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Thread: A question about belt tension ?

  1. #1
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    A question about belt tension ?

    Sorry if this is noob stuff--
    im concerned about my belt tension as im off on a touring holiday.

    I have found that if i tension my belt on my 2010 RKC to between 9.5 and 11 mm at the loosest point on my year old belt and new sprockets when i finish a ride and check the belt again its totally out of adjustment. As in reALLY FIGGING TIGHT!
    i re adjusted it to 15mm at 10 pounds pressure cold and went for a ride and when i got back and re tested it at the same mark its was now 9 mm
    My local HD| advised me to set the tension with a hot engine having confirmed the belt was to tight when hot!
    so i did. taking off the exhaust muffs with oven gloves. Set the correct tension and next day checked it and cold its now 25 mm deflection at 10 pounds pressure.
    Surely this is all total bullshit. And there's summit wrong somewhere?
    The stealership says when u set the tension cold it should remain the same tension when engine and sprockets r up to temp (which my belt doesn't do) but surely when the large sprocket heat up there gonna tighten the belt?
    I donno im lost here and ?
    Anyone any idea whats going on or is this all fine set it cold and it's gonna get real tight when hot nps?
    OMG it started !!!!!

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  2. #2
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    Re: A question about belt tension ?

    Alignment ok? Could cause additional friction. Do you have to check the tension with the proverbial 12 stone rider?

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  3. #3
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    Re: A question about belt tension ?

    The shop manual on my '96 Electra says to tension the belt with rider sitting on bike. HTH.

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  4. #4
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    Re: A question about belt tension ?

    Answer to above, my weight is average 75 Kilos
    Manual for 2010 doesn't say with rider onboard
    adjusted with both cams firmly up against there stops.
    looks like im screwed lol dealer has no space to check it out an no one has any ideas why my belt seems to be self tightening when hot and loosening when cold?
    lol well last year i was cruising around Wales on hols with a inner primary bearing screeching at me waiting to crumble and implode ( it didn't thank god ) now iv got a belt the self tightens (to breaking point?) and loosens, for a trip touring around the Lakes from London. Rofl i lov riding my RK but i'm beginning to think its Jinxed. a

    2nd Hol waiting for the worse to happen
    not happy.
    Last edited by howo; 01-07-2018 at 11:48 PM.
    OMG it started !!!!!

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  5. #5
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    Re: A question about belt tension ?

    If you get no joy from this forum, try www.harleytechtalk.org it's a USA site & folks on there are brilliant. HTH.

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  6. #6
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    Re: A question about belt tension ?

    Don't know if this helps at all, but if you raise the rear wheel off the ground and slowly turn the wheel, at the point where you should check the tension, check the tension with your fingers every few inches.
    You will find a point on the belt that is the tightest spot (mark it with chalk or similar) Double check this point. This is the spot you need to use when checking tension (cold) with the tool.
    Check how the belt runs on the sprocket and is not running tight against one side. Lower the bike back down.
    Check wheel alignment.
    Some bikes have to have someone sat on it (stupid idea) some don't. I have not found any real difference either way really. But this is probably to ensure the center line through the front sprocket, center line through the swing arm and center line through rear sprocket lines up, this being the tightest possible spot in the the rear wheels arc of movement.
    From what i have gleaned from various forums is that most belts are too tight from the factory.If you normally carry lots of weight, pillion/luggage etc the adjust the belt slightly slacker to compensate.

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  7. #7
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    Re: A question about belt tension ?

    Sitting on the bike was/is a mandatory part of checking the CHAIN tension.....on older/custom Harleys

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  8. #8
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    Re: A question about belt tension ?

    Quote Originally Posted by harley506d View Post

    Some bikes have to have someone sat on it (stupid idea) some don't. I have not found any real difference either way really. But this is probably to ensure the center line through the front sprocket, center line through the swing arm and center line through rear sprocket lines up, this being the tightest possible spot in the the rear wheels arc of movement.
    The logic here would be the geometery of the pivot in relation to the position of the sprocket. When the suspension bottoms out you don't want the belt to tighten up to the point of snapping, hence the checking when someone is sitting on the bike.
    Sussex Coaster

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  9. #9
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    Re: A question about belt tension ?

    This is what it states in my HD Workshop Manual for a 2016 Softail it it's of anything to go by;

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    When you adjust the belt with the rear spindle nut undone, remember that when you torque the nut back up, there will be an slight increase in the belt tension, so if you adjust it to spec, then tighten, chances are it will be too tight. It is a trial an error process from my experience and may need a number of minor adjustments before it's set.
    Last edited by Dazzlin; 03-07-2018 at 12:14 PM.
    Darren Thomas
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  10. #10
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    Re: A question about belt tension ?

    thanks all good advise though why this is such a problem for me i just dont know.

    Your an ----- fill in as required
    OMG it started !!!!!

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