Bugger! Bedeviled By Buell Belts Busting

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by SkiFastBadly, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. SkiFastBadly

    SkiFastBadly A beer? Yes, please

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    I can change a Uly belt on the side of the road with the tools I carry in 25 minutes, from dismount to riding off. How do I know? Late yesterday afternoon, after I got on the bike I looked at my phone and saw that it had been exactly 25 minutes since I had called Mrs. Skifast and told her I'd be late with the milk and eggs, as I had once again busted my belt.

    Now, the fact that I can accomplish this task in such a short amount of time is in some ways, I suppose, a testament to the well thought out serviceability of the thing. But it is in no small part also due to the fact that I've had a bit more practice than I'd prefer.

    This was the third time. First time, my 07 Uly had about 25K on it. Fortunately I had a spare belt, you might have read that account: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=520934

    The second time was last fall, on my 08 with approximately 13K on it. Last night the 08 again, now with 20K on the clock. So the trend is fewer miles between breaks. The belt that broke last night was latest generation.

    Now I'm aware that three data points do not a trend make, and sometimes random events cluster but really, doesn't this seem a bit unusual? I don't wheelie (cripes, I'm 57 they only guy close to my age who wheelies is Pluric and he's nuts) and I don't do much off road.

    I recently replaced the tires and followed the installation of the rear wheel to the letter, torque, loosen, torque.

    Any ideas? And while I'm at it, anybody know if Badweb is down due to Sandy?

    Thanks and ride safe.
    #1
  2. Mikef5000

    Mikef5000 Long timer

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    Perhaps wallow out the idler pully hole to give ever so slightly more slack to the belt?
    [​IMG]

    Other than that, buying the belts new and in the box? Eliminating the risk that someone previously kinked it or stored it wrong?

    I'm quite convinced it's just a fluke 90% of the time the belts let go. But after 3 (at nearly $200 a pop) I'd be a little upset.
    #2
  3. RealOldDualSportGuy

    RealOldDualSportGuy Been here awhile

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    Yes Bad Web is still down ARGH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We put 65K on two belts on the 06 Uly

    55K on the 07 beast, two belts

    17K miles on the 08

    Luckily no belt issues.

    As Mike suggested, maybe a bit of garage engineering on the tensioner, Possibly swap the OEM one out for the high dollar UK model.

    Good Luck

    :lol3
    #3
  4. JTucker

    JTucker Long timer

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    I've put two on mine, all I know is drooping the suspension under power is bad. Even steady easy power like jumping off a 4in curb.
    #4
  5. pluric

    pluric Gimpy Adventurer

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    I've got a great idea. MOVE ON. Geez you're like a woman in an abusive relationship.
    After a while you have to believe she enjoys getting beat up. How many more time does that
    bike have to break down before you get it? It is great thread starting material.:lol3

    Craig, get help. This is your online intervention. GET A FREAKING SHAFT!!!!

    Oh and........:fitz:ksteve

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. pluric

    pluric Gimpy Adventurer

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    One more thing, how do you not wheelie a Buell?:scratch It's like they were designed by Doug Domokos.
    #6
  7. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    That's what I'd do if I were you. Used a bit of care and a rat tail file on my own '09. Worked great.

    Ran my tubers very loose and never had a belt issue with any of them. Including a '96 S1 that still had it's original belt after 45k miles and three years of track use.

    :deal

    Was just trying to connect to badweb (first time in several months) and wondered what was up.
    #7
  8. Drunk_Uncle

    Drunk_Uncle Long timer

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    I only broke one belt before I sold my 09. I was told that a broken belt is the sign of a bad wheel bearing. Sure enough I looked and the bearing was bad. Luck was it was still under warranty. I tried for a 2010 wheel but caught it before any wheel damage so only bearing replacement.
    #8
  9. Hughlysses

    Hughlysses Long timer

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    I'd tend to think something in the rear suspension/drive train is slightly out of spec, like the distance from the output sprocket to the wheel is slightly farther than spec, the idler roller sits a little too high, or maybe the axle and the output shaft aren't exactly parallel. Does the belt track straight? Does it show any signs of wear on either edge? I suppose something could be machined incorrectly or the swingarm bearings could be worn so that the rear axle doesn't remain parallel to the output shaft as the rear suspension compresses. I'd jack the bike up and make sure there's no play in the swingarm. If that's OK, slotting the idler roller bracket seems like a reasonable thing to try; that would compensate for one of the dimensions being off and causing the belt to be too tight.

