Chain? Belt? Shaft? Which is Better?

Motorcycle Chain Drive

Chain Drive

Well, if you are thinking in terms of motorcycle fashion apparel, I would recommend chrome, shaft-drive pendants, hanging from a series of gold chains that are attached to a leather belt with a chrome bike-buckle to secure your pants. And that should give you a good indication on why I am writing about bikes instead of fashion.

OK, here’s the multiple choice quiz you wished for in elementary school: Which is the best way to drive power from a motorcycle engine to its rear wheel?

  1. Chain Drive?
  2. Belt Drive?
  3. Shaft Drive?

If you answered “1,” “2,” or “3,” you are right!

(Wouldn’t that be great if all quizzes were that easy?)

All three are valid and workable technologies. In addition, they’ve all been around a very long time. “Which is best” depends upon your type of riding and/or personal preference.

First of all, for some riding applications “no thinking is required” because you won’t have a choice, but other types of riding can benefit from a little forethought.

No Thinking Required:

  • Dirt bikes come with chains
  • Dual purpose motorbikes have chain drives
  • “Most” sport bikes are driven by chains (with rare belt-drive exceptions)
  • In fact, the majority of motorcycles are chain driven
  • However, most large touring bikes are usually equipped with a shaft drive

Thinking Required:

Motorcycle Belt Drive

Belt Drive

  • Cruisers are the most popular type of bikes to find belt drives, although you can buy cruisers with shaft or chain drives
  • Sport-touring bikes primarily include chain or shaft drives
  • Most adventure-touring bikes are driven by chain or shaft with a rare belt-drive exception

OK, so what’s the difference already!?

Stated briefly, chain drives are the most economical way to transmit power to the rear wheel. They also convey the greatest percentage of engine power in the process. Chain drives are by far the most popular drive mechanism in motorbikes around the world. On the other hand, they also require the most maintenance, are dirty, and not as smooth as a shaft or belt drive. Bear in mind that the most routine motorcycle maintenance required of a rider is taking care of those metal chain links! (Unless you include putting gas in the tank.) So, reducing that chain maintenance equates to greater rider enjoyment.

Hence, belt drives are a viable option where available (mostly, but not exclusively, on cruisers). Not only do belts require less frequent adjustments than a chain, they also last longer, so the whole task of having them replaced is reduced. Belt drives are cleaner since there is no chain lube flying around to mess up your bike or that belt in your jeans with gold chains and chrome, shaft pendants dangling around. Belt drives are also smoother than chain drives.

Motorcycle Shaft Drive

Shaft Drive

And finally, there are shaft drives: the same technology that is used in automobiles. Shaft drives are smooth. They are the lowest maintenance of the three. (The shaft drive oil reservoir needs to be infrequently drained and replaced). They are quiet and clean. Motorcycle shaft drives are also heavier and more expensive than chain or belt drives. Furthermore, a small amount of performance is lost while moving that power from the engine to the rear wheel via some extra gears in the shaft drive. Hence, you won’t see them on pure performance machines.

In brief, most riders won’t need to decide between chain, belt or shaft drives because so many categories of motorbikes do not offer a choice.

On the other hand, should you be a rider fond of cruisers; or should you be a sports-touring aficionado; or one who likes to ride long distances on pavement and also ride on dirt roads (adventure touring); then you can purchase a bike with the technology of your choice to make your rear wheel go round and round at your whim.

Note: this doesn’t mean any given bike model within these noted categories will give you an option to purchase these different drive methods, it means you can find different bike models within the noted categories of motorbikes that will include your preference. Stated another way, for those who have a preference for either a chain, belt of shaft to propel your wheel wheel, then you need to select a motorcycle that features that specific technology.

Most long-distance riders, whether on a cruiser, sport tourer, or adventure tourer will be better served with a shaft drive. But of course you will pay a little more for that smoother, cleaner and low maintenance choice.

Which means that nifty leather belt in your pants with the dangling chrome pendants will not get chain lube on them.

89 thoughts on “Chain? Belt? Shaft? Which is Better?

  • 16,000 miles on a stock triumph oem chain and sprocket 2002 bonnieville, adj. only 1/2 used, sprockets like new 17t frt [ bought new set oem] to be ready. matched them up to check. so set sits waiting…just wipe every thing clean [ chain and sprocket] every 500 miles [pulled frt spkt. cover 1 time and cleaned all the junk out], re lube chain with spray teflon dry lube, adjust if needed..15 min’s… one up and yes i do move along – fla. speed limit is 70 mph everywhere.and yes runs over the ton do happen., no burn outs wheelies or other dumb stuff.. i am as surprised as any one that it last as long..some say 25,000 miles can happen ??? had shaft drive in past loved it, but new respect for chain..

