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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've gone back in the archives and I've read them all. Let me tell you the mistakes I've made so you don't . First of all, Kawasaki knows about this problem. I came across one blog or forum I can't remember which, but I do remember that 20053 people had complained about belt noise. However, all this was done online. My friends, no one from Kawasaki goes online. We are all going to have to start writing letters . It's the only way. Secondly, DO NOT under any circumstances, think you can adjust that belt with those two belt adjusters on either side of the axle. These adjusters are for tightening or loosening the rear axle which in turn will tighten or loosen the belt. The rear axle MUST I repeat MUST stay perpendicular to the frame it is mounted in. That is why you see the measurement marks on the frame . This is important A) to keep your bike from crabbing down the road , and B) to keep the bearings in the rear axle from binding. If you don't heed this advice, you will be replacing those very bearings at just around 2000 miles. It don't take long. It's costly. The bearings are around $200 and so is the labor. Also, it screws up the front bearings too. It's probably the crabbing. Thirdly, having worked on jalopies most all my life, not being able to buy new, I have a clearer understanding of what can make a belt chirp/squeal ,because this usually happens when the belt gets a little age on it and dries out a little or wears. All of our belts are supposed to ride to the outside. This is where they ride on Harleys. I don't know for sure but I don't think they squeal/chirp on Harleys. Any serpentine belt, should ride in the middle of the pulley so as not to rub the sides of the pulley so as not to squeal/chirp. Mechanics 101. Taking all I've said so far into consideration then, you can't move the back pulley except to tighten the belt, then you've got to move the front pulley. The reason the belt is being forced to the outside, is because the front pulley shaft is not exactly perfectly parrallel to the rear pulley shaft or axle. Kawasaki has left us with NO means of adjusting this front pulley , as it is the output of the gearbox which is attached to the motor which is bolted down. We're screwed by Kawasaki. I do have a question tho, If Harleys belts all ride to the outside then they are rubbing pulleys but why are they not making noise??? Is there a way to adjust the whole engine transmission conglomeration? I bought a manual and will see what I can determine. I own two Vulcan 2000's. I love my bikes but this damn noise has got to go. It's downright embarrassing. You surely can't take a date with you for a ride. The sprays are just a temporary fix. They will only work for about a year and I wonder if they may somehow cause the belt to deteariate earlier than normal by attracting dirt and sand and causing premature wear. If I discover a cure It won't cost you a cent.

I've been reading the manual and I think I've stumbled on to a cure. For those of you with manuals it's on page 13-4 under suspension. The frame unit that holds the rear tire is called the swingarm. At the front of the swingarm is an axle pivot point and this is called the swingarm pivot. If we were to leave everything, all the bearings and seals in the swingarm alone, but where the swingarm shaft itself goes through the front
frame , install somehow on both sides of the frame, a cammed bushing that would move the pivot shaft forward or backward thereby allowing us to swing the rear tire left or right thereby alowing us to make the belt ride where we want it to. Whew.
I'll tell you what made me think of this. Back in 1990, I bought a 3/4 ton GMC. Some dufuss engineer forgot to put any way to adjust the camber of the A-Frame steering and that truck could wear out those front tires. The Public Service Commission made Gen. Motors fix all of them and the fix was this cammed bushing that you installed on both ends of that shaft allowing you to correct the camber. It may have been toe in or toe out but thats not important. Somebody do something quick. Its gonna be summer soon and I've got to ride. Without bein' embarrassed!!
02/27/2011
After much more studying of manual and also taking belt covers off, it looks like belt is rubbing primarily the outside of the front drive pulley. The nut that holds this pulley on the shaft has just enough threads left on the shaft for me to remove the pulley and place an additional heat treated washer behind the pulley thereby reducing the rubbing the belt is doing on the outside retainer collar on the pulley. I think this will work if the pulley is exactly flat. If it is higher to the outside, the belt is just going to follow it to the high side and all will be for naught. If it works youse guys will be the first to know.

