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Discussion Starter #1
After one of my chapter brothers lost a drive belt on his
geezer glide on a road trip, the discussion of switching
back to chain drive came up. More noise and maintenance
vs masterlink and spare chain. Has any in this forum made
the switch or know of someone who has?
 

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The current drive belts will typically last upwards of 80k miles (I've seen them go to 100k but they are EXTREMELY worn out)

Most belt failures are due to improper tension. Most people run them too loose without realizing it. If they jump a tooth, they usually break very soon afterwards. I replaced my belt AND pulleys at 70k. The belt teeth were square (completely worn out) and starting to show signs of cracking. This is a 105/107 tq/hp bike in it's detuned state.

Aside from the bad batch of belts HD had a few years back, their belts are good, and getting better with every genetation they introduce.
 

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I'm on my 5th HD since 1969 (Sorry, there were a bunch of metrics in there, too). The FXD I own now is the first one with a belt. I like it. It's quiet and it doesn't drip oil on my garage floor. It is the perfect mode for transfering power in that particular scenario. However, the first thing I did when I built my '03 XL into a drag racer was replace the belt with a high tensile strength o-ring chain. I can't hear any more noise than the belt and it still doesn't drip on my floor. Vibration? It's an '03 XL, fercrissake. What it doesn't do is separate at its weakest spot when I drop the hammer and hook up hard. It also allows me to run a 180 tire without a funky offset sprocket support. Belts are great. Just don't go to the drag strip too often with one. It won't last long. Guarrraaanteeeee.
 

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If you follow proper maintenace guidelines your adjusting almost every week. Screw that. Knock on wood.
 

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Pimp Daddy
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I have an 04 Wide Glide and an 81 Sturgis. Harley had dual belts on the 81 and I love it. I still have the original belt on the Sturgis, granted there aren't too many miles on it but it's still 25 years old and works great. I've had chains too but I like not having to think about my chain at all.
 

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I'm gonna powder his nose
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BOTH last a reasonable amount of time when adjusted properly.

I run a chain because I drag race, my belt would slip on launch and I ripped the teeth off the belt.


Food for thought: breaking a belt/chain is rare, but you can't replace a belt without removing the primary etc, with a chain you could be riding in no time.
 

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ohiomotoxer said:
Food for thought: breaking a belt/chain is rare, but you can't replace a belt without removing the primary etc, with a chain you could be riding in no time.
I carry the H/D emergency belt kit for just such a scenerio.
I've used it once,gets ya someplace to get it repaired.
As for longevity the belt wins hands down most of the time.
A rock kicked up and run through the pulley can break a belt or put a hole in it leading to premature failure.
I got 72,000 miles on my first belt before it broke due to rock damage.
I've never seen 20,000 out of a chain and most were slapping at 10,000.
 

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I've never seen 20,000 out of a chain and most were slapping at 10,000.
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I've got 64,000 miles on the original factory chain & sprockets. Expect over 100K in these enclosed drive chain assemblies. My sprockets could be sold as "like new" condition. No noticable wear. Of course, I just removed this system because of it's looks, so now I'm back in the real world of chain maintnance.

Still, breaks in a chain at just 10K would mean ZERO care. 20,000-30,000 miles seems to be the norm around here for open air o-rings. And these replacements are usually made because the sprocket teeth become worn to small nubs. Who knows how long the chains would go if pushed.
 

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Ka-Ka said:
I've got 64,000 miles on the original factory chain & sprockets. Expect over 100K in these enclosed drive chain assemblies. My sprockets could be sold as "like new" condition. No noticable wear. Of course, I just removed this system because of it's looks, so now I'm back in the real world of chain maintnance.

Still, breaks in a chain at just 10K would mean ZERO care. 20,000-30,000 miles seems to be the norm around here for open air o-rings. And these replacements are usually made because the sprocket teeth become worn to small nubs. Who knows how long the chains would go if pushed.
The enclosed chains are the exception but there are very few around,only early FLT FXRT models.
Chain life depends on a number of things,even a well maintained chain of high quality will wear sooner if you ride in the rain a lot like I always did and then I'm one to twist the wrist a lot as well.
I ran my FXRS well up over 100 mph often .
One can get 30,000 if he rides it easy and on clean dry roads but add rain dust and hotrodding in and chain life gets shorter real fast lol.
Mine never broke at 10K but they were stretched out and starting to slap.
Best I even did was nearly 20K on an RK 530 oring chain and 6K of it was in one trip to Sturgis.
 

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i broke a belt and retrofitted my 92 boy with a chain 'n sprockets, x ring adjusted it once at about 500 kilometers, still lovely and tight at 21000 kilometers with lube every 500 . leave your belt on your levis where it's supposed to be ...
 

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whats the down side of shaft drive, other then japs are doing it? I saw a suzuki with one last year, looed great, you could see the tire. I think shafts are probably expensive when they fail, but I would think they last for a long time. Probably give moe warning. Bearing probably start knocking or thumping.
Just curious.
 

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I was riding behind a guy once when his chain broke. The guard drove it into the asphalt sending grenade stlye shrapnel all over me and my bike. Chains are higher maintenance, noisy and less dependable.
 

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shaft=cardanic, like trasmission, as on BMW? If so absolutely no matter, are expensives but suppose to last lifelong as the bike, the only thing can happens, it becomes a leattle noisy (some clunky). anithing else. Just remember to change the tree oils are in (end, medium, and shaft body)
 

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Belt vs. Chain

I had chain drive for many years (sorry, it was a metric). What a pain, putting on chain wax after a longer ride and then constantly checking the tension, then adjusting the rear axle back....Forget it...

I really enjoy the reliability and simplicity of my belt drive Electraglide now!!

Have a good one eh.
 

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My 883 went through a few chains before I switched to belt. I'd never go back. Mostly I like the quiet but I don't miss the maint and mess with the chain either.
 

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Yep, I'm certain that the whole "black t-shirt" thing started because of chains.
I remember riding my chain drive Sporty in a white t-shirt once.
Once.
 
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