  • I have only ridden chain bikes so I can’t speak for the belt or shaft driven bikes but for me I would not want anything other than a chain drive. Its a spirituality thing…I want to keep cycling pure and classic…shafts…belts…ect it just isn’t how things were meant to be to me…(although I here they may ride better) I have done over 1000 mile trips on my 250 chain driven honda…maintence is the biggest thing. I just cut out a link or two when it starts loosening up. Cheap I know…also keep in mind I can get 75-83 mpg on my small bike. so if you have the tools and just lube the chain every now and then and punch out the link when the chain stretches you can really benefit from an economical standpoint in my experience. I can get a chain to go 15k miles before I’ll replace it. that combined with monster mpg= go chain for me, lets keep this pure.

  • Just for fun:

    Motorcycle roller chain drives are the most efficient for transmission of power, final drive ratio changing, initial cost, and may be weight; although, troublesome. No one uses an idler pulley for chain adjustment – would eliminate alignment difficulties. On a road trip from Dallas to Los Angeles and beyond it was necessary to lubricate the chain on my Harley Davidson K Model at each gas stop. Usually I could find something like a wooden coke case for a temporally rear wheel prop. Changing the drive sprocket and chain about every 5,000 miles was routine.

    Motorcycle notched belt drives are much less troublesome than roller chains; however, a small rock in the cogs may put you beside the road. A well designed guard as is on the BMW F 800 ST solves that issue. The Buell Ulysses applied an idler pulley for proper belt tensioning – no axel adjustments required.

    Motorcycle shaft drives overall are the drive of choice. Properly designed and matched to the engine power and low gear torque they will last indefinitely (proper lubrication is essential). They are especially good with a single suspension arm.

    Offer me an Adventure bike with liquid cooled 750cc to 1000cc two or more cylinders, single arm shaft drive, 30 inch max seat height, and about 450 lbs – I’ll buy it tomorrow.

    Oh yes, the Dallas to LA trip was in August 1954 on my black 1952 Harley K Model. Talk about hot!

  • My thoughts are that any final drive design comes down to the manufacturers cost and a suitable “fitness for purpose” for each particuler machine’s type.
    Belts are big on cruisers now as they do the job OK and are cheaper than a shafts set up to make. But either of these methods in the hands of an agressive rider will fail quicker than a chain, but the chain will maximise power to the tyre and take tough treatment for a limited time and for as long as you are prepared to maintain and replace it as necessary. Its horses for courses really, chains will always be around for the power factor, shafts for reliability and low maintenance and fitted on the right machine type.
    As for belts? well, I think cost and the right materials rule, but do not win the reliabilty stakes, but I’m sure many of you are achieving a good level of belt reliability with a suitable riding style.
    Anyway, as long as that wheel goes around and it and it gets you home every time !
    ( I Can’t see Casey Stoner going to a shaft drive any time soon !!)

  • as for which one MMMMMMMMMMM

    well as this says it depends on your type of riding and more importent the BIKE.

    I have not long moved to Finland and I well be making my own (three tube) chop so as for dirty chain NO NO NO NO
    as for shaft nice but ugly
    so it has to be belt
    and mike buel (Harley sports bike) has belt

  • Horses for courses , having only tried chain & shaft ,I can’t comment on belt other than I’d expect it to be similar to chain’s . Chains are ok if well maintained , but once you’ve had shaft ‘s anything else is a disapointment. I owned an Honda ST1100 Pan European & a Yamaha Diversion 900 , both shaftdrive & excellent for touring. I’ve tried other shaft drives & can honestly say I prefer them . I have owned & used quite a few chaindriven bikes , older Brit bikes to modern sports bikes . I am currently downsized to a Honda Transalp 600 fitted with a Scotoiler, which is helpfull in the maintenance dept, It would be a fantastic machine if it could be shaftdriven .

  • had 81 suzuki 650 shaft over 50,000 miles just changed lube. but regearing had to get whole wheel assy. for diff size tire size from 16 to 18. with chain change frt sprocket 1- 2 teeth and off you go….????

  • last 2 bikes 82 yam maxim 560 shaft and now 85 yam maxim X 700 shaft….

    Shaft rules for cruising other than that I would turn to a belt before a chain.

