TaoTao TBR7 Motorcycle Chain Upgrade.

As I read about doing upgrades for my TaoTao TBR7 dual-sport motorcycle, I read about motorcycle chain failures are common with the additional stresses we placed on the bike performing upgrades.

So, it was time I did a TBR7 Motorcycle Chain Upgrade.

I Finally Got Around To Upgrading My TBR7’s Motorcycle Stock Chain.

Before showing the steps I took to change my TaoTao TBR7’s motorcycle stock chain, I will quickly review some questions that might arise from this upgrade.

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FYI, the new motorcycle chain I picked up for my motorcycle: JT Motorcycle Chain (428 Series) Heavy Duty Non O-Ring.

My TaoTao TBR7 New Chain Box Stats
The motorcycle chain ordered, black steel and no o-rings.

Why Did I Do The Motorcycle Chain Upgrade?

I have almost 4,000 kilometers, with no problems. I frequently clean(wipe it down with a rag) and lube the chain(with chain wax). I did not see any failures in the chain. However, I have read posts the chain quality is questionable. Now one can argue that the overall quality of the whole TBR7 and any of the cousins(HAWK 250, Raven 250, etc.) is questionable, which I have been addressing with increased maintenance, item replacement, and complete upgrades.

The chain. There are many posts I’ve been seeing about the stock chain failing without warning. Also included in some of those posts are photos. Many of the images show the significant damage the broken ends of the chain has done to the bike. I’ve seen no rider injury, but those photos still show considerable energy released from the broken chain.

These posted problems motivated me to replace my stock chain, especially since it has almost many kilometers.

Why I Bought A Non-O-Ring Motorcycle Chain.

Speed. With no o-rings, the chain is lighter and has less internal friction. This design allows more energy to be transferred from the engine to the wheel.

One drawback requires increased maintenance when compared to o-ring type motorcycle chains. I take steps to maintain and lube my stock chain properly, so the increased care is not a problem.

So Speed is my motivation.

Why I Bought A New Upgraded JT Motorcycle Chain For The TBR7.

I have upgraded both the front sprocket( TBR7 Front Sprocket Upgrade ) and the rear sprocket( TBR7 Rear Sprocket and Studs Upgrade )and used JT sprockets both times. I am happy so far with the sprockets, so it only makes sense I go with the JT made chain.

Steps I Took To Replace and Upgrade My TBR7’s Motorcycle Chain:

FYI: Building My List of Must-Have Tools For Motorcycle Owners

Let’s not forget basic motorcycle garage steps: My FAQ – Motorcycle Garage Safety Rules

Step 1.  Elevated and Secure The Motorcycle.

I used my hydraulic lift jack ( I Use: Motorcycle Lift Jack ) and had the motorcycle high enough to allow the rear wheel to remain off the ground. With the wheel off the floor, and of course, in neutral, ensure the motorcycle is on a stable surface and cannot be turned on(disconnect the battery is needed).

My TBR7 motorcycle on hydraulic floor jack.
Lifting my TaoTao TBR7 Motorcycle

My Motorcycle Chain Tip: I put down newspapers to let the old chain lie on paper instead of my floor. The chains are greasy/waxy, and grimy. I also used gloves to minimize how dirty I got in the process.

Newspapers on floor for possible mess.
It’s like training a new puppy.

Step 2.  Remove Motorcycle Chain Guard.

This step is an excellent time to check the condition of your chain guard. It is a rather flimsy piece of plastic that can be easily damaged while performing its essential function.

TBR7 motorcycle chain guard on.
TaoTao TBR7 Chain guard on.
TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle chain guard off.
Chain guard removed by removing two bolts.

Step 3.  Disconnect The Old Motorcycle Chain Master Link.

Rotate the rear tire, be off the ground, and bike in neutral until you see the master link. I positioned the master link over the top of the rear sprocket to remove the master link, and both chain ends would remain over the end.  

I used needle nose pliers to remove the motorcycle chain master link locking clip.
I used needle nose pliers to remove the motorcycle chain master link locking clip.
Motorcycle chain master link locking clip unsnapped.  Ready for removal.
Motorcycle chain master link locking clip unsnapped. Ready for removal.
Motorcycle chain master link plate removed.
With locking clip removed, the master link side can be removed.
Old TBR7 motorcycle chain master link removed.
Push the TBR7 motorcycle chain master link out and here you have it.

Step 4.  Connect The New Motorcycle Chain To The Old Old Chain.

I used the old motorcycle master link and connected the new motorcycle chain. The old and new chains were joined together at the end of the old chain’s lower free end lying on the floor.

TBR7's old motorcycle chain end on floor
TBR7’s old motorcycle chain end on floor, connect new chain here.

By doing this step, I rotated the motorcycle wheel backward to feed the new motorcycle chain around the front sprocket without removing the front sprocket cover.

Motorcycle chain end on top of rear sprocket .
Motorcycle chain end on top of rear sprocket will rotate in reverse pulling new chain into position.

Step 5. Feed The New Motorcycle Chain Backwards Through The Chain Path.

Rotating the rear wheel backward, the rear sprocket will put the old chain out of the front sprocket housing while feeding the new chain in. Once you get the master link to the rear sprocket again, stop.

New motorcycle chain connected to old motorcycle chain.
As wheel rotate, new chain is fed and old chain drops to the floor.

Step 6.  Remove the Old Chain and Test The New Chain Ends.

The old chain can be recycled. I tossed even the old master link since the new motorcycle chain kit came with a new master link.

