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#195973 - 03/20/05 7:19 pm belt drives  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 5
airplaneman Offline
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airplaneman  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 5
Japan
Are belt drives really worth the money when used for street applications? Doesnt seem like it would unless im racing on the track. Saving a few pounds and gaining a few hp will be unnoticable on the street. So what if I have to still change the primary oil. What are your thoughts/experiences with belt drives?

#195974 - 03/22/05 7:18 pm Re: belt drives  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 19
Boneville Offline
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Boneville  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 19
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
They say it not only adds to performance and lightens the weight, but it also requires little maintenence. I really want a set for my bike but the $800CAN is holding me back.


eugly@hotmail.com
69 Cafe Bonneville
00 Daytona
#195975 - 03/23/05 4:59 pm Re: belt drives  
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,058
Redman Offline
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Redman  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,058
San Francisco
I'm happy to have a QPD on my A65 but woudn't have bought it new. 700US can buy much more power/goodies/new paint/whatever.
I was lucky enough to pick one up used on eBay for a total of 300. So I got it. LOVE the Norton style diaphram clutch.


Life is short but very wide.
#195976 - 03/23/05 5:31 pm Re: belt drives  
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 243
Dr_Hiller Offline
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Dr_Hiller  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 243
Seattle, WA USA
Panic,

I nearly spit my coffee all over the keyboard and monitor, laughing of course, when I read your post. Good one.

Despite Panic's grumpiness, a few nice things can be said about belts. A properly set-up belt drive should be quieter, lighter and more efficient than a roller chain.

That said, I haven't settled on the model for my Norton buildup, nor have I had to grapple with the belt tension and alignment headaches that I *know* are coming. It'll be in there for the INOA July Rally though, so I best get cracking.

Lets review: Expensive? You bet. Easy to set up? From what I've seen and heard on this board and others, not often. Clean and quiet? So I hear (pun intended). Efficient? Very. Your cup 'o tea? Totally up to you.

My $0.02,
David


Ride safe,
David
--------------------------

1971 Norton Commando (parts bucket mongrel)
#195977 - 03/23/05 5:49 pm Re: belt drives  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,913
Britbodger R.I.P. Offline
In Remembrance
Britbodger R.I.P.  Offline
In Remembrance

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,913
Houston Texas
I'm afraid my one experience with belt drives is bad.

I had invested(?)in a Hayward belt drive that is supposed to run in oil for one of my BSA Rocket Threes.

After about three years service (not sure how many miles)some of the teeth stripped but the belt did not completely break. Unfortunately it then wedged itself behind the shock absorber pulley resulting in a bent gearbox mainshaft. Also bits of wire strand were all over the place including in the driveside main bearing and oil pump gears. I am now faced with a complete stripdown of the engine and gearbox with replacement of gearbox mainshaft, oil pump gears and driveside main bearin to say the least. So not a fan of belt drives needless to say except perhaps for racing where belts are run dry.

If I do decide to persevere with belt drive (I understand that Hayward is now using a different material)I would replace the belt frequently. However, almost certain that I will go back with a chain (as I have on my other Rocket Three).

Just my own experience frown - may not be typical.

#195978 - 03/23/05 6:33 pm Re: belt drives  
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 557
jangg Offline
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jangg  Offline
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Joined: May 2004
Posts: 557
Norway, just south of Oslo
Quote:
Originally posted by airplaneman:
So what if I have to still change the primary oil. What are your thoughts/experiences with belt drives?


'73 Commando Basket - new aluminium cyl
'93 Ducati 900 SS

"Better lit a light than cursing the darkness"
(Confucius)
#195979 - 03/23/05 6:40 pm Re: belt drives  
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 557
jangg Offline
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jangg  Offline
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Joined: May 2004
Posts: 557
Norway, just south of Oslo
ooOOPPS!
What I intend to comment was (of course) that belt drive is a dry system (as probably mentioned). - It's actually a reason for getting a less oil leaking "system".

As for the "bottom line"--belt drives' risky business for road application: Belt "mince meat" due to lack of stabilazation(eg. outer clutch bearing aso).

Anyway - good luck!

