RK Chains: Comparison Guide

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RK offers a diverse selection of motorcycle chains ensuring you have a chain that suits your motorcycle and fits your budget. But what do all these technical terms mean? What do different ring designs offer and what should you purchase for your ride?

Today, we’re going to focus on RK’s core offering, including their Non-Sealed KZ & MXZ4 series chains, Heavy-Duty H series, O-Ring SO series, RX-Ring XSO series, XW-Ring ZXW, GXW & EXW series chains and the UW-Ring UWR & MXU series chains.

H – HEAVY-DUTY ROAD & OFF-ROAD CHAIN

RK’s H series chains are low-cost non-sealed motorcycle chains, featuring 4 side (Quad) rivet staked pins. When pins are quad riveted, they are stronger and more stabilized; which results in increased stress resistance due to high engine loads and makes the transmission of horsepower to the ground more efficiently. As a result of the change to the 4 rivet staked pins, the addition of solid bushings and the application of RK’s new specially formulated coating; RK non-sealed chains now show a 40% increase in chain life!

RK non-sealed chains perfect for low displacement motorcycles that did not come from the factory with sealed chains.

KZ – NON-SEALED OFF-ROAD CHAIN

Perfect for the casual off-road trail or motocross rider; RK’s KZ chain incorporates a zinc carbide electroplating that gives each link a lustrous gold finish while also protecting the chain from corrosion and stretching. RK’s KZ series includes solid rollers, pins and bushings and is a lightweight gold chain developed from RK`s advanced alloy material and manufacturing technology.

MXZ4 – NON-SEALED OFF-ROAD CHAIN

RK’s MXZ4 series chains are made for the serious supercross and motocross racer. MXZ4 chains feature chromoly steel construction with seamless rollers and bushing. RK’s Chromized pins drastically improve the wear resistance more than two times compared to normal non-sealed chains while absorbing shock loads from extreme jumps. All components are heat-treated using RK’s exclusive HIT (Heat Induction Transfer) process.

2018 Supercross Champions Jason Anderson and Zach Osborne & more rely on RK’s MXZ4 racing chain.

SO – O-RING ROAD & OFF-ROAD CHAIN

RK’s most affordable sealed chain; the SO series features RK’s tried and true O-ring seal technology which is proven to increase chain wear life over a standard non-sealed chain. The SO provides the most convenient blend of performance and affordability and is suitable for both road & off-road applications up to 400cc. Making them ideal for all farm and daily commuting motorcycles.

XSO – RX-RING ROAD & OFF-ROAD CHAIN

As part of their continuing quality improvement program, the RK Chain Factory has made a running production upgrade to their bestselling XSO chain line. The XSO chains feature RK’s proprietary “RX-Ring” seal design. Viewed in cross-section, the RK “RX-Ring” has two contact lips and one lubrication pool versus the single seal point/pool design of a regular O-ring chain. RK’s XSO chains offer quality, performance and unbeatable value, for all but the most demanding high-performance application.

EXW – XW-RING OFF-ROAD CHAIN

RK’s EXW is an XW-Ring sealed chain and is the best high-speed, extreme heat performance ATV & Enduro chain available today. RK’s XW-Ring seals utilize triple barrier grease protection plus anti-debris technology. Anti-debris protection is vitally important to maximize chain wear life by eliminating debris friction between internal components. EXW was designed to handle increased torque stresses and wears 10 times longer when compared to non-sealed chains. EXW chains also feature special thermal crack-resistant side plates to protect against thermal cracking. Thermal cracking can result from debris or components impinging the chain’s movement. The impingement causes the chain to quickly heat up and cool down in rapid succession.

GXW – XW-RING ROAD & OFF-ROAD CHAIN

RK’s GXW series chains are premium quality XW-sealed chains. XW-Ring chains offer the best high-speed, extreme heat performance and are designed for a variety of environments from the street to off-road. GXW’s XW-seals feature two lubrication pools which help protect against high-speed abrasion and prevent dirt and debris from penetrating the inner rollers/bushings of the chain. With RK’s triple barrier protection, GXW lasts 10 times longer when compared to standard chains. GXW’s features create a perfect balance between high tensile strength, lightweight and maximizing long wear life so that GXW can handle anything you & your motorcycle dish out.

ZXW – XW-RING ROAD CHAIN

RK’s ZXW series is used for both racing and general use. ZXW features technology derived from the MotoGP and FIM Suzuka 8 Hour Endurance and has proven superiority with its 35 first-place finishes out of 39 races at the FIM Suzuki 8 Hour Endurance Race.

RK’s XW-Ring seals provide three contact lips and two lubrication pools to protect against dirt and debris, high-speed abrasion, heat build-up and the loss of lubricant under extreme conditions. That’s a fancy way of saying XW-Ring seals make your chain last longer. When RK develops a chain with a combined heritage of both drag racing and extreme endurance racing, riders can rest assured that they’re getting the best of both racing worlds.

MXU – UW-RING OFF-ROAD CHAIN

For the hardcore motocross/off-road racer; RK’s MXU provides you with an exceptionally lightweight yet strong & durable chain for your off-road machine. RK’s MXU features ultra-thin UW-seals which is perfect for bikes with narrow clearance and delivers triple the life expectancy when compared to a non-sealed chain. RK’s UW-Ring seals utilize triple barrier grease protection plus anti-debris technology. Anti-debris protection maximizes chain wear life by eliminating debris friction between internal components. RK’s UW seals also feature small contact points to reduce cold start drag. UW ring thickness is 43% thinner than a traditional O-ring chain with longer service life.

UWR – UW-RING ROAD RACING CHAIN

RK’s UWR is specifically designed for road racing motorcycles. The UWR absorbs the extreme engine torque impact and transfers it into superior high-speed performance. The unique UW seals reduce the most friction amongst all sealed rings on the market. Used by race teams around the world, these professional-grade chains are now available to consumers.

When compared to 520GXW, the 520UWR chain is 7% lighter!

Chain Comparison Guide
Chain
Type
Price
Tensile Strength
Discipline
Max CC
Weight (100 Links)
HEAVY-DUTY
$82.35
10,440 Nm
Road / Off-Road
400 / 250
1.60 KG
NON-SEALED
$130.36
12,200 Nm
Off-Road
750
1.43 KG 
NON-SEALED
$187.28
10,840 Nm
Off-Road
500
1.37 KG
O-RING
$135.76
9,350 Nm
Road / Off-Road
400 / 400
1.54 KG
RX-RING
$168.91
11,250 Nm
Road / Off-Road
750 / 750
1.56 KG
XW-RING
$193.23
10,440 Nm
Off-Road
750
1.68 KG
XW-RING
$262.73*
12,000 Nm 
Road / Off-Road
1200 / 750
1.68 KG
XW-RING
$305.08*
12,800 Nm
Road
1200
1.78 KG
UW-RING
$224.34*
10,840 Nm
Off-Road
500
1.38 KG
UW-RING
$410.95*
11,400 Nm
Road Racing
1300
1.57 KG

All chain statistics are based off 520 non-coloured models unless specified.
*Price for Gold variant.


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