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-   -   Chain vs Belt vs Shaft (http://www.motorcycle.com/forum/learning-ride/12343-chain-vs-belt-vs-shaft.html)

phantagarow 06-24-2009 12:02 PM

Chain vs Belt vs Shaft
 
Two days ago I visited a store to browse before I settle on my first bike.
Should the final drive on a bike be a deciding factor?
Do any of these has advantages over the other?

longride 06-24-2009 12:22 PM

"Should the final drive on a bike be a deciding factor?"

No.

pushrod 06-24-2009 01:56 PM

It depends on the bike and how it's used, but as LR said, no.

Buy the bike that you will use and enjoy.

However, if you don't want to clean your rear wheel and lube and adjust the chain on a regular basis, don't buy a chain-driven bike.

seruzawa 06-24-2009 02:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pushrod (Post 217044)
It depends on the bike and how it's used, but as LR said, no.

Buy the bike that you will use and enjoy.

However, if you don't want to clean your rear wheel and lube and adjust the chain on a regular basis, don't buy a chain-driven bike.

Heck, that's hardly true any more. I put a new bikemaster x-ring chain on the Zrex 6K ago and I haven't had to do anything to it yet.

mscuddy 06-24-2009 03:25 PM

I found that a hydrostatic drive, like the wheels on an irrigation system work bestus. Also, those belts, chains, buckles, clasps and other nonsense don't hold a candle to a nice hydrostatic drive like a Pinzgauer or Unimog use. GO HYDRO HOMESES!

Kenneth_Moore 06-24-2009 04:33 PM

I think belts provide the best combination of simplicity, durability, and low hp loss, but like LR, I wouldn't pick a bike based on the final drive.

acecycleins 06-25-2009 09:23 AM

Shaft sounds fine- until something breaks
Chains sound find- except for the issue is slightly more noise and the fact that you must consider replacement of chain and sprockets in your budget.
Belt- less to maintain than Chain. Smoother. Limited bike selection.

Look, maintaining your bike is going to cost you in any case. It's really a matter of what you want. Pick based on want and intended purpose. To pick based on driveline would simply be silly.

Kenneth_Moore 06-25-2009 10:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acecycleins (Post 217124)
Belt- less to maintain than Chain. Smoother. Limited bike selection.

I thought a belt kit for the DL1000 would be a great idea until I found out it's over $1,000 for two pulleys, a belt and guard, and a bag o' bolts. I can spray some lube for those prices.

VH Motorradtechnik Shop - Suzuki DL 1000 V-Strom 300-004-00

pushrod 06-25-2009 11:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kenneth_Moore (Post 217139)
I thought a belt kit for the DL1000 would be a great idea until I found out it's over $1,000 for two pulleys, a belt and guard, and a bag o' bolts. I can spray some lube for those prices.

VH Motorradtechnik Shop - Suzuki DL 1000 V-Strom 300-004-00


I was thinking about getting a belt conversion kit for my Sprint, but my funds were directed elsewhere.

Then I learned that belt drives need a substantial amount of tension. The output shaft bearing on a chain bike was not designed for that, and thus would probably fail in rather short order.

MOKE1K 06-25-2009 11:59 AM

Chain = the most maintenance with the least amount of power loss

Shaft = The most loss of power but cheaper than a chain drive to maintain.

Belt= Best of both worlds, very little maintenance most direct power.

Finally drive should never be the end all of a purchase, but it does cost more or less depending on which one you choose.

sarnali2 06-25-2009 12:11 PM

The biggest advantage to a chain is you can change the sprocket size to alter the final drive ratio. Handy on a race bike but not really nessecery on a street bike. As Seru said modern x ring chains are virtually maintenance free so that's a moot point. They're cheapest and easiest to replace....

Shaft drives are fine but require some oil changes and when they fail it's an expensive fix, belt drives can break or be damaged and are also expensive but not like a shaft,

all have their advantages and disadvantages, I wouldn't let them effect my purchase desicion

MOKE1K 06-25-2009 12:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by seruzawa (Post 217046)
Heck, that's hardly true any more. I put a new bikemaster x-ring chain on the Zrex 6K ago and I haven't had to do anything to it yet.

You must be puttin around on that thing like an old lady if you havent had to atleast adjust it yet after 6k miles? usually a chain drive x-ring or not will seat in after 600 miles and you'll need to adjust it.

Kenneth_Moore 06-25-2009 12:34 PM

So these "X" chains are the shizit? I'm thinking the DL needs one; it's got 20k on it now. Plus I want a shiny gold one like the Busa Boyz have.

seruzawa 06-25-2009 12:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MOKE1K (Post 217157)
You must be puttin around on that thing like an old lady if you havent had to atleast adjust it yet after 6k miles? usually a chain drive x-ring or not will seat in after 600 miles and you'll need to adjust it.

The UHP says otherwise.

MOKE1K 06-25-2009 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by seruzawa (Post 217165)
The UHP says otherwise.

UHP, Why listen to UHP cant you tell on your own?

Kenneth_Moore 06-25-2009 01:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MOKE1K (Post 217169)
UHP, Why listen to UHP cant you tell on your own?

Utah Highway Patrol's new Motorcycle Chain Inspection Program uses state of the art, lazer-based chain tension measurements to establish the sag far closer than anyone could ever achieve by themselves. The amazing part is that they can do this from their car at highway speeds!

