The original chain on my Triumph Tiger XCX lasted me 44000km. That chain has had a hard life – it is usually covered in muck, has to put up with my constant ham-fisted throttle inputs, has been fully submerged in stream crossings and has generally had an off-road life.
I’ve kept it in shape with the help of Maxima Oils Chain maintenance kit but at 44,000 km, I ran out of adjustment space and I could feel the chain had just about enough of me.
I fitted the D.I.D. 525ZVM-X X-ring chain and Esjot sprockets as the replacement for the original Triumph chain. It is gold in colour. I am from Kerala. I am not from Dubai. Just clarifying.
Now, the thing with such a long chain is that as it gets old and starts sagging, it tends to reverb at certain revs and on the XCX, this reverb was particularly noticeable as the engine climbed through 3000-4000rpm. It’s not a terrible vibration but given that that rev range is where you sit most of the time when you are cruising, it can get annoying. Especially if you are heading home after a long, tiring ride.
The most welcome improvement this new chain brought with is that it has made my bike feel a lot smoother. The chain also runs a lot quieter with a lot less chain lash noise. The X-ring design places an ermmm…. X-ring shaped seal between the inner and outer plates of the chain and twists as opposed to being squashed under load. This creates two smaller sealing surfaces with less friction and wear but more on that later.
An X-ring also distorts less and the gap between the sealing surfaces does a better job of retaining grease and this should help me when I continue to put all the components of my bike through another day at The School Of Dirt.
As for the Esjot sprockets, someone suggested I go for a larger rear sprocket that would shorten the overall gearing and make the bike more off road friendly. I decided to stick with the standard Triumph sprocket sizes because I use my bike for everything from slow speed technical off-road riding (where the bigger rear sprocket would have definitely helped) to long distance cruising (where the already short geared Tiger would have become even more hectic with a bigger sprocket). I decided to stick with the stock sprocket sizes because I think Triumph got it as right as possible on the gearing given the engine’s character and the bike’s wide range of abilities. I’m happy.
Lastly, D.I.D. says the X-ring chain lasts roughly twice as long as an O-ring chain. I hope that’s true and there is only one way to test their claim out. Here’s to the next 80,000 kilometres then. Cheers.