New EK ThreeD chain: Want a flashier, stronger, lighter and generally ‘tricker’ than the OEM’s standard fitment chain?
EK has created something that could satisfy those that pilots that want the ultimate drive chain with the ThreeD line of premium motorcycle drive chains.
Available in 520, 525 and 530 chain sizes, and an unsealed motocross version in the 520MXR, the ThreeD range promises application-specific benefits with improved all-around performance and a high level of fit and finish for style-conscious riders.
The upgrades, compared to conventional chains, start with the unique ThreeD outer plate shape, which not only makes use of a stylish 3D curved form-factor but includes a unique dimple, or lightning hole, in the center of each plate which is claimed to reduce weight, help shed mud and promote cooling. The inside edge of the inner link plates are also cut flat to further reduce friction and improve engagement with drive sprocket teeth.
Tight tolerances and precision machining aim to increase strength and transmission efficiency along with large square-peened rivet pins, and EK aims for zero initial chain stretch upon installation. Finally, the entire chain is finished with a high-luster plating in a choice of chrome, gold, or a factory-style black-and-gold combination.
While a lighter, stronger, better-looking chain can be appreciated by all, the ThreeD line also includes advantages specific to each chain type for various applications:
- Starting with motocross, ThreeD offers the 520MXR chain that incorporates all of the common ThreeD benefits outlined above in a lightweight non-O-ring format. The 520MXR also incorporates a clever “end facing” cutaway — a flat profile cut to present a smoother surface against the chain guide on a dirt bike — which further reduces weight and friction.
- For supermoto and enduro use, the 520SM chain includes an updated SX2 O-ring seal, which claims a 30 percent performance improvement over the standard EK SX ring. Thanks to this compact O-ring design and narrow outer plates, the SM chain is significantly narrower and lighter than a conventional 520 O-ring chain.
- For road race machines, ThreeD offers the ideally-named 520GP, which uses the compact SX2 ring from the SM model but full-profile facing plates for additional strength under high-horsepower applications.
- Finally, for the street rider, ThreeD builds the 520Z, 525Z, and 530Z chains. Each of these includes a full-profile chain plate and makes use of a new QX2 O-ring design, a high-performance version of EK’s X-ring-profile seals. Kawasaki also choose this style of ThreeD chain to transmit power aboard the ZX-10R superbike straight from the factory.
ThreeD is EK's high-spec drive chain | Dealernews
ThreeD chains command approximately 20 percent premium over more conventional equivalent drive chains