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Classic Motorcycle Mechanics|September 2021
Ralph Ferrand works with tools all day long – he sells them too at bikerstoolbox.co.uk so he knows what works.
Ralph Ferrand

For many years I have been using a professional chain breaking and riveting kit supplied by bike-It. Whilst this tool is only specified up to 530 chain, with a bit of thinking outside the box, I have managed to split and rivet the colossal 630 chains Kawasaki Heavy Industries considered necessary to transmit the ground-breaking 82bhp developed from the 903cc offerings it produced.

In later years it has become apparent that such a heavy collection of bits of metal is totally unnecessary to efficiently deliver such power, given the BMW S1000RR manages to push its 200bhp out with a sylphlike 525 chain. I have changed the final drive on my 1977 Z1000 to a lighter 530 set up, though many want to retain the corpulent 630 kit simply because it is so big or for originality.

Up until relatively recently, getting a chain-breaking and riveting kit that was actually designed to deal with such a gargantuan final drive was very tricky indeed. I was talking to the managing director of one of our wholesalers recently who was waxing lyrical about a German manufactured product they had taken on that was specified to work with the elephantine 630 chains and asked if I would like to test one. I explained that I already had my professional kit, but so keen was he to get me to try the tool he gave me one to keep, if I wanted it. I warned him that whilst I love being given toys, I am not prepared to tell porkies and I am well known for my straight-talking, which he has probably noticed over the years. Bullshit helps no one long-term!

I had to hang on for a while before a bike came in with a lardy 630 final drive requiring removal, which, thanks to the global export of Covid from China, has been longer than I would have liked.

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