MXA TEAM TESTED: LIGHTSPEED KTM FACTORY CHAIN GUIDE
WHAT IS IT? MXA is going to tell you right up front that if you own a 2015-or-newer KTM, you don’t really need an aftermarket chain guide. Compared to what’s available on the “Big Four” Japanese brands, the stock Husqvarna and KTM chain guides are as good as they get.
Of course, there are three things that might induce a KTM rider to switch to an aftermarket chain guide:
(1) Durability. Many KTM and Husky off-road, Baja, desert and enduro riders run TM Designworks’ oil-infused plastic-compound chain guides because they are totally bulletproof.
(2) Weight. A carbon fiber chain guide, like the LightSpeed KTM Factory Replica chain guide, can save weight over KTM’s stock molded design. And even if it doesn’t save that much weight, it is all unsprung.
(3) Fashion consciousness. The LightSpeed Factory Replica design is an exact copy of the unobtainable chain guide used by the factory KTM team, but with a nod towards stronger overall design for longevity.
WHAT’S IT COST? $295.00 (chain guide), $125.00 (replacement wear pads).
CONTACT? www.lightspeedcarbon.com or (714) 990-5767.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the LightSpeed KTM Factory Replica carbon fiber chain guide.
(1) Installation. If you are replacing a worn-out stock chain guide, you should note that in most cases the chain tension will get tighter when you install a new chain guide‚ because the new wear pad isn’t worn down. We originally had issues getting the top middle bolt to fit before we realized that we had to knock the Riv-Nut spacer out of the swingarm tab. Save the Riv-Nutt in case you want to reinstall the stock chain guide when you sell the bike (so you can moved the LightSpeed chain guide to your new bike). The only real hassle for a backyard mechanic is that you have to break the chain to install the LightSpeed guide.
(2) Fitment. The Lightspeed Factory Replica chain guide fits all KTM and Husqvarna 125, 150, 250, 350, 450 and 505 models from 2015 to 2022.
(3) Construction. The shell of the Factory Replica chain guide is constructed from 100-percent carbon fiber, molded with pre-preg epoxy resin and autoclave cured to ensure a light and strong part. The front of the chain guide has a reinforced buffer encasing the leading edge of the chain guide to ward off rock damage. The inner wear pad is CNC-machined from a block of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE). This low-friction, self-lubricating material not only wears like iron, it doesn’t make the loud slapping noises of some aftermarket chain guides. UHMWPE is thermoplastic polyethylene made with extremely long-chain molecules that are highly resistant to abrasion and have a lower-friction coefficient than nylon.
(4) Performance. Apart from being an exact replica of the unobtainable factory chain guide, a fact which few people in the pits would ever realize, the LightSpeed guide offers all the benefits of the works part. That includes borrowing the extended tail of the works chain guide’s shell to help keep the chain on the rear sprocket. The extended rear overlap is a plus on rutted courses.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Three complaints: (1) Look. Carbon fiber chain guides come out of the box with their shiny weave pattern glistening, but don’t expect the weave to glisten for long. (2) Chain. Be prepared to break the chain, which in most cases entails popping the master link off with a pair of pliers. (3) Price. You can get excellent chain guides for under $100, including carbon fiber ones. But, for limited-edition, works-replica, carbon fiber parts, the price skyrockets.
MXA RATING: Works bikes come with carbon fiber chain guides. If you want to be like a Cooper Webb, the LightSpeed KTM Factory Replica carbon chain guide is the price of acceptance.