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Discussion Starter #1
I was bored at work, and was searching around for a belt drive conversion kit for our bikes, and I found one! Look on this page and you'll see a 2003 thunderbird with the kit fitted.

http://www.quietpowerdrive.com/QPDhtm/FinalBeltDrives.htm

I talked to the owner/machinist and he said they run about $890, and takes about two weeks to make. I'm thinking that this would make a VERY nice Christmas present for myself! It would be so nice to not have to worry about lubing the chain, and dealing with the mess that it makes afterwards. Plus it would be such a smoother ride, and quiet too!
 

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Great idea would you have to change chain wear block on swing arm and what's expected life of belt a mate of mine get 200k from belt on a Harley. So if expected mileage hi would work out cheaper than chain and sprockets

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Discussion Starter #4
I didn't think about the swingarm, but once it's on it'll
Be on. Even if it lasts 100k miles, that'll probably be longer than I'll have the bike! You might have to adjust slack every now and again, but not having to deal with the mess the chain makes, and cost of replacing sprockets would be well worth it in my opinion
 

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I had this same idea and called Bob at quietpower to discuss the swap. He knows his stuff, and the swap has been done before, so no big deal as far as installation goes. Likewise, he uses Gates belts, so obtaining replacements would be no problem. Stones do get under belts on occasion, and they do break, so knowing that standard replacements are available is a plus, except if you are on a trip, and then it is going to be an expensive endeavor.
Here's the real rub: all of the metalwork is custom made by Bob, and while it sounds morbid, getting parts will be impossible once he has gone on to the big machine shop in the sky. Could you find someone else to fabricate something? Perhaps, but at what cost?
When I considered all of the pluses and minuses, my chain maintenance program suddenly didn't seem so bad.
 

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It's funny - I'm on another forum for the Suzuki S40 which has a belt drive. And I keep seeing posts asking about conversions TO a chain drive :D
 

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:) My new BM has belt drive. It's great! There are plenty about that have covered 50,000+ miles with no problems. And replacement only takes 1/2 an hour! Very smooth, silent and clean. The belt on my Superglide was like new after 6 years and 40,000 miles. If you can afford the conversion, then go for it!
 

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From what I've read around on this, the main issue is stones & grit getting between the pulleys & belt. The belt has very little tolerance for this & is the main reason for belt breakage & replacement, rather than wear, and is why owners look for chain conversions. So there's maybe two questions to ask. How well protected is the belt run & what sort of road conditions will be ridden on?
 

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Belt drive sounds great, but I can't justify the cost for the benefit.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don't think the roads out here in colorado are too rocky. Can't see that being a huge issue. The upside to the conversion is the "sprockets" won't have to be changed. I'm a big fan of making it run smoother. I'm still debating it, but I am leaning towards it at the moment.
 

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Belt drive sounds great, but I can't justify the cost for the benefit.
That's how I feel. It would be a cool project if you had access to a mill/lathe and could make your own just to do it. For $800 I just don't see the value in the conversion. That costs a lot more than a lifetime of chain/sprocket replacements.
 

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Chain For Me

A well maintained, adjusted DID chain running on sprockets in good condition, Loobman oiled for at least 40,000 miles! That will do Me!
 

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:) If you decide to go for it, then it is essential that both the top and bottom runs of the belt are well protected. On my bike, the only part of the belt that is visible is the aft part of the rear pulley. The rest of the belt is totally enclosed. You would have to be extremely unlucky to pick up a stone. Do you know if this conversion includes a cush drive?
 

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That's how I feel. It would be a cool project if you had access to a mill/lathe and could make your own just to do it. For $800 I just don't see the value in the conversion. That costs a lot more than a lifetime of chain/sprocket replacements.
x2

Cut that price in half, and I would strongly consider.. and if that included installation :D
 

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The Bonneville belt-drive conversion that was sold until recently in the UK was withdrawn because of the number of rear wheel breakups, AFAIR.

timbo
 

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Cool idea but.. these bikes are getting harder to find parts for as the years go by and adding another possible show stopper to the list doesn't seem worth it. Also with proper chain maintenance not that much of a prospective savings. Just stay away from JT sprockets and cheapo chains. Also try to avoid dodge rams, they break your headlight brackets, as I found out reacently lol.

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Discussion Starter #17
Cool idea but.. these bikes are getting harder to find parts for as the years go by and adding another possible show stopper to the list doesn't seem worth it. Also with proper chain maintenance not that much of a prospective savings. Just stay away from JT sprockets and cheapo chains. Also try to avoid dodge rams, they break your headlight brackets, as I found out reacently lol.

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+1 on the dodge rams haha. One stopped in front of me because an idiot turned left in a straight only lane, I locked up my front whelk and had to ditch the bike otherwise I would have been integrated with the tail gate! That accident is the reason my bike looks like this now

 

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JT Sprockets

Cool idea but.. these bikes are getting harder to find parts for as the years go by and adding another possible show stopper to the list doesn't seem worth it. Also with proper chain maintenance not that much of a prospective savings. Just stay away from JT sprockets and cheapo chains. Also try to avoid dodge rams, they break your headlight brackets, as I found out reacently lol.

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So far have had no problems with JT sprockets (rear). Running DID achieved 40,000 miles on a previous 885 and still had life left in them.
 

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This has to be the dumbest idea ever. To last to lube the change n but go thru all this effort to make it like a Harley? Rofl

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