Drive Belt Questions - Harley Davidson Forums

Sportster Models 883, 883 Custom, 1200 Custom, 883L, 1200L, 1200S, 1200 Roadster, XR1200, and the Nightster.
Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

Drive Belt Questions

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-23-2011, 01:51 AM
mikeallenbrown's Avatar
mikeallenbrown mikeallenbrown is offline
One Of The Regulars
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: South West Missouri
Posts: 194
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Drive Belt Questions

On average, about how long does a belt last? ...on a stock 1200. I understand that the life of a belt depends on many things...riding conditions, how hard you ride, etc. I'm just looking for an educated guess.

Second question .... I remember seeing on the internet some "emergency belt splice kit" ....anyone ever use one? To temporarily get you home. Is it a good idea to have or is it junk?


EDIT: ...last question: OEM belts good enough? ...or is there a "better" "stronger" belt you'd recommend?

Last edited by mikeallenbrown; 08-23-2011 at 01:55 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2011, 06:50 AM
turn8a turn8a is offline
Road Captain
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Nc
Posts: 723
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

I'm close to 52000 miles on a 2004 1200r with the stock belt. And the belt still looks good.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2011, 07:09 AM
grbrown's Avatar
grbrown grbrown is offline
Club Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bedford UK
Posts: 37,689
Thanked 990 Times in 918 Posts

Hi Mike, from another Brown! There is no simple answer to your question. I've just replied to another current post about a broken belt, so there is some attrition along the way. I have replaced one of my belts when it suffered stone damage, which eventually began to spread, so I replaced it to be on the safe side.

Even early belt drive bikes have been recorded going round the clock on the original belt, in other words over 100k miles. The solution is to keep the belt properly adjusted (apparently being too tight is the common cause of breakages) and keep the guards in place, to keep out debris.

I don't think you will find a stronger belt. Harley made a sidecar belt when they used 1 1/2" belts on the touring bikes, but since they fitted the later spec 1 1/8" narrow belt they no longer do. So I think we must conclude the latest belts are already super strong!

As for an emergency belt kit, how much stuff should we carry around with us, just in case? Much easier to carry a roadside recovery card! In 21 years of belt-drive Harleys I have not been left on the roadside with a broken belt. OMG, what have I said.....
Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2011, 05:51 PM
SportyPig's Avatar
SportyPig SportyPig is offline
Ultimate HDF Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 6,478
Thanks: 0
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

My original belt broke at 63,000 miles. Other than a clean straight break, the belt looked perfect. It was at the proper tension.

I have heard of guys getting 80,000 - 100,000 miles on a belt.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2011, 10:15 PM
John_K's Avatar
John_K John_K is offline
Road Captain
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Windsor Ontario
Posts: 731
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

The recommended tension is way too tight. If you lift the bike and remove the rear shocks the swing arm will stay up from the belt tension. It is actually preloading the shocks. It's also likely putting undue stress on the output shaft bearings and possibly skewing the engine in its mounts if you have an '04 or newer 'rubbermount.' It should be loosened off just enough to allow the swingarm to fall through the 'tight spot' under its own weight. Make sure the alignment is not changed by turning the adjusting nuts equally on both sides. That's my opinion ...your mileage may vary.
Reply With Quote

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Rivera Primo Final Drive Belts? OddJob Touring Models 1 02-24-2016 09:20 AM
Captain Itch Belt Sale ......... Captain Itch Vendor For Sale Classifieds 15 02-09-2016 09:52 AM
Air ride belt tension squaredaway Touring Models 24 03-05-2014 09:38 AM
How important is a belt guard? vinzilla Dyna Glide Models 23 03-19-2012 09:47 AM
Rear Belt Drive Noise HDF Tech Primary/Transmission/Driveline/Clutch 0 02-04-2006 09:41 PM

2003, 2004, average, belt, belts, break, clean, davidson, drive, harley, long, made, sportster, stronger, wwwharleydrivebeltcom

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

Featured Sponsors
Vendor Directory

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:44 AM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: