Harley Davidson Drive Belt Replacement Cost & DIY Step By Step Process 2021

Do you sincerely wish to know how much the Harley Davidson Drive Belt Replacement Costs? From experience, it suffices to say that these belts are quite strong.

You only need to bother about their replacement after the bike has gone many thousand miles.

Harley bikers are always split between letting their dealers do the replacement and employing DIY hacks to finish the job.

As such, this article will try to cover everything about Harley drive belts, from pricing to other relevant information.

With this information, you can handle the installation yourself.

What is Harley Drive Belt?

The Harley Drive belt happens to be the bike component that supplies power to the rear wheel during the transmission process.

They are actually a more viable and trusted alternative to the stock drive chain that comes with the bike.

Harley’s drive belts were Harley’s way of taking off some of the burdens that came with drive chains.

Harley riders will always root for the Harley drive belt anytime, any day, due to its zero adjustments and fewer maintenance attributes.

How does Drive Belt work?

Drive belts work the same way as a drive chain. You can use one in place of the other, depending on your power requirement.

Just as the drive chain, drive belts are used to transmit power from one point to another (in this case, the power is transmitted to the back wheel).

While belt drives seem to be replacing drive chains, they are not without their own fair share of challenges.

One remarkable thing you should know is that the drive belt system employs friction to transfer motion between two points.

It is quite different for drive chain systems since they use teeth to do their motion transfer between the rollers and chain.

That is what accounts for the less friction experienced in such systems compared to drive belt systems.

Why does the drive belt need to be changed?

Drive belts are designed with an extremely long lifespan that can see it last for between 2 and 3 decades.

This long-lasting feature makes it easy for most veteran drivers to lose track of the belt’s maintenance routines.

Here are some of the reasons why you should change your drive belt as at when due;

  • It ensures a smoother ride
  • The bike experiences lesser vibrations
  • It prevents any sudden and unexpected breakdown
  • It assures you of safety on the roads

How often do drive belts need to be replaced?

According to an impeccable source from Harley Davison, the Harley drive belts can last you for up to 100,000 miles.

If you put it mildly, that’s between 20 and 30 years or even more. Some Harley biker owners love the sight of their belt, so they get rid of the plastic belt cover.

That’s an act that will automatically reduce your drive belt’s lifespan. Rocks and other debris can also cause damages to the belt.

Conducting regular checkups and getting rid of any debris buildup on the belt can be an excellent way to prolong your drive belt’s lifespan.

It’s also noteworthy that with any cracks on the belt’ outside, a replacement might be needed sooner than expected.

Harley Davidson Drive Belt Replacement Cost

The Harley Davidson drive belt is one of the most relatively affordable Harley Davidson bike components.

The exact amount you are likely to spend replacing your drive belt will be determined by whether the process will be handled by a professional or by you.

This section will x-ray both costs, so you know what to expect.

DIY Cost

If you are on a budget and want to replace your drive belt, you can always go with this option because it’s extremely affordable. With only $50 or a little higher, you can get this done.

Tools

For those who enjoy fixing their Harley drive belts, here are the tools required to complete the process.

  • Torx head wrenches
  • Screwdrivers
  • Standard sockets and ratchets
  • Standard box end wrenches
  • Allen / Hex head wrenches
  • Pliers
  • Red and blue thread lock
  • Snap ring pliers
  • Torque wrench
  • Appropriate seals and gaskets
  • Oil for primary

Time

Besides having easy access to all the tools needed for this process, it isn’t going to take you forever to get this done.

Plus or minus, it takes about 30mins to 1hr to get the belt replaced. Even if you have not done it before, yours shouldn’t be much longer than that.

  • Rear Drive Belt 1-1/2in. For 85-96 Harley Davidson Electra Glide Classic – This superior carbon-made drive belt is one of the best you can currently find in the market.
  • Due to the high-quality nature of this material, it is highly durable and reliable. Here are some of its features in brief;
  • Compatible with a host of Harley Davidson bikes (1985 – 1986)
  • Produced from strong carbon fibre
  • Minimal maintenance required

Replacement Process

As a DIY fan, I can guess that you are already itching to know how this can be done. The steps will be detailed beneath;

  • Step 1 – Position The Bike

Have the bike placed on a motorcycle stand, so that its rear wheel will be positioned above ground level.

Take out the rear wheel axle with a wrench. Push or move the rear wheel in the forward direction.

That will afford the belt the necessary slack so it becomes easy to remove.

