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How to Replace the Road Star Drive Belt

Drop the swingarm downAt some stage you are going to have to change the belt on your Roadie, either as a pre-emptive measure or because it snaps. Hopefully you do it for the first reason. Follows is some basic instructions to show you how it’s done.

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Instructions

Tools required:

  • 12mm wrench
  • 14mm wrench
  • 5mm Allen key
  • 6mm Allen key
  • 8mm Allen key – impact driver may also be handy
  • 10mm socket
  • 27mm socket with breaker bar
  • torque wrench
  • Road Star tool kit
  • Bike lift
  • Road Star Workshop Manual
  1. Break the bolt loose with a big barBefore raising the bike on a lift you might want to break the seal on the big bolt that holds the swingarm to the frame. The reason for this is the bolt’s torque spec is 90ft/lbs so it may take considerable effort breaking it loose and you don’t want the bike falling off the lift. Undo the bolt BUT DO NOT REMOVE YET by prising off the plastic cover on the left side of the frame (belt side) near the pillion foot peg and than have at it with the 27mm socket and breaker bar. The right hand side is braced in so you have no need to worry about locking it in place.
  2. Caliper off Caliper onRaise the bike on the lift and remove the rear brake calliper from its mounts. This is because the rear brake line doesn’t have enough slack for when the swingarm is dropped down. Protect your exhausts with a cloth and gently let the calliper hang over them out of the way. When you put the calliper back on later make sure you pump the rear brake pedal many times to get the pads back up to the rotor.
  3. Wheel removedUsing your Roadie’s toolkit, undo the axle bolt on the rear wheel. Don’t touch the bolts on the axle adjusters, as this will allow you to just put it back together later without messing around. Remove the axle and drop the wheel forward enough to un-loop the belt from the rear pulley. Be wary of letting the wheel lean to the left as the pulley isn’t bolted in place and will fall off. Also make sure you don’t lose the wheel spacers when you set the wheel aside.
  4. After removing the wheel stick your head up under the fender and remove the plastic splash plate/mud guard (necessary for part of step 6).
  5. Removing engine braceIf you still have the stock pulley cover you need to remove this entirely. With the 8mm bolts that attach to the frame make sure you use a good quality Allen Key on them as typically these bolts are in tighter ‘en hell and you don’t want to strip out the heads. I run the Baron’s Nude Pulley Kit so it was already exposed but I still had to remove the engine brace.
  6. Drop the swingarm downYou’re almost there now and you just need to drop the swingarm. The good news is it isn’t removed entirely from the bike. Remove the swingarm bolt from the frame and ease the swingarm down, you’ll see how it pivots off the shock absorber mount. In my case the top of the swingarm got slightly hung up on the lower tabs of the rear fender. To get around this I just had a helper push them in with his hands and the swingarm went down smoothly while still attached to the shock.
  7. Work that belt out of thereCongrats, you should now be able to remove the old belt from the bike. To button it back up follow the above steps in reverse order noting the torque requirement for the swingarm bolt.

Better as a spare than on the bikeMy old belt was only 45,000 miles old and I have heard of people getting over 100,000 miles from theirs (I have also heard of considerably less). You can see from this picture that my old belt had some small damage to it from a rock that did the odd revolution or two (that notch is out every 6th or 7th tooth). There is also a very small hole where I had to push a rock through the belt it was embedded that hard. All of this happened 20,000 miles ago and I had been using the same belt without too many concerns that whole time. Still, when an “as new condition” second-hand belt with only a few thousand miles came up on the Road Star Riders Forum for a decent price I jumped on it (thanks Maddog!) and now my old belt will be a spare in case I need it one day.

RoadStarMagazine.com

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