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  #1  
Old 11-26-2013, 04:20 PM
Mike Murrell's Avatar
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Question Chain-driven Harley Davidson Motorcycles

Seemed to have a rekindled interest in motorcycles.

Was browsing around Harleys WEB site the other day and it appears that many of their bikes now use belt-drive vs. chain drive. I realize the belt system has been around for awhile.

Are all of the newer factory-built Harleys belt-driven?

Thanks for your time.

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  #2  
Old 11-26-2013, 04:49 PM
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AFAIK all current bikes have chain in primary and rear drive belts.
You might be able to order one from the factory that way, or certainly modify with aftermarket parts. Belts are time tested across the entire line of HDs. I think my '97 FXDS belt is still original @ 45k. I'd have to check my records to be sure. I just had it serviced & the guy didn't comemnt on the belt.
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2013, 12:50 AM
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I don't like belts, but would take one over a chain. I do have to admit I've lost more than one chain, but have only seen one bike parked over a broken belt. A belt is also much more gentle coming off than a chain when there is a failure.
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  #4  
Old 11-27-2013, 01:43 AM
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shaft drive, belt and chain all have their weaknesses. they ALL require regular maintenance. chains require adjustment and lube, belts require adjustment and sometimes a little silicone lube to the sides of the belt to get rid of squeaks, shaft drive doesn't really require adjustment, but every 20-30k you have to clean and lube the splines, check and if possible ,grease the u-joints, and about every other oil change its a good idea to change the final drive oil, but if you overfill it, it will leak. so imo, they are all equally pains in the ass

my first bike was chain drive, i remember when i suddenly had a bad link in the chain. i realized what it was real quick. current bike is a shaft drive. ill do the drive maintenance while i have the bike torn apart this winter for upgrades
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  #5  
Old 11-27-2013, 02:04 AM
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Thanks to all who've responded.

I spoke with a service mgr at a local HD dealership this evening.

As mentioned by Dynalow - primary = metal - driven = belt/rubber.

I have a 1975 Kawasaki Z-1B. Last year 28mm carb Z-1.

58,000 miles and still running original chain.

Not a lot of miles for a 38 yr. old bike, but.......

Testimonial to chain maintenance.
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2013, 08:54 AM
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As you stated all factory HDs are belt driven, but it is rather easy and somewhat common in certain circles to replace the belt with a chain. I love the belts, but you can't beat a chain for a tough, mechanical look....
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  #7  
Old 11-27-2013, 12:31 PM
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  #8  
Old 11-27-2013, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Murrell View Post
Thanks to all who've responded.

I spoke with a service mgr at a local HD dealership this evening.

As mentioned by Dynalow - primary = metal - driven = belt/rubber.

I have a 1975 Kawasaki Z-1B. Last year 28mm carb Z-1.

58,000 miles and still running original chain.

Not a lot of miles for a 38 yr. old bike, but.......

Testimonial to chain maintenance.
The 630 chain on those bikes is MASSIVE! If you ever need to replace it, you can step down in size because the modern chains are stronger for their size than the earlier ones.
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  #9  
Old 11-27-2013, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Murrell View Post
Thanks to all who've responded.

I spoke with a service mgr at a local HD dealership this evening.

As mentioned by Dynalow - primary = metal - driven = belt/rubber.

I have a 1975 Kawasaki Z-1B. Last year 28mm carb Z-1.

58,000 miles and still running original chain.

Not a lot of miles for a 38 yr. old bike, but.......

Testimonial to chain maintenance.
Say Mike,

I have a '75 Z1-B Candy Blue with 9,600 miles +/-, mostly stock Lester mags, original pipes (fair) Last serviced by a dealer 08/12. Last registered in 1983. I have signed title from the original purchaser.

Wanna buy it?

Some years ago there was a guy down south on ebay named bikesrossi who bought a ton of Kawasaki Z1s & Z1 stuff. I played bid games with him on a few items. You aren't him are you?
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  #10  
Old 11-27-2013, 01:32 PM
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Mine has a chain drive 1966 FLH. the only time you will see newer Harleys with a chain instead of a belt is if the motor has been juiced up to more than 120hp. Chains can handle more than the belts but for most applications belts are preferred.
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  #11  
Old 11-27-2013, 01:35 PM
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Belt drive was a result of Harley meeting mandated Federal EPA noise requirements.
There were some other engine modifications to meet levels too.
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  #12  
Old 11-27-2013, 01:42 PM
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Go figure...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudesky View Post
Belt drive was a result of Harley meeting mandated Federal noise requirements.
There were some other engine modifications to meet levels too.
^^^^^^ ... Most of which were defeated by HD owner/enthusiasts themselves, under the guise of: "Loud pipes save lives".


(Despite their "helmets" being the "novelty caps" (as the State Troopers call them) of the "beanie helmets" with fake DOT stickers on them.)

Though of course it is true that most motorists probably would not want to argue the "right-of-way" with 30 thundering Hogs coming at them.
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1991 560 SEC AMG, 199k <---- 300 hp 10:1 ECE euro HV ...

1995 E 420, 170k "The Red Plum" (sold)

2015 BMW 535i xdrive awd Stage 1 DINAN, 6k, <----364 hp

1967 Mercury Cougar, 49k

2013 Jaguar XF, 20k <----340 hp Supercharged, All Wheel Drive (sold)
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  #13  
Old 11-27-2013, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
^^^^^^ ... Most of which were defeated by HD owner/enthusiasts themselves, under the guise of: "Loud pipes save lives".


(Despite their "helmets" being the "novelty caps" (as the State Troopers call them) of the "beanie helmets" with fake DOT stickers on them.)

Though of course it is true that most motorists probably would not want to argue the "right-of-way" with 30 thundering Hogs coming at them.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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  #14  
Old 11-27-2013, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynalow View Post
Say Mike,

I have a '75 Z1-B Candy Blue with 9,600 miles +/-, mostly stock Lester mags, original pipes (fair) Last serviced by a dealer 08/12. Last registered in 1983. I have signed title from the original purchaser.

Wanna buy it?

Some years ago there was a guy down south on ebay named bikesrossi who bought a ton of Kawasaki Z1s & Z1 stuff. I played bid games with him on a few items. You aren't him are you?

Dynalow - no - I am not that person. I used to get a lot of cards in the mail from a company that bought old Z-1s/Honda 750s/etc. Needless to say their offers were low-ball.

Yours is definitely low mileage. Not in the market for another now.

Thanks.
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  #15  
Old 11-27-2013, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynalow View Post
Say Mike,

I have a '75 Z1-B Candy Blue with 9,600 miles +/-, mostly stock Lester mags, original pipes (fair) Last serviced by a dealer 08/12. Last registered in 1983. I have signed title from the original purchaser.

Wanna buy it?
Picture?

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1998 E300
2008 E63


Non-Benz Fleet:
1992 Aerostar
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