Cheers jangg


'73 Commando Basket - new aluminium cyl
'93 Ducati 900 SS

"Better lit a light than cursing the darkness"
(Confucius)
#195980 - 04/27/05 3:06 pm Re: belt drives  
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 16
Weathermann Offline
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Weathermann  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 16
Washington DC
Dr. Hiller,

I have a Norvil (Les Emery) belt drive on my 74 850. I am pretty happy with it now that it is properly set up and aligned. I got it before the rate of exchange went south so there may be better values now here in the states. You can get a variety of ratios, which I will leave up to you depending on your particular set-up.

You will really want to have a double-sided adjuster. Several of the typical vendors offer a double sided stainless adjuster like the one I use. You have to drill a hole in the cradle for the left side adjuster bolt. Be sure to drill this in front of the adjustment slot and in a correct position to allow a wide range of adjustment for the belt. I first installed the pulleys and belt on the crank and tranny (without the inner primary cover), loosely adjusted the belt for correct slack with the right side adjuster and then marked the position of the new hole to be drilled that would allow for the widest range of adjustment.

If you drill the hole behind the slot, as is done on the right side, the inner primary cover blocks access to the left side adjuster and you cannot adjust the left side without removal of the inner primary cover.

To finally adjust, you will need to use both adjusters for 1) belt slack adjustment and 2) to enable rotational adjustment (twisting) of the tranny with respect to the cradle (where appropriate) so that the tranny and sleeve gear/main shaft are perfectly parallel with the crank. Otherwise, the belt will preload the sleeve gear with respect to the main shaft and make shifting difficult and unpredictable. The stock chain allows for some misalignment without preloading the sleeve gear/main shaft but a belt will not. Hence, the desirability of the double-sided adjuster with a belt drive. If after installing a belt drive you find shifting has deteriorated, I would suggest checking the parallelism of the sleeve gear/main shaft and crank. The voice of experience here.

No primary leaks with a belt drive. Be sure to use Dyno Dave's clutch rod seal. Buy a spare belt at the same time you buy the belt drive and write down the manufacturer's part number in your workshop manual so that you know what belt to get should the printed number on the belt become unreadable. I found that I had to slightly relieve the top and bottom alternator posts (and if I recall correctly, also the inner primary top dowel boss) to prevent my belt from rubbing on them, since the correct belt tension allows quite a bit of belt slack (and whip) when the bike is cold.

Depending on your belt drive and alternator, you may also need the deep rotor nut, if you don't already have one, to allow for sufficient thread engagement between nut and crank.

Good luck.

Weathermann

#195981 - 05/02/05 7:54 pm Re: belt drives  
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 706
beltdriveman Offline
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beltdriveman  Offline
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Posts: 706
The biggest gain with a CORRECTLY DESIGNED, CORRECTLY MADE AND CORRECTLY FITTED belt system is that it allows BSA/Triumph and Norton owners to end up with a clutch that works correctly.
It will probably come as a serious shock to many of you but a motorcycle multiplate friction clutch should....1 NOT slip when fully engaged. 2. free off INSTANTLY and WITHOUT DRAG whenever required. 3 be EASILY operated by the user. 4 possess the LIGHTEST rotating weight reasonably possible rather than being an unbalanced gearbox breaking flywheel as so many British bike so called clutches were.
Incidentally the Synchroflex AT10 belt was designed to be run DRY. Yes I know Mr Hayward tells people it can be run in oil but as a few years back the manufacturer told me in a letter that no testing with oil had been conducted......and why should it of been?? Except by Mr Hayward to determine the power losses due to pumping the oil from between the belt and pulleys...the effect the oil has on belt tension etc etc.And how the hell do you get a clutch that works correctlyon a British lump unless you run it DRY???

#195982 - 05/02/05 8:41 pm Re: belt drives  
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 16
Weathermann Offline
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Weathermann  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 16
Washington DC
Beltdriveman makes a very good point. My clutch works like a dream and I also lost about 5 pounds of driven mass in the sprocket, chain and clutch basket by replacing the stock stuff with the belt drive.

