

Exclude the number of links that need to be removed from the side of the master link. Now assemble as before. You have to use small nails to connect. Apply the nails well with a hammer. Now your chain is ready as before. Go it?

Now the repair of your chain is completed. Now reset the chain with the chainring of the bike. Put the screw in place. Check if everything is okay or not. 

3 Easy Steps To Shorten A Dirt Bike Chain Without Tools:

You may be a new rider of a dirt bike or you may not have the tools at hand. If you know the methods of how to short-chain easily without tools, you don’t have to think about tools. There is also no need to spend extra to buy tools. So, try to follow the effective guideline given below:

Step – 1: Take Out The Chain From Bike:

To shorten the chain, disconnect the chain from the bike. Need to find out the master link. Because this is only the easiest way to remove the chain from the bike. First fix the bike so that the master link is at your fingertips. As a precaution, do the work after the bike is cool.

Then temporarily clean the chain and its surroundings.  Now try to gently turn the screw of the master link.  It can be a little difficult.  But continue until you are successful.  If you turn it gently, the screw will slowly loosen.  Thus complete the work of opening the chain without tools.

Step – 2: Estimate The Size Of The Chain:

Now clean the chain well, measure the size and decide exactly how many extra parts are left. This step doesn’t normally require any tools. So, get rid of it very easily.

Determine the number of cuts you need to adjust. Normally the chain is much larger which you may not need. So you can count the links and eliminate the unnecessary links.  

Step – 3: Minimize The Extra Links And Rejoin:

Try to open the pins gently to minimize the link.  Exclude the link. Then place the nail in the hook.  Now apply it with a plier.  The need to use your tools on your strategy.  If you are much more efficient, you can easily remove the link without using tools.

Some Tips And Tricks To Shorten A Dirt Bike Chain:

Knowing some tips will make the job easier for you. You can follow these to avoid some common mistakes. I think it’s helpful to avoid the basic problem. So, try to work by following the instructions below:

  • If you find the little work to be a hassle or you run out of time, you can call an expert mechanic or go to the workshop for more information. 
  • Allow time for the bike to cool. After stopping the moving vehicle, there is constant heat. 
  • Try to use proper tools. It can be easily solved with the help of convenient tools. 
  • Thoroughly clean the chain before starting any work. This will help you to clarify the problem.
  • Use the tools carefully. If you are the first user, you have to be more careful of it.

Related Questions About Shortening Dirt Bike Chain

What Happens If The Bike Chain Is Too Long?

If you are a new rider, it’s not easy to catch out the problem of extra chain length. So, you have to know the symptoms of the problem so that you can find it easily. Excessive chain length is harmful to bikes. It will cause trouble when changing gears. 

Moreover, you will not feel comfortable if everything on the bike is not perfect. Chain size accuracy is required for this. The chain is usually a little bigger. Hence, try to cut it with an accurate size. To deal with these issues, make sure the exact length of the dirt bike chain.

How Do You Know Your Chain Size?

As a dirt bike rider, the most important thing to know is how to measure the chain size of your bike. If you are a new rider, it’s not easy to measure the chain size. Anyway, don’t worry, it’s not difficult. Measure the distance between the three rivets of the bike. 

The size of the chain should be half of the total distance between those rivets. That is, adding the distance between rivets and dividing the sum by 2 will get the exact size of the chain for your bike. It’s simple. After doing it a few times, you will get used to it.

Why Does Your Dirt Bike Chain Keep Falling Off?

There can be many reasons for the chain to fall off.  One of the reasons is not knowing the exact size of the chain.  First, find out how much the size needs to be.  If the size of the chain is long then the chain falls off. The bike requires a too-long chain. 

You need to measure the chain’s actual size which is perfect for your bike and shorten it with the process. There may be other problems with the chain, though.  Even if the chain is dirty, it needs to be cleaned in time. That’s why your dirt bike keeps falling off.

What Is A Master Link On A Chain?

The master link is the connecting point of the bike chain.  There is an opportunity to open the chain from here.  The chain is easily disconnected from the bike by opening the pin of the master link.  

You cannot easily open any link of the chain which is done with the help of a master link. As a newcomer to bike riding, you have to know every detail of your bike. It also needs to be taken care of. 

How To Shorten A Dirt Bike Chain Without a Master Link?

Of course, you should know the master link. If you don’t, there is an option to shorten the dirt bike chain without a master link. Though it’s simple to find out the link, you can do the work without knowing the link. You need some tools only to do it.

So, collect the tools like hammer, plier, nails, pins, etc to do it. The tools help you to push the pins. Push the pins with a hammer. Use the plier gently. It’s more difficult without a master than with a master link. But it’s not impossible or the most difficult. Thus, you can shorten a dirt bike chain without a master link.

How Do You Take Links Out Of A Dirt Bike Chain?

It is an important fact to shorten the extra link. As a first rider, you cannot know things. It’s the first step to shorten the dirt bike chain. But it’s too simple a step whether you are a new rider or not. You have to follow just 2 steps.

Find out the master link of your bike chain. Keep the bike in such a way that it is convenient to disconnect the link of the chain. Take out the pin or small nails with a plier.  Remove the chain gently from the bike. Done! It needs just a few minutes to take links out of a dirt bike chain.

When Should You Shorten Your Dirt Bike Chain?

You should shorten your dirt bike chain at the right time. It is good to do it before facing a problem. So, for this, count your bike chain links. As a dirt bike rider, you should know the right size of your link. If you don’t know, measure the size according to my given process. 

Therefore, you have to count the links. The gap between the 2 pins needs to be 12 inches. It is the exact measurement If it is 12.125 inches or more then try to change or shorten your dirt bike chain. So, you need to know the exact distance between the 2 pins.

Final Thoughts

A proper size chain can make your bike perform better.  In this article, I have already provided you with all the ways to easily shorten the chain of your dirt bike.  There is no need to look for hassle-free ways to trim the chain of a dirt bike.  I got impressive results using those methods.  Comment now on which way you think is the easiest and most effective.

You can also checked out our other top most article about dirt bike guidance here:

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Md. Saifur Rahman

Dirt bike riding was a fascination for Saifur since he was a child. Later that fascination turned into a passion and his profession. Apparently, it may seem that tips and tricks are useless for bike riding sometimes, but you may find them really useful after reading his blogs. Saifur is a regular rider.

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