  • Step 2 – Get Rid of Belt Guards

Use your ratchet set to take out the belt guards. Remove the drive belt from the rear wheel sprocket and transmission sprocket.

  • Step 3 – Install Your New Belt Drive

Fix the new belt on the rear wheel and transmission sprocket. Pull back the rear wheel to Harley’s rear end so that the new belt will be tight.

Get the rear wheel axle replaced and tighten it a bit.

Most importantly, make sure the new belt is tightened in line with your Harley model specifications. Reconnect belt guards.

For the rear tire, employ any alignment tool that is specified in your manual.

Professional Drive Belt replacement cost

As expected, a professional drive belt replacement is carried out by a certified Harley dealer. When you hand the bike to the dealer, they know what they have to do.

That’s because it has almost become second nature to them. Let’s find out some of the other things that make professional drive belt replacement different from the DIY approach.

Cost

You don’t need anyone to tell you that handing your bike to a dealer for drive belt replacement will cost you more.

They charge a couple of hundred bucks for this service. So, if you can afford it and you want a quality job, let your dealer replace your drive belt for you. Otherwise, try to do it yourself.

Time

This process doesn’t take too long. The dealer can complete the replacement in less than 30mins. Definitely, it is not going to take much of your time.

Process

Professionals are always going to do the installation with greater precision.

They will apply the same tools that have been mentioned in the DIY section. But, the difference is that they already know how to tighten the belt and align the rear tire properly.

That might give you a bit of a problem if you are doing it yourself for the first time.

FAQ’s Harley Davidson Drive Belt Replacement Cost

My friends say the drive belt is better than the chain drive. Please, is it true?

The Harley Davidson drive belt has enjoyed a lot of patronage from riders whose stock chains have been given them issues.

Though it’s small, this is an important component of your bike. If it doesn’t fail in the garage as it has for most people, it might disappoint you when you least expect it.

From the experience of most Harley bikers, belt drive seems to last much longer than its counterpart drive chain.

Therefore, if you are to choose between both options, I’ll always recommend you go for drive belts.

What is the precise cost of a drive belt?

Drive belts actually come in a wide range of options. So how much you buy yours will also depend on the type and quality of the drive belt you choose.

Generally, if you go to places like Amazon, you can get a drive belt within the range of $30 to $150.

Just have it at the back of your mind that it’s a relatively inexpensive accessory for a Harley bike.

How often do I need to service my drive belt for it to last long?

One remarkable thing about drive belts is that they do not require any serious maintenance like drive chain systems.

It does not require any lubrication to operate as expected. Regular inspection and cleaning out of every debris will help ensure that your drive belt remains in good shape.

Also, watch out for any cracks that could be on the outside. That’s a good sign that you need to change the drive belt pretty soon.

All in all, drive belts are known to last much longer than their drive chain counterpart. I hope you found this little piece of information useful.

How many times will I need to change my Harley Davidson drive belt?

Many Harley Davidson bikers who want to switch to drive belts from their stock drive chain are fond of asking this question.

Let it be known to you; a drive belt is not something you change every six months or one year. It’s an accessory that is designed to last for an incredibly long time.

They are manufactured from solid carbon fibre material that makes it possible to last longer than you can think.

Ideally, you are meant to replace the belt after every 100,000 miles. That’s a lot of time.

To be on the safer side, you can change the belt every ten years. That’s a more reasonable timeframe.

Are drive chains associated with more power losses than drive belts?

No! Drive chains use their teeth to transfer motion, an act that almost eliminates any form of friction. But drive belts leverage friction to actualize its motion transfer.

Therefore, you can expect more frictional losses to be experienced with drive belts. This ultimately transforms to higher power losses in the drive belt setup.

This is why drive chains are always preferred for high-performance tasks.

Is there any real disadvantage with drive chains?

There are plenty of shortcomings that can be linked with drive chains. Some of the inadequacies you experience on your bike are caused by them.

For instance, poor speed variation is a major challenge with drive chains.

That disproportionate speed behavior is what is responsible for the unnecessary vibration you see on your bike.

It is also responsible for a poor drive experience. Besides, you need to worry about lubrication and serious maintenance.

Fortunately, drive belts have been designed to help eliminate all of these problems.

Verdict

Drive belts are inarguably designed to last a very long time. They are a perfect alternative to drive chains.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to be reckless about them or pay no attention to them.

It’s recommended that you inspect them regularly for anything that could jeopardize their supposed longevity.

Finally, drive belts go for between $30 and $150, depending on the quality of what you choose.

 

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