chains, shafts, belts. each have their place in skoot'dom.I am buying a 900 LT this very afternoon. I have just realized that it is belt driven, not chain or shaft driven.
How much difference does that make in your ride?
How about maintenance?
How often should one replace the belt and how complicated is to do it?
Yep. Or sometimes you just don't live in the big city! While they have been paving alot of these roads in the past 5 years, there are still quite a few gravel ones I have to deal with on an almost daily basis. It's not exactly off road these are primary public roads, I just don't exactly live in New York City!sometimes the road yor on just turns to gravel.. well if like to explore anyway. go slow.
Belts are in fact the most efficient as there is no internal friction. Most belt driven bike sales literature highlights this as a primary benefit, along with low maintenance, high mileage, low drive lash, low er unsprung weight and quietness.Drive Type, fact of the day!
Chains are the most efficient way to get power to the rear wheel. Thus the reason sport/racing bikes use them.
Belts are second most efficient in that some of the power is lost due to the natural stretching & recoil that occurs in the belt as you apply power. You would probably notice a difference in acceleration between our bike with a chain compare to the belt. But the belted bike should run about the same at cruising speed as it would with a chain.
Shaft drives, are the least efficient means of getting power to the road. This is mainly due to the heavy mass of the drive system itself. This means there would be power loss both during acceleration and while cruising at speed. Thus meaning your engine has to work harder all the time compared to chains or belts.
I'm not knocking any of these systems. They all have their proper place to be used. However, I am glad that our 900's have belts. They are easy maintenance and keep us from loosing to much power on what is relatively a small motor to begin with.
Don't be alarmed if you hear a whirring sound when you are coming to a stop. It may be that the belt is too tight. It would seem that's the way most of them are coming from the factory. Mine was and I loosened it slightly and the sound went away. You may never want or need to change your belt but if you do it requires dropping the swing arm in order to snake the new belt onto the front pulley.Just what I wanted to hear.
Thanks for the quick reply.
Someone once told me as long as the tear isn't on the sides of the belt it doesn't matter. I guess that proves that then huh? lol.I was in second gear, just starting up from a stop at an intersection, on pavement, when I somehow picked up a rock and forced it through my belt. It made one helluva noise as the rock punched through the belt. Then I heard a click, click ,click each time the rock went around the rear pulley. I had to pull over and pry the rock out, about 3/8th in diameter. The hole is right in the center. Still riding with the same belt, hole and all 12K miles later.
On Thanksgiving day I was riding on a large street near my home when my belt just snapped. 2008 900 Custom, less than 4k miles. Most likely it was a small stone that was lying around from recent road construction. Never felt anything until a small bang.There is no way on earth that I would ride on the gravel. It's a cruiser. It was meant for normal roads, not off road riding.
Was it over tightened? As others have mentioned, the VN900 belts are often too tight from the factory (tighter than service manual specs and, I've even heard some say it should be even looser than that). I imagine if it's way too tight it'll break much easier.On Thanksgiving day I was riding on a large street near my home when my belt just snapped. 2008 900 Custom, less than 4k miles. Most likely it was a small stone that was lying around from recent road construction. Never felt anything until a small bang.
Changing the belt is a bit tedious but OK for a home wrench-turner. I would suggest using a MC jack so that you can adjust the height as needed. Instructions can be found online or, in sections, in the service manual. Took me about 3 hours, going very slowly and with several mistakes.
I have to say that I am still a bit anxious about the belt breaking again (there's lots of gravel and other debris all over the place, of course), but I try not to think about it. My next bike will likely have shaft drive for this reason (my first had a chain, but I wanted to get away from maintenance). Best of luck.