ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > The perfect line and other riding myths
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-04-2013, 07:32 AM   #1
LPRoad OP
Curmudgeon
 
LPRoad's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Fence Lake, NM
Oddometer: 255
Final drive: Chain, Shaft, Belt?

Another question which shows how little I truly know about motorcycles. I am buying a new bike next year. As I mentioned in my Carbs or FI thread, I will own the bike for quite some time. I have narrowed the field, and all three final drives are represented.

Most of my riding will be on pavement and I do not plan to do any trail riding. My land, however, is about 4 miles from the nearest pavement and I plan to ride in the local Natl Forests to access fishing areas. So dirt/gravel roads will be a part of my reality.

From what I have read, this amount of dirt road riding rules out the belt drive.

My current bike (and the bikes of the past) have been chain drive, but I have not put enough miles on any of them to break one or need to replace one. I clean and lube regularly and have not had a problem.

It sounds like the shaft drive requires less maintenance, although the splines should be greased every so often. How involved is shaft maintenance?

Anything I am missing? Any words of wisdom? I apologize again for my noobness.
__________________
"Stybba" my 2015 Yamaha SR400
LPRoad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 07:41 AM   #2
JimVonBaden
"Cool" Aid!
 
JimVonBaden's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2005
Location: Alexandria, VA
Oddometer: 48,421
IMHO, for pure reliability, go with a chain. Easy to replace, durable for 20K miles if well maintained, and parts will never be an issue. NOT as user friendly as a shaft or belt, but based on your other thread, this would be the best compromise.

Jim

PS I bet I surprised a few with that!
JimVonBaden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 07:52 AM   #3
b1pig
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Ray City, Ga
Oddometer: 632
i had one bike that was shaft drive. the manual said to "leave it alone".

as you should know, chains require cleaning, maintenance and replacement. usually something that is chain driven is going to be cheaper at purchase... and repairs are always going to be cheaper.
__________________
'07 Jeep JKU Rubicon, '73 Super Beetle, '12 Grand Caravan (wife)
'08 KLR 650
'07 GZ250 (wife)
b1pig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 08:13 AM   #4
Treadless
used 2 b aventuring
 
Treadless's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Location: Santa Barbara Ca
Oddometer: 5,193
Quote:
Originally Posted by LPRoad View Post
Another question which shows how little I truly know about motorcycles. I am buying a new bike next year. As I mentioned in my Carbs or FI thread, I will own the bike for quite some time. I have narrowed the field, and all three final drives are represented.

Most of my riding will be on pavement and I do not plan to do any trail riding. My land, however, is about 4 miles from the nearest pavement and I plan to ride in the local Natl Forests to access fishing areas. So dirt/gravel roads will be a part of my reality.

From what I have read, this amount of dirt road riding rules out the belt drive.

My current bike (and the bikes of the past) have been chain drive, but I have not put enough miles on any of them to break one or need to replace one. I clean and lube regularly and have not had a problem.

It sounds like the shaft drive requires less maintenance, although the splines should be greased every so often. How involved is shaft maintenance?

Anything I am missing? Any words of wisdom? I apologize again for my noobness.


In your case my advice is pick the bike that really pushes your buttons and live with the drive that comes with it. All drives have some sort of short comings in someones view. It may be easier to live with an issue or potential issue if it is part of your dream bike rather than living with a bike that you've made concessions for for whatever reasons.

If constantly lubing a chain does not bother you spline maintenance shouldn't be a concern.





Quote:
Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
IMHO, for pure reliability, go with a chain. Easy to replace, durable for 20K miles if well maintained, and parts will never be an issue. NOT as user friendly as a shaft or belt, but based on your other thread, this would be the best compromise.

Jim

PS I bet I surprised a few with that!


A pleasant surprise at that.
__________________

Treadless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 08:45 AM   #5
bomber60015
Anatomically Correct
 
bomber60015's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Chicago-ish
Oddometer: 8,162
Chain, no doubt.

After owning a Tube Framed Buell, and watching many black snakes fall from the sky, I switched the Buell to a chain and never looked back.

That said, if the bike that truely floats your boat come with a shaft drive, worry real hard for about 3 minutes, and buy it anyway.

