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So… final word on it. Definitely loosen the tensioners from the get go. Yes, the tensioner mounts come loose when you pull the axle and it’s easy to get the wheel off. BUT… when you go to install the wheel back on, like others have said, there is too much belt tension. Problem you have if you don’t loosen them prior to removing the axle is you have no torque to loosen them later. So then you have to reinstall the axle to loosen the adjusting nuts. Don’t repeat my mistake.

So while the manual doesn’t mention the tension nuts, DEFINITELY mark your stating spots on both sides, take a belt deflection reading, then loosen them before pulling the axle through.

I have a bike jack that lets me get the bike up high so the wheel and tire rolled out pretty easy. On install, I placed the tire on my low profile floor jack and used that to do the heavy work of lining up the axle holes and associated spacers once I got the belt back on. That made it WAY easy to get the axle back in without straining my own back.

I tightened the adjuster nuts until my marks lined up then checked belt deflection and it was dead on the pre-removal reading. Took a 10 min ride and no belt whining or slapping etc., and it didn’t pop off ☺

Hopefully it stays that way!

As for trying to get the old tires off and new tires on I gave up! That rear tire is WAY too stiff. Tried heating it, had motion pro Wrenches, big flat pry bars, lots of soapy water, and while I got the old off (after enormous struggle), no way I could get the new one on. I took it to a small shop and they charged me $40 to mount it.

I’ll close by saying I didn’t muck with the belt once I took it off the wheel. Just let it hang there. When I got everything back together but before I tightened the axle nut I happened to look towards the front sprocket and my belt was way toward the right (passenger side) of the sprocket. I tried everything to reach in and encourage it to the left but couldn’t get it. It wasn’t off, but way too far right. Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of the front before I broke it all down. But don’t know how I could have done it because I barely touched the belt.

Anyway, I tightened everything else and took that test rIDE. When I got back I shined a light up front and it had moved itself back to the middle. Don’t know if anyone else has seen this but it definitely concerned me.
Which part concerned you, that the belt was crowded to the right or that it found itself in the middle? I think it wants to be towards the left of the pulleys, but the middle might be OK who knows
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
ah, ok!! and thank you. just test rode after getting the front on and it drove SO MUCH better!
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Which part concerned you, that the belt was crowded to the right or that it found itself in the middle? I think it wants to be towards the left of the pulleys, but the middle might be OK who knows
that it was so far right. now it’s middle left best i can tell. i’m good as long as it’s not acting funky 👍🏽
 

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Hi folks. I’m about to attempt to change my tires for the first time. I’ve had the front off before to do brakes so think I’m okay there.

I had researched this procedure before and I’m almost positive I saw a video or read a post NOT to touch the belt tensioners when removing the tire. Unfortunately I cannot locate that info again.

The service manual does not have loosening these as part of the process. However, the videos I’ve found now all show these being loosened. That would bring in all the posts regarding proper belt tension which I’m trying to avoid because my belt is fine.

Am I correct that you can remove the rear tire WITHOUT loosening the belt tension nuts? I’m assuming if you did, you’d need some sort of leverage from In front of the rear tire to get the axle bolt lined up again? I was thinking of using a ratchet strap to assist me with that.

Thank you
I have have 50,000 miles on current VN2000, 110,000 miles on previous one. I usually do not loosen the belt tensioners to remove rear wheel. It seems that it would be necessary to do so, but somehow, it all goes back together fine in most instances without messing with them.
Thom
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
video it next time so we can all learn. Either you are REALLY strong so you can brute force the tire in position against the belts tension, or you are a master engineering marvel 😁
 

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that it was so far right. now it’s middle left best i can tell. i’m good as long as it’s not acting funky 👍🏽
Yeah and as long as it’s not squealing and chirping or wearing excessively on the sides or whatever.
 

