Belt VS chain. Aother way to do it ? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Belt VS chain. Another way to do it ?

I've being thinking about modifying my drive system, installing a belt instead of the chain, for obvious reason

Was thinking that a bmw f800st would be a starting point

Has anybody else done the same thinking, or maybe has tried it out, with or without success ???


Your turn !


LOP

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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 10:48 AM
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What's so obvious about a belt conversion on a bike not designed for it? Would it even fit? I have my doubts, especially the rear sprocket.
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 12:02 PM
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I'Ve read on other bikes of belt conversions that just ended up breaking. As much as it can be super reliable and maintenance free, I've read stories of some belts snapping just because a little rock that made it between belt and sprocket. Considering the costs and all, I wouldnt even consider it.
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 12:07 PM
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I had a Buell for years and the only thing I really worried about (with some cause) was a broken drive belt.

The problem is thi.s

Need a chain? It's a 520 O-Ring on the Versys, ANY bike shop will have one IN STOCK. Under $100.00.

Break a belt? Better hope there's a dealer near by. It'll likely have to be ordered in you know? So find a hotel for 3-4 days because you're going no where fast. AND the belt will be about $175.00-$200.00.

I'll stick to a chain, they may need oiling a cleaning but belts need care as well and yea belts do wear out. PLUS the belt is made for ONE bike and ONLY one bike. Maybe even only one model. And forget about changing the final drive ratio what you get is what you got, no fast swap of a sprocket.

As far about the hotel, it happen to us, not my Buell but a friend's Buell. He picked up a rock between the rear pulley and belt. Took about 30 mile to work through the belt and that weakened the belt to the breaking point. Nether one of us even knew it had happened until SNAP! It's Pushin Time Baby!!

IMHO stick with the chain.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 12:23 PM
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That in my eyes would be doing a mod for just doing a mod. And I don't do that. If I didn't have a job and was playing around maybe?

I bet if you drink a few more beers you will forget about it!

Would like to see what you come up with?





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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 12:53 PM
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I had a Buell for years and the only thing I really worried about (with some cause) was a broken drive belt.
Buell's belt problems are not typical of belt driven bikes. While belts can be damaged by having debris caught between the belt and the pulley it isn't much of an issue for bikes ridden only on the street.

If the belt used is common to HDs than finding a replacement shouldn't be an issue in the unlikely event one would break.

All that being said the maintenance savings and power gains are too negligible to be worthwhile imo.
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 02:58 PM
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Buell's belt problems are not typical of belt driven bikes. While belts can be damaged by having debris caught between the belt and the pulley it isn't much of an issue for bikes ridden only on the street.

If the belt used is common to HDs than finding a replacement shouldn't be an issue in the unlikely event one would break.

All that being said the maintenance savings and power gains are too negligible to be worthwhile imo.
Out of curiousity, what power gain would one stand to achieve? It strikes me that the flexible nature of rubber would, if anything, decrease the directness of applied power?


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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 03:28 PM
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Out of curiousity, what power gain would one stand to achieve? It strikes me that the flexible nature of rubber would, if anything, decrease the directness of applied power?

There was no Crush Hub on my XB, It was almost direct drive with only the belt to take the shock up. The rear drive pulley was bolted right to the wheel.

Took a bit to get use to like the throttle was hooked right to the rear wheel.

Now if this was what Erik really wanted or not I can say the Mothership seems to have forced a lot on him. His new bikes are chain drive.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 03:58 PM
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just my opinion
shaft drive equals minimum maintenance
belts equal smooth power transfer
chains equal highest efficiency of power transfer
& I THINK that the drive pulley needs to be on the swing arm centerline to keep from screwing up the belt tension any time the rear wheel moves up & down
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 04:10 PM
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just my opinion
shaft drive equals minimum maintenance
belts equal smooth power transfer
chains equal highest efficiency of power transfer
& I THINK that the drive pulley needs to be on the swing arm centerline to keep from screwing up the belt tension any time the rear wheel moves up & down

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #11 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 04:34 PM
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Also, you'd have to cut the swingarm to install or remove the stupid belt.
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post #12 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Answering a few post

- Obvious reason is stop oiling that chain. Messy ! Often ! ...

