How to Install a Rivet Master Link

While replacing a motorcycle's chain is not the hardest task to accomplish, installing the master link that connects the chain can be mildly challenging. Although most motorcycles use a clip-type master link to simplify the installation, high-performance motorcycles require the use of a stronger, rivet-type master link to cope with the increased power output. These master links are a bit more difficult to install and require a high-quality chain press and rivet tool to complete the job properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Chain
  • Master link kit (link, O-rings, side plate and lubricant)
  • Chain press and rivet tool
  • Rivet stake plates


    • 1

      Pre-assemble the master link before installing it onto the chain. Coat the master link and O-rings with the lubricant supplied with the master link. Slide an O-ring onto both of the master link's pins. Coat the remaining pair of O-rings and the master link's side plate with lubricant.

    • 2

      Install the chain onto your motorcycle and bring the loose ends of the chain together. Insert the master link into the chain, sliding the pins in from the back of the chain until they protrude from the outer face of the chain links. Place the remaining O-rings and the master link's side plate over the pins.

    • 3

      Press the side plate onto the master link's pins using your chain tool. Use a wrench to slowly tighten the tool, forcing the pins through the side plate. Stop when the side plate is evenly mounted onto the master link, leaving a small portion of the pins protruding from the outer surface of the side plate.

    • 4

      Prepare your chain tool. Select a rivet staking push plate appropriate for the type of pins for the new master link. For example, use a flaring plate for hollow-pinned master links. Insert the plate onto your chain rivet tool.

    • 5

      Place the chain tool and push plate over the first pin on the master link and slowly tighten with a wrench to flare the tip of the pin. Loosen the tool as soon as the pin flares into a mushroom shape. Repeat on the remaining pin.

Related Searches


  • "The Professional Motorcycle Repair Program;" Professional Career Development Institute; 1995


  • Photo Credit parked motorcyle image by Peter Baxter from

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