;-}
__________________
"Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance. T.R.
bomber60015 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 09:05 AM   #6
Dave in Wi
Beastly Adventurer
 
Dave in Wi's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Madison WI (40 Square Miles Surrounded By Reality)
Oddometer: 1,899
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treadless View Post
In your case my advice is pick the bike that really pushes your buttons and live with the drive that comes with it.
OK, the thread can be closed now. :-)

In all seriousness, drive chains are pretty damn good now, and can last a long time if they are good quality. Yes they do require lubing, cleaning & adjustment occasionally. More if you are using it on gravel roads.

Shafts can be good but I'd stay away from a certain German brand seeing all the problems they have. Although that's just me, BMWs do ride and handle fantastically and I can totally see putting up with the possibility of high maintenance and repair costs for their benefits.

Belts, yeah, for gravel road use probably not a good idea. For pure street use, probably the best of all worlds. Quiet, mostly maintenance free, infrequent adjustments, no lube mess, lighter that a shaft, no torque reaction.
__________________
Dave in WI
2002 ZRX1200R
1975 XL100
1988 DT50
"Daddy, it's five o'clock sometime!"
Dave in Wi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 10:55 AM   #7
LittleRedToyota
Yinzer
 
LittleRedToyota's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Pittsburgh
Oddometer: 2,148
Quote:
Originally Posted by LPRoad View Post
Anything I am missing? Any words of wisdom?
get a good O-, X-, or Z-ring chain and stop worrying about maintaining it.

just spray it with WD-40 after washing it (with water just like the rest of the bike) to prevent rust.

modern sealed chains are practically maintenance free (a lot of people still maintain them like old, non-sealed chains, but there is no need...in fact, it can actually be bad for them).
LittleRedToyota is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 11:12 AM   #8
rbrsddn
3banger
 
rbrsddn's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Madison,CT
Oddometer: 2,390
You still need to lube O or X ring chains, to keep the o rings from drying out, and to cushion the rollers as they go over the sprockets.
rbrsddn is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 11:27 AM   #9
LittleRedToyota
Yinzer
 
LittleRedToyota's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Pittsburgh
Oddometer: 2,148
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrsddn View Post
You still need to lube O or X ring chains, to keep the o rings from drying out, and to cushion the rollers as they go over the sprockets.
you really don't. try it sometime. when you get a new chain, don't do anything to it other than hosing it down with WD-40 after washing the bike. you'll be surprised by the results.

WD-40 seems to condition the o-rings just fine. or they don't need to be conditioned. in any case, they last a long time without lubing them.

if anything, lube just attracts dirt and turns into gritty paste...which will wear everything faster.
LittleRedToyota is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 01:35 PM   #10
Maggot12
U'mmmm yeaah!!
 
Maggot12's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Barrie Ont
Oddometer: 2,933
All being equal I'd get the shaft driven bike. Or even if I liked the shaft bike less than the others, the shaft alone would be enough to put it number one. Chains are a big pain in the arse for me... and that level of pain is determined upon the owner.

Having said that get the bike you like the most. If you tell the masses what bikes you're looking at we may me able to provide you with other pros/cons than just the chain.

good luck..
__________________
Maggot

Don't sweat the petty things; Pet the sweaty things !!!
Maggot12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 04:57 PM   #11
LPRoad OP
Curmudgeon
 
LPRoad's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Fence Lake, NM
Oddometer: 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggot12 View Post
If you tell the masses what bikes you're looking at we may me able to provide you with other pros/cons than just the chain.
Well, since you asked.

Moto Guzzi V7
Triumph Scrambler
Honda CB1100
Yamaha Bolt
HD Sportster
BMW G650GS
Honda CB500X
BMW R nine T

The CB500X and the G650GS are really the most practical for my needs, but honestly I don't like the way newer bikes look. The Sportster and the Bolt would require some modification to be a bit more dirt worthy. The R nine T is pretty damned expensive (although if it is the ONE I would pay for it). The CB1100 is really bigger than I would prefer, and I wish it got better gas mileage. The V7 is my favorite aesthetically, but I am not a mechanic, and I am concerned about reliability and such. At this point it seems like the Triumph might be the best compromise. If Yamaha would bring the SR400 over, it would be in serious contention, but as someone mentioned in another thread recently; "Sensible doesn't really sell in America much"
__________________
"Stybba" my 2015 Yamaha SR400
LPRoad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 07:13 PM   #12
broncobowsher
Beastly Adventurer
 
broncobowsher's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Baking in AZ
Oddometer: 1,232
Quote:
Originally Posted by bomber60015 View Post
Chain, no doubt.

