Checking Drive Belt Tension with wheel on ground? - Victory Forums - Victory Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Question Checking Drive Belt Tension with wheel on ground?

The Kingpin owner's manual says the drive belt tension is to be checked with the rear wheel off the ground. I don't have a real motorcycle lift so this is problematic for me and seems silly. How are you supposed to check tension on a road trip?

Is there a way to check belt deflection on a Kingpin with the tire on the ground? Every chain driven bike I've ridden the slack is checked with the bike on the ground with rider weight in the saddle.

On my 2007 Kingpin I have little tick marks on the lower chain guard.
With the bike sitting on the sidestand with no luggage or rider, approximately what is the right deflection on a cool bike?

If I sit my cool bike on the sidestand, and check the deflection by pushing the belt up at the center point between the drive gears I get about 1/2" from static belt to maximum upwards deflection at maybe 40 lbs of pressure. This is on a cool bike. It seems tight to me but my bike has had the belt this tight since I bought it 5,000 miles ago.

I really want this to be right ASAP because I leave for a 1,000 mile trip in the morning!

Thoughts?

Last edited by KINGCL; 09-12-2013 at 10:21 AM.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 03:08 PM
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Thoughts?

I go by the manual.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creek_IP View Post
Thoughts?

I go by the manual.
Raising the rear tire off the ground to check belt tension is a bit absurd for people who actually want to ride instead of putting the bike in the garage for half a day just to check something that takes 10 seconds on other bikes.

Owner's manuals are designed to keep the company out of lawsuits. There are always easier ways to do things.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 06:08 PM
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I have a 12xct and tried to get rid of the belt chirp and squeek, a lot of us have experienced, several times by adjusting the belt like the manual says, with no luck. Finally, I adjusted it on the ground AND hot to what I figured was a good tension under those conditions. And now have hardly any belt noise at all. Worked good for me.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 06:15 PM
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Is it too much to ask to buy a Jack and do it the correct way? How do you check a chain when your sitting on the bike? Check your belt deflection before you go on any trips and you will be fine.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 08:16 PM
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Well, if I was looking for an easier way, I would still start with the manual instructions. That way I would know it was in spec. Then I would put the rear tire on the ground and check deflection from there. I'm not trying to be a wise guy, that's just the only way I know that would be close. I'm not real sure I would just take someone's word for the deflection using a home grown short cut. Too lose and you wear out the belt and pulleys. Too tight and you eat your bearings.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creek_IP View Post
Well, if I was looking for an easier way, I would still start with the manual instructions. That way I would know it was in spec. Then I would put the rear tire on the ground and check deflection from there. I'm not trying to be a wise guy, that's just the only way I know that would be close. I'm not real sure I would just take someone's word for the deflection using a home grown short cut. Too lose and you wear out the belt and pulleys. Too tight and you eat your bearings.
I jacked it up and measured about 5/8" upward deflection at ~10 lbs of pressure. Then I measured it with the bike on the ground it is still 5/8". put 1,000 miles on it this weekend and the belt felt perfect! No noise, no chirping, just smooth sailing!

So apparently the Kingpin belt has about the same tension whether the wheel is raised or on the ground. This is the same for most bikes since the swing arm pivots close to the front drive gear so changing the swing arm angle does little to change belt tension.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-25-2013, 04:41 PM
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Years ago I bought an adjustable over-center jack at a Harley dealer (only because that's the only place I could find 1). Used it many times to get 1 tire or the other off my Intruder, but recently on another forum I saw someone had made the same thing from a scrap piece of 2x8, a length of pipe and a couple of bolts. Probably cost the guy $5 at Home Depot.

Lots of service reasons to have a jack or lift of some sort around no matter the brand of bike.

Ride Safe!

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-25-2013, 05:50 PM
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The real issue here is not whether the wheel is jacked off the ground, but is the suspension fully extended when you check the belt tension. Unless you ride with exceptionally soft suspension settings, your bike will have little or no suspension "sag" when on the side stand with no load. Often you can just pull up on the rear of the bike and the suspension will go to full extension - and it will probably stay there.

If your measurement is not satisfactory, then you will have to jack it up to make adjustments. But just checking doesn't have to be a big deal.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-25-2013, 05:53 PM
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I would say don't micro-manage it just ride it and don't worry so much.

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