Weathermann

#195983 - 10/22/05 11:34 am Re: belt drives  
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 258
BSAPhill Offline
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BSAPhill  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 258
UK
You could always look at a Bob Newby belt drive, not cheap, but one of the better ones so i am informed.

Pictures here:

http://www.btinternet.com/~rshearwood/index.html

#195985 - 10/22/05 1:16 pm Re: belt drives  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,332
Mark Parker Offline
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Mark Parker  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,332
Bega NSW Australia
I run a std triplex chain in my A65 and always get where I'm going, I have fitted an alloy clutch basket off e-bay that's been in for about a year approx 10-12,000miles, and seems ok. I had alloy plates in with that initially but the expansion of the plates released the clutch, in town if I didn't select N every time I had to stop it would heat up, expand start dragging expand even more and stall trying to drive away.
Some years ago I had a wet type AT10 belt kit but after getting stranded 3 times with stripped chunked belts, I gave up on the expense and unreliability. I hope your belt experiences are better, but my experience is you'll do less walking, phoneing and trailoring with a chain.


mark
#195986 - 10/22/05 8:29 pm Re: belt drives  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 564
MarksterTT Offline
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MarksterTT  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 564
San Francisco Bay Area
Mark Parker or anyone, A little off topic but does anyone have a contact for the Australian company that was selling the slotted steel plates for Tri/BSAs clutches on eBay a while back. The price was good and design to prevent warping, coning & dragging seemed sound, I just waited to long and now they haven't been back on eBay. Thanks, Mark

#195987 - 10/22/05 8:50 pm Re: belt drives  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 564
MarksterTT Offline
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MarksterTT  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 564
San Francisco Bay Area
BSAPhill, The Newby beltdrive looks very nice but I was concerned with lack of clutch damper rubbers or springs. One source said they aren't necessary while another source said I'd eventually damage my gearbox without the shock absorbing hub, so far I've held off on beltdrives.I helped install a Tony Hayward on a friends T120 years ago and it was pretty straightforward and very well made, also very light. The belt weighs ounces while a duplex chain is couple of lbs. The alloy drum tends to expand with heat and tighten up the belt so hopefully your installation has adequate slack to start with since the only way to loosen one is with a skimmed pulley, so I've been told, unless of course you're running a non-unit eng. My friend hasn't really put any miles on his T120 so can't relate as to performance of unit. The Map beltdrive looks nice, runs dry but MAP stresses air cooling and I sometimes run up and down dirt roads so didn't fancy that set up either...just some thoughts...not sure if the ultimate beltdrive has been made yet...Mark

#195988 - 10/24/05 7:58 pm Re: belt drives  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,875
Ron - in California R.I.P. Offline
In Remembrance
Ron - in California R.I.P.  Offline
In Remembrance

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,875
California
Yes, you should have a cush in the system. All (non-automatic transmission) motor vehicles (2 or 4 wheeels) have a cush somewhere. They do not spend the extra $$$ to do that if it was not needed.

I also would NOT run an alloy front pulley, unless I was racing and replaced it yearly.

If you are shredding belts, then you have an alignment issue, fix it..! Also, I have not had an AT belt fail due to oil.

Lots of those modern high torque cruiser bikes use belts.

All too often, guys seem to think a belt should be a bow string.. NO, it should have about the same play as a chain. Too tight damamges things, as belts do NOT stretch or offer any cush.

Cheers..!!

Ron - is all belted up now...

#195989 - 10/24/05 9:02 pm Re: belt drives  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,839
hh Offline
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hh  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,839
British Columbia
Ron: From somewhere in the mid 70s, Sportsters don't have any cush in the system. However, I wouldn't try it on a Brit bike.


"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin
#195990 - 10/25/05 1:42 am Re: belt drives  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 175
Jeff Covert Offline
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Jeff Covert  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 175
Benton, AR USA
In the past few years I have broken things that most people only have nightmares about!

A short list you ask?

I have tried 1/2 x 5/16 single row setups with an A 10 cush drive in the front, I have tried Triumph style double row chains, I have tried the stock three row chain, QPD Belt Drives, Bob Newby Racing Belt Drives.

