Real bikers know that the importance of a well-maintained ride is second to none. But even veteran enthusiasts can make the mistake of forgetting to look after their bike’s drive belt, which is strong, stretch-resistant and made from tensile cords. Because a drive belt can last up to 100,000 miles before needing replacement, riders may lose track of this important part of motorcycle maintenance.
How Often Should I Inspect My Drive Belt?
When your belt is first installed, plan to inspect it after the first 1,000 miles. Whether you take it to a professional mechanic or examine it yourself, a tension check should also be completed. After that, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of checking out your bike’s drive belt every time you change your oil (about every 5,000 miles). These regular check-ups can help your drive belt reach its maximum lifespan, as well as support the overall feel of your ride and keep you safer on the road.
When is it Time to Replace My Drive Belt?
It’s common for riders to notice their drive belt has been damaged by rocks kicked up from the road below. Damage like this, along with damage to the teeth and shredding that exposes the internal tensile fibers, will necessitate a drive belt replacement before 100,000 miles of use. Motorcycle owners who choose to remove the plastic belt cover for looks make a choice to shorten the lifespan of this part. If you do decide to remove the cover, it’s a good idea to keep a closer eye on the condition of your drive belt.
While rocks are the most likely culprit, any kind of debris trapped in the belt can cause damage to the belt as well as the teeth. Regular inspections and removal of this buildup can help extend the lifespan of your drive belt. Cracking on the outside of the belt may also necessitate earlier replacement.
Harley Davidson motorcycles began switching to drive belts in 1980. Ever since then, drive belt maintenance has been a regular part of owning and loving a Harley. If you’re looking for a used Harley Davidson near Chicago, give us a call with questions or come visit our shop in person. We’re located in the Village of Stone Park, a short distance from the city. Hope to see you there!