  • I’ve owned more bikes using chains and I swore that when I could afford a decent bike there is only one way to go. Shaft is the only option.
    My first shaftie was the good old CX500Turbo. It was a pleasure not having to adjust chains, oil chains, have chains break, hunt around for new sprockets etc.
    Now I did have an issue with the bike tending to lean to the left easier than leaning to the right on turns.
    After enquiring about this I was told that because of the way the motor was placed in the engine and the shaft drive you would get the torque effect trying rotate the bike. Much like a single engined plane I was told. I never quite believed the explanation but no one else seemed to offer any other explanation.
    After the CX and a few years later I got back on bike and got an old Honda 750, the a basic CX500 and that had no hint of what the turbo version was doing on corners.
    Now I have an ST1100 and that’s as smooth as silk. You wouldn’t know it had an inline V4 Shaft drive system unless you looked.
    I don’t have the problems with a shaft that some of you seem to have but then I ride two up a lot of the time, I tow a trailer at times, I rarely exceed the speed limit either but I know my bike is capable of cruising at a 180kph all day (as long as the fuel lasts).
    It’s good knowing that when I go on long trips I don’t have to worry about getting dirty adjusting chains etc.

  • As I am lazy, I dont care for the maintenance required for a chain. But I have to do it anyway because the raptor wears a chain.
    I like the belt drive on my Vn2000 (vulcan 2000) best because of the low maintenance and not much power loss. And yes it will easily lift the front wheel. Even after 60k miles, but the car tire gives me the extra traction to do it. The Kawi belt is way stronger than a Harley belt over 2 inches wide with some sort of metal cords running through it.
    My 83 V65 has a lot of shaft jacking (old technology) but its a rocket so who cares. The wooden brakes are more of a liability than the shaft jacking and power loss.
    Ride em hard boys, That’s what their for.

    Mike Mayer

  • The trick with the shaft is to never cut the throttle completely off or back on in the corner. Both actions will cause a “lash ” action and the rear tire will loose traction. I ride the brakes all the way through the turn (never jabbing them either!!!)

  • Having had mostly trail bikes of 250 cc or less I’d only had experience with chains prior to my ’99 1100 Shadow Tourer- which is shaft drive. The chains are like the spokes in that they demand at least occasional attention, just like the psi in the tires. It’s all common sense and preventative maintenance. As for the shaft drive- I’m 57, and have no delusions of being a racer or any form of purist. I love the low maintenance and high reliability, but there would be a case to be made for changing the final gearing options of both other modes… hell, just get out and Ride !!.

  • Sounds like there is no definitive answr. I have had a honda 1100 for 50,000 km with shaft drive, water cooled and zero issues on long drives through Cda and US. Just a little underpowered. Am looking at a Yamaha Stratoliner Deluxe 1850cc with belt drive and air cooled. Anyone heard of any issues with the Yamaha?

  • I have ridden all 3. Chains stretch and need constant maintenance. Not good for touring. Shaft is nice, but you cant inspect it and will not be able to thwart a breakdown with a “preventative” replacement. I have a 1997 Road king with over 100K, and still running the original belt. I am able to inspect the pulley and the belt easily.

  • Addendum

    Now I think about it, at a time when the motor cycle and side car ( Watsonians) were the poor mans transport and before the mini car came along, one the biggest complaints was that with the heftier motorcycles used with a combination, broken chains and torn sprockets were common.

    Had the British manufacturers changed over to shaft drive on the same machines the mini car may well have had far less of an almost walkover that it did.

    The bottom line has to be a simple answer. When was chain drive last used in a four wheeled car and I don’t mean the bubble cars that had a brief vogue?

    Best wishes

    ATK

  • All the above comment is decidedly useful to somebody such as myself who is thinkingnof paurchasing a motorcycle after 40 years without such a machine.

    Having grown up with the Arial square four and the Vincent black shadow and how the owners cursed the frequently broken chains on these I’m comitted to a shaft drive machine.

    Some names of shaft drive machines would be useful. I’m sure Yamaha used to produce a small two stroke shaft drive bike but cannot now remeber any details.

    Besr wishes

    ATK.