After owning a Tube Framed Buell, and watching many black snakes fall from the sky, I switched the Buell to a chain and never looked back.

That said, if the bike that truely floats your boat come with a shaft drive, worry real hard for about 3 minutes, and buy it anyway.

;-}
I like that!

Automobiles really have not had much of a problem since they changed from chain drive to shaft drive a century ago. A motorcycle chain is very affordable, easy to look after, inspect, and replace. It is also the easiest way to re-gear a vehicle's final drive.

Going shaft drive deletes the hundreds of seals (100 links, 2 seals each link) and adds a flex seal. you also have a final drive fluid you should maintain from time to time as well. The shaft usually weighs more. But the shaft stays cleaner as you are not putting a lubed part in the open environment.

So heavier, more expensive, less maintance or
lighter, simpler, more flexible to changes?
broncobowsher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 07:39 PM   #13
Louis Wambsganss
Adventurer
 
Louis Wambsganss's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Dallas, TX
Oddometer: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by LPRoad View Post
Well, since you asked.

Moto Guzzi V7
Triumph Scrambler
Honda CB1100
Yamaha Bolt
HD Sportster
BMW G650GS
Honda CB500X
BMW R nine T

The CB500X and the G650GS are really the most practical for my needs, but honestly I don't like the way newer bikes look. The Sportster and the Bolt would require some modification to be a bit more dirt worthy. The R nine T is pretty damned expensive (although if it is the ONE I would pay for it). The CB1100 is really bigger than I would prefer, and I wish it got better gas mileage. The V7 is my favorite aesthetically, but I am not a mechanic, and I am concerned about reliability and such. At this point it seems like the Triumph might be the best compromise. If Yamaha would bring the SR400 over, it would be in serious contention, but as someone mentioned in another thread recently; "Sensible doesn't really sell in America much"
Just a quick thought here: If you are considering the CB500X, and are not opposed to a slight increase in price (I'm assuming you aren't since other bikes on your list are relatively expensive), you should look at the NC700X. I test rode both and went with the NC. It feels like it's the same weight as the CB500X, handles about the same, but has a really handy trunk, gets better mileage, and the engine is more drivable in city traffic due to lower RPM torque curve.

I also tried a CB1100, since I've had several old Honda CBs, but I thought it was a little too authentic. It still handled like an old CB, and felt heavier to steer. The brakes and engine are very nice, but not $10,000 nice (to me at least).

FWIW, I've also owned all three types of drives. I probably like chains best at this point. As has been mentioned, modern sealed chain tech has come to a point where very little maintenance is involved. I use a spray chain wax. It's not greasy or messy, doesn't sling goo everywhere, and doesn't attract dirt. The old plain chains that needed heavy greases and engine oil drips are a thing of the past. Shafts are nice, but heavy, and very difficult to change ratios if you ever want to. Belts are light, clean, and maintenance free, but not as cheap or easy to find parts. With a chain, you can get sprockets and chains cheaply, quickly, and easily.

Louis Wambsganss screwed with this post 12-04-2013 at 07:46 PM
Louis Wambsganss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 08:11 PM   #14
JimVonBaden
"Cool" Aid!
 
JimVonBaden's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2005
Location: Alexandria, VA
Oddometer: 48,421
Quote:
Originally Posted by LPRoad View Post
Well, since you asked.

Moto Guzzi V7
Triumph Scrambler
Honda CB1100
Yamaha Bolt
HD Sportster
BMW G650GS
Honda CB500X
BMW R nine T

The CB500X and the G650GS are really the most practical for my needs, but honestly I don't like the way newer bikes look. The Sportster and the Bolt would require some modification to be a bit more dirt worthy. The R nine T is pretty damned expensive (although if it is the ONE I would pay for it). The CB1100 is really bigger than I would prefer, and I wish it got better gas mileage. The V7 is my favorite aesthetically, but I am not a mechanic, and I am concerned about reliability and such. At this point it seems like the Triumph might be the best compromise. If Yamaha would bring the SR400 over, it would be in serious contention, but as someone mentioned in another thread recently; "Sensible doesn't really sell in America much"
Budget some for suspension and brake upgrades on the Scrambler. Both are just above KLR quality, but take well to mods.




Jim
JimVonBaden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2013, 04:06 AM   #15
GH41
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Oct 2011
Oddometer: 822
Don't buy a belt drive if you are going anywhere near gravel! Not even a gravel driveway! GH
GH41 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

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 On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 09:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014