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Old 12-05-2013, 06:34 AM   #16
anotherguy
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My Tuono's current chain is at 33K and has life left in it. It's a DID ZVM-2 with JT steel sprockets. I replace the front sprocket @ 16K miles 'cause they wear faster. Lubed frequently with Dupont multi-purpose from Lowes.

Belts on their own are lighter but the space required and added weight of the pulleys turns me off to belts. They live long and are virtually maintenance free but fragile in some circumstances.

Shafts are for sidecars and Ford trucks.
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:20 AM   #17
hugemoth
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Japanese made shaft drive for a street bike.
Chain drive for a trail bike.

I hate chains but for trail bikes they're the only real option. There is nothing like a Japanese made shaft drive for street use. Clean, smooth, very low maintenance, lasts forever.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:11 PM   #18
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I've done a crapton of miles on Harley belt drives. Done a lot of gravel roads at high speeds even in the Midwest.
Never once had an issue. Of course now I will :)

I'm with the others. Don't let the drive dictate the bike you buy.
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:57 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GH41 View Post
Don't buy a belt drive if you are going anywhere near gravel! Not even a gravel driveway! GH
I never heard that before. Valuable information for me. I will no longer day dream about belt drive motorcycles.
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:56 AM   #20
Bar None
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"The Sportster and the Bolt would require some modification to be a bit more dirt worthy. "
What mods? I have ridden lots of gravel roads on all types of bikes without modification. Some can be ridden faster than others but all are/were fine at a sensible rate. Of course real single track dirt riding is a different animal.
I've had shaft, chain, and belt drive bikes and all were fine. I guess I would prefer shaft but not by a lot.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:16 AM   #21
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I LOVE my (Honda and hopefully Yamaha as well, time will tell) shaft drive. Buy and forget. Had some badly rusted chains in the past due to winter use and salted roads. Also I don't want to know how it's like to clean a chain after burrying it in mud, but ok that doesn't apply to you.

If possible I'll always choose the shaft for comfort.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:23 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnone View Post
"The Sportster and the Bolt would require some modification to be a bit more dirt worthy.
I was thinking a bit more rear suspension, and appropriate tires. Nothing too exotic :) And I hear you about riding dirt roads on non dirt bikes. My current ride is a little '04 Vulcan 500. I ride it on dirt roads because it is all I have. I have promised to give it to my step-son when I move next year. That is one of the reasons I am considering the Bolt and the Sportster, I do like cruisers even if they are not ideal for my future circumstances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trc.rhubarb View Post
I've done a crapton of miles on Harley belt drives. Done a lot of gravel roads at high speeds even in the Midwest.
Never once had an issue.
Now you have jinxed yourself! I guess my question would then be, how hard is it to replace a belt on the road? I think I will go search you-tube for Sportster belt change videos
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:26 AM   #23
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Sportster and Buell are easy to replace belts. All the big twins are not a roadside repair. My biggest problem with them.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:30 AM   #24
Dave in Wi
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Final drive: Chain, Shaft, Belt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LPRoad View Post
I guess my question would then be, how hard is it to replace a belt on the road? I think I will go search you-tube for Sportster belt change videos
HD used to offer an emergency repair belt that had a "joint" in it. Don't know if they still do or not.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:31 AM   #25
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I really like my Honda shaft drive bike except for the small stator, short fuel range and folded riding position.

Yes chains have come a long way, but riding in dusty/gritty conditions means they need a lot of attention. You may want to do that or you may ride in less dust.

In the '80s all the Japanese manufacturers were making shaft drives for touring. I suppose the extra cost and weight didn't help sales. Now I don't know of a shaft drive under 1200cc which I think is unfortunate. I don't expect it to change because of the cost and weight.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:39 AM   #26
Dave in Wi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anotherguy View Post
Sportster and Buell are easy to replace belts. All the big twins are not a roadside repair. My biggest problem with them.
I didn't see your post before I posted... I stand corrected. Guess I need to take a closer look at a Sporty.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:55 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in Wi View Post
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.
I'm sorry, but this is just internet mis-information-fueled CRAP. Like others have said, modern motorcycles are light years beyond the unreliable junkers we all rode when we were kids (for me, that's 52 years and 45 different motorcycles of history). I've owned three BMWs with shaft drives and put about 150,000 miles on between them with absolutely ZERO issues. I can't say that about any of the chain-driven bikes I've owned - they are higher maintenance, period. My shaft-driven BMWs have been the lowest maintenance bikes I've owned and I've put many times the hours/miles on them than any others. All that said, though, I wouldn't hesitate to own either kind of final drive. Chains last a long time with modest maintenance. I don't think anyone wants a belt drive on a bike that will be used frequently on gravel roads.

I've got a 2001 BMW 1150GS with over 50,000 miles of mixed dirt roads/ratty asphalt/good highway riding, usually loaded like a moving van and two-up, and the final drive has never once given me any grief. For that matter, NOTHING on that bike has ever failed, it's just taken normal maintenance and replacement of wear items over the years. It's the best bike I've ever owned for reliability, fun, and all-around utility. I love that thing but am the first to admit it ain't no dirt bike at 550 pounds wet weight (without luggage or a passenger). It can be a handful if the road or trail gets rough; the bike is capable, it's just big and heavy.

As others have said, I would opt every time for a fuel-injected bike over a carb'ed bike primarily for the ease of starting regardless the weather. I've owned many kinds of both and I have learned to love FI. I've currently got the BMW GS and a 2010 Yamaha WR250R that are both injected. They can sit for a month or more and will ALWAYS fire up on first touch. I've never had to twiddle with any of the FI bikes I've ever had, but the carbed bikes always needed twiddling to get them going if they sat for a while or if it was cold.

I think the best advice I've seen in both your threads has been to find a bike that meets your needs and lights your fire, buy it and ride the piss out of it. Modern motorcycles are incredibly tough and reliable, so it's very likely it will serve your purposes for as long as you care to own it with just basic routine care.

Your retirement sounds like it's going to be a HOOT! I grew up in New Mexico and absolutely love that country. It's so cool to be able to go from desert to high mountains in a few miles. If I were looking for The One Bike I'd certainly get one that's comfy on longer rides because there is so much to explore in that region.

Best wishes for a very happy retirement!!!!

Doug
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:21 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugemoth View Post
Japanese made shaft drive for a street bike.
Chain drive for a trail bike.

I hate chains but for trail bikes they're the only real option. There is nothing like a Japanese made shaft drive for street use. Clean, smooth, very low maintenance, lasts forever.
I've got a final out in the back of my car with some fuckered seals that disagrees with you.

Just messing around there. Anything will break/age eventually. I like the shaft drive on my bike. Change the oil in the final, and I greased the ever loving shit out of everything I could last time I had the hub off.

The only thing I don't like about shafties, is you can't modify your ratios like you can with a chain. Or not easily anyway. And damn sure not cheaply.
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:15 AM   #29
2tallnwide
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My Tiger has a chain, our RGU has a belt, the best bike I ever owned had a shaft drive. If the bike suits us, the final drive is not an issue.

I do prefer shaft drive when a choice is available for street/adventure touring, but for dirt, or drag bikes I'd prefer a chain. YMMV of course..
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:20 AM   #30
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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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRedToyota View Post
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.
FWIW WD-40 is a lube. It's a mix of kerosene, light machine oil, and the secret water displacing chemical.

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