Belt Tension

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Belt Tension


To check the belt tension, the following tools are required / make life easier:

  • Belt tension gauge
  • 1-1/8" wrench / socket
  • Paint pen
  • Inspection mirror

Tips on checking belt tension:

  1. It is very difficult to do if you don't take the muffler off. Not impossible, but difficult. The axle bolt is tight (100 ft-lbs) and if you cant get a socket on it, which you can't with the muffler on, then you need a good offset box end wrench. I did mine with the offset wrench but if I had to do it again I would get a new muffler gasket and just remove the muffler.
  2. Before you start get one of the paint pens from a craft store. The silver one works great. They have a point like a pen but actually draw a fine paint line.
  3. Get a large inspection mirror. One of the 1.5x3 inch type from the auto parts store, not the tiny round ones. This really helps you to get a good look at the index marks. # Take the paint pen and make a small dot aligned with one of the index marks. I counted from the front of the bike back to the 4th mark on both sides and marked the cover right under each of them.
  4. Then loosen the axle bolt and the adjuster lock nuts and with a small open end wrench turn the adjusting nuts until they feel like there is some pressure on them. The one on the belt side always feels snug but the one on the right side was not even finger tight.
  5. When you are sure both are snug then turn one side a 1/4 turn then the other the same. Check the dots to see how much you moved. It will only be the width of the dot, most likely.
  6. Then check the belt tension again.
  7. Repeat.
  8. If you go too far like I did, just back off a 1/4 turn and go to the back of the tire and (without knocking your bike off the stand) kick it 4 or 5 times to push it toward the front. You will know you hit it hard enough because when you loosened the adjusting screw you can tell there is no pressure on them and after you kick the tire both screws will be snug again.
  9. Just go back and forth from left to right and before you tighten the axle nut check the dots compared to the reference marks. You won't have moved very much at all, maybe the width of the dot you made. My belt was reading 27 mm and between 1/2 and 3/4 of a turn on each adjuster was all it took to bring it back to 10 mm.
  10. By the way in case I didn't make it clear (and I didn't) you do need to get the back tire off the ground for the adjustment. There is probably a way to do this on the side stand but I would not feel secure that the tire would not cock to one side if there was that kind of pressure on it when the axle bolt was loosened, and the tolerances change for the belt tension when the wheel is up, but I adjusted to the middle of the range with it on the jack and when I let it down and rolled it back and forth and then rechecked it on the side stand it was in the middle of that range as well.

NOTE: It really is a simple adjustment, just make accurate marks close to the index lines for a starting point because the arrows the factory puts on the plastic are way too far away from the index marks to use and they are black on black. Oh yea, after the axle nut is good and snug tighten the lock nuts on the adjusters and then finish really torquing the axle nut. If you don't have a torque wrench, pretend you are tightening a lug nut on your car and then go to Harbor Freight and pick one up for $20. I have a wrench for work that must be calibrated every year and I always check my HF wrench with my work wrench. Its always within 3 or 4 ftlbs so even for a cheap tool they work well. The axle nut must be about 28 mm but I didnt have a 28mm offset box end but a 1 1/8" fit real well. Something else to think about if you don't have a set of big wrenches, as most sets don't go up this high.