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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
At this point I've removed covers on left side to access belt. Loosened the 14mm lock nuts and the axle bolts.

Measuring the tension using a belt tension tool I press up on the belt just front of the swing arm cross pipe as stated in manual.

Question 1 is do I measure the deflection at this point of pressure OR use the window near the rear wheel.

Question 2 is should this be done up on stand or sitting?

Question 3 is the 4mm recommended in the manual still the best tension? And again on stand or ground?



Thanks for help. I need to get this set right so I can sleep again.

Frank
 

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To the best of my knowledge...
Roll the tire while on a lift to determine the point where the belt is tightest. I did this by tapping on the belt and listening to the pitch. Mark the lowest portion of the tire with a crayon or something so that when you take it off the lift, you can reposition the tire to the tightest belt position for adjusting the belt.
1. Measure the deflection in the center of the belt. If this is at the swing arm, cool.
2. I've seen it recommended that someone sit on the bike while you tighten the belt... pretty tricky if you're doing it yourself.
3. I've been told that Kawi's suggestion on the belt is too tight. Maybe try 5 or 6mm?

Good luck!
 

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No mention of bike. The 900 Custom Service Manual:
1) Belt cold
2) Raise rear wheel off ground
3) 10# force on the belt front side of the swingarm pipe
4) Measure deflection (in the window) from initial to 10#
5) Part 2 - measure from an arbitrary position, center of belt
6) Adjust to 1.5-4.0mm (0.06 - 0.16")

Mine is set closer to 4-5mm.
 

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Pardon my ignorance. Just curious, do you all remove the mufflers or did you figure out a wrench to loosed the castlenut without removing the mufflers?
 

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The removal of the exhaust is not needed. Just put a rag or something over it so you won't scratch it.
 

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Yeah but if i dont remove the muffler there is hardly any space to get a wrench in....

Unless i shop around and find a slim and long one.
 

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I bought a 27mm combination wrench just for this, so I could get in there. As I recall, less than $20 at Sears..
Did the same thing but also marked the nut where the cotter pin was poking through with a marking pen. That way it was tightened back where it was before.
No such thing as a belt tension gauge over here so used a mop handle, scissors jack from my Ford and borrowed ten pounds of bar bell discs. Measured equal distant from where the weights slid on the mop handle to the jack to the belt. Placed a socket between the belt and mop handle and gently allowed the weights to do their thing. The belt hasn't jumped off yet so guess I did good LOL.
 

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Heck, I used a crescent wrench, but 7 bucks at Walmart. 80 lbs torque on the nut, I put 110 with a 2 foot torque wrench this cresecent is about half of that SOOO use a little more force then back the nut off a bit to line up with the cotter pin hole.

My biggest problem was I put a new cotter pin on and for some reason it's a little harder to bend then the old one was and I forgot to finish bending it so it couldn't rotate. Test drive and I hear a little clickin sound when I bounce up and down a bit, the pin has rotated and now is just scratching the pipes. Amazingly enough by the time I got to the first stop sign the pipes were just hot enough that when I'd get a good grip on the pin they would burn my hands but I could lean against them. And they weren't getting cooler they were getting hotter as the heat distributed through the pipes. Fixed it after I got home.
 

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Heck, I used a crescent wrench, but 7 bucks at Walmart. 80 lbs torque on the nut, I put 110 with a 2 foot torque wrench this cresecent is about half of that SOOO use a little more force then back the nut off a bit to line up with the cotter pin hole.

My biggest problem was I put a new cotter pin on and for some reason it's a little harder to bend then the old one was and I forgot to finish bending it so it couldn't rotate. Test drive and I hear a little clickin sound when I bounce up and down a bit, the pin has rotated and now is just scratching the pipes. Amazingly enough by the time I got to the first stop sign the pipes were just hot enough that when I'd get a good grip on the pin they would burn my hands but I could lean against them. And they weren't getting cooler they were getting hotter as the heat distributed through the pipes. Fixed it after I got home.
The pin has rotated? You mean the axle nut was loose?
 

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Just a quick note here, after getting a new rear tire today and after putting it all back together, I very carefully measured the deflection of the belt, I went with 5mm slack, and now the noise from the rear on decel is gone!
Kawi, definitely has them to tight.
Now to determine how I came up with this is the bike was straight upright being held by a stand and I measured in the center of the lower part of the belt where the most play is.
It still feels very tight, but not as tight.
 

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I spent (2) hrs. adjusting the belt on my 900 custom today. I beleive I had it too tight, after changing rear tire to a 230. I remembered what marks on the swing arm the factory had it, before I loosened it up. When I would come off the gas at highway speeds, it seemed to slow down too fast. Now it coast's, alot better. As for the swing arm notches, they are not the same on each side. My main concern was 1st. loosening the belt up. 2nd was getting the belt to run in the center of the pulley, which can be a challenge. I agree with other members the factory adustment is tooooooo tight. Doug...
 

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<snip!>...
No such thing as a belt tension gauge over here so used a mop handle, scissors jack from my Ford and borrowed ten pounds of bar bell discs...<snip!>
Dang! THAT's an impressive solution!!
I suppose since I have 2 belt driven bikes, I aught to pop for a belt tension gauge...(see below) but what I've done so far is to borrow one and adjust to specs - and then "finger-feel" how much force it takes to twist the belt 90-degrees to vertical. Yeah, it's crude, but I've not had any problems, and I've verified it on occasion with a borrowed gauge. Both of my bikes have the exact tension measuring procedure ('cept the V-Rod is 6mm @10 lbs) Both of my bikes came with belts too tight from the factory.
The belt tension tool, referred to as HD-35381A in the HD service manual, is sold as HD part # 40006-85 ($24.95 retail - but several outlets have it for less) It's not so purty as a dial gauge, but it's what the "pro's" use. :rolleyes:
http://www.rivercityhd.com/eshopprod_cat_736-5522_product_292074.BELT_TENSION_TESTER_TOOL.htm
also:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Motorcycle-Tool-Belt-Tension-Gauge-Adjuster-V-Twin-/390242674780?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&hash=item5adc46a85c

It's important not to have your belt too tight!! Bearings that live in expensive neighborhoods do not like that!! A loose belt will probably wear faster, and maybe chip a tooth :D if you ride hard and you spin it off a cog, but it's better to have a ride interrupted, and maybe replace a belt - even an overpriced KAWI one, than it is to do transmission surgery. ---as always, JMHO! :D
Good Luck
 

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Finally adjusted the belt and my axle was not the same on both sides. The left side had more notches than the left. No wonder the belt was rubbing tight.

After the adjustment, i took it for a spin this weekend. Man, what a difference. I can tell the belt is free and smooth, when i am at 70 and i let the throttle go, i can hear a nice humming sound from the engine and the speed decreases very very slowly. Love that feeling. Before it was like someone was applying slight brakes !

That for me is a sign of a good belt alignment. But i will check it in a few months again and see how it holds up.
 
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