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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking of getting the belt-drive conversion kit that Brent has on Newbonneville.com. I own a 2005 America and would just like to know if anyong has done this? What the advantages may be? What the disadvanatges may be? Any comments or input? How would the ride be different? In other words would you do it? Appreciate any comments.
Thanks,
David
 

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I read that a belt drive requires mo' Hp than a chain drive...
True? Chime in...
I love putting my girl on a scissor jack and lubing her...
Oops...
Or maybe wait for the new 1600 TBird...
 

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I couldn't find it on their web page. Gotta link?
http://www.newspeedmaster.com/html/belt_drive_conversion.html

I must say, I am not against the idea of it. I can understand why most Triumph guys would be against the idea. The chain is much more machine-like, has a more gritty, aggressive look to it... plus being dirty and oily is kinda fun.

On the other hand, the girl's sportster has a belt, and she never has to bother with jacking it up and oiling it and these new belts don't stretch much, if at all, and are lasting for upwards of 50-70k miles. There are plenty of guys here LINK that swear by them... but of course, they are Harley guys and most of them aren't wrench turners.

When it comes down to it, I think one will work just as well as the other for the average rider. It really depends on what you are going for and what fits you personally as a rider.
 

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A matter of taste I suppose...

No chains, no spokes, no carbs, no Lucas electrics, no Amal's that require "tickling", no smell of petrol on your gloves, no kick start, no shift on the right/brake on the left, no oil pan under the bike from the time of delivery, no single shoe drums (front and rear), no Wentworth fasteners, no pedestrian slicer...I miss my 1967 English Home market version Daytona 500. I love my 2007 Bonneville T100 for the things it still DOES have that remind of the old bikes. I gotta say though that my wife's 2006 Yamaha V Star 1100 with custom EVERYTHING is pretty bitchen too. Push comes to shove, I'm keeping the Bonnie...considering buying an old one (pre 1970) too. Yeah, all that stuff I mentioned above is a pain in the arse, but I love it.
Hey deseely, if you do the conversion...post a pic.

Be well and ride safe.


Cheers,

SK
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey guys thanks for the feedback. I am heading to work but will post a link to the site tonight when I get home. Talk to you then.
David
 

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Belt drive

I really LIKE the idea of a belt drive. From the picture of the setup on a Speedy, with the guard back on, the change in appearance is minimal.
And, you can't argue with the longevity reports the big Harley riders are turning in for these. Some have exceeded 80K miles on the OEM belt, and this on a bike weighing nearly 400 pounds more than a Bonnie.
For grins, I did a search on the company that makes these. Not only was the link to Quiet Power Drive dead, but the company profile lists it as a "restaurant ret motorcycles", whatever that means.
I wouldn't be interested in the 2.45:1 ratio offered, as my current setup (19/43) yields around a 2.26:1, and I like how the bike works at that ratio.
If anyone has success in locating a working link to the company, please post it.
Bob
 

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I read that a belt drive requires mo' Hp than a chain drive...
True? Chime in...
I love putting my girl on a scissor jack and lubing her...
Oops...
Or maybe wait for the new 1600 TBird...
In theory, there's more friction with a belt than with a properly oiled chain, so it could take more power to pull, and there are expansion/contraction losses as well as the belt stretches (which they do... chains do too, but minimally), but on a well-designed belt drive that's appropriate to the bike, this shouldn't be too much of a problem. Belts also smooth out power delivery some, which can be a big deal on a big V-twin. Not so much on our smaller parallel twins. Practically, on these bikes, it probably wouldn't matter, even with the nastiest engine you could reasonably build, though it might smooth things out a little.

You want it? They make it. Why not?

If you do it, report back.

(I'll keep the chain on my Scrambler... thanks.)
 

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I would go with a belt drive on my Bonnie but the cost to convert at this stage is a little high,maybe if I had to renew both sprockets and the chain,it might bring it down for me,but then again lots of older twins (pre hinckley) have belt drives,I'd wanna see one in the flesh and talk to the owner if you know what I mean:)J.B.
 

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Why would it take more horsepower to run a belt drive over a chain? If that's the case then a chain would be less restrictive then say your serpentine belt on your car or maybe I should just stick to plumbing.
 

