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I had new tires put on my bike a few weeks back. Afterwards the belt noise wad noticeably bad so I took it back and asked them to take a look at the alignment and belt deflection. I dont have the tools to do it myself but ive read up on it. They said it was out line and after fixing that the belt noise went away. All is good right? I looked at the markings to make sure they lined up with the markings on the swing arm on both sides and they didn't. When i asked them about that they said the markings were unreliable. So I left happy that noise was gone. It still troubled me because I thought i read somewhere those markings are important so I looked it up in my manual. The manual says make sure they are the same on both sides. Of not, check belt deflection. I cant do it properly for lack of tool but the belt can be pushed 2-3 notches by hand with wheel on the ground whereas before I couldn't hardly move it at all in same position. So now im worried my wheel is still out of line and my belt is too loose. Any one have some knowledge they can share on this?
 

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the markings are reliable, at least on my bike. i measured from the swing arm and used the markings and they matched up exactly.

if they set the belt deflection to factory spec, it is too tight. search the forum for discussions on this.
 

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I have. Most are about getting rid if the noise. Many have said getting the wheel aligned is the trick. Some say use belt dressing. I took it for a ride again and it doesnt seem to drive any worse or better, just quieter. I'm just concerned that the manual says the notches should align on both sides and they don't. Do you know of a way to adjust belt left and right on the pulley without moving tire alignment? I dont see it in the service manual. When the notches were close to being the same, indicating the wheel was aligned properly, it made the belt rub the side of the pulley. Now belt side is on notch 2, the other side 4. When measured its pretty much the same distance. Is that all that matters?
 

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Normally, I wouldn't rely on the markings as gospel, there are too many variations in the manufacturing process. The adjusters are stamped thousands at a time, the axle has some play within the adjusters, the swingarms are manufactured by the crate, and who says the swingarm even square to the rest of the frame? How was the notch alignment prior to replacing the tires? I find on mine, I'm about 1/2 mark difference when I adjust for tension first, then tracking. If I adjust the marks identical, the belt has a tendency to walk towards the outside edge and I get a squeak during acceleration. Having 2 full marks between the sides does seem excessive tho.
 

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Normally, I wouldn't rely on the markings as gospel, there are too many variations in the manufacturing process. The adjusters are stamped thousands at a time, the axle has some play within the adjusters, the swingarms are manufactured by the crate, and who says the swingarm even square to the rest of the frame? How was the notch alignment prior to replacing the tires? I find on mine, I'm about 1/2 mark difference when I adjust for tension first, then tracking. If I adjust the marks identical, the belt has a tendency to walk towards the outside edge and I get a squeak during acceleration. Having 2 full marks between the sides does seem excessive tho.
since someone else changed the tire, he prob has no way of knowing how it was aligned before that.

I have. Most are about getting rid if the noise. Many have said getting the wheel aligned is the trick. Some say use belt dressing. I took it for a ride again and it doesnt seem to drive any worse or better, just quieter. I'm just concerned that the manual says the notches should align on both sides and they don't. Do you know of a way to adjust belt left and right on the pulley without moving tire alignment? I dont see it in the service manual. When the notches were close to being the same, indicating the wheel was aligned properly, it made the belt rub the side of the pulley. Now belt side is on notch 2, the other side 4. When measured its pretty much the same distance. Is that all that matters?
i agree w/ gosupes, 2 full marks seems excessive even for any variation due to manufacturing. if it is not aligned properly, it can damage the wheel bearing and, possibly, the swing arm bearing. it may damage the front pulley bearing, too, but that seems to happen more from using the factory spec for belt tension, which many believe is much too tight.

frankly, unless you feel comfortable dealing w/ it yourself, you might consider taking it to another shop to see if they think is aligned correctly. i've seen mfg authorized shops do some pretty crappy work. the shop you took it to may not know what they are doing.
 

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The wheel alignment issue is what's causing your squeal. The Kawasaki belt is carbon fiber, and different than the typical kevlar belt. Follow the manual's instructions on adjustment and wheel alignment. By the way, you can get a tension gauge at H.D., too. Good luck!
 