  • Let me clarify a few things. As I stated I haven never actually broken a chain, I have indeed changed out many chains due to wear. Any chain is easier to change and or repair than any belt. The belt “repair” kits are basically a small piece of reinforced material and a set of fasteners to bandaid the belt back together much like a butterfly clamp on a lasceration. You will be lucky to get 50 miles out of one. Also some have mentioned that a shaft drive on a bike causes torque steer. This is mostly not true, you may have driveline lash ie: the rear end rising and falling on older shaft technology but not noticable torque steer, at least not due to the shaft. Torque steer is an effect created on bikes with longitudinal crankshafts. They have the Crank inline with the frames like BMW R’s, Moto Guzzi’s even Goldwings and the fore mentioned Honda CX500 models. Torque steer is caused by the centrifugal force or inertia if you will of the engines crankshaft/flywheel actually twisting the bike clockwise (while sitting on it) and has almost nothing to do with the method of power transfer via the final drive. If Beemers and Guzzi’s had a chain you would still feel the torque steer. Its the engine torque not the drive shaft that causes it. Thats why asian inline 4’s with shaft drives or even asian inline V-twins do not have an issue with it. The crank/flywheel runs sideways, left to right of these bikes frames as opposed to front to rear like the BMW R-Series. Make sense?

  • Belts are quieter and smoother, but last longer? not necessarily. Belts can and do break. Snap in 2 without warning. My Brother’s Victory snapped a belt when a rock caught between it and the pulley. Another of his just snapped for no apparent reason at all. On a Victory and most Japanese bikes the belts are somewhat easy to change. Not so on any Harley, the entire primary drive system must be removed, It is very labor intensive and will not be accomplished by a novice on the roadside. Chains, well chains are easy, break a chain, fix it usually with a chain break and a masterlink or 2 on the side of the road. You can replace one just as easy in minutes by “fishing” the new chain over the primary front/drive sprocket with a wire or coat hanger. Yes they’re noisy, they require some maintenance and God knows they can be extremely messy but they will take abuse, neglect and still be more durable than any belt. Why do you think MX bikes are chain drive. No one abuses their bikes like MX’ers. Personally I prefer my BMW shaft drive over all of them for reliabilty and ease of maintenace on long hauls. So it absolutely is a matter of opinion and or riding style and type of machine. But if if comes down to belts or chains I’ll take a little mess and maintenance and go with a chain, I’ve never actually broken a chain in over 40 years of riding. Iv’e broken belts and known many other who have as well. Change a drive belt on a Harley Bagger and you’ll agree. Most people just have it trailered to a dealer.

  • Shafts do not hold up to abuse the way a chain will. I prefer chains. The trick is NEVER clean them. Just spray on DuPont Teflon Chain Lube every 500 miles or so.

  • I have had about nine bikes in my life, all but three have been chain. My only complaint about chain was the need to replace the chain and sprockets. Chain lube and chain adjustment riding around the suburbs wasn’t to much of a problem but it’s a different matter for going any great distance.

    My first shaft drive was an old Honda CX500 and I had to adjust my cornering due to the torque effect of the motor. It semed to lean more easier on left turns than right. But you get used to it. The second shaft was a basic CX500 which had none of the cornering issues the turbo did.
    Now I have one of the best bike on the planet. A 1999 Honda ST1100ABS. I can’t fault it. It’s so smooth and almost maintenance free as far the shaft is concerned. No problems with cornering that some of you seem to have.

    Performance is no issue, it’s a 300kg bike so I’m sure Honda did their sums ok. Where I live, passing triple and quad road trains is quite common and the bike does it so easily, just drop back a gear and before you know it your doing a 140kph and that’s two up with a trailer on.
    Would I ever go back to chain? … No way. Belt drive? never tried it. I’ll stay with shaft.

  • I presently own all 3 types. Which is best? Assuming a track record of near perfect reliability of a specific make and model, personally I would opt for shaft drive. The fly in the ointment is that one manufacturer of shaft drive machines has less than a stellar record for ease of periodic maintenance, and reliability of drive line components.

    I concur that chain drive lubrication can be messy but if properly applied not overly so. It is the easiest drive system to modify, change and maintain.

    Belt drives can be the best of both worlds. I haven’t owned one long enough to say if it is superior to shaft or chain.

    I recommend that a prospective buyer should read brand specific forums and learn what the owners have to say.

  • I dont have any of those shaft issues on my 84 Honda Shadow 700. Maybe it depends on the make/model of the bike

  • They’re all great final drive systems, one more or less complicated than the other. I think that it is through necessity that someone would chose to narrow down between a chain, belt or shaft drive system.