The_AirHawk 06-25-2009 03:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MOKE1K (Post 217157)
You must be puttin around on that thing like an old lady if you havent had to atleast adjust it yet after 6k miles? usually a chain drive x-ring or not will seat in after 600 miles and you'll need to adjust it.

I typically get 25K-28K out of a sealed chain, and adjust as necessary every 10K or so. Granted, it might be possible that as a general rule the chains on my bikes are "too loose". But I LIKE 'em Loose.........

phantagarow 06-25-2009 04:27 PM

What happens when the chain sags?

tripleripple 06-25-2009 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MOKE1K (Post 217152)
Belt= Best of both worlds, very little maintenance most direct power.

What Moke is trying to say is, you should get a Buell.
Snicker.

sarnali2 06-25-2009 08:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phantagarow (Post 217193)
What happens when the chain sags?


well, they don't look as nice as firm and tasty fresh ones......(.)(.)

Dr_Sprocket 06-26-2009 04:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tripleripple (Post 217196)
What Moke is trying to say is, you should get a Buell.
Snicker.

I was thinking the exact same thing! LOL

phantagarow 06-26-2009 07:13 AM

I really would like to see you fondle, squeeze, and kiss the chain. 8)


Quote:

Originally Posted by sarnali2 (Post 217219)
well, they don't look as nice as firm and tasty fresh ones......(.)(.)


sarnali2 06-26-2009 07:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phantagarow (Post 217253)
I really would like to see you fondle, squeeze, and kiss the chain. 8)


I prefer to perform my chain "maintenance" in the privacy of my own garage....some soft ambient lighting, a little Beggin' Barry White on the CD.....a comfortable pillow to sit on....a nice warm can of chain lube.....a few shiny cold steel wrench's of the proper size...

I'm sure you can guess the rest....

pplassm 06-26-2009 07:43 AM

Mmmmm. Warm can of loooooooooooob............

phantagarow 06-26-2009 08:33 AM

Hmm...Love of motorcycles in every sense of the word. Time to call Howard Stern or Jerry Springer.

On a more serious note, what happens if you fail to maintain the chain.
I know this is a noob question.


Quote:

Originally Posted by sarnali2 (Post 217254)
I prefer to perform my chain "maintenance" in the privacy of my own garage....some soft ambient lighting, a little Beggin' Barry White on the CD.....a comfortable pillow to sit on....a nice warm can of chain lube.....a few shiny cold steel wrench's of the proper size...

I'm sure you can guess the rest....


Kenneth_Moore 06-26-2009 09:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phantagarow (Post 217193)
What happens when the chain sags?

It makes a lot of noise, the drivetrain gets snatchy, and it increases the wear on the chain and sprockets. However, a little loose is better than too tight. Overtightened chains cause oil leaks at the primary shaft, wear out cush drives and the rest of the drive chain considerably faster.

Kenneth_Moore 06-26-2009 09:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phantagarow (Post 217263)
Hmm...Love of motorcycles in every sense of the word. Time to call Howard Stern or Jerry Springer.

On a more serious note, what happens if you fail to maintain the chain.
I know this is a noob question.

You buy more parts more often, and unless you're a self maintainer, you pay more labor. The worst thing that can happen is the chain will break. This usually happens at high speed, and will frequently cause the rider to contact the road surface violently. The broken chain can also wreck your engine cases, destroy the sprockets and/or rear wheel, etc. You don't want to go there, trust me.

Chain maintenance these days is so simple, adjust it once after 1,000 miles, then check it every now and then till you see wear. There are some excellent lubricants now that you can spray on every 300 - 600 miles depending on your riding environment.

sarnali2 06-26-2009 09:39 AM

Modern x ring and o ring chains require very little in the way of maintenance really, not like the bad old days of constant adjustments an lubing. As the lubricant is sealed inside the pivots by an x or o ring about the only thing required is a periodic cleaning, I spray some penetrating oil on a rag and wipe the chain down with that to get the surface grit off and check the chain tension every 1000 miles or so

MOKE1K 06-26-2009 11:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sarnali2 (Post 217270)
Modern x ring and o ring chains require very little in the way of maintenance really, not like the bad old days of constant adjustments an lubing. As the lubricant is sealed inside the pivots by an x or o ring about the only thing required is a periodic cleaning, I spray some penetrating oil on a rag and wipe the chain down with that to get the surface grit off and check the chain tension every 1000 miles or so


Maybe its just different on bikes with alot of rwhp, cause with a 520chain and 150hp, Iam adjusting mine at least once every week. Bearing in mind Iam anal about maintenance.

MOKE1K 06-26-2009 11:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tripleripple (Post 217196)
What Moke is trying to say is, you should get a Buell.
Snicker.

Hey now, I like the Buells I just dont perfer to own one. Thats all, too each his own.

sarnali2 06-26-2009 12:43 PM

A 520 chain is too light for that much power, I was running a 530 on 110 hp bikes and hardly having to touch them, in fact despite the wet weather here the stock Regina chain on my Trophy lasted 40K, granted that's an astonishing amount but there you have it. I usually average around 20k, that's on 1200 Bandits, a 750VFR and a ZX10, prior to that I had HD or BMW's so it's a different set-up.

phantagarow 06-26-2009 12:53 PM

The XB9SX looks sweet. Probably it is too much power for me so I won't be getting it as a first bike.


Quote:

Originally Posted by MOKE1K (Post 217285)
Hey now, I like the Buells I just dont perfer to own one. Thats all, too each his own.


pplassm 06-28-2009 09:26 AM

Probably too much for a first bike.

Have any riding experience at all?


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