The primary chain on the Sportster turns the mechanical energy of the engine into rotational energy, thanks in part to the primary and secondary sprockets. In order to remove the chain, you’ll need to separate the master link (or any link on a chain without a master link) by pulling the link pins or driving the rivets out of the links. This chain-break process is temporary and will not damage the chain, allowing you to reinstall the chain as needed.
Master Link Chains
1. Locate the master link, indicated by its removable clip that holds the link pin secure.
2. Pull the “U” clip off the master link with the needle-nose pliers.
3. Slide the link pin portion of the master link of the connector link, which just has holes, by hand. You may now remove the chain from the bike.
No Master Link
4. Place the chain break tool over the top of the chain, in the span between the chain’s sprockets, and align the chain break’s driver pin with the pin or rivet of the chain link you want to disconnect.
5. Turn the driver pin screw handle clockwise with a screwdriver shaft (or socket wrench if the handle is just a bolt), driving the pin into the chain’s rivet or link pin. You’ll need to push the driver pin completely through rivet chains, until the rivet is completely removed. Discard the used rivet. Slide the two links, connected by the rivet, apart and pull the chain from the bike.
6. Push the driver pin on the chain break tool through the chain link pin until the chain links are able to be pried off each other. Do not completely remove the pin from the chain, though. Leave the pin flush with the inside of the last loop in that specific chain link. This will allow the inside section of the link to slide away from the outside section of the link, while saving you the hassle of trying to reinsert the pin in what is already a very tight fitting.