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Old 12-23-2006, 04:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Shaft vs. belt driveline

Always wanted a motorcycle, but the wife has never agreed and with a second on teh way, it's sure a lot harder to try and sway her views, lol.

Anyways, i've always wanted a Harley and probably starting with a Sportster, but lately i've also been lookeing (while dreaming really, lol) or possibly getting a VTX, Boulevard, or Vulcan model instead.


I've noticed some use a shaft setup instead of a belt, is there any benefit, downside to doing so????


Thanks.



Figure i'v egot lots of time to reasearch....20+ years before the kids are moved out and the wife will let me get one, lol. So i'll have lots of knowledge by then.
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Old 12-23-2006, 06:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There are benefits to a *** bike, but you won't have a Harley, no matter what you do.
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Talking

benefits of a shaft over a belt:

never EVER need adjusting, unlike those pesky belts where it gets adjusted every time you fit a new tire

never EVER damaged by small stones if you spend a lot of time off-road on your 600lb cruiser

nice n heavy compared to those weiner lightweight belt drives

look terrific if you are excited by big silver pinion/crown cases

cause interesting up/down variations in the rear suspension when you have to back off unexpectedly coming into a turn

gives a nice audible reminder you have found the next cog (clunky)

please take all the above with a "small" grain of salt but rest assured i can honestly say I would never choose the shaft over a belt.

even BMW has started using belts...what more can I say?

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Old 12-23-2006, 10:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Nothing wrong with either belt or shaft. You choose the bike the like and ride.
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Old 12-23-2006, 11:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I feel like the shaft bike rises when you get into the gas. its just weird.
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Old 12-24-2006, 08:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I had a shaft drive for a couple of years & never had any issues with it. It was not noisy or "clunky" & I never had any handling issues. I can confirm that when you get on the gas hard, the back end does raise up - Had a good freind in a truck next to me when I punched it & he verified it.
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Old 12-24-2006, 10:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Both systems are pretty low maintenance. There is a slight power loss when using a shaft drive system, as well as the effects it has on handling as has been mentioned here.

Harley was pretty much the pioneer in using belt drive on motorcycles, and it has proven to be a clean, reliable and low maintenance way of turning the rear wheel. I think it is superior to shaft drive overall.
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Old 12-24-2006, 03:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The shaft handles the 120 HP Vmax just fine.

I don't have any complaints about it. Just change the oil in it about once a year.


I have owned three bikes with shaft drive. never had a noise issue or any kind of failure.
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Old 12-26-2006, 11:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I love shaft drive, but if you have always wanted an H-D you probably should get one.
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Old 12-27-2006, 02:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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When I rode my son's VT1100,I hardley noticed the shaft drive.
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Old 12-27-2006, 09:05 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The word "Shaft" says it all.
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Old 12-30-2006, 05:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I got rid of my VTX1800 because of the shaft drive, mainly. I did not care for it. I was used to belt drives and much prefer them. Nothing particularly wrong with the shaft drive. I simply did not care for the way it handled, raised the seat when you got into it and weight/looks.

Personal preference. I prefer belts.
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Old 01-26-2007, 10:37 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Red face Both

Both systems are good.
Less maintainence on the shaft but more expensive when it breaks.
When you give it the gas the rear end rises which is GREAT 'cause it gives you more ground clearance.
I used to use that to my advantage when I rode BMW's.
Realy,the rear end jacking is more of a comment that applies to old BMW's & Guzzi's 'cause they had SHORT swingarms and the movement would radically mess with ground clearance and steering geometry.
A modern bike is much less prone to being upset by the shaft drive system.

JJ
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Old 01-27-2007, 01:12 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I have had both, the Shaft drive with my Volusia, and the belt drive with the Road Star. I haven't had any issue with either! As another member said, find a bike you like, and let that be the least of your worries!
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Old 01-27-2007, 05:49 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VIP
The shaft handles the 120 HP Vmax just fine.

I don't have any complaints about it. Just change the oil in it about once a year.


I have owned three bikes with shaft drive. never had a noise issue or any kind of failure.
when did vmax drop to 120 hp?
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