I moved the motorcycle’s rear axle into a mid-position on the lower swing arm’s axle slide grove. After making the chain connections, I have room to move and adjust the rear axle, back and forth, to set up for proper chain slack.

Now testing, The ends of the chains could be too long or too short.  

Step 7. Trim The Motorcycle Chain Length (Only if the new chain ends do not meet).

My new motorcycle chain is too long by a couple of links. I did TBR7 motorcycle upgrades, I have reduced the rear sprocket size 46-T to a 42T sprocket (TBR7 Rear Sprocket and Studs Upgrade) and had to break off a couple of links with a chain breaker in my upgrade.

My front sprocket upgrade (14t -> 17t) might have taken up some chain slack created from my rear sprocket size reduction, but not enough (TBR7 Upgrade: Front Sprocket Change).

TBR7's new motorcycle chain is too long
My TBR7’s new motorcycle chain is too long. Need to make size adjustment.
Motorcycle chain breaker.
Trimming my new motorcycle chain with a chain breaker. Popping off a couple links.

Step 8.  Connect The New Chain Ends With New Motorcycle Chain Master Link.

Installed the TBR7’s new chain’s master link.

New motorcycle chain ends, now meet.
Perfect chain length. Now the new motorcycle chain ends meet. Just missing master link.
New motorcycle chain master link inserted.
New upgraded TBR7 motorcycle chain master link inserted.
New motorcycle chain master almost assembled.
New motorcycle chain master almost assembled.

The locking clip for the motorcycle’s master link should have the closed end in the direction of the motorcycle chain’s travel( FAQ: What Direction Does A Master Link Clip Go On? ). This way the locking clip cannot strike something and pop off.

TBR7's new motorcycle chain master link full assembled, with locking clip.
New motorcycle chain master link locking clip installed. Closed end of clip in direction of travel.

One completed, the chain could need adjustment.

Step 9. Check New Chain Slack.

If the motorcycle chain is too tight or too loose, make chain tension adjustments as needed. Please read my post about chain tension adjustment My Posts: TBR7 Chain Adjustment and How To Adjust Your Motorcycle Chain.

Step 10. Reattach The TBR7’s Motorcycle Chain Guard.

As with any threaded fasteners on my TBR7, I used a thread locker.

Thread locker tube, making parts safe.
Thread locker is a Chonda owner’s friend. Making my TBR7 motorcycle safe.

FYI, the new motorcycle chain I picked up for my motorcycle: JT Motorcycle Chain (428 Series) Heavy Duty Non O-Ring.

My TaoTao TBR7 Chinese Dual-sport motorcycle's new chain.

Done, TBR7’s Motorcycle Chain Is Installed!

Now with the new motorcycle chain is on, I took some common-sense steps:

I lubed the new chain. The new motorcycle chain came with a coat of heavy grease, but I still sprayed it down with motorcycle chain wax. I like the self-cleaning actions of motorcycle chain wax. I have also been using a similar product on my mountain bikes, which keeps them lubed and reasonably clean.

I tested the bike out, slow rides while doing frequent chain slack checks on my TBR7 Motorcycle and occasional chain readjustments.

The new motorcycle chain seemed to do the most ‘stretching’ during the first several rides.

I plan to post a follow-up about this new motorcycle chain’s feel and operation.

The plan is to research more about Chonda stock motorcycle alleged chain failures and summarize my findings in a later post.

In the meantime, thank you for visiting, and remember, motorcycle maintenance can be a dangerous operation; consult with a professional before you do your upgrade.

Ride Safe, Ride Fun.

Click To See My Recommended
TBR7 Upgrades

Picture of me, as a New Motorcyclist.
Just Me…Newly Licensed.

Hi I’m Tom, A New Motorcycle Rider and Blog Author.

I am a new rider(Pa Learners Permit at the end of 2020, and I received a Pa Motorcycle License in 2021 after passing a Motorcycle Safety Course).

I bought my first motorcycle, a TaoTao TBR7, at the beginning of 2021 and have been doing upgrades on that motorcycle since.

I added to my motorcycle collection by buying a Boom Vader Gen 2 in 2022, and that Grom-Clone motorcycle has been upgraded by me as well.

I continue to ride my Boom Vader Gen 2 motorcycle as well as my TaoTao TBR7 dual-sport bike.

Read more on my About Me page.

Fun Fact: I’ve only been on one group ride.

2 thoughts on “TaoTao TBR7 Motorcycle Chain Upgrade.”

    • I initially didn’t change my TBR7 motorcycle chain after the 17t front sprocket upgrade, but after reading posts about the stock motorcycle chain breaking while riding, I changed my mind and my stock chain. I discussed it here: TaoTao Stock Chain

      So the stock TBR7 chain fit after doing the 17t sprocket upgrade but pushing the TBR7 harder with all my speed upgrades; I wanted to be sure the chain didn’t break.

      I did order an o-ring-less quality chain( New TBR7 Replacement Chain Has Arrived! ) after reading how going without o-rings allows more power to be transferred to the rear wheel. So I did the upgrade ( My TaoTao TBR7 Chain Is Upgraded! ) and I want a faster motorcycle or a motorcycle that works less while I ride faster.

      Do you still have the stock chain?

      When I went to a smaller rear sprocket to increase my TBR7’s top-end speed( TBR7 Rear Sprocket and Studs Upgrade. ), I had to trim the motorcycle chain.

      Does this help? Tell me what you did and your outcomes. I am interested in hearing about your motorcycle upgrades.


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