Well… I finally did it. After purchasing the Scootworks Overdrive Pulley this past August, I installed it and would like to share my impression so far. I did a 275 ride today and was able to put it through its paces. This evaluation is only my opinion and is based on no more professional or scientific data other than the mere fact I like to ride (so what else is there).
This was the main and only reason I waited so long to put this thing on my Vulcan. I was reluctant from the perspective mostly of the thought of moving the rear wheel to set the belt tension. My fear was unfounded. The only part I really struggled with was loosening the bolt on the OEM pulley. This should be done before placing the bike on the motorcycle lift (They had a nice one on sale at Harbor Freight for about $80). I had to loosen the rear wheel bolt and move it forward to get the pulley off and install the new one. Remember to flatten the lock-ring flange before attempting to loosen it and to crimp it once the bolt is replaced. It toke me just over an hour to do the whole job. The belt tension was pretty taut so I just adjusted the rear wheel to what felt like the same tension. It worked OK as I didn’t experience any noise and/or other problems. I was really careful that the wheel was as straight as possible.
Running the Gears:
Starting out in first was a pleasant surprise. Some have stated thet it took a little more juice getting out the gate. I found this to not be true. As a matter of fact the bike seems to pull out better than before. The first gear on this bike strikes me as being under geared, leaving me with the feeling of needing to do a quick shift at a low speed. First seems more useful, as does all five gears. It seems better suited for the way I ride. I still use fifth on city streets, but not nearly as much. Forth gear is now a very usable gear for speeds under 45 mph. The changes in the way the gears feel will take a little time to adjust, but in a pleasant way. The bike seems peppy going through the gears (bear in mind I have a K&N air filter and Cobra 2 into 1 Power Pro pipes. The gearing gives more juice to this set-up).
This is where this pulley really excels. After getting on the freeway, I was left with the feeling of needing a sixth gear at about 60 mph (real speed). Not now. The bike wants to run and does so much more comfortable on the freeway. I don’t feel the need for sixth nearly as much (if at all). At 70 mph, the engine is running almost 500 rpm’s slower and seems less strained.
First the best news of all. My speedometer before was running almost 10% high. At 70 mph, it is within ½ mph with my GPS (Garmin Nuvi 650). No more “doing the math” to figure out how fast I‘m going. Before my odometer was reading about 4% high compared to my GPS. It’s now 3.5% below so I figure that somewhere about 24K miles, there will be a brief moment of total truth. This is still within federal standards. No need to use a Speedohealer or a larger tire to correct the stats. Now here’s the weird thing. My tachometer still matches the speeds on the speedometer (IE 3000 rpm at 55 mph in 5th gear). This totally baffled me until I realized, the speeds being shown on the speedometer are about 9% lower. What this means id before that same 3000 rpm’s was only moving me at 50 mph in real time, adding 5 mph to the speed of the motor. How kewl is that? This will also affect the perceived mileage with the change in the odometer.
The pulley exceeded my expectations. It feels like it has more juice. This helped with both the freeway as well as in the twisties. I believe I will get more longevity out of the motor as I can tell it does definitely not have to work as hard as before. I believe I got the belt tension and wheel alignment pretty right-on as there is no noise or other adversely notable problems. Only time will tell. I believe the person who posted “WARNING” had an isolated experience. This pulley rocks!!! I seriously doubt that I will replace the rear pulley as the feeling is so well and the numbers look too bloody good to mess with. I hope this evaluation and information will help some of you out there with your decision as to whether or not to do this mod. Good luck and let the discussion begin!!!