    Chain Drive = horsepower
    Belt drive= robs horsepower but runs much smoother and lasts longer than a chain
    Shaft Drives = I’ve never owned one, probably never will but I’m sure that in some alternate universe their cool somewhere. *scratches head*

  • I’ve had several bikes over the many years of riding , street and offroad bikes, chain, shaft
    and a 08 harley dyna lowrider. have not had any trouble with any , just keep chains clean and lubed. The way I look at it about belt drives……. any belt drive that can stand up to a 600 to 900 pound motorcycle with 1200 to 1800 cc’s with gobs of power in all ranges must be one hell of a good setup. happy riding…………..Chet

  • I have only owner chain drive bikes. The first was a small Yamaha cruiser. 250cc. i only had it 22K and never replaced the chain. Just lubed it every 500 or so. That was in the early 80’s.

    My second bike I just bought four years ago. It’s a 2004 Honda Shadow VLX 583cc with the “O ring” chain. I got 34K out of the first chain until a few links got stiff and would not straighten out completely after bending around the tight radius of the front sprocket. I lube at 500 miles to save the sprockets. I have 52K on the sprockets now and 18K on this chain. Anticipating having to replace the chain and sprockets next time I am about ready to plunk down the $600 for a belt drive conversion. It’s not the lubing that I don’t like, Its the chain lube all over my saddle bags and luggage all the time. Real mess when touring long distances on my bike.

    The conversion also gears the bike up a bit claiming no loss of power due to the belt being more efficient than a chain. That would be nice since I only have a four speed tyranny.

  • I just feel the need to point out that modern O-ring chains are for the most part maintenance free.

    You need not clean them or lube them as the lube is sealed inside of the chain.

    Spray some Teflon chain lube from time to time (to lube the chain to the sprockets and that is all that is ever needed. (Unless you ride in very muddy conditions in which case you would want to clean it on occasion)

  • Years ago I had an 1082 KZ750 that was chain drive and tday I own a 2005 1400 Boulevard. It sure seems that the KZ750 was faster….and it would definately ride a wheelie a lot easier.

  • I ride a Honda Shadow, which have historically always been shaft driven. I spent one summer on a Suzuki Savage with a belt drive, and had no complaints. I enjoy the maintenance free aspect of the drive shaft; I look my Shadow over from time to time, but the only work I’ve done is changing the oil and replacing one battery.

  • As it has turned out, I have ended up with the more reliable and lower maintenance bikes out of all the ones I have ever owned, therefore they both have shaft drive. I have nothing against the other methods, but it *is* nice not to have to do the old clean and lube bit every 300-500 miles, which was the schedule with my KLR 650 (chain drive).

    I have had friends ask about shaft-lash, but I have never noticed a problem; maybe this is something that was more prevalent in the early shaft-drive bikes. Then again, my first motorcycle (an ’83 Honda 650 Nighthawk — which I still own and ride regularly) has shaft drive, and having started out with a shaft, I had no basis for comparison.

    In the end, who cares what sends the power to the rear tire? Unless you are a racer, I don’t think it matters. Just get out and ride!

    Dave

  • Finally..I got a quiz right. My answer ….it depends on the bike. In regards to Michael on cleaning a chain, the way I do it is fast and easy. Raise the rear of the bike off the ground with a jack or centerstand so the wheel turns freely. Place cardboard or something similar under wheel. Take a stiff brush (3-headed is perfect, sold in motorcycle catalogs ) and dip in kerosene and clean your chain by turning the wheel as you hold the brush on the chain. After all the grunge and grit is removed from chain and sproket, spray chain with a quality non-fly off chain lube. No need to remove chain from bike or let chain soak overnight..

  • I would prefer a belt-driven final drive coz belts are quieter in operation, they are smart, they offer less frictional losses thus spairirng more engine power for meaningful work and they are cheaper to obtain (manufacture/produce) than chains and shafts.

    Of course they are known to break, shouldn’t be such a wory, it happens to shafts and chains too.

    Albert

  • I have only had several bikes with either shafts or chains and until now, have prefered high quality chains. But now my new ride (2008 Kawasaki Concours 14) has the new Tetra Link drive. I must report in my view — new technology wins!! the bike has lots of juice and you can’t feel the shaft at all.

  • I’m on my third Honda, a 2007 areo 750, the fist two were Hondas also but chain driven. Honest I can’t tell the difference between the Areo and the two prior chain driven ones. When I first got it and passed the break in millage I drove the dog crap out of it just to see if itwould hold together or fly apart. It held together. It handles great, I noticed no rise or fall of the rear end during accerated and no tugging to the right or left when I rode curves to the right. Maybe I’m not sensative to the behavior of the bike when I ride. Too busy enjoying the hell out of the ride to notice. Thank you Jesus for my shaft drive.

