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Old 01-01-2013, 04:02 PM   #1
coolbreeze20
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Trimming drive belt down

To save a few bucks on buying a narrow belt for my 240 conversion I decided to trim down my old belt. Are there any potential dangers in using an altered belt? Will the integrity of the compound be compromised?


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Old 01-01-2013, 04:55 PM   #2
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I don't think I've ever heard of someone cutting a belt, and it doesn't seem like a good idea. Weakening seems most likely and it popping soon following the first bit of throttle.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:59 PM   #3
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common sense should tell you that using something altered and for other applications other than what its designed for will fail prematurely.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:47 PM   #4
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I'm looking for facts not speculation. Other members have tried it and I am curious as to the results. If I didn't have common sense I wouldn't have asked in the first place.


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Old 01-01-2013, 08:41 PM   #5
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I guess you need to answer 2 questions:

1) Is the thinner belt built the same as the wider belt?

2) Can you really trim the belt with accuracy?

If the answer is YES to both questions - go for it.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:54 PM   #6
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give it a go,what have you got to loose?
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:56 PM   #7
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Even if there is any doubt , why would you want to take a chance on your life and the condition of your bike at faster speeds.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:11 PM   #8
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This reminds me of threads where people spend $16k on a VROD, and wonder which oil is cheaper.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:36 PM   #9
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Yes. remove upper belt guard. Jack up bike. Use painters tape on the front pulley cover, and mark where you need to cut to width. Have a helper spin the wheel backward. Use a New carpet cutting razor knife with the rectangle blade. Go slow, and use a light touch. Let the blade cut. Takes several revolutions to do. Once you are through the belt, lighten up the touch. The teeth take a couple of revolutions themselves, and take care not to rip or tear them off the belt. Take your time. There is no edge banding. Nothing unsafe to cut.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:41 PM   #10
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If you saw how Gates manufactures these belts you would not worry. They are manufactured from a section of belt material feet wide and cut in sections to the specified width. Since the fibers in the belt run lengthwise, there is no loss of strength in cutting a belt lengthwise.
I put XR-1200 wheels on a Street Rod, and to make the gearing work out I had to use a 68 tooth rear pulley from the Isolated Drive System conversion for 2007/08 touring bikes. That pulley is only 1 inch wide and with a 30T front pulley I needed a 147 tooth belt. Nobody makes a 147T by 1 inch wide belt. But, Victory makes a 147T belt that is 28 mm wide. Phil at Supermax Belt Drives cut the Victory belt down with a band saw and a special jig he has to a nice 1 inch width. He does beautiful work. I have had this belt on my bike for three years and some 25K miles, much of these chasing sport bikes through canyons or loaded for touring (sometimes both at once) and have noticed no stretch or unusual wear, and I check the belt very often exactly because it is modified.

If you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself (wouldn't blame you) call Supermax Belt Drives and let them do it for you. Developing custom belt drive applications is what they do.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:03 PM   #11
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Thanks for the input everyone. I'm going to finish it up tomorrow and take it to my local shop so they can grade my handiwork.


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Old 01-02-2013, 06:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philthy View Post
If you saw how Gates manufactures these belts you would not worry. They are manufactured from a section of belt material feet wide and cut in sections to the specified width. Since the fibers in the belt run lengthwise, there is no loss of strength in cutting a belt lengthwise.
I put XR-1200 wheels on a Street Rod, and to make the gearing work out I had to use a 68 tooth rear pulley from the Isolated Drive System conversion for 2007/08 touring bikes. That pulley is only 1 inch wide and with a 30T front pulley I needed a 147 tooth belt. Nobody makes a 147T by 1 inch wide belt. But, Victory makes a 147T belt that is 28 mm wide. Phil at Supermax Belt Drives cut the Victory belt down with a band saw and a special jig he has to a nice 1 inch width. He does beautiful work. I have had this belt on my bike for three years and some 25K miles, much of these chasing sport bikes through canyons or loaded for touring (sometimes both at once) and have noticed no stretch or unusual wear, and I check the belt very often exactly because it is modified.

If you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself (wouldn't blame you) call Supermax Belt Drives and let them do it for you. Developing custom belt drive applications is what they do.
Checker Industrial a supplier here does it as well.They cater to the car manufacturers and machine tool shops saving us days of down time and thousands of dollars.It doesn't matter if it's for a machine,the belt on your bike or refrigerant lines for your car all you have to do is bring in the old part and they will make you a new one on the spot far cheaper and and faster then anybody.If it's in good shape they would probably cut your old belt for you for a couple bucks instead of doing it free hand.Theres probably a rubber supplier like near you.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:44 AM   #13
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It has been my understanding that the narrow belts are stronger than the wide ones. Improved materials or some such. I've seen it printed here before so can't personally verify it.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:28 AM   #14
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Nope. Same stuff. Just thinner. Great belts. In 82, my FL had one. I passed a rock thru it, and figured I would wait until I broke it. 6 years later, 100K, sold the bike. It never broke. I just discovered a hole in mine on the R. I will keep you posted - but doubt it will have a problem. Joe
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:36 PM   #15
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I've read here, and rumor has it, that these belts are the strongest part on these bikes. A few riding companions that have older Harleys have had their belts break but I've never heard of the newer ones breaking unless there was some other mechanical failure that caused it (bad alignment, pulley seperating, etc.). Thank goodness for kevlar .
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