The date is Mar. 11, 2011 . I feel very proud for having discovered just what exactly was causing my belt squealing problem and also for curing it ! No one else seemed to be having the severity of noise that was plaguing me. Inspection of the belt while it was in place on the front and rear pulleys didn’t reveal anything so strange to make you notice but there was a wear pattern on the side of the belt away from the bike which made me think the belt needed adjustment. So, I removed the nut from the front drive pulley and loosened the rear axle enough to remove the pulley. This is when I discovered that if I was to put a washer behind the pulley, I wouldn’t have enough splines left showing for the bolt holding washer to grab. So that idea was all shot to China. Since I had it off, I started cleaning the pulley and started to realize that what I thought was pulley was actually a buildup of belt dressing and or silicone dressing and limestone from the dirt road I live on in South Ga. I cleaned it thoroughly and then took another closer look at my belt. It was impregnated ( don’t you like that word ) with microscopic pieces of limestone held there by belt dressing I’m sure. It looked like it was what the belt was made of . I remembered what someone had written about using WD 40 to clean the belt so I went to Advance Automotive and they have these detailing brushes in sets of three that look like large toothbrushes. One of them has plastic bristles that come to a point in the middle and makes it perfect for scrubbing in the little cracks in the belt. I put rags behind the belt to keep WD 40 off of the bike and it takes about an hour to clean it up and dry it off. I then put it all back together just like it was before I took it apart except for the belt covers on the front pulley because I wanted to see where the belt was riding now that it was clean. You can imagine my surprise and elation when I test drove the bike about five miles and the belt did not make a sound. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve just returned from a 500 mile trip to Daytona and other parts and all I’ve been listening to is injectors , wind noise, and muffler noise. That is all you are supposed to hear on a Vulcan 2000 and if you are hearing something else, you have problems, unless of course it’s the wife and then you may still have problems, I don’t know. Don’t get me started lyin’ !! Long story short, it wasn’t an adjustment problem.
 

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Good post... Lots of thought went into it and much appriciated to read and learn.
I have a slight sqeek but not noticable through my loud pipes...
Learned to live with it.
*
*
 

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Well, I can tell you my sad little story. My 2010 bike ate the first belt within 3 months of delivery. It was replaced under warranty, but the replacement still rubbed the left side, just not as badly as the first. I used genuine Harley Belt Dressing, on the left side of the belt, applying it about once a month to eliminate squeal.

I eliminated it completely, when I bought a Scoot rear pulley and had the dealer install it. The belt now runs dead center of the pulley.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that a device for our pulleys, something like the one found in this link, would be VERY handy for this stuff.
 

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Oh Lord, here we go.

First, the post about not being able to adjust your rear wheel with the two belt tensioners is incorrect. The marks on the frame are in no way accurate, they are simply a ballpark setting or a good place to start the adjustment process.

Ride the bike and see if it makes noise and which side the belt runs to.
For arguments sake let's say it runs to the left side as viewed from behind. Loosen the axle nut to the point you can move the wheel fore and aft. Next, if the belt is running to the left it is because the right side of the axle is farther back than the left side. Loosen the right side tensioner lock nut and then loosen the tensioner bolt by 1/2 turn.
Now, get behind the bike and sit on the ground. Kick the snot out of your rear tire to make it move forward to the point both tensioners are against the frame and tighten the axle nut to spec and install new cotter pin.
Go ride bike about 25 to 30 miles and observe the result. If you changed the right side tensioner by 1/2 turn you should have made a significant difference in tracking of the belt. If it now runs to the right side you may need to repeat the process but tighten the right side tensioner 1/2 of the change you made initially.
Repeat until your belt tracks in center of pulley.

Second, The belt on a V2K is a TOOTHED BELT. You NEVER put belt dressing on a toothed belt. It makes each tooth stick to the pulley causing more noise that you do not need. If you have put belt dressing on your toothed belt you can clean it off with WD-40.
The only belts that may ever need belt dressing are smooth V-belts or belts with longitudinal grooves.

I learned this from putting 25,000 miles on my 2009 V2K this past year and replacing my rear tire five times. I finally wised up and checked my alignment which was off a good bit. I had to adjust my right side tensioner by 2/3 of a turn to get the belt in the center.
She now rides in the center of my rear pulley with no additional noise.
 

