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Discussion Starter #1
When I was traveling through Texas it came time for a new chain.They put on a premium gold X-ring chain because it was the only one they had, and it used a master link with clip, not riveted. Before I rode the bike I noted the clip was installed in the right orientation, and it appeared seated. 3,500 miles later, last Saturday night, I went to lube the chain in prep for a group ride Sunday, and the master link just happened to be visible when I put the bike on the stand, and the master link clip was gone. The side plate was still there.What factors could cause a clip, which appeared to have been properly oriented and seated, to come off? I bought a new peen-type master link.I know how lucky I am, and am going to give the shop in Houston a call tomorrow for a friendly chat.
 

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Glad you caught it! Could have been really nasty had the master link come off on the highway.

Just goes to show (again) that it's your responsibility to look over the cycle and confirm everything is correct and operating propely - no matter if you've paid someone to do something or not. Never assume everything is fine - confirm it!

It does seem odd that it would pop off when it was installed properly - no idea.
 

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I happened to be following some guy an older bike on the highway when his chain came off. It of course locked the rear wheel. The first sign was a cloud of smoke. Followed by oscillating fish tailing which got worse and worse. He actually taught a lesson in never giving up on any situation. He did his best to ride it out and stayed on the bike until it got down to about 35 mph when it tossed him. He still didn't give up. Landed on his feet running with giant steps and aiming for the grass which provided a softer landing.
 

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if its installed correctly as designed and isnt defective to start with
[not likely, but still..] the most likely sort of cause could be impact
or strong pressure on the link, especially from the direction into it
which you would use to remove it deliberately..

perhaps pushing it into something when moving/parking it somewhere,
such as against another motorcycle or suchlike [?]
otherwise many motorcyclists including me have used chain links
which have never come off over a lifetime of motorcycling..

sometimes the eye sees something that looks right
as being right, based on expectation, which is
a natural function of observation and mind..
careful checking is the/an answer..
[even 'fanatical' ]
 

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chain link pulls into the rounded closed end of the clip..

thus clip heads closed end first rearward along lower run
then anticlockwise up and around rear sprocket
then forwards along upper run towards front sprocket,
anticlockwise with the chain around both sprockets
[looking at the chain from chain side of motorcycle]
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just to reiterate what others have already said, the closed end of the clip always faces the direction of travel. If this is not true, and the chain rubs against something, the clip can pop right off the master link.

This is the way it was installed on my chain. The shop in Houston said for a clip to come off is a one in a million occurrence. He said it could have happened when backing the bike up and hte clip hitting something. I never knew of hitting anything, but... anyway, I installed a rivet-type link today, and this is what I will always be using from now on.
 
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