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I have been battling some belt noise ever since I bought this bike brand new. And I'm to the point where I am ready to get rid of it.

first off, I need to get a belt tension tool. Right now I think I have it over tightened, but it felt like it had too much slop in it... Now it makes a different noise- on deceleration at EXACLY 20 mph and goes away after I coast slower than that. Its like a hrumph or droning sound.

I noticed last time that I tightened the belt (the time when I think I may have overtightened it) that the little tension spacer thingys werent even. I marked them with a fine-point sharpie. They were even until I tightened down the nut behind the muffler, then it wanted to roll around with the nut. I realize that the axle and spacers are slotted, but there is enough slop that the right side washer could follow the nut a little. Any ways to remedy this? How exactly do you make sure your rear wheel is aligned?

I'm sure if I get this taken care of, there will be another noise....

Good belt tension tool? any one better than the others?
 

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jacket off!
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Have you lifted the and tried spinning the wheel freely? When I think of the sound that you describe to be as "droning" it make me think that your rear brake may be dragging.

Also, I've never actually used a belt tension tool but when adjusting my belt I've always tightened it so that I don't get more than 3/4" deflection between pulleys. This may not be the most accurate way so I'd advise you to get the tool.

If you feel the slack in the tension cams is more than it should be, maybe contact the your dealer to see if they have an axel & tension cam on the shelf that you could physically compare..

Hope this helps. Good luck..
 

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What year and model bike you got?

You don't need a belt tension tool.

To adjust belt
1. Bike on lift with rear wheel off the ground.
2. Bike in gear
3. Loosen axle nut
4. rotate axle until the adjusting cams are at their low point
5. Push wheel all the way forward
make sure both sides of wheel are all the way forward
6. Rotate wheel clockwise until top of belt is taught and hold
7. rotate axle until bottom of belt will flex about 1/2" to 3/4"
8. Tighten axle nut
9. Retest for flexing about 1/2" to 3/4"

Note if the belt seems too tight restart at step 3 and when pushing wheel forward make sure both sides are fully forward before adjusting. You can't just reverse the axle tightening and expect the wheel to slide forward. Won't happen. You need to push both sides forward.
 

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enigmas
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When I fully rebuilt my 2004 VROD I noticed that after I fitted a replacement swingarm that the rear brake was dragging...and to think back it always did! I machined the right side spacer a bit .020" and managed to relieve this 'rubbing'.

It now rolls very freely. I believe this is a factory manufacturing tolerance that is out just enough to irritate!
 

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Posting From The Pub
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Spec is 10lb of force for 6mm of movement on the sidestand I think. Good idea to find the tightest point first as said above. Then place on sidestand and basically using one finger you should be able to move it a tiny bit. It isn't like a chain, you don't want acres of slack.

It is unlikely you have over tightened it, unless you have no slack at all. It is much more likely to be loose. If a bit loose it will groan over bumps, very loose it howls on decel.

Also, clean the belt. Any dirt or dust, they make a horrible noise.

I went to a rally a couple of years ago, very dusty field. Came back with a noisy belt. Spent ages trying to adjust it out, hence unwelcome expertise in finding correct belt tension. Correct belt tension is as tight as it will go while still having some slack at the tightest point and the tightest ride height, and that's very little movement. Anyway, having got there and still having the howl, I asked around and found cleaning was the answer in my case.
 

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Clean the sprockets too. Dust and dirt can pack into the sprockets.
 

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Have you lifted the and tried spinning the wheel freely? When I think of the sound that you describe to be as "droning" it make me think that your rear brake may be dragging.
That's what I was thinking. I've heard some odd sounds from mine that ended up being brake drag.

When you hear the sound, lightly press the rear brake pedal and see if the noise changes or goes away.
 

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All good advice. A clean belt will be quieter than a dirty one. According to HD, belt tension is set with the bike upright and weight on the wheels. Victory, which uses identical carbon fiber belts from Gates, has you set the belt tension with the rear tire suspended.
One thing I like about the way Victory tells you to adjust the belt is finding the tight spot. Surprisingly there is one. I use some yellow chalk to mark the edge of the belt at 90 degree intervals and measure the distance the belt flexes with 10 lbs of force at each of these marks. I do this with the rear tire suspended. I use the HD belt tension tool religiously to do this.
Then I set the rear tire on the ground with the tight spot centered between the countershaft pulley and rear pully on the lower run of the belt. With the bike upright (I use a wheel chock but you can have a friend hold the bike) I carefully turn the axle to set the tension,. For A. B, D, DX and X models the belt should flex only 8mm with ten pounds of force. If the belt moves the 3/4 inch some have said above, that is far too loose and will shorten belt life. R's have the loosest belt at 10 mm play for ten pounds of force.
By comparison, Victory calls for 9 mm of play with ten pounds of force with the rear tire suspended.
By the way, I had a noise back there I assumed was just belt noise but yesterday found play in the rear wheel bearings.
 

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Hi guys, I think I can solve this. I bet the noise you are hearing is a droning noise on deceleration when the engine is hot? This is what's happening. The pulleys are heating up and expanding and hence so is the belt, then once the belt get's a few miles on it the rubber wears on the outside edge and you will start to see the metal bands inside. it is then rubbing on the inside edge of the front sprocket when hot and the noise is amplified by the aluminium cover making the droning noise. I stopped it on my muscle by getting some of the Bel Ray wax chain lube that the sportsbike guys use (it comes out liquid then dries like a white wax), now here is the trick so you dont go spraying the crap all over your belt which is a bad thing. Just spray it into a small bowl or cap, you'll need a fair bit then leave it for an hour or so for the solvent to evaporate. Then get it on your fingertip and with your rear wheel elevated and the guard removed just rotate and smear it on the outside edge of the belt. You dont need a lot and it isnt sticky when dry so it will hold on but not attract dust. This problem drove me nuts all last summer and since i've done this it's gone away completely. You'll need to redo it approx every 10 rides or so when you hear the noise come back. Hope this helps.
 

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It would be worth a try as long as you don't overdo it with the chain wax. Silicone spray would also work to determin if it was a belt/sprocket noise.
 

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It sounds like the exact same thing mine was doing. At low speed, on deceleration: Humm-humm-humm. Low droning sound right? My problem was belt tension (Too tight). I was on a trip, stopped at a dealer, they loosened it and applied a little lube. It has since stopped. Good luck, hope that's all your's is, it's an easy fix.
 

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+1 on the belt being too tight.
 
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