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belt

I've gone back in the archives and I've read them all. Let me tell you the mistakes I've made so you don't . First of all, Kawasaki knows about this problem. I came across one blog or forum I can't remember which, but I do remember that 20053 people had complained about belt noise. However, all this was done online. My friends, no one from Kawasaki goes online. We are all going to have to start writing letters . It's the only way. Secondly, DO NOT under any circumstances, think you can adjust that belt with those two belt adjusters on either side of the axle. These adjusters are for tightening or loosening the rear axle which in turn will tighten or loosen the belt. The rear axle MUST I repeat MUST stay perpendicular to the frame it is mounted in. That is why you see the measurement marks on the frame . This is important A) to keep your bike from crabbing down the road , and B) to keep the bearings in the rear axle from binding. If you don't heed this advice, you will be replacing those very bearings at just around 2000 miles. It don't take long. It's costly. The bearings are around $200 and so is the labor. Also, it screws up the front bearings too. It's probably the crabbing. Thirdly, having worked on jalopies most all my life, not being able to buy new, I have a clearer understanding of what can make a belt chirp/squeal ,because this usually happens when the belt gets a little age on it and dries out a little or wears. All of our belts are supposed to ride to the outside. This is where they ride on Harleys. I don't know for sure but I don't think they squeal/chirp on Harleys. Any serpentine belt, should ride in the middle of the pulley so as not to rub the sides of the pulley so as not to squeal/chirp. Mechanics 101. Taking all I've said so far into consideration then, you can't move the back pulley except to tighten the belt, then you've got to move the front pulley. The reason the belt is being forced to the outside, is because the front pulley shaft is not exactly perfectly parrallel to the rear pulley shaft or axle. Kawasaki has left us with NO means of adjusting this front pulley , as it is the output of the gearbox which is attached to the motor which is bolted down. We're screwed by Kawasaki. I do have a question tho, If Harleys belts all ride to the outside then they are rubbing pulleys but why are they not making noise??? Is there a way to adjust the whole engine transmission conglomeration? I bought a manual and will see what I can determine. I own two Vulcan 2000's. I love my bikes but this damn noise has got to go. It's downright embarrassing. You surely can't take a date with you for a ride. The sprays are just a temporary fix. They will only work for about a year and I wonder if they may somehow cause the belt to deteariate earlier than normal by attracting dirt and sand and causing premature wear. If I discover a cure It won't cost you a cent.

I've been reading the manual and I think I've stumbled on to a cure. For those of you with manuals it's on page 13-4 under suspension. The frame unit that holds the rear tire is called the swingarm. At the front of the swingarm is an axle pivot point and this is called the swingarm pivot. If we were to leave everything, all the bearings and seals in the swingarm alone, but where the swingarm shaft itself goes through the front
frame , install somehow on both sides of the frame, a cammed bushing that would move the pivot shaft forward or backward thereby allowing us to swing the rear tire left or right thereby alowing us to make the belt ride where we want it to. Whew.
I'll tell you what made me think of this. Back in 1990, I bought a 3/4 ton GMC. Some dufuss engineer forgot to put any way to adjust the camber of the A-Frame steering and that truck could wear out those front tires. The Public Service Commission made Gen. Motors fix all of them and the fix was this cammed bushing that you installed on both ends of that shaft allowing you to correct the camber. It may have been toe in or toe out but thats not important. Somebody do something quick. Its gonna be summer soon and I've got to ride. Without bein' embarrassed!!
Are you talking about shifting the swing arem forward or backward, or up and down? I have both of Myrons pulleys installed and my belt is quite. The only noise I have is the fuel injectors chirping.
I to also tried adjusting the way the belt rides by using the adjusters. You can get it to ride in the middle,BUT, the problem is ,the rear tire is skewed compared to the front. My son races gokarts and has one of those high tech laser alingment tools they use for keeping the steering and kart the square. When we checked the alingment on my V2K, the rear wheel was cocked to the left 1/4". We reset the rear wheel using the factory mounting marks, it was still off.
What we did was take measurement of the swing arem pivot point, tried it that way. The marks are still off. In the end, we trued the bike up by taking measurements from the front axel point to the rear axel point. The alingment is dead nuts. At that time, the belt rode on the outside of the pulley and still made noise. Then I bought Myrons front and rear pulleys, installed them, no noise. The belt still rides on the outside,but it's aligned and no noise. I came to the conclusion that Kawy needs a lesson on pulley manufacturing 101.
Gilly
 

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unless your skoot is eating up belts, this scenario is reminesant of the noise your woman makes. she rides to the edge of your income and complains you never take her where she wants to go. shopping of course... in italy!

having been blessed with being nearly deaf, my bike rides fine and so do I. enjoy lifes little perks where you can find them. out, ponch
ps. am working on my italian
 

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Problem solved

unless your skoot is eating up belts, this scenario is reminesant of the noise your woman makes. she rides to the edge of your income and complains you never take her where she wants to go. shopping of course... in italy!

