- Ease of Installation: 6/10
- Installation Time: 30 to 60 minutes
- Mechanical Aptitude Required: Beginner/Intermediate
- Tools Required: 6 & 5mm allen wrench, 10mm, wrench, 12mm & 36mm socket or very large shifter. Impact driver or even a rattle gun may be very helpful
- Quality of Instructions: Excellent
- Quality of Product: Excellent
- Supplied by: CruiserCustomizing.com
- Reviewed by: RoadStarMagazine.com (this review is subject to the following disclaimer)
Seeing the exposed primary pulley on a Road Star conjures images of a real custom in the making but unfortunately it isn’t as simple as just removing the pulley cover. You see, the pulley cover is part of the mechanism that braces the Road Star engine to the frame, without it the engine would flex and twist doing very likely damage to the frame, mounts and the engine itself. This is where the Baron’s Nude Pulley Conversion Kit comes in because it provides a new backing plate to go behind the pulley to ensure the engine has the full mounting it requires. And it just looks damn cool!
For the second time RoadStarMagazine.com has been given another quality made Baron’s product. A big lump of flawless chrome with replacement bolts enures a professional finish for your bike. There isn’t much more to say about a large chrome bracket so check out the attached picture for all the words you will need.
As mentioned before the look of the exposed primary pulley really gives the bike a great look. It suggests an aggressive custom, ready to chew up all comers out on the road, but there is a downside. Despite the cool factor of that rotating primary pulley the bad news is the stock pulley is one ugly piece of hardware as you can see by the image to the left. It’s black, it has lumpy welds and its momma don’t love it no more. This can be fixed by a number of custom chrome pulley plates out there that attach directly to the pulley itself BUT if you are still running the stock pulley you have to make sure you get the type that has a backing plate for the cover to mount to. If you have purchased one of the 30 to 32 tooth custom pulleys from Yamaha they have eight tapped holes for the mounting of custom covers, but unfortunately the stocker does not.
Well this part of the review will be short. Does the kit expose the pulley? It sure does! Does the kit brace the engine mounting correctly? You betcha! Nothing more to say as this is pretty much just a cosmetic mod. It doesn’t make your bike more comfortable and it doesn’t increase its speed. One thing it will do though is remove a few of the steps required when it does come time to changing the drive belt and/or swapping between custom pulleys, say a 30 tooth for the drags and the stock 33 tooth for the cruising.
The install can be a tough one, but it has nothing to do with Baron’s product. It has everything to do with the two stock allen bolts holding the pulley cover to the bike’s frame. I am convinced that Yamaha got their biggest, strongest engineer to do these bolts up, using unbreakable locktite, and then welded the bolts in place (almost). I had previously removed my bolts from the cover when I needed to investigate the belt once and because I was using cheap tools I soon stripped out the head of the allen bolt and had to resort to using a center punch to slowly tap the bolt free. Use good quality allen keys and be careful. Striking the middle of the bolt using a center punch, applying heat to the area and generally offering a sacrifice to the bike gods can all assist in getting the bolts free. You may get lucky and get the bolts out a lot easier than I did so I don’t want to scare you off, but you need to be prepared. Once you have gotten past that point the rest is plain sailing.
Rather than go through the entire installation process blow by blow, the following photos tell the story.
Other then the look of the stock pulley I am extremely pleased with this setup. Besides a cover that mounts directly to the pulley itself will fix those niggling appearance problems and further that cool custom look. You can see an example of a pulley cover to the left thanks to Andrew “IslandStar” Berniak.
Our good friends at Cruiser Customizing supplied the Road Star Nude Pulley Conversion Kit which while it isn’t cheap at $242.95 trust me when I say you can’t just pull the existing covers off and run the bike in that fashion without bracing the engine – and it does look so good.