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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
During a recent maintenance check of my Roadglide I found that a small stone had gotten in between the pulleys and the belt. The stone had been pushed completely through and was poking out. The hole was very small and in the middle of the belt. One answer I received was that the belt needs to be replaced and the other is because of location and size it shouldn't pose a problem. Anyone have this happen and if you did how long did you go before replacing the belt?
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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Isn't a belt about $60? I'd replace it but I'll bet it will be fine until it breaks.
I think the belts are closer to 200 bucks, and of course, you must remove the inner primary and seperate the swingarm to replace it. According to the service manual, if there is a slight tear in the middle of the belt, it is OK to keep running, but monitor the condition regularly. If it was me, I would run it for a while, but replace it at the earliest convenient time.
 

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You might want to check your HD warranty. Belts and pulleys are considered "consumables," meaning they aren't covered. The reason I mention that is that if additional damage occurs due to belt failure, it won't be covered either. I guy I sold a Night Train found that out on the way to Laconia. Cost him a grand out of pocket to get everything back together. An ounce of prevention...blah blah blah.
 

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I think the belts are closer to 200 bucks, and of course, you must remove the inner primary and seperate the swingarm to replace it. According to the service manual, if there is a slight tear in the middle of the belt, it is OK to keep running, but monitor the condition regularly. If it was me, I would run it for a while, but replace it at the earliest convenient time.
You've been reading those service manuals in bed again, haven't you?
 

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V2R, I'd run with it unless you plan on doing a cross-country trip. For that matter, get the AAA policy; it's probably a lot cheaper.

Mark the belt on the outside where the stone came out, maybe with a white paint pencil, and check the "wound" regularly.

Failure of a belt is usually caused by the loss of a bunch of strands across the belt. It sounds like yours was minimal. Bear in mind the belt is WAY over-engineered for the application, and will survive almost any abuse, except maybe snatch wheelies. Of course, my crazy buddy with the Ultra does it regularly, and his belt has 45K on it. YRMV.

One thing that will trash the belt in a hurry is misalignment of the rear wheel. You start overheating and shearing the teeth off, you're buying a new belt sooner than later.

In the bad old days when HD first started with the belt final drives, there were a lot of drive-end failures, where the drive sprocket would come off the transmission drive shaft. Not only would the transmission oil start leaking out, but it'd peel a bunch of teeth off the belt. Big bux, and a lot of ridicule from the "Metric Bike" guys.
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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V2R, I'd run with it unless you plan on doing a cross-country trip. For that matter, get the AAA policy; it's probably a lot cheaper.

Mark the belt on the outside where the stone came out, maybe with a white paint pencil, and check the "wound" regularly.

Failure of a belt is usually caused by the loss of a bunch of strands across the belt. It sounds like yours was minimal. Bear in mind the belt is WAY over-engineered for the application, and will survive almost any abuse, except maybe snatch wheelies. Of course, my crazy buddy with the Ultra does it regularly, and his belt has 45K on it. YRMV.

One thing that will trash the belt in a hurry is misalignment of the rear wheel. You start overheating and shearing the teeth off, you're buying a new belt sooner than later.

In the bad old days when HD first started with the belt final drives, there were a lot of drive-end failures, where the drive sprocket would come off the transmission drive shaft. Not only would the transmission oil start leaking out, but it'd peel a bunch of teeth off the belt. Big bux, and a lot of ridicule from the "Metric Bike" guys.
I found out the hard way that if the belt gets cut on either edge, it will tear itself up in a very short time. His wound was in the middle, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem, but any type of edge cut, and the belt must be replaced very quickly, or it will leave you walking.
 

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LR,

Roger that!

Something else for the long-distance guys to consider is the Belt Repair Kit. They used to be available for $100 and some at HD dealerships, and probably elsewhere. The idea is similar to the emergency fan belts and now serpentine accessory belts for cars.

So, you can carry one of them in the bottom of one of your bags for use if your drive belt breaks. Of course, Murphy has a corollary that says something like, if you carry the thing, you'll never have a problem. Kinda like a tire repair kit.
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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LR,

Roger that!

Something else for the long-distance guys to consider is the Belt Repair Kit. They used to be available for $100 and some at HD dealerships, and probably elsewhere. The idea is similar to the emergency fan belts and now serpentine accessory belts for cars.

So, you can carry one of them in the bottom of one of your bags for use if your drive belt breaks. Of course, Murphy has a corollary that says something like, if you carry the thing, you'll never have a problem. Kinda like a tire repair kit.
I have one of those belt kist, along with a tire repair kit and air pump. Cheap insurance! ;-)
 

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Count me as one of those not really sold on belt drive. I have had two friends lose a belt on the road, one late model Buell, and one on an HD.

I have put many miles on chains without failure. I can't remember when I last heard of someone discussing a chain failure on a road bike.

Oh, do we need to mention BMW final drive failures here, too?

Despite all that, I do own a belt drive Buell and shaft drive bike.
 

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It wasn't the chain's fault but..

I had a chain snap on me whilst doing 85 on the Baltimore beltway. It wound it's way around the rear wheel causing a braking effect without quite seizing the rear wheel up. The bike slowed down too quickly for me to get over so I had to pull the bike into the 3 foot wide strip between the jersey wall and the fast lane, dismount off the back of the bike, unwind the chain by hand, and run my ass and the bike across three lanes of traffic.

Good times. I had just had the rear tire replaced and the mechanic who did the work must have quit about halfway through tightening the rear wheel when he put it back on. Now I check out everything (twice!) after any service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the advice. I plan on marking the belt and watching it. Once I get the time and geld I'll have it changed out.

Meanwhile I'll be busy riding my new scoot, an 07 Bonneville T100.
 

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If I had my 'druthers I'd have a chain and sprockets. Modern O and X ring chains are good for 20k easily with minimal care and feeding and you never hear of them snapping or anything else. Hell, after the first 1k or so you don't even need to adjust them untill they're buggered. A $100. for a decent chain tool and a Dremel is all you need to change them.

I'll leave the belt on my Dyna because it works but if built another bike it'd run a chain with maybe a belt primary.
 

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Hell, a $30 press works just fine... what's the $100 chain tool do?
Motion Pro makes one for ~$90 that's a combo breaker, sideplate press, and rivet tool (for those who don't trust clip master links).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
If I had my 'druthers I'd have a chain and sprockets. Modern O and X ring chains are good for 20k easily with minimal care and feeding and you never hear of them snapping or anything else. Hell, after the first 1k or so you don't even need to adjust them untill they're buggered. A $100. for a decent chain tool and a Dremel is all you need to change them.

I'll leave the belt on my Dyna because it works but if built another bike it'd run a chain with maybe a belt primary.
I'v had bikes with belts since 86 and have never had a problem before. My Heritage had around 90,000 miles on it when I changed it out. It was still in good shape and I probably could have gotten a few more years of use out it but I figured since I had the bike apart I'd change it for peace of mind.

I had a primary belt drive on my 82 FXR. I snapped two of them. Then again I rode a lot more agressive back then.
 
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