Harley Davidson Drive Belt Replacement Cost: How Much Can You Expect To Pay

I. Introduction

Your Harley Davidson motorcycle drive belt transmits the drive from the primary drive to the rear wheel. An original Harley drive belt or its equivalent quality will give you many thousands of rides on your motorcycle.

This article takes you through the different topics on the Harley drive belt viz. Harley Davidson drive belt replacement and its cost, signs of a wearing out Harley Davidson drive belt, how to take care of your Harley Davidson drive belt, and ends with answering a few frequently asked questions on the topic.

II. Harley Davidson drive belt replacement and its cost

Your Harley Davidson motorcycle drive belt transmits the power from the primary transmission to the rear wheel. Even though both the driver and driven pulley wheels and the belt have teeth on them, friction between the belt and the pulleys plays an important role in transmitting the motion. Since the driver and driven pulleys have teeth on their periphery, some call them sprockets.

This belt can cost you 100 to 150 USD if you buy in an aftermarket/secondary market like Amazon. If you prefer to purchase it from Harley Davidson, it can cost you around 250 USD.

Replacing a drive belt for a Harley Davidson motorcycle is a laborious and time-consuming job and requires hands-on experience on a Harley Davidson motorcycle. The work involves draining the primary transmission oil, taking out the primary drive (including outer and inner covers), and approaching the driver pulley for the belt drive.

For some models of Harley Davidson (like touring models) apart from the work explained above, you have to take out the swing arm (fork), the rear wheel, and the muffler on one side.

If you have previous experience working on a Harley Davidson motorcycle, you can attempt to do it on a DIY basis. Study the owner’s manual thoroughly and take the help of a friend who has hands-on experience with Harley Davidson motorcycles. Be ready for the struggle, and it may consume your complete weekend.

Note down the tools suggested in the owner’s manual and ensure you have all the tools. Follow the safety code like wearing hand gloves to safeguard yourself. Consult your mechanic in case of doubt.

When replacing the drive belt, inspect the driver and driven pulleys and ensure they are in good condition and correct alignment.

YouTube videos on Harley Davidson drive belt replacement
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Alternately, you can choose to go easy and approach your Haley Davidson dealer for doing the complete replacement work including the cost of the belt. It can cost you around 1000 USD.

One more way is, you can purchase the drive belt and approach your reliable local motorcycle mechanic to do it for you. Even experienced mechanics may take 4 to 6 hours to do the job. Going to the local mechanic can save you some dollars.

III. Signs of a wearing-out Harley Davidson drive belt

An original drive belt fitted on your Harley motorcycle by Harley Davidson (or its equivalent quality) can last 50,000 to 100,000 miles if maintained properly.

The drive belt of your Harley Davidson motorcycle will not fail suddenly and there will be many visible signs of its wearing out.

The different signs of wearing out or failure of a drive belt are:

  • Wearing out or peeling of the teeth on the inside face of the belt. The belt can gradually lose more teeth/cogs.
  • The drive belt with low tension (loose) can lead to the belt skipping teeth while passing over the pulley and since this happens fast/rapidly it can result in uneven belt wear and premature failure.
  • An over tensioned drive belt can place a higher load on the engine and the belt can experience tensile stress.
  • Watch for glazing on the sides of the drive belt, and if you find any glazing it can be an indication of misalignment in the driver and driven pulleys. The misalignment causes uneven or undue wear of the drive belt.
  • Excessive load on the Harley motorcycle (more passengers or luggage) can also cause undue wearing on the drive belt.

IV. How to take care of your Harley Davidson drive belt

Tips for taking care of your Harley Davidson drive belt

  • Inspect your drive belt after every 2000 miles and correct the belt tension as specified in the owner’s manual. You can also look for any misalignment between the driver and the driven pulley. If there is a misalignment, take the help of your mechanic. The drive belt with low tension (loose) can cause the belt to skip teeth while passing over the pulley and a drive belt with higher tension can place a higher load on the engine and the belt can experience tensile stress. Either of the conditions will cause undue belt wear.

  • When you are replacing the drive belt of your Harley Davidson do not forget to check the alignment of the driver and driven pulleys and correct it if necessary.
  • Keep the maximum load on your Harley motorcycle within the limit specified in the owner’s manual.
  • Ensure the condition of the driver and driven pulleys and their bearings are good.
  • Your Harley Davidson motorcycle has a belt guard to ensure debris, pebbles, and nails do not enter into the belt surface and damage the belt. Never remove the belt guard when you are riding your motorcycle. Inspect the belt and pulley after a ride on the country road.

V. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

1What preventive measures should I take to avoid premature failure of the drive belt?
Inspect the drive belt periodically (once in a month or after every long trip) and do the following:

Ensure there is no debris or pebbles on the belt surface or on the driver and driven pulleys.

Ensure the belt tension is set as specified in your owner’s manual.

Watch for glazing on the sides of the drive belt, and if you find any glazing it can be an indication of misalignment in the driver and driven pulleys. If necessary, get it corrected.

Always ride your Harley motorcycle with its belt guard in place.

Do not overload your Harley motorcycle (excess passengers or luggage).

2What is the life of a Harley Davidson drive belt?
An original drive belt fitted on your Harley motorcycle by Harley Davidson (or its equivalent quality) can last 50,000 to 100,000 miles if maintained properly.
3When should I change the drive belt on my Harley motorcycle?
Please go through your owner’s manual and follow the schedule given there. However, if you take good care of the drive belt you may get more miles than specified in the owner’s manual, and the converse is also true, the drive belt can fail prematurely. So, you need to inspect your drive belt periodically and take care of it.

VI. Conclusion

The drive belt of your Harley motorcycle is an important part. If you take care of it, it will not let you down and you will never get stranded on a freeway with a broken or worn-out drive belt.

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