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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guy's, I've been here for a while, and some of the old advice has been lost. For a creaking, squealing belt, run a stick of paraffin wax along the outside edge (as these bikes run their belt VERY close to the pulley). It will quiet it down significantly. First and foremost, the dealer WILL adjust it too tight! That is a given. I actually keep a "bar" in my saddlebag (in a baggie, because it's prone to melting)...lol. More importantly, after a tire change at the dealer, or a trip to the dealer because the belt is whining, they have ONE fix: TIGHTEN. The last time I had the rear tire replaced, the mechanic said "Man, they had your belt WAY to tight". It's extremely hard on the output shaft. So, check your tension and if it goes to the dealership, ask them to back off the tension below Kawi spec. Our belts, are meant to run to the left of the pulley. Their are those that have centered it AFTER they have manufactured additional spacers...etc...If you just arbitrarily adjust the belt to the center of the pulley, your wheel alignment will be off. This post is more for the new 900owners, as this material has been heavily covered before. Sometimes our illustrious "search" feature can be a daunting task....lol. (no disrespect intended).
 

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Hi everyone, new 2009 Vulcan Custom rider here....purchased my new ride mid April and have spent the last few weeks getting my bike ready for the riding season. I have the Vulcan pretty much set up the way I want it, with just a bit of minor tweaking here and there but have become quite annoyed with the constant belt squeal. I have searched and done most of the typical adjustments...loosened the belt some, shifted the rear tire to get the belt tracking differently to see if I can get it to stop but it squeals no matter where the belt tracks. I have since put the alignment back to where the belt has a slight gap on the left edge of the pulley. The only way I could get the squeal to stop is spray heavy duty silicone spray on BOTH sides of the belt...just putting some on the left side didn't do much. Well, the noise went away for about 1 hour riding and came back after that. I have read about the paraffin wax so will try that next....just wondering do you need to heat it up to get it soft and how long does it last. Also, does anyone REALLY know what causes the squeal? Is it the belt material, pulley material, or is it that finicky that unless you have it set up exactly right it will squeal?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Vulcan guy, I've come to the realization that chains rattle, and belts squeal. I think it's just inherent to the device. They aren't as messy as a chain, last 3-4 times longer and put as much hp to the pavement. That being said, I don't think they are the end all be all that some suppose them to be. I know a GUY WITH AN 800 THAT WAS GOING TO DO A CONVERSION, I told him not to bother. I think they are just plain finicky. The paraffin should be soft (sun soft)....coat the belt along the edge where it may or may not contact the side of the pulley. It helps for a few thousand k, at least in my experience. In my opinion, all belts make noise....my buddy rides a Harley Rocker, his makes noise...all kinds of posts here about the 17's and 2k's making noise. I think it's inherent to the design. If it's too tight, she'll deffinately sing.....belt dressing is a NO/NO! You'll just end up with a gunky mess, and the belt material doesn't like it (breaks it down). The paraffin has been a good "fix" for me.
 

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Thanks for the reply silent...
well I decided to take a trip to a local kawi shop and ask the service tech there, and he said "What? never heard of a belt squealing problem on the 9s and we work on quite a few of them" go figure lol. Of course he suggested the usual..belt tension, alignment etc. One thing I will do though as he asked, if the belt was dirty or had any small pebbles in it. Think I will inspect it more closely, give it a good thorough cleaning and apply the wax. I can live with it lasting a couple of thousand miles or kilometers.
 

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Belt Tensiom / noise

I had terrible belt noise with the SW front pulley, swapped it for the rear pulley and had some squeek but not much. I opted for the Baron's front pulley and have no unusual noise what so ever. If you try to center the belt on the pulley you might experience unusual wear. I believe they all, or most of them, run to the left side/ outside of the pulley. If you bought the bike pre-owned it may have had a pulley change.......
 

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I have never had any belt noise with stock pulley's, I am running the stock rear and Baron's front od pulley and it is a quiet as you would want. In my opinion Baron's are better built/ made or whatever..
 

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I set my belt tension the same as the HD belt spec. which is not as tight. It helped a lot and I enjoy it more. I don't know Kaw. thinking on the tension but it is very tight in the stock configuration...I figure if it works for HD it will work for me, been running this for 3 yrs. now and have traveled all over the Eastern Us no problems, yet...
 

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I purchased the bike this April and AFAIK it was completely stock. I had the Baron's rear overdrive pulley and Metz 200 tire put on right away after taking it for a first short drive. I don't remember much back then about any obvious strange sounds, so I can't say for sure if the squeal happened after the change or not. I did notice however, that after I jacked up the rear and spun the rear tire that the pulley isn't exactly running true....seems to have a slight warp in it. I don't know if this is a problem or if there is a way to fix it. I did loosen the mounting bolts and re-tightened but it stayed the same. I cleaned the belt and pulleys and then put the paraffin wax on, and it has been silent since. I will be ok with it if I don't have to rewax it every few days, as I pretty much ride daily, weather permitting.
 

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I recently had to have my belt loosened. It makes a world of difference. i swear i gained some speed because of it too. the belt was so tight it must have been restricting the engine in some way.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I purchased the bike this April and AFAIK it was completely stock. I had the Baron's rear overdrive pulley and Metz 200 tire put on right away after taking it for a first short drive. I don't remember much back then about any obvious strange sounds, so I can't say for sure if the squeal happened after the change or not. I did notice however, that after I jacked up the rear and spun the rear tire that the pulley isn't exactly running true....seems to have a slight warp in it. I don't know if this is a problem or if there is a way to fix it. I did loosen the mounting bolts and re-tightened but it stayed the same. I cleaned the belt and pulleys and then put the paraffin wax on, and it has been silent since. I will be ok with it if I don't have to rewax it every few days, as I pretty much ride daily, weather permitting.
"It's been silent since"

Awesome!
Again, keep the belt looser than Kawi spec, don't get concerned that the belt runs to the left of the pulley, NEVER use "belt dressing" and keep the wax close.
Glad it worked for you!

P.S.,
I've also used the paraffin trick on any squealing fan belts/belts.
 

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VulcanCustomGuy, the last time I changed the rear tire I found that my rear pulley looked warped. I was afraid I had damaged it so I took it off and found that I had put the rubber spacers in upside down. There are molded in bosses on the spacers and if you get 1 or more in the wrong way the pulley won't sit flush. When I put it back together the pulley was true and ran silently again.
 

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Well that sounds interesting Steve, I will have to take the rear wheel off and check for that. I had the shop where I bought the bike from install the new pulley when they put the new 200 tire on. So, you noticed it squealing before and it stopped after you remounted the pulley?
 
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