Explanation of a Motorcycle Chain Pitch

Updated March 23, 2017

Chain pitch is a dimension used to select a proper chain for a motorcycle. The pitch and roller width between the inner plates needs to match the manufacturer's specifications for maximum chain efficiency.

Chain Size Definition

Chain size is a three-digit number that expresses both pitch and roller width. The first digit is the chain pitch. The second and third digits are the roller width with a decimal point implied between the numbers. The chain size can be found in the owner's manual.

Rule of Eights

Chain size uses the rule of eights. Both the pitch and roller width are divided by eight to get the dimensions in inches. A 430 chain size has a pitch of 4/8 inches and width of 3.0/8 inches.

Chain Pitch Definition

Chain pitch is the distance between the centre of any two adjoining roller pins. This dimension insures a good fit between the chain and the sprocket teeth.

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William Brown started writing in 2008, covering financial services, government services, health-care reform issues and technology. He has obtained the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Series 6 and 63 licenses for variable contracts. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Virginia.