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I've got an '08 2K LT and I second the thought of why you wouldn't loosen the belt tensioners. I've replaced the tires twice now and although it's a project, I haven't had much of an issue. I mark, or take a pic with my phone, as to the current position of the left and right tensioner marks, then loosen everything up and pull out the wheel.
A good frame jack and an additional floor jack are a must, unless you are the Incredible Hulk. The tire wheel combo is heavy and awkward to get in and out. Raising the bike as far as possible and using a floor jack on the tire makes it fairly easy to get the wheel in and out from under the fender.
Once you have everything back together and put the tensioners back in the same position per the markings, you shouldn't have any issues.
The belt seems to want to ride on the outer edge of the rear pulley. Logically, it doesn't make sense but I've searched on many sites and there's a common agreement as to this alignment. Anything else, causes issues with your rear brake rotor and pads
The belt squeak is a whole separate issue. Again surfing many sites, I discovered that the squeak is mainly due to the position of the front pulley. Seems that once everything is aligned true for the rear wheel, the belt rides against the outer edge of the front pulley. I found a couple of threads that called for spacer(s) on the front pulley shaft to move the pulley away from the engine.
As crazy as it sounds, I found a few sizes of spacers at Home Depot (attached pic). They are 1-1/4x 1-7/8 zinc bushings. I bought the 14GA and 18GA and ended up using the 18GA. Removing the front gear is not difficult. Leave the bike on the ground and in gear. I was surprised that the bushing fit the shaft like a glove. Since I've done that I haven't heard a chirp or squeak from the belt.
 

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Thanks. Can you recall what socket you used for the front pulley nut? Looks like it’s got to be a 12 point, eh?
 

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I've got an '08 2K LT and I second the thought of why you wouldn't loosen the belt tensioners. I've replaced the tires twice now and although it's a project, I haven't had much of an issue. I mark, or take a pic with my phone, as to the current position of the left and right tensioner marks, then loosen everything up and pull out the wheel.
A good frame jack and an additional floor jack are a must, unless you are the Incredible Hulk. The tire wheel combo is heavy and awkward to get in and out. Raising the bike as far as possible and using a floor jack on the tire makes it fairly easy to get the wheel in and out from under the fender.
Once you have everything back together and put the tensioners back in the same position per the markings, you shouldn't have any issues.
The belt seems to want to ride on the outer edge of the rear pulley. Logically, it doesn't make sense but I've searched on many sites and there's a common agreement as to this alignment. Anything else, causes issues with your rear brake rotor and pads
The belt squeak is a whole separate issue. Again surfing many sites, I discovered that the squeak is mainly due to the position of the front pulley. Seems that once everything is aligned true for the rear wheel, the belt rides against the outer edge of the front pulley. I found a couple of threads that called for spacer(s) on the front pulley shaft to move the pulley away from the engine.
As crazy as it sounds, I found a few sizes of spacers at Home Depot (attached pic). They are 1-1/4x 1-7/8 zinc bushings. I bought the 14GA and 18GA and ended up using the 18GA. Removing the front gear is not difficult. Leave the bike on the ground and in gear. I was surprised that the bushing fit the shaft like a glove. Since I've done that I haven't heard a chirp or squeak from the belt.
Perhaps back in 2006 or so, Kawasaki put out a bulletin about rear wheel alignment. Too many riders were adjusting the rear wheel so the belt would ride in the middle of the pulley. Kawasaki said the system is designed for the belt to ride against the outside puller lip.
 

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Perhaps back in 2006 or so, Kawasaki put out a bulletin about rear wheel alignment. Too many riders were adjusting the rear wheel so the belt would ride in the middle of the pulley. Kawasaki said the system is designed for the belt to ride against the outside pulley lip. (my previous post said puller, but I meant pulley)
 

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Thanks. Can you recall what socket you used for the front pulley nut? Looks like it’s got to be a 12 point, eh?
I can't recall the exact size but it was a 6 point impact socket. Picked up a cheap 1/2 inch drive set from Harbor Freight.
 

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I can't recall the exact size but it was a 6 point impact socket. Picked up a cheap 1/2 inch drive set from Harbor Freight.
That’s weird because mine looks to be a 12 point nut, even though that is oddball to me
 

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.... I found a couple of threads that called for spacer(s) on the front pulley shaft to move the pulley away from the engine.
As crazy as it sounds, I found a few sizes of spacers at Home Depot (attached pic). They are 1-1/4x 1-7/8 zinc bushings. I bought the 14GA and 18GA and ended up using the 18GA. Removing the front gear is not difficult. Leave the bike on the ground and in gear. I was surprised that the bushing fit the shaft like a glove. Since I've done that I haven't heard a chirp or squeak from the belt.

Personally, I'd be very cautious about "internet re-engineering" the pulley attachment design in such a matter. Even though I don't pretend to know the reason, I'd bet Kawasaki made it the way it is for a reason, not because they were that sloppy in tolerances.
 
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