Broken belt, help on the road - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2011, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Broken belt, help on the road

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Well, this AM the weather was beautiful, so I went for a ride on a just-opened highway. After I exited and was rolling to a stop at light, I downshifted out of sequence (without the clutch fully engaged). I felt an understandably heavier shift but thought nothing of it until I began to release the clutch when the light turned green. Lots of noise, no joy. I quickly pulled over and checked everything. It all looked fine, until I noticed that a belt was lying about 50 ft behind me on the road. Sure enough, it was mine, with a clean break! On the plus side, even though 5 bikers (and a cop) passed me by in the hour I was standing there, an HD rider circled around to check on me just as a very nice fellow stopped his p/u truck to offer his assistance. He had a ramp and some ropes, so the 3 of us pushed the bike up, and he took me home. I was waiting for a tow from Progressive (outstanding service, BTW), who couldn't find a tow operator open. As luck would have it, they called to tell me they found someone literally as I was pulling the side stand down after we heaved the bike onto the back of Willie's truck, so I cancelled the call.

The bike is a 2008 900 Custom with 4001 miles on it, which I bought and checked out thoroughly about 4 weeks ago. The belt's teeth were perfect, with no indications of excessive wear. It just snapped in 2.

Someone please tell me that belt-drives are more reliable than this. Also, the best price I can find for a new belt is $310. Does anyone know of a place that might do better? Thanks.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2011, 04:03 PM
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I wonder if you somehow got a rock caught up between the belt and pulley. It'll cause a break like that. Unless somehow you got a defective belt, no way the 900 has enough power to snap the drive belt. The other thought is that maybe the previous owner put some miles on it, then just let it sit and the belt material got dried and brittle and just snapped under load. It could be difficult to tell if that was the case.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2011, 04:53 PM
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My belt has 32000 miles on it now with no much wear showing, so it just may be a fluke....Sorry about the ruined day....

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting'..... “what a ride”!' George Carlin
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2011, 05:00 PM
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$311.65 at cheapcycleparts.com ... http://cheapcycleparts.com/model_yea...semblies/76484 so the price seems to be in the ball park ... nice that someone stopped to help.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2011, 05:15 PM
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Is it still under warranty? Is the belt even a warranty item? When I bought my bike used, I found out that the original owner had purchased the full extended warranty, and it transfers to the next owner! The dealer I bought it from didn't even know that. I plugged the VIN into the Kawasaki website and found out. Mine is a 2007 V2K and the extended warranty is still good for a couple more years! SWEET!
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2011, 05:42 PM
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belts are not a warranty item....like brake pads,clutch and light bulbs they are concidered a wear item
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2011, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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I am the third owner. The first put about 3K miles on it, the second only about 800 (even though he owned it for 2.5 years, he didn't ride much). The idea about the extended warranty is a good one for future reference.

The belt looked brand new - the teeth were all clean and intact, and the tension was right on spec. I guess it could have been defective, or the break could have been caused by a stone. I finally found a belt for $280 - plus $21.50 rip-off shipping, of course, but still less than the others. Now I have one more project to do, along with changing my car's brakes.

I have the service manual, and the belt replacement looks pretty straightforward - are there any tricks or shortcuts to minimize parts removal?
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 04:27 AM
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I don't think the manual mentions this, but you have to remove the swing arm to get the new belt on. Not sure why they leave that detail out of the manual, maybe they figure its already off.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 04:57 PM
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Crazyj, I'm just guessing, but one clue may be that you were riding on a "just opened highway". A new road surface is more like to have small stones on it and you are more likely to pick one up and flip it toward the belt. You were not on a gravel road, but it might not have been as clean as a regular highway. Just a thought. Let this be the last belt you have to replace. Tom

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 06:30 PM
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almost 50,000 miles on my 06 classic nine with original belt,was a fluke it happened with that amount of miles on it. Unless you can find a good belt on Ebay for cheap,the cheapest I found one is where I usually get my oem parts from is RonAyermotorsports.com .Used to use cheapcycleparts.com but Ron Ayers is cheaper at $280.00

Last edited by xxxxxxRTL Rider; 11-25-2011 at 06:33 PM.
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