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Discussion Starter #1
I could use some help when it comes to understanding what belt i can use on my 2012 Classic
I read where Kawasaki charges 2-300 hundy.
I saw a Gates for 90.00 somewhere
What am I looking for. What is the preferred choice
I would appreciate any help you can give. Also, do i have to take the swingarm all the way off or is it worth it to try and squeeze it in by pulling the pivot pin part way out?
Thanks for your patience
 

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I understand the latest Kawasaki belt is slightly narrower than the original. The Gates is also slightly narrower. I understand the belt should have 153 teeth (I stand to be corrected). I've never replaced a belt, so I don't know about longevity of either brand, or the method. I thought I understood that Gates makes the belt for Kawasaki, but that may not be correct.
 

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Gates makes the belts for Kawasaki. I used to sell Gates belts in my other life.
Don't worry about the brand they are high quality and the designer and original maker of this belt.
Search online for a cross reference.
The critical dimensions are the width, teeth spacing and number of teeth.
If you can find a cross reference for the Gates part number you can probably find one at your local industrial supply store or online for way cheaper than Kawasaki.
Cut out the middleman and save some money.
 

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Sixth gear is right about the width, teeth spacing (pitch) and number of teeth and about the Kawasaki belt being manufactured by Gates , unfortunately for me , (my belt broke a few months ago) here in Mexico all the commercially availalble belts in a 14 mm pitch went from 150 teeth to 160 so my solution was buying a used belt from a company in Florida named Bikestrippers the price was right the belt came from a low mileage bike and the service was very good, maybe in the US you can find an exact match , anyway just wanted to share my experience and give another option to you , best of luck.
 

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I bought a Gates belt from a Harley aftermarket website. Its an 8th inch narrower, but otherwise I'm convinced it is the same belt. It was around 200.00. I did 70,000 miles on the stock belt and replaced it because two others broke theirs at that mileage. I have 40,000 on the Gates now. My bike is 2005 VN2000. I tour with a trailer and go drag racing with it.
 

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Hey ThomBoz, do you remember that website you used, that would be helpful to a lot of folks here.

Archie is correct about only certain tooth sizes being available.
I took a look at the Gates Polychain belt catalog and tooth sizes jump from 150 to 160 with nothing in between. These belts were designed for industrial machinery where you usually will have a sliding base motor or a an idler pulley to account for length discrepancies. These belts are expensive to make so that's why they don't make every size under the sun like a standard V belt.

Sometimes manufacturers like Gates will make a special belt size for an OEM like HD, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda and sell it direct to the OEM and it will not be available to industrial suppliers.
They do that because the OEM's buy in very large quantities. That way the OEMs can charge you and I whatever they want to.
 

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I'm reading all the posts and I'm confused. I thought a belt lasts for years and miles.
I have a 500 with a belt with over 35,000 miles and 25 years old and shows no sizes of wear or fraying.
Is a 900 more prone to belts not lasting?
 

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Hello Vulcandoc , my bike is a 2010 and the belt broke after 75,000 miles and it didn't showed any sings of wear or fraying it just snaped clean across two teeth while I was starting at a stoplight, now I didn't make much of it since 75,000 miles seemed a reasonable amount of miles for it to fail , Kosmo didn't mention how many miles his bike has , but it would be interesting to hear from other guy's experience on the subject to see if there is a pattern
 

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Hey ThomBoz, do you remember that website you used, that would be helpful to a lot of folks here.

Archie is correct about only certain tooth sizes being available.
I took a look at the Gates Polychain belt catalog and tooth sizes jump from 150 to 160 with nothing in between. These belts were designed for industrial machinery where you usually will have a sliding base motor or a an idler pulley to account for length discrepancies. These belts are expensive to make so that's why they don't make every size under the sun like a standard V belt.

Sometimes manufacturers like Gates will make a special belt size for an OEM like HD, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda and sell it direct to the OEM and it will not be available to industrial suppliers.
They do that because the OEM's buy in very large quantities. That way the OEMs can charge you and I whatever they want to.
Sorry, it was 10 years ago so I'm not sure, but I think it was J&P. I just checked and they have my VN2000 133 tooth in various widths for under 200.00. Partszilla lists the stock belt at 525.00, discounted to 400.00.
 

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Just wanted to update this thread after doing a little more research.

Above I referred to the Belt as PolyChain and that is not correct according to this statement from Gates: Motorcycle Belts
It appears that the motorcycle belts are now the Gates PowerGrip HTD belts instead of PolyChain. PolyChain was originally sold to Harley who used the first belt drive over 30 years ago. It appears they have switched from PolyChain to PowerGrip HTD series. The tooth profile is slightly different. PolyChain must have lasted too long as the construction of the PowerGrip HTD line is not as heavy duty. You know you can't make stuff that lasts forever because then Kawasaki couldn't charge us $400.00 for a new belt.

As I suspected, in the above link Gates states these belts are not sold in the aftermarket. They probably have some agreement with the motorcycle mfg. to prevent that so they both can rip us off on price.

If anyone finds further info post it here.
 
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