TM Designworks Factory Edition SX Chain Guide

Company: TM Designworks

Price: $77.95

Roost
  • Improved wear life.
  • Improved protection.
  • "Works" look.
Endo
  • Louder chain slap.

Credits

  • Writer: Trevor Hunter
  • Photographer: Trevor Hunter/Live Life Racing

What it is

  • Plastic chain guide.

TM Designworks has long been an industry standard in the off-road motorcycle protection world and they may be most known for the “Slide-N-Guide Kits.” We sought after their Factory Edition SX chain guide for one of our testers’ 2007 YZ125 off-road race bike utilized in the AMA District 37 Big6 Grand Prix Series. The Factory Edition SX chain guide is claimed to be an affordable “works” rear chain guide featuring their lightweight return memory system plastic formula. Additionally, the wear pad is slightly longer than stock allowing for a perfect guide and the reangle pad is claimed to improve the wear life. It comes with proper length bolts and nuts to keep it secured on the swingarm. Lastly, it is available in black, red, and yellow colors for $77.95.

"The Factory Edition SX chain guide is claimed to be an affordable “works” rear chain guide featuring their lightweight return memory system plastic formula."

How it works

  • Longer wear life.
  • Easy installation.
  • Doesn't bend as easily.
  • Louder than some other chain guides.

First and foremost, having an adequate chain guide installed on any motorcycle is more important than most consider it. Without it or with a bent chain guide, keeping the motorcycle moving forward would be challenging. Additionally, some wear out far quicker than others. The installation of the Factory Edition SX chain guide was a breeze. Removal of the chain and masterlink wasn’t even necessary as the center block is removable. With some blue locktite and the bolts, we haven’t had a problem since installation with anything coming loose or backing out.

Next, the wear life. We’ve been testing quite a few TMD chain guides recently on different test bikes and the Factory Edition SX guide’s wear life is going strong no matter the bike, especially compared to stock Kawasaki parts. With close to 15 hours on it, the wear pad still looks like new. With some riding in the rocks, the sand, the mud, and everything in between, we have put it through its paces and it’s still in great shape. On other aftermarket chain guides and even some stock ones, we have experienced some rubbing on the rear sprocket even when new creating added friction which isn’t ideal, especially on a 125. However, with this one, we have yet to have any contact with the rear sprocket or even have it come close. Since it isn’t aluminum when it gets hit it does not bend and most of the time will return back to its straight form provided the hit is not too much for the tabs on the swingarm. And in some cases the TMD’s design encases the tabs which protects and strengthens their resistance to damage.

One thing we noted about the TMD chain guide is the noise. It’s chain slap noise is louder than the typical chain guide is but once you’re on the track or out racing, it’s hardly noticeable. Likewise, as it breaks in and starts to wear a little bit, the noise decreases and isn’t even a thought anymore.

Overall, TM Designworks’ Factory Edition SX chain guide is a smart purchase and most definitely not a downgrade for a stock chain guide replacement. Its wear life is top notch and among the various different TMD chain guides we have been testing, they all are living up to their standards with plenty of miles put on all of them. At a price of $77.95, it is competitively priced with other chain guides and the quality is as good as any.

"Since it isn’t aluminum when it gets hit it does not bend and most of the time will return back to its straight form provided the hit is not too much for the tabs on the swingarm."