Mike, the only time I lost a master link, I had put the retaining clip on backwards. So the open end was to the forward side of the chain's travel. Not saying thats what happened to yours, just the only time it happened to me.
Smoothe! I owe ya a beer or a cup of coffee. Removed the solid fork and replaced with a MTB fork. Is off a wally world $85 bike. So it cost less (the whole bike) then the springer failure, POS... It not only blends in color wise, also lengthened the wheel base, allows for the side pull brake with the Worksmans's drum brake and it looks sharp! I was a bit disgusted with it and how really bad it looked. One of those days I shoulda just walked away from the bike for a day or 3. But back to loving my baby again. Instead of looking old world 1920s, she now sort of looks like a 1960s import. I really have to paint the left side cover. Gots me powder coat gun. Also have a cool air filter and she is gonna look sharp. Pics don't do it justice but a whole lot better then the red solid ones. The really important part is these are far less likely to cause facial road rash.