    It also couldn't hurt to contact Al Lighton at American Sport Bike and ask his advice and drop an e-mail to Erik Buell Racing as well. Somebody's bound to have a good idea of what the problem is.

    Badweb is down apparently due to Sandy. The servers are located in central New Jersey. There's a Badweather Bikers group on Facebook if you need a fix in the meantime.
    #9
  10. Kawidad

    Kawidad Long timer

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    That's pretty much what I was thinking too. :rofl
    #10
  11. Mr Grumpy

    Mr Grumpy Old Git.

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    Never had any belt issues with my Buells in over 9 years of ownership, my '99 M2 is still on it's original belt.

    For a tuber, run it as slack as you can get away with.

    For an XB there's various points of view, Between doing nothing & fitting a modified Free-Spirits tensioner.
    If you need info now, go to ukbeg.com

    The Free-Spirits unit is generally reputed to be a good bit of kit but there's the odd story of them falling apart, everybody I know who's had one has been well pleased.

    If your belt has been running so tight that it's snapped twice I'd say you've a problem. Slotting the hole may well do the trick for you, but I'd be checking the output shaft & wheel bearings too.

    Maz at "The Emporium" can tell you all you need to know.
    #11
  12. Hughlysses

    Hughlysses Long timer

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    Yea, we all know how those things are absolutely bullet-proof and fault-free.

    [​IMG]

    :lol3
    #12
  13. dave186

    dave186 Been here awhile

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    I just ordered a new belt so I have a spare for my 06 uly. only 7400 miles on it and never been changed AFAIK. My dealer said they just came off backorder last week and it was only $160.
    #13
  14. pluric

    pluric Gimpy Adventurer

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    My bad, Move on to anything that doesn't start with a B.:wink::D

    There's still enough room for a couple more. Craig?

    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. SkiFastBadly

    SkiFastBadly A beer? Yes, please

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    Regarding the setup, bearings and such, we're talking about two different bikes here the only common demominator (besides both being Ulys) is the rider. I don't think I beat the things. And even at 180/belt, I think it's a better deal than dealing with a chain every couple of hundred miles, if they last 8-9K. I'll start sweating when the belts are no longer available, that's when the price of these bikes will go through the floor.

    Rick, I knew I'd draw you out. Shame on you for that wheelie photo, not very ATGATT of you. Setting a bad example for the young'uns, you know.
    #15
  16. pluric

    pluric Gimpy Adventurer

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    Anytime I see your name on the beginning of a thread I have to see what's broken this time.:wink:
    Almost set my clock by it now.

    According to you I'm "Nuts" anyway so the little darlings will know better.:D

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

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    Craig, another inmate can get us belts for $104 delivered. He's still got a few.

    Bryn1203

    Saw this posted on the farkles thread. Ignore the haters, these are collector items and need to be cherished, preserved and most of all, ridden! Some day they'll be as cool as a 4 cylinder Indian and then who will be laughing?:rofl
    #17
  18. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    Modify your belt tensioner as noted above and in addition to a happier belt (and related bearings) your bike will shift better, too.

    Not entirely sure why the tensioner seems less than ideal on the Uly, but it could be the longer suspension travel of the Uly complicating it's function.

    :dunno
    #18
  19. JTucker

    JTucker Long timer

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    I really think the belt is a bit too short for the extra travel of the uly with the idler, mine has broken both times whem the suspension was drooped out and had a bit of a shock load.

    Pluric is right move on, you'll get used to the gear whine a lash of a tenere I'm sure. :lol3

    Yes I rode one and until I ride a shaft drive bike that's better than the tenere I rode I wouldn't own one. Possibly just an isolated problem with the bike, I'd ride another if I get a chance.
    After two belts on my uly I'm not a big fan of their drive system either.
    #19
  20. pluric

    pluric Gimpy Adventurer

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    See.

    The hardest thing to get used to is not needing a support vehicle when you do a milk run.:deal
    #20