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The wheel alignment issue is what's causing your squeal. The Kawasaki belt is carbon fiber, and different than the typical kevlar belt. Follow the manual's instructions on adjustment and wheel alignment. By the way, you can get a tension gauge at H.D., too. Good luck!
too much belt tension (i.e. factory spec) can also cause the oem belt to squeal, even if properly aligned.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Not sure what notches they were on before I got new tires. I rode about 1500 miles on new tires till I just couldn't stand the whining anymore. I could tell by inspecting the belt that it was rubbing the side of the"teeth" off. There was no gap between belt and pulley on outside edge. Now it tracks about 1-2mm from outside edge. I haven't found any other way to adjust the belt track without adjusting alignment of the wheel so I guess it's good. Anyone else know a different way? I think if it's out of line there would be some rear brake drag as well. I can't hear any.
 

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How much flex do you guys have in the belt with wheel on the ground. Before the last wheel adjustment I could barely make it move when pushing on it. Now it moves a couple notches easy. The shop I'm using is a kawasaki dealership. I took it there believing they would know all the intricate details and I would be able to avoid all this.
 

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I have a V2KLT and it was like yours, way, way too tight from the factory and it was noisy because of it. I can move it about 3/4" with good force but more than my 20lb fishing scale can register. I'm fairly certain there's a spec (on all belt drive Kawasaki bikes) that will spec deflection by force varying, of course, from model to model.
 

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How much flex do you guys have in the belt with wheel on the ground. Before the last wheel adjustment I could barely make it move when pushing on it. Now it moves a couple notches easy. The shop I'm using is a kawasaki dealership. I took it there believing they would know all the intricate details and I would be able to avoid all this.
Search the archives... It's all been discussed before. Kaw spec is too tight, no doubt about it. Kaw spec destroyed one belt before I bought my Voyager, and the second belt, along with a set of pulleys, were beyond help when I realized there was an issue and loosened it off (that belt squeal is a dead giveaway). All that before the bike clicked over 15k miles.

45k miles now, with no further problem. New belt loosened off to around 1cm movement at 10lb's pressure.

If that's what your Kaw dealership is doing... Good on them.
 

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Search the archives... It's all been discussed before. Kaw spec is too tight, no doubt about it. Kaw spec destroyed one belt before I bought my Voyager, and the second belt, along with a set of pulleys, were beyond help when I realized there was an issue and loosened it off (that belt squeal is a dead giveaway). All that before the bike clicked over 15k miles.

45k miles now, with no further problem. New belt loosened off to around 1cm movement at 10lb's pressure.

If that's what your Kaw dealership is doing... Good on them.
I had a different experience with it:
I bought my 2015 Voyager used, with 9,100 miles on it. There were some clues that the previous owner was lax about routine maintenance, so I cleaned out some fuel and oil issues and started to ride it. It ran better and I noticed a very slight whine at highway speeds. I had experienced this with previous Vulcans, but they had differentials - this was belt drive!
I had consulted the service manual, and performed a belt deflection inspection. It was unusually tight and the rear sprocket showed some minor wear on the outside rim.
All of my Harleys and a couple of Suzuki Savages had belts. I don't think any of them had as tight a specification for adjustment. But, Kawasaki has been making bikes for years and has not modified or retracted that spec., so I went with that.
With the bike off the ground, I adjusted it to the maximum allowable specification, using a metric ruler- not the incrimental marks. I then checked alignment and adjusted it - again with a tape ruler, not the increments on the axle. Naturally, with the bike down, it felt tighter. The whine disappeared. It has been several months and several thousand miles and has not reappeared.
 

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Good luck to you... An overtight belt has cost me a lot already (shipping is expensive to NZ), but at least it didn't destroy the final drive bearing, as it's done others... I prefer not to run the risk.
 

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Good luck to you... An overtight belt has cost me a lot already (shipping is expensive to NZ), but at least it didn't destroy the final drive bearing, as it's done others... I prefer not to run the risk.
Well, I have read about this previously. I am keeping an eye on the belt because, yes, it is so much tighter a specification, than my previously mentioned bikes with drivebelts. I have noticed that Kawasaki says their belts are made with carbon fiber, I never heard of using that for a belt, before. Usually, you hear mention of Kevlar ( which almost all other belts are made of). I wonder if this is the reason for the tighter specification.
The reason I mentioned alignment, (which in retrospect, I probably should have checked before belt tension) was the wear I noticed on the outer rim of the sprocket. The belt is so narrow, it rides at several positions between the edges of the rear wheel sprocket. I suspected misalignment of the wheel. I noticed the wear and position of the belt in that sprocket seems much better, now.
I think using a good belt tension gauge is supremely important for this, since the tension is specified so tight. I do know too tight a belt will lead to premature belt failure, and sprocket and even bearing failure.
Thanks for your input - it does give one reason to dutifully check belt tension!
 

