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  1. #71
    Silver Member
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    Jul 2003
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    Strongstown, PA
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    kubota bx2200

    Default Re: Street Motorcycles

    Here is another question to fire up everyone's opinions.

    What is better from a maintenance perspective, shaft drive, chain or belt?
    Any noticeable difference driving it? Does one respond quicker, etc,?
    Just curious.

    Thanks
    Wes
    Wes
    bx2200
    Taurus PT709 9mm
    01 Honda Shadow

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  2. #72
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Texas

    Default Re: Street Motorcycles

    Never had a belt drive; just chain and shaft. I much preferred the shaft; didn't have to do any adjusting or lubricating. Do they still use a spray on lubricant?

    Noticeable difference driving it? None that I noticed.
    Bird

  3. #73
    Gold Member unbidden's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
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    R.I.
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    Kubota BX2660

    Default Re: Street Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by wjmst View Post
    Here is another question to fire up everyone's opinions.

    What is better from a maintenance perspective, shaft drive, chain or belt?
    Any noticeable difference driving it? Does one respond quicker, etc,?
    Just curious.

    Thanks
    Wes
    Have had all three. Chain drive gives more torque to rear wheel from a stand-still or low speed. A chain rides smooth but is a bit noisy and of course there is maintenance. Shaft drive is virtually maintenance free but is a bit rough if down-shifting from speed into turns. Belt drive is also virtually maintenance free and the ride is very smooth and responsive. Belt is my overall choice and shaft is my last choice. I guess it all depends on what type of bike and riding you do.


    Foster Center, RI

  4. #74
    Veteran Member
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    Dec 2007
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    Ontario, Canada
    Tractor
    Ford 3930

    Default Re: Street Motorcycles

    Belt is efficient, low cost, and depending how belt tension is addressed - no or minimal maintenance. A good fit for many riders today. A proper design can handle high torque loads.

    Shaft is more expensive, requires a bit of minimal maintenance (oil change, long haul), and can change the chassis dynamics slightly. Shaftie bearings don't necessarily last forever, but some of that may be due to people (esp. rain riders) skipping oil changes.

    Chain is more maintenance than many today will bother with (I recall one post about a rider at a coffee shop speaking to a couple because he was concerned about the RUST on their chain. The lady thanked him, then turned to hubby and said - "Time we got the spray out". He pulls out a can of WD40 and proceeds to spray their motorcycle chain).

    Chain does have he advantage of allowing you to change the overall drive ratio on a bike, should you be inclined to raise/lower operating RPM of the engine at a given road speed.

    My lazy man's solution to chain maintenance is to use Dupont's Chain Saver spray. Good lube, and is designed to be virtually self cleaning - works as claimed, at least in a street application where I ride.

    Rgds, D.

  5. #75
    Elite Member Ken45101's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    southern Ohio
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    Kubota M5040, M9540, B21 TLB, B2710, RTV900, JD 325 Skid steer, KX-121-3 mini excavator

    Default Re: Street Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by unbidden View Post
    Shaft drive is virtually maintenance free but is a bit rough if down-shifting from speed into turns.
    I don't see how shaft drive would be rougher downshifting, wouldn't that be a function of the tranny? All three have a fairly tight connection to the rear wheel with a slight bit of play.

    A chain should be properly lubed every couple of tanks of fuel. I know that I tend to forget to do that Of course, I don't have the lube with me at the gas station.

  6. #76
    Gold Member unbidden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Street Motorcycles

    I don't see how shaft drive would be rougher downshifting, wouldn't that be a function of the tranny? All three have a fairly tight connection to the rear wheel with a slight bit of play.
    I find shaft has a grab to it when down-shifting from a high rate of speed; not as smooth as belt or chain. However, I haven't driven a shaft bike that was produced in the last 15 years, the newer ones may be smoother.


    Foster Center, RI

  7. #77
    Elite Member Car Doc's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    3,246
    Location
    Kansas
    Tractor
    YM3810D Yanmar

    Default Re: Street Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by wjmst View Post
    Here is another question to fire up everyone's opinions.

    What is better from a maintenance perspective, shaft drive, chain or belt?
    Any noticeable difference driving it? Does one respond quicker, etc,?
    Just curious.

    Thanks
    Wes
    My first belt drive was an 81 KZ440 LTD and at the time it was pretty shaky territory but they turned out to be basically bulletproof and still are. They are maintenance free and quiet but very expensive compared to a chain so you pay at the front or the back with anything. my .002
    Yanmar YM3810D, LT duty 3pt hoe, 6' KK2 tiller, 6' KK box blade, 6 1/2' KK disc, 5' Howse bush hog, 5' Howse back blade, 9" Yellow PHD, 3 Husky chain saws 346XP NE, 359, 372XP. 07 HD Heritage Softail, Crack injectors, check compression, take 2 beers and call me. "Hey you didn't build that."

  8. #78
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Texas

    Default Re: Street Motorcycles

    Some of us who are old enough to remember when fan belts breaking on cars was common were a bit surprised when motorcycles came out with a belt drive. My last broken belt on a car was in 1976 and the car was a 1974 Plymouth Satellite. "Belts" for whatever purpose have changed over the years. My first garage door opener was a screw drive; always worked great. Then this house had a chain drive garage door opener. It worked fine, too, for a lot of years, but had to be replaced last year. I intended to go with a chain drive, but was surprised to learn that their belt drive has a better warranty, so that's what I got. Of course, it's also much quieter.
    Bird

  9. #79
    Gold Member mvwicker's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
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    St Louis, MO
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    2007 New Holland TC34DA

    Default Re: Street Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Bocephous View Post
    That made me chuckle.
    Yes, the diehard bikers don't ride beautiful shiny show bikes, they have muddy, greasy beaters with dead bugs all over the front parts and maybe some road rash.

  10. #80
    Gold Member mvwicker's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
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    St Louis, MO
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    2007 New Holland TC34DA

    Default Re: Street Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by 3930dave View Post
    Belt is efficient, low cost, and depending how belt tension is addressed - no or minimal maintenance. A good fit for many riders today. A proper design can handle high torque loads.

    Shaft is more expensive, requires a bit of minimal maintenance (oil change, long haul), and can change the chassis dynamics slightly. Shaftie bearings don't necessarily last forever, but some of that may be due to people (esp. rain riders) skipping oil changes.

    Chain is more maintenance than many today will bother with (I recall one post about a rider at a coffee shop speaking to a couple because he was concerned about the RUST on their chain. The lady thanked him, then turned to hubby and said - "Time we got the spray out". He pulls out a can of WD40 and proceeds to spray their motorcycle chain).

    Chain does have he advantage of allowing you to change the overall drive ratio on a bike, should you be inclined to raise/lower operating RPM of the engine at a given road speed.

    My lazy man's solution to chain maintenance is to use Dupont's Chain Saver spray. Good lube, and is designed to be virtually self cleaning - works as claimed, at least in a street application where I ride.

    Rgds, D.
    Best chain lube (IMHO) is 90w gear oil, dribbled on after a ride when the chain is hot. Thicker oil stays on longer. It is also way cheaper than spray lube.

    My evidence: 36,000 mi so far on an O-ring chain, lubing every 350 mi or so.

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