change chain to belt ? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-05-2015, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
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Question change chain to belt ?

A Friend said he changed the chain on his Suzuki dual sport to a belt drive. Makes for a much smoother ride, he says. Ever heard of doing this with a KLR ?
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-05-2015, 07:22 AM
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-05-2015, 09:08 AM
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I would like to see some more info on that Suzuki. I'm sure it can be done but the bigger question would be why.

Biggest issue I see is having to remove the swingarm pivot to change the belt. Haven't seen any belts with a masterlink.

Another is sprocket/pulley size. Pulley is wider and would be larger in diameter. You would need a wider swing arm.

What about suspension? A chain can run with slack to allow for suspension movement. A belt can't. How does Harley get around that - very little suspension movement. May be okay on a road bike but a dual sport ........

I suppose anything can be done. It's not something I would consider as the cost versus benefits aren't there. Heck with the wind noise and progressive hearing loss my KLR is as quiet as my Goldwing.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #4 of 9 Old 11-05-2015, 09:53 AM
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It could be done if the bike's swing arm pivot was in line with the center of the engine sprocket. That way there's no change of the engine to wheel sprocket radius as the wheel move through it's range of motion.

Some dirt bikes are designed that way. Unfortunately KLR650s are not.
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-05-2015, 11:21 AM
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a bad idea for any bike that sees anything off pavement.....no dirt bikes with belts for a reason.

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post #6 of 9 Old 11-05-2015, 04:37 PM
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Mud dirt and rocks dont mix well with belts!
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-05-2015, 10:23 PM
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I'm fine with the chain for the reasons listed.




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

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post #8 of 9 Old 11-06-2015, 12:14 AM
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Dad used belt drive to get ME moving, LOL,
but chains are for offroading. LOL

On my Dyna, the pulley and swingarm pivot were very close to each other.
The manual only called for 1/2 to 5/8" deflection if I remember right.
Also the swingarm (as mentioned) had very little travel.

Chains offer less drag on the drivetrain too.

This is my son, with whom I am well pleased." ----God
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-06-2015, 12:37 PM
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I'll stick with chain thank you very much. The only other option I would consider would be a shaftie but then the bike will be just too big to handle decently.
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