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Sitting on the fence with this one. On one hand I think it makes sense and looks good. On the other side, to Harley for me.
 

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Why would it take more horsepower to run a belt drive over a chain? If that's the case then a chain would be less restrictive then say your serpentine belt on your car or maybe I should just stick to plumbing.
It's the bending force as it rides over the sprockets/wheels. A belt requires more energy to flex than a chain.
 

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Why would it take more horsepower to run a belt drive over a chain? If that's the case then a chain would be less restrictive then say your serpentine belt on your car or maybe I should just stick to plumbing.
It's the bending force as it rides over the sprockets/wheels. A belt requires more energy to flex than a chain.
Yep, that's the big one. There's also more contact area between the belt and the pulleys, and there's more inherent friction at a metal/"rubber" interface (belt drive) than a properly prepared metal/lube/metal one (chain drive), meaning more frictional losses as the two engage and disengage. Belts also stretch more (though modern belts stretch extremely little, they still stretch... chains do too, but almost imperceptibly little), and there are always additional frictional losses when an elastic body expands and contracts, but we're talking pretty small amounts of power by that point.

As to why they don't use 'em on serpentine drives, there are a whole lot of reasons: noise (chain drives can be loud), sensitivity to alignment (chain drives have to be extremely precisely aligned in most applications), under hood safety (belts require smooth pulleys, chains take sharp teeth), wear characteristics (when you replace a belt, you only replace a belt; when you replace a chain, you have to do the chain rings it drives/is driven by too), what happens when they break (chains are heavy, so they tend to whip violently and get wrapped up in things), and probably a few others I can't think of right now. Basically, there little power lost to the belt drive in that application is well worth the extra convenience of the belt. For a final drive on bikes like ours, it's more of a toss-up, so it depends on your personal preferences and your priorities for the bike.
 

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Good theory on the "increased friction" of belt drive, BUT where's the proof? How much of a HP loss would you expect from a belt vs chain?

Belt and sprocket are a bit lighter in weight then a chain and sprocket.

I've owned several H-D's and Buells over the years with belt drive and wish every bike had it. Clean, quite, more durable than a chain, and almost maintenance free, I've only had to make one adjustment after the break-in period, and that was on an early model. When touuring and traveling no need to carry shain lube and tools for chain adjustment.

The only advantage I see with chain drive is the ease of gearing changes. That is the primary reason track bikes are chain driven.
 
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I don't want to get into the engineering or physics of it, but can anyone name for me a single successful sports bike that had either belt or shaft drive?

I think that pretty much answers the question, doesn't it?

I like the idea of zero maintenance and the quietness -- but I am almost certain that it comes at a slight performance cost.
 

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Well BMW uses alot of shaft drive bikes but wouldn't this all be for weight and strength? Doesn't a chain give you the best weight to strength ratio's? I mean you get enough strength to get all that power from a 180hp bike to the rear wheel without all the weight of a shaft.

Buell uses belt drives but I wouldn't call them successful.
 

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I think it is generally accepted that well maintained chain drives consume less power than shafts or belts, I have read comparisons in professional journals in the past although I can't cite details.

However, as far as success at racing/sport bikes goes: shaft driven BMWs have a long history of racing success such as; the Bol d' Or, Barcelona 24 hours, THRUXTEN 500 miler, European Championship, IOM 1939 senior TT, World sidecar series (19 out of 21 years between 1954 and 1974) and many many more successes all against chain driven motorcycles.

I think theres a bit more to it than whether a bike uses a shaft a chain or a belt. As an ex road racer I like to think the rider has a little input too.
 

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I don't want to get into the engineering or physics of it, but can anyone name for me a single successful sports bike that had either belt or shaft drive?
QUOTE]

You may or may not consider the Buell a sport bike..... but it is belt driven, the 1125R claims 146 hp/82 ft. lb. My FJR1300, while not a sport bike, sports a shaft drive, 132 hp at the rear wheel, SAE corrected, and will keep pace with most sport bikes on the twisty roads.... :D As said earlier, performance has much to do with the a$$ on the seat. Old guys with a lot of experience rule!!!!!

BUT... I didn't think we were talking about sport bikes. the original question was in regards to a Bonnie. Bring on the belt!!!!
 
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