Every single setup has Broken (literally pulled the chains and belts apart) most of the time exploding the cases on the primary side.

It is imperative that you use a Bearing Support behind the clutch if your motor makes good Horsepower, other wise the Main Shaft will flex and move forward in the cases allowing too much slack in the chain, that along with the resulting misalignment makes the Chain / Belt try to climb up the Pulley / Sprocket teeth to the inside, and when it succeeds (and it will) you make little pieces out of big pieces in your primary!

I am now running Hi- Vo Chain Drives in my Primary on the race bikes with the Bearing support plates held in with 1/4 - 20 bolts with nyloc nuts on the countershaft sprocket side, I do this because I have broken the smaller screw kits that come with the bearing plates, it really looks nasty in there when all those bolt heads run through everything!

Jeff


Jeff Covert

#195991 - 10/26/05 1:11 pm Re: belt drives  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,332
Mark Parker Offline
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Mark Parker  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,332
Bega NSW Australia
Jeff if the primary drive drove through straight cut gears with an idler gear inbetween the clutch and crank gears the direction would be right and the loading would be different not pulling on the clutch wheel like a chain or belt, the load would be in the teeth mesh area and maybe more focused in turning the clutch wheel rather than pushing it out of mesh, which is the only way it could force the clutch out of line, a spring loaded split gear (like on the cam drive of a VFR) would eliminate the backlash rattle and if it was supported with bearings on both sides, (c/case and primary cover)I expect it could work?


mark
#195992 - 11/04/05 8:35 pm Re: belt drives  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 79
PoorBoy Offline
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PoorBoy  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 79
Cincinnasty, OH
I have been running a MAP belt drive setup for about 3yrs now on my '69 Big Bore 650/750 Triumph. Completely Dry setup. Light. Clutch engagement like no other. I love it. Plus if your building a custom you can cut the primary or run no primary just to show it off. I can't say my bike is noticably faster because of it... but it is noticably cooler. Thats for damn sure!! It is one less oil leak to worry about also.

R


Check the builds out @
www.poorboyschoppers.com
#195993 - 11/05/05 12:56 am Re: belt drives  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 175
Jeff Covert Offline
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Jeff Covert  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 175
Benton, AR USA
I don't know about the gear drives, I think the chain gives the setup some necessary cushion.

I know that when BSA came out with the late model clutch centers / cush drive that only had the three long screws to hold it together there was a problem with the 3 arm inner piece locking up to the point where there was no cush to it at all which resulted in the transmission exploding any time there was any rear wheel hop, such as crossing Rail Road Tracks. A couple of big lawsuits came out of that.

As for street use the belt drives are great, the QPD and the Bob Newby Racing setups have super smooth clutch action.

I would recommend either one of those for street use. They just won't take 60 + Horsepower on the racetrack!

Jeff


Jeff Covert

#195994 - 11/05/05 1:50 pm Re: belt drives  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,332
Mark Parker Offline
BritBike Forum member
Mark Parker  Offline
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,332
Bega NSW Australia
Does someone know (Panic maybe) would a geardrive use more HP to drive? would there be more power loss to the back wheel than a chain, or belt? I wasn't all that serious suggesting how a gear drive might work, but after looking at some gear drive conversion kits for cams in V8's on the net making one might be an interesting project, some of these cam drives use a double floating idler, and others like mildon use a single idler which is off to one side and adjustable for mesh, (backlash rattle) so something like it could be set up a little tight cold to compensate for the alloy cases heat expansion. I remember testers complaining about the backlash rattle in a bike with a gear driven primary (Hesketh I think)when hot, but that would have been probably just 2 gears on fixed centres and non adjustable.
Here's a little exercise in dynamics, related to chain and belt destruction and clutch missalignment, as described by Jeff, when you start an outboard motor with a rope, pull start, it often lifts the motor because some of the force pulls on it, there is none of that when you use the starter motor because the force is being applied in quite a different fashion.
Because of the rolling chassis I use, my bike has the std cush drive in the clutch plus a cush drive in the back wheel, and perhaps a wheel with a cush drive might be the answer for anyone running a clutch without one.


