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Buell Forum » Big, Bad & Dirty (Buell XB12X Ulysses Adventure Board) » DRIVE BELT WOES « Previous Next »

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Gp81
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2019 - 12:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

well my 06 xb12x just shit its second belt at 56k miles.... anyone have a line on a replacement that isn't $180?
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Mtz117
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2019 - 01:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Iíve had my Uly for 3 years, seen many different threads on aftermarket belts. Stock is best. Shop around, check Surdyke, NewCastle, and Saint Paul for the best price. Buy an extra also in case you need it later down the road... pun intended
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Gp81
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2019 - 01:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Yeah, I haven't been on in a while but averaging 25-30k miles a belt (installed this last one at 26k). Fortunately both times it let go I was within 1/4 mile of home. Figured I would reach out to the best damn bike forum that has ever existed and see if any new info has been dug up since last time... missed you guys
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Shoggin
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2019 - 11:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I would either shorten my replacement interval to every 20,000 miles or check the belt alignment and the bearings on the output and idler sprocket. Does it sit outside? Maybe some UV protectant on the top (or a cover). Are you missing the belt guards? Maybe a rock got in there. Any pics of the break? You don't happen to have one of those "Free Spirits" tensioner things do you?
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Tempest766
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2019 - 07:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

yeah. 28k per belt seems a bit ridiculous.

45k on my first one and no signs of weakening.
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Hangetsu
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2019 - 09:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

This is only a hunch, but have you had tires mounted by non-former Buell/HD techs? I went maybe 20K before I began snapping belts every year or so, and I have to ask myself if the reason isn't the competence/knowledge of the techs who have been removing and reinstalling my rear wheel.

The count of 15 turns when reinstalling the wheel is crucial, and I doubt many techs or MC Gear/tire shop flunkies are aware of this. It is very important that the rear wheel is tightened to 15 turns - no more-no less. Cinching it up any tighter puts added strain on the belt that WILL lead to pre-mature failure.

Whether this is the reason for belt failure in your case, I don't know, but I have a hunch it is the reason behind the three times my belt snapped way sooner than it should have.

Food for thought.

A-
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Portero72
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2019 - 09:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I've snapped a couple of the older belts, both around the 30k mark. It just became a habit to replace them around that point. 30k on a drive belt that never needs lube or adjustment doesn't seem unreasonable to me.
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Giarcg
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2019 - 11:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Hang - The fifteen turns only comes into play when removing the wheel. That amount will bring the bearings off the high points on the axle allowing easier belt removal. Installation only requires torquing the axle to spec in two stages.

(Message edited by giarcg on January 12, 2019)
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Ourdee
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2019 - 12:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

My thought is this; 25 foot pounds then back it off 2 turns, then 50 foot pounds....(wait for it)...I know we all use anti-seaze on the axle....Were those torques supposed to be dry?
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Steveford
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2019 - 04:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Probably not as the manual is very specific about using anti seize.

What is the condition of the rear sprocket? The teeth on mine were pretty beat up when my 3rd belt popped at around 125,000 miles.
My guess is the sprocket helped eat the belt cords.
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Arry
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2019 - 07:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I'm sure that bad sprocket teeth would be hard on a belt.
I think Hangetsu has a point about having tires changed at a shop (most shops). I wouldn't have much faith that the "tech" removing/installing your wheel is going to take much care. I can imagine belts being damaged that way.
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Hangetsu
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2019 - 10:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Thanks for the tech info on the rear wheel torque. I was only repeating something I was told by one of the few Buell fanatics I met who worked at a Buell/HD dealer. What you say makes sense.

That said, after my first belt broke at around 20K, I've been through two more, and I'm still sub 50K in mileage. I don't wheelie, burn out, or engage in any other sort of hooliganism. I just ride, so I was just hazarding a guess as to why my belts snap so frequently.

So I guess, I still don't know.

A-
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Ourdee
Posted on Sunday, January 13, 2019 - 02:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Do you use engine braking to slow down?
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Dualsportdad
Posted on Sunday, January 13, 2019 - 11:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

it's a must to drill the mounting holes on the idler pulley bracket when installing the updated belt. that new belt is beyond reasonably tight.
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Mark_weiss
Posted on Sunday, January 13, 2019 - 09:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I just installed a new belt. I did not have to use any methods which are not called for in the manual. Actually, I removed only the swingarm bridge, the outer, lower, belt guard, and loosed the right side of the rear fender. This old belt was at about 40k miles and was showing some fine cracking on the outer face. The belt was very tight but still went on without undue force, twisting, or the use of tools.
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Teeps
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 01:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

My '06 Ulysses had just under 30 miles, when during a tire change I saw a small rock had punctured the belt.
Not sure how many miles I put on the belt after the damage.
But since I had a new belt "in stock" it was installed during the tire swap.