- Rock in between belt and pulley is bad, rock in between chain and sprocket is also bad (admit that it won't break the chain, but will absolutely damage the sprocket and chain)

- Interested in that mod for obvious reason, see first point

- Not in search of changing power or mpg or ratio, only get rid of oiling that chain

- If a 900# bike with tons of torque can have a belt, no worries for our light and not that torquey Versys

- No swing arm to cut, only wheel to remove, like a chain

LOP
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post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 08:56 AM
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No you'll have to pull the swingarm, think about how the belt runs and where the pulleys are and the swingarm bolt is.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #14 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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No you'll have to pull the swingarm, think about how the belt runs and where the pulleys are and the swingarm bolt is.
Gee Time, seems like I'm missing something ...

Is the front sprocket in front of the swingarm axis (in reference of the wheel being in the back of that axis) ?

How do they do for other bike, they surely don't cut the swingarm

I think that i'm pretty right here, but if not, please explain the situation

Ciao

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post #15 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 11:28 AM
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If you lookat a Buell the swingarm is cut for the belt. There is a spar that bolts if to bridge the gap.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #16 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 02:24 PM
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A chain is efficient, reliable and hardly any maintenance, and if one ever broke you could walk into most motorcycle shops and walk out with a chain and a masterlink. If your bike were engineered with a belt in mind, OK, but I can't think of a good reason to convert from chain to belt. My $.02


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post #17 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 03:24 PM
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post #18 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 04:01 PM
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Here a shot from my Buell manual, You can see the gap in the swingarm for the belt to slip through. What you can't see is that there is NO frame member where the swingarm ties to the rear of the motor. The swingarm just bolts on and there is nothing to keep the belt from slipping on the front pulley and then into the swingram and over the rear pulley. On a Versys the frame in outside the front sprocket with the swingarm bolted inside so to get the belt on you'll have to drop the swingarm to clear the pivot point of the arm then feed the belt in.

I don't think you'd have to cut your swingarm to feed the belt through on the Versys as the chain runs over the then returns under the swingarm, But you will need to feed the belt through where the bolt that holds the swingarm is. Just look at the route the chain runs on your bike and that's how the belt will have to run.

Not trying to be a pain just make sure you know what you're getting into.

Hope the picture makes what I'm trying to say clearer than my post>


Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #19 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 04:41 PM
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It can't be done. Dealbreaker. Are you laying the groundwork for a new bike?
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post #20 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lours_Polaire View Post
Answering a few post

- Obvious reason is stop oiling that chain. Messy ! Often ! ...

- Rock in between belt and pulley is bad, rock in between chain and sprocket is also bad (admit that it won't break the chain, but will absolutely damage the sprocket and chain)

- Interested in that mod for obvious reason, see first point

- Not in search of changing power or mpg or ratio, only get rid of oiling that chain

- If a 900# bike with tons of torque can have a belt, no worries for our light and not that torquey Versys

- No swing arm to cut, only wheel to remove, like a chain

LOP
Save yourself a headache, the bike's resale value and a ton of $$$ and get a can of...

Dupont Teflon Chain Saver
Dry, Self-Cleaning Lubricant


How hard or time consuming is it to give a chain a little spray every week or 2

This s**t is No mess & No clean up

Problem solved... but if you are bent on wasting $$$ have you considered a Scott digital automatic oiler?
It will set you back about $400 + install

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MRA Vario Windscreen, Acerbis Dual Road Handgaurds + LEDs, Oxford Heated Grips, Xenon & LED Headlight, Tail Light Flasher, Moto Werk Flat Foot, Mirror Extenders & Foot Peg Lowering Blocks, Rad Gaurd, Fenda Extender, Powerbronze Rear Hugger, Stebel Nautilus Airhorn, T Rex Frame Sliders, Extended Rear Spools, Monster Energy Tank Protector, Magnitic Drain Plug, 12V Power Port, Tom Tom GPS, Xena XX14 Lock Alarm, Givi 409, 464, 449 Bags & Monokey Rack + Kappa 48L Case

Last edited by eldiablo; 10-10-2012 at 06:29 PM.
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