  • so I would think if you have chain drive then you need to chains,

    Now that I have you confused I think with my bike that has a belt might get a chain down the road because it is a sport bike and I do not think the belt can take the horse power.

    Mike

  • Like others, I’ve owned and ridden with all 3 technologies. Each type is well suited for the type of bike and riding so one isn’t clearly better or worse than the other – just different. I have noticed some torque steer on shaft drive machines, which is annoying, but is easy to live with if you don’t spend a lot of time hard on the throttle. My belt-drive FXR worked fine without breakage, but I have seen it happen. I have seen some bikers carry a sectioned emergency belt just in case. And of course my chain-drive Bonneville works well, but requires lube, cleaning, wears out every 38,000 miles and can be noisy. However it’s by far the most efficient way to transmit power with little horsepower loss. I personally carry a chain breaker and spare O-ring type master link just in case of an emergency.

    So in short, your appraisal is correct. Chain for sport and dirt bikes, belt for cruisers and shaft for tourers.

  • I don’t think it matters if its chain, belt or shaft. I think only two things matter;

    1. What you want to ride and;

    2. How you ride it

  • I ride a ’88 V45 Magna w/shaft drive and don’t experience the quirks mentioned here, and elsewhere, about shaft drive bikes. As a cruiser, it’s not as hot in the curves as sportier bikes, but I push close to it’s limits. It’s definitly smoother, and less maintenance. It probably does lose some power in transfer, but I can’t tell it against other 750 Magnas or Nighthawks.
    And, if a shaft drive does tend to lift the rear during acceleration, what difference does it make whether you’re carving right or left?

  • Belts should be considered only if you don’t mind getting stranded beside the road when it breaks.
    I have a Buell Ulysses and it stranded me twice in its first 18,000 miles.
    Problem is, the first time was at 12,000 miles and the second just before 18,000 miles so it’s hard to predict the next failure, beyond knowing that it will likely be long before the owner’s manual estimate of 100,000 miles. In any event, the last time it stranded me, at 26,000 miles, it was an an electrical failure – the belt’s still good.

  • I LIKE NEW TECHNOLOGY FORGET CHAIN/BELT DRIVE SHAFT DRIVE IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO ,AZ IS THE ROCK STATE ,I HAD MY EYE ON THE NEW KAWASAKI 1700 NOMAD UNTIL I LOOKED AT THE SPECS. LOOKS LIKE KAWASAKI DONE AWAY WITH AL SHAFT DRIVES ON THERE 2009 BIKES, LOOKS LIKE I PASS ON THE 1700 NOMAD TO BAD AL THE NEW DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY ON THE 2009 BIKES WHY WOULD THEY CHANGE TO BELT DRIVE, BIG BUCKS SAVED ON BELT /CHAIN VIS SHAFT DRIVE TORQUE /HP VERY LITTLE EFFECT, WHO KNOWS I CAN WAIT TILL 2010.NO WAY TO CUT COST .

  • I have ridden all three and the I really dont care for is the shaft drive its smooth down the highway but you go into corners to the right and it will try to throw you out of the corner you had to be ready I never had those problems with chain or belts currently riding a belt ouch

  • Hi Julian,
    Belt-drives require less frequent adjustments than a chain. However, on a “scooter,” where less power is transferred from the engine, through the belt, to the rear wheel (compared to a big cruiser), very little adjustment is required over time. In fact, depending upon how much you ride, it may be worth checking once a year. (Consult the owner’s manual for more specific maintenance advice).
    Best,
    MCG

  • belts seem like a good option i guess.im getting a scooter soon which has a belt..
    can u give me any tips that can help me maintain it?

  • I have ridden all three and shaft I do not like because it makes the fear end go up and down with the throttle,

    Chain is good because you can change the gear ratio and have better control of how your bike performs and also stronger than belts,

    I like belts because of the no maintenance to them and do not fling oil all over the rim,

    but they have been known to break and with a chain you can carry a couple of links and piece of the chain just in case you do break it,

    shaft you do not have to worry about breaking the chain or belt but goes up and down with throttle movement,

    also the proper way to lube the chain is take it off and brush all the grime off of it and soak it in a oil bath then the next day hang it up to drip the extra oil off and then put it on so I would think if you have chain drive then you need to chains,

    Now that I have you confused I think with my bike that has a belt might get a chain down the road because it is a sport bike and I do not think the belt can take the horse power.

    Mike

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