having been blessed with being nearly deaf, my bike rides fine and so do I. enjoy lifes little perks where you can find them. out, ponch
ps. am working on my italian
Once again Ponch.........+2:D;):D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
CoolPig59,
I enjoy reading your posts . We think the same on a lot you have written about. But you seem to have made the same mistake on the bearings that I did . The axle must be perpendicular or at right angles to the frame when it's torqued down. If it isn't, you will bind those bearings. If you have loud pipes you won't hear them either. I'm beginning to think the replacement pulley's made by other makers is the best way to go. The easiest way to check those bearings is raise bike off the ground and grab that tire front and back and see if you can move it. Any movement at all and it's too late.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Gilly,
I believe taking the measurement from the front axle all the way to the rear axle is the proper way to look at the problem, however, if it turns out that your bike happens to be one that Kawasaki might have attached the swingarm frame to a little crooked, then there still is no proper way to correct the misalignment ,other than move that back axle which ain't happenin on my bikes cause I've done paid for that mistake one time. Measurin from the pivot shaft to the rear axle assures you that you've got your rear axle in the correct place and if those marks on the frame aren't correct then you should take that into account and go by what you measure. I'm waiting on a quote from scootworks on the price of a rear pulley minus 2 teeth and when I hear something I'll post it. I wish I had access to laser equipment to properly assess whats going on but I could get lucky with a new rear pulley. I guess its the gambler in me. Plus ,if it works, I'm back riddin quicker. Thats the most important thing.

Also from reading your post, if I read correctly, then your bike was manufactured with the swingarm just a hair off , but just a hair at the pivot point translates into 1/4" at the tire . Which brings me back to what I figured at the beginning. If Kawasaki had put an adjustment (to the front or back )at the pivot point, and it would have had to have been very well made, then we might not be having this discussion because then we would be able to correct the swingarm to make the belt line up. Oh Kawasaki, why have you let me down this way? You treat me like a cold hearted woman! So good and yet so Bad.
 

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my v2k is brand new with 200 miles, the belt seems to be on the left side (view from rear) but not hard or pushing againt side. it just leans to the left, just as many new englanders do. I don't hold it against them, so i guess the bike is ok. i'll be watching it closely...
 

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belt

Gilly,
I believe taking the measurement from the front axle all the way to the rear axle is the proper way to look at the problem, however, if it turns out that your bike happens to be one that Kawasaki might have attached the swingarm frame to a little crooked, then there still is no proper way to correct the misalignment ,other than move that back axle which ain't happenin on my bikes cause I've done paid for that mistake one time. Measurin from the pivot shaft to the rear axle assures you that you've got your rear axle in the correct place and if those marks on the frame aren't correct then you should take that into account and go by what you measure. I'm waiting on a quote from scootworks on the price of a rear pulley minus 2 teeth and when I hear something I'll post it. I wish I had access to laser equipment to properly assess whats going on but I could get lucky with a new rear pulley. I guess its the gambler in me. Plus ,if it works, I'm back riddin quicker. Thats the most important thing.

Also from reading your post, if I read correctly, then your bike was manufactured with the swingarm just a hair off , but just a hair at the pivot point translates into 1/4" at the tire . Which brings me back to what I figured at the beginning. If Kawasaki had put an adjustment (to the front or back )at the pivot point, and it would have had to have been very well made, then we might not be having this discussion because then we would be able to correct the swingarm to make the belt line up. Oh Kawasaki, why have you let me down this way? You treat me like a cold hearted woman! So good and yet so Bad.
When we checked my bike, the measurement from the front axel to the swing arm pivot point was right on. Came to the conclusion that there is a fat manufacturing tolerence with the alingment marks. But, this is on my bike, yours could be different. We checked every measurement on my bike because i ride with a 225 car tire,I wanted to make sure everything was perfect. I think on this matter, Ponch has the right idea! I just need his wife to take my wife along too, but leave her there.
 

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my v2k is brand new with 200 miles, the belt seems to be on the left side (view from rear) but not hard or pushing againt side. it just leans to the left, just as many new englanders do. I don't hold it against them, so i guess the bike is ok. i'll be watching it closely...
qt, so what are we watching? the belt or them left leaning nooah englunders?
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Just a little age!

When you get about 10 to 12000 on her , we'll expect to hear from you again. Use premium gas always and ride her hard.