mark
#195995 - 11/05/05 11:32 pm Re: belt drives  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,348
BONZO R.I.P. Offline
In Remembrance
BONZO R.I.P.  Offline
In Remembrance

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,348
Michigan, USA
I was looking into a belt setup for an a-65 a while back , money in hand and hot to own the best I could find I was straight up talked out of the whole idea by a very reputable BSA engine and race bike builder. Among other things I was looking for reduced vibration and smoother highway riding . I was told that a belt drive will tend to get hot and come apart if not replaced routinely and that it would offer no improvement in reliability over a stock chain , especially on a long distance regularly ridden bike , and probably be less reliable...Bodgers experience sounds almost exactly like the advice I was given. all in all it sounded like the way to go for a race bike , a custom bike , or even a canyon blaster that doesnt pull daily service, but I prefer to ride as often as possible and keep the wrenching to a minimum

FWIW-BONZO

#195996 - 11/11/05 11:22 am Re: belt drives  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 457
Zackybilly1 Offline
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Zackybilly1  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 457
Picayune, MS
I'm running the MAP variety on a Triumph unit road/sport bike...a non-pampered bike, for sure. This belt drive system utilizes a sealed bearing insuring that the basket does run true with the trans mainshaft at all times, unlike the 20 loose rollers which was a major attraction to me. I'm not sure of the direct weight comparison from this system to a stock system but it is considerable, thereby, reducing flywheel effect/rotating mass. The belt system is substaintially quieter/smoother than the chain system and may even add a little extra cush in the system. It never needs adjusting.

Although, ventilation is recommended for "longer belt life", mine is not. In the beginning, I elected to replace the belt more frequently than to deal with road grime in the primary but had no idea what that frequency would be. The system is dry and therefore, I run no gasket or drain plug for the case. After about 2k miles on the belt, I pulled the primary cover and found a light "hazing" of black dust where the belt had settled in. Marked the direction of rotation, pulled the belt off, clutch plates out and hosed everything clean with carb cleaner and compressed air. Re-assembled and did a visual inspection again around 5K...all looked fine. Though I do pack an extra belt on long, multi-state trips, everything still looks good with 19K on the first belt. At a recent AHRMA roadracing event, I saw several machines that were running the same system with excellent results under harsh conditions making me feel better about my selection, as well.

The clutch plates for this system are for dry service which is convenient. There are more drive tabs on the clutch plates which are substantially bigger than stock with no "beat out" in the basket to date. The dry clutch has a little different feel during engagement and only requires very little pressure plate lift for a clean release primarily due to the lack of oil drag between plates and the basket not cocking under the release of spring pressure on the clutch pack. Never have the stuck plates to deal with on start up. Finding neutral while running is effortless and it always goes into gear without a noise which make the transmission happy. The clutch plates are aluminum based, further, lightening the system.

Would I pull a perfectly good stock set-up on a daily rider for this belt system? No.

Would I go out and buy a new crank sprocket, duplex or triplex chain, chain wheel (clutch basket), 20 loose bearings and stock clutch plates to replace a worn or missing primary drive setup instead of this belt system? Absolutely not.

I'm not trying to sell anybody on anything or justify why I went this route. I am just giving my experience on the product so you won't be as "in the dark" as I was when I made the decision. To each his own.

When the first belt finally has to be replaced, I'll follow-up and report the mileage.

Z

#195997 - 11/12/05 5:13 am Re: belt drives  
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,058
Redman Offline
BritBike Forum member
Redman  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,058
San Francisco
Great to hear it Zackybilly...I have a QPD on my (yet to run) A65.
Hope it gives me as good service as yours.
I'll be posting for sure.


Life is short but very wide.
#195998 - 03/28/06 10:02 pm Re: belt drives  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 8
phil840triumph Offline
BritBike Forum
phil840triumph  Offline
BritBike Forum

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 8
suffolk england
i run a bob newby cltch these have a sealed bearing .6 springs set up my bike is a triumph 91mm stroker 840 cc .i did have a mike hayward kit on but had trouble with clutch slipping but now have no troubles .hope this helps

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