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So, how loose is too loose? I just installed my 3rd rear tire on my Nomad and I set the tensioners to the same marked position as they were when I removed the wheel. I didn't check the belt tension (like I should have), but when I took it for a ride after the installation my belt whine was completely, and I do mean completely, gone. I had been setting the tension to 10mm but it still had some whine, which was still annoying on a long ride. When I got back from my ride I checked the tension with a gauge, and it was about 17mm with the bike on the ground, straight up. I know a small twist on the tensioner will yield a significant result so I must have it set slightly looser then where it was. I really like the "no whine" but don't want to risk anything by the belt being too loose. So as I started this post, does anyone have any feedback on how loose is too loose?
 

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Whining 900.

My 900 Classic whines like most of the others you see posted on you tube and the belt sits on the outer edge of the rear wheel pulley, so I'll be giving this a try as soon as I get a chance. My belt moves about 1/2 to 3/4" with firm pressure on the middle of the run.
I think I'd sooner have the belt running a bit slack than too tight, but think I'll get the Kawasaki tensioner tool as soon as I can.
 

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So, how loose is too loose? I just installed my 3rd rear tire on my Nomad and I set the tensioners to the same marked position as they were when I removed the wheel. I didn't check the belt tension (like I should have), but when I took it for a ride after the installation my belt whine was completely, and I do mean completely, gone. I had been setting the tension to 10mm but it still had some whine, which was still annoying on a long ride. When I got back from my ride I checked the tension with a gauge, and it was about 17mm with the bike on the ground, straight up. I know a small twist on the tensioner will yield a significant result so I must have it set slightly looser then where it was. I really like the "no whine" but don't want to risk anything by the belt being too loose. So as I started this post, does anyone have any feedback on how loose is too loose?
from what i've seen, 10 mm seems to be pretty common across bike brands. 17 mm seems excessive to me.
 

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My 900 Classic whines like most of the others you see posted on you tube and the belt sits on the outer edge of the rear wheel pulley, so I'll be giving this a try as soon as I get a chance. My belt moves about 1/2 to 3/4" with firm pressure on the middle of the run.
I think I'd sooner have the belt running a bit slack than too tight, but think I'll get the Kawasaki tensioner tool as soon as I can.
don't waste your money on the kawi tool. any tensioner that is set to read 10 lbs will do. for some, you might have to cut off one side of the u-bracket on top to make it fit the kawi belt, but that has no effect on the tension reading.
 

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don't waste your money on the kawi tool. any tensioner that is set to read 10 lbs will do. for some, you might have to cut off one side of the u-bracket on top to make it fit the kawi belt, but that has no effect on the tension reading.
I use the Harley tensioner, I have used for several bikes. Got it for $23.00? May be more now. Don't know what Kawasaki costs. 10 pounds is 10 pounds, no matter the brand. The ones I had for my Suzuki Savages were Small, cylindrical tools that were included in the tool kit. It was really a cool setup: a brass tube with a spring loaded plunger that fit into a hole in the belt guard! The plunger rested on the belt itself.
Man, I didn't fully appreciate the engineering that went into being able to free your hands and just push on the drive belt to the line! It was either "go"or "no-go". I felt it only right to include them with each bike, when I traded them off. Why can't all motorcycle manufactures make it as simple to do as those darn Suzuki LS650's?
 

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I use the Harley tensioner, I have used for several bikes. Got it for $23.00? May be more now. Don't know what Kawasaki costs. 10 pounds is 10 pounds, no matter the brand. The ones I had for my Suzuki Savages were Small, cylindrical tools that were included in the tool kit. It was really a cool setup: a brass tube with a spring loaded plunger that fit into a hole in the belt guard! The plunger rested on the belt itself.
Man, I didn't fully appreciate the engineering that went into being able to free your hands and just push on the drive belt to the line! It was either "go"or "no-go". I felt it only right to include them with each bike, when I traded them off. Why can't all motorcycle manufactures make it as simple to do as those darn Suzuki LS650's?
i got mine off amazon for about $15. if i remember right, the kawi one is about $40. overpriced like all of their tools.

lol! try checking the belt tension w/ arthritis in one shoulder! last time i checked it, i could barely use the tool while being in position to see the markings on that little window on the guard. i have a new shoulder now. once i get full mobility in it, it's going to seem easy compared to before.
 
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