Chain vs. Belt?

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by papajohn, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. papajohn

    papajohn New Member

    I am new to this, when I bought my first bike I didn't know anything about chains or belts,
    I recently bought a 99 883 hugger, belt drive, I just saw a bike I really want, it is a 2000 1200c sportster, chain drive, what are the pro's and cons?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2010
  2. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Any sportster 1200 after 1990 would have come with a 5 speed gearbox and belt drive but on this one must have been replaced by a chain drive kit
    Chain drive may have been fitted to allow the use of a wider rear wheel and tyre (seems to be an obsession to some people)
    However chain final drive will require more maintenance regular lubrication and adjustment of the chain and id guess about 10000 miles life for chain and sprockets if used harshly
    Belt supposed life about 80000 miles i would change at about 50000 miles and no periodic maintenance other than checking the condition of the belt and rotors

  3. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    And a chain drive makes for a dirty oily rear wheel.

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Coming from the chain side of the house...chains while having come a long way with O-Ring sealed link pivots and such still have issues with cleanliness and wear. Since it's introduction in the 80's, the belt made by Gates has evolved into a clean, durable and efficient system.

    Belt drive is the way to go. The dig early on was the strength of the teeth verses torque and horsepower that has been addressed, using aramid/kevlar fibers and such. Going from one type of drive to another is expensive, personally I would leave as is, if you are like the machine...otherwise pass, if this is a make/break decision.
  5. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Unless you are drag racing every day belt is the only way to go. the pins and rollers can take more abuse from hard launches than a belt JMO
  6. ghost.england

    ghost.england Member

    the only experance ive had with belt drive before the fxstc was a mates kawasaki GPZ305
    he bought the bike second hand and never touched the belt in years.rode all weathers and rearly cleaned it .did every thing a chain did but no mess or adjustment.
  7. dangerdan

    dangerdan Junior Member

    I like my chains. My bike was originaly belt driven till as rock took out the belt drive and rear pully.. I was cheaper to convert to a chain drive than replace belt and rear pulley. I agree the chains are messy but while I am geasing my chain I am also inspecting the rear tires for wear and tear. If I had a belt drive I most likely would not bother.

    If my chain breaks (which has not happened yet) I can get a replacement for about $80.

    You like belts, I like chains. I dont think there is a wrong answere. Its whats suites the individual