Point is the belt appeared to be in excellent condition, other than the rock stuck in it, and might have had another 10 or 15k miles left in it, considering how I rode the bike.
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Steveford
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 02:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

The new belt I just put on two weeks ago wasn't as idiotically tight as the last new one I bought a few years back. That thing was a bear to put on.
They either lengthened the current belts a bit or cut back on the amount of material in the teeth.
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Tootal
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 10:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Or you wore down the pulleys a little! I'm with you, the last one I put on was a BEETCH! I had to remove the idler to get it on. I figured next time, if it's that bad, I'm drilling the mounting holes a little.
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Shoggin
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 12:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I found I was missing 3 teeth on the STT while in the Grand Canyon for a week. Rode easy and kept an eye on it for another 1500 miles home with no catastrophic failure: ) Ya, I'm dum. 40K on it at the time.
I'm planning on swapping it again during the closest tire change before 80K.
IMO It's worth the travel insurance. My mentor always said:

"Being cheap will cost you the most"
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Etennuly
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2019 - 09:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I don't get being down on belts that go 30,000 miles at $200. All of my chain drive bikes needed a new chain and front sprocket at 10,000 with the same adding a rear sprocket at 20,000. Then there is the lube, noise, jerkyness.

Ever break a chain to have it take out the left rear engine case?
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Tootal
Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2019 - 09:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

The issue is that a belt on a Harley can easily go 80,000 miles and many go 100,000. I've got 60,000 on mine and it still looks great. However, Harley doesn't bend their belts backward like a Buell. Even though Buell claims the belts are designed for this I don't think their design is good enough therefore they don't last as long as a Harley belt.
Mercedes Benz says their cars are,"engineered like no other car in the world!" The fact is that Yugo could say the same thing!
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Etennuly
Posted on Sunday, January 20, 2019 - 09:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

My last new belt from three years or so ago was also supertight. I ended up drilling out the idler holes to relieve some pressure. Had me chasing bearing howl noises. I put new bearings in the idler pulley and checked into output shaft bearings because of it.
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Dualsportdad
Posted on Sunday, January 20, 2019 - 09:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

yeah mine was howling as well, on deceleration. i replaced my idler bearings with the new belt so i knew it wasn't that.

i have to wonder what the differences are between bikes where some are super tight and others aren't. my bike is a 2006 and at almost 30k when i changed the original belt it was in good shape but very loose, even compared to how i have the belt adjusted now. the stock belt was removed without loosening the axle, just slid right off. the new belt needed some serious persuasion to get the axle started and once the axle was tight the belt was so tight i think i could have stood on the belt and it wouldn't have flexed 1/8th inch. i know damn well there weren't bikes leaving the factory like that.
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Ratbuell
Posted on Sunday, January 20, 2019 - 11:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

The belts stretch with use.

Drilling the mounting holes on the tensioner - or installing that free spirits thing - is to reduce running tension on the belt as an attempt to extend belt life.

My '95 S2 had its factory-original belt on it when I drove it through a deer last May and totaled it. I'd have to look but I'm pretty sure the belt is still fully usable. It's in the parts-pile.

I tend to break one on my Uly (I do it, operator-influenced, it's all my fault) about every 15k miles. Hard 1-2 shifts snap 'em, and come to think of it, they break when I'm running it hard, right out of the gate (no time to warm it up), when its cold weather. Hmmm.

I keep a spare under the topcase, and the tools to do the swap in a sidecase. I've done them roadside, on the sidestand, in under an hour.

I did drill the bolt holes at the last change...and nothing's snapped yet. Fingers crossed.

I'm also about to cross 11k on my 1125 - with the original belt. Similar tensioner design, and significantly more HP...but much less likely to be overloaded, weight-wise.

I still believe that weight is the reason that Uly's eat belts (and, prior to the 3-bearing wheel, wheel bearings). It's not a belt design issue - it's a GVWR issue. The Uly is SO competent and has SO much luggage capability - combined with an uber-long-travel suspension - that WE break their belts because the rest of the bike simply takes our abuse without complaining.
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Hangetsu
Posted on Friday, January 25, 2019 - 12:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Strangely, mine typically snap at idle when I plunk it into 1st on a cold morning. My past two belt failures happened this way.

Everything seeming fine, I click it into 1st, but it grinds. I think my tranny blew up. But no, my belt is lying on the ground, and the lack of tension against the clutch causes the gears to grind instead of meshing up.

This has happened twice in approximately 10,000 mile intervals.
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Drhutch81
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2019 - 07:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I swapped the belt for a new one at 7k, so that I would have the old one as a spare. The new one was super tight on install but it loosened up. The new belt has 25k on it now and looks new still.

Lots of 2 up with luggage riding as well as gravel roads. No mods to the belt system.
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Etennuly
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2019 - 08:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Ya ought to see the stock belt on a Blast. Narrow little rubber band thing. So far seemingly indestructible. Even with a peg dragging gear slammer,250 lb rider.

Sure less power, lighter bike, yada yada.....but no idler and belt is 1/3 the width also.
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