Any of you that have had problems with a noisey belt, please post just a note and mention how much mileage you have on your bike. If both mine are doing it, there has to be a good many that aren't saying anything. Speak up.
 

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I salved the belt squeal on my vn2000LT bye instaling a 34 tooth front pully from 4X4 Tuff and a Dayko 133 tooth x 1 and half inch kevlar belt also from 4X4 Tuff. Adjust the belt to 3/8 in. deflection with 10 lb tension, juet a little loser then stock. stock belt is 1 and 5/8 in. wide so the 1/16 in. less with on each side stops it from rubbing on the shave on the outside of the rear pully. Adjust the belt to run in the center of thr rear pully even if the hatch marks on the swing arm don't quit line up. 3700 miles, not a sound. You will also love the gearing, speedo is only 4 mile an hour fast after the change.
 

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Belt alignment

I have not noticed a belt squeal but my 2008 LT had a low speed groan you could actually feel in the bike from the belt running to the outside of the rear pulley. I tried adjusting with the alignment bolts and ignoring the adjustment marks. Noise went away but I convinced myself that the rear tire was twisted relative to the front. Rear tire wore out in 6,000 miles and my brain struggled with this. When I changed to the darkside (Altimax 205/60R16) I also installed 0.10 shims on the attachment bolts between the rear pulley and rim. Belt now tracks pully center, Axel alignment marks are very close and NO NOISE. I've had a good experience with this fix.

I also installed the euro gears this spring. Huge improvement over stock in drivability. 10%+ decrease in engine rpm in fifth gear. According to GPS speedo error is down to about 2%. Very cost effective. ($250) all parts oil and filter. This is also an easier "fix" than a front and rear pully change. So if you are not concerned with the ugly rear stock pulley this is also a good fix.
 

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Everyone's favorite subject...

After putting my freshly painted tins back on my bike, for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to tighten the belt. I haven't had any squealing issues in the past, but the belt tension was clearly out of spec.

After following the manual tightening to spec and making sure the axle was aligned, I noticed that I now how had a squeaking noise as the belt rubs the left (outside) of the front pulley. Due to loud pipes, it is only noticeable at low speeds, but I know it wasn't there before. I have tried the following with no luck

- Purposely misaligned the axle in both directions, but belt always runs left. Doesn't make sense to me at all
- Aligned the axle several times by the marks on the side, using calipers, tape measures, and removing the nut completely and counting turns on both sides
- Cleaned belt with tooth brush and WD-40. No belt dressing for me!
- Tried tightening the axle nut while in the air and on the ground
- Loosened belt until I could slide it to the right => always returns to the left regardless of alignment
- Examined rear wheel bearings, they rotate smoothly and do not have side to side motion
- Set belt tension looser than spec

Finally, I put the belt to around 1" deflection at 10 lbs and the squeak is gone, but I feel like it is probably not a good idea to leave it this loose. I really don't want to start buying pulleys and belts if I don't have to, but I am running out of ideas. I just want to get it back on the road!

2004 with ~14k miles
 

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belt tension

The factory belt tension is too tight, makes noise. I've tried many times to do it "correctly", even bought the factory tension gauge. What I do, is set to factory specs,then back off 1/4-to1/2 on the adjustment bolts. Always works for me. I think I had around 1" deflection. The belt will always ride on the outside of the pulley. I laser lined the swing arm once to see if the factory adjustment marks were on, they were dead on. I beat the hell out of my V2K and never had the belt slip.
 

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It is always good to know I am not the only one. I messed with it again for a couple of hours tonight making the slightest adjustments until I hit the first point the squeaking stops. It is almost exactly 1" deflection at 10 lbs of force.

It still seems to loose to me, but I will test ride it tomorrow and see what happens.
 

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Update: I didn't like running it that loose and was still getting some squeak so I took it in to a local shop. They confirmed the wheel was aligned, checked bearings, inspected pulleys and belt, but could not find a problem. They tightened back to spec and it squeals like crazy. They recommended a new belt so I will shop around and see if I can find the panther or SS/ Gates belt cheaper. Unless of course anyone has any better ideas...
 

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i would try scuffing the sides of the belt with coarse sand paper and a belt spray. i use it our vn and customer harleys. i think as the belts get older they harden? and are more prone to noise. the spray i use is by "Wurth" called PTFE Dry lube. it works very well. i run the belt with about 6mm 10lbs push.
 
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