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View Full Version : Chain conversion or nah?



Pendulum
09-04-2015, 4:20 PM
2009 Nightster. Noticed a nick/cut in my belt, and I have a 5 day trip coming up in a couple weeks so I want to address this before it breaks. I've got mids controls, and I'd like to keep my passenger pegs if that matters. A new belt is about $200, and an o-ring chain conversion is about $275.

What would you do?

MrSmith391
09-04-2015, 4:40 PM
chain conversion, id do it

WillSCB
09-04-2015, 6:10 PM
Put a chain on it. Belts are quieter and cleaner, but belts are stronger and easier to fix on the side of the road. Saw a chain held together with two zip ties to get home once. Can't do that with a belt.

ridgerunner1965
09-04-2015, 6:21 PM
there is nothing wrong with a good chain. they rarely fail when kept in good condition.i run one on my shovel.

that being said i also run a belt on my 97 evo eglide with a 90hp s&s engine. the belt has lots of rock holes in it and one bad one near the edge of the belt.

it has been this way a long time, belt has about 40k on it.this is a big heavy bike and im not a little guy.and i will honk on it everytime i ride it.

back in the day i very hesitant to buy a "rubberband bike"but i am impressed with the tuffness of the belts. ive heard the new belts are even better.

so if it is just a little nick on the belt i would prob not pay any attention to it other than monitering to see if it got worse.

dirtygrotonscoundrel
09-05-2015, 8:15 PM
I have an 06 sportster, chain conversion. It's good, pretty much just looks and sounds cooler. If you go the conversion route, don't get the O-ring. It'll be slapping the frame right under the passenger peg, no matter how tight it is. I think it even says right on lowbrow that you can't run an o-ring on 04-up.

Ramzilla
09-07-2015, 4:11 AM
there is nothing wrong with a good chain. they rarely fail when kept in good condition.i run one on my shovel.

that being said i also run a belt on my 97 evo eglide with a 90hp s&s engine. the belt has lots of rock holes in it and one bad one near the edge of the belt.

it has been this way a long time, belt has about 40k on it.this is a big heavy bike and im not a little guy.and i will honk on it everytime i ride it.

back in the day i very hesitant to buy a "rubberband bike"but i am impressed with the tuffness of the belts. ive heard the new belts are even better.

so if it is just a little nick on the belt i would prob not pay any attention to it other than monitering to see if it got worse.

I have to agree here. I have always been a chain guy but after having a belt and flogging the shit out of it for a long time. I wouldn't swap unless it's just for the looks aspect. The belts are low maintenance and super resilient. Also my buddy swapped his out to a chain kit from lowbrow and the sprocket wore down really fast. Not sure why and he has been tinkering with bikes for a long time so I would think he adjusted it properly.

Pacifictime
09-07-2015, 8:02 PM
I have found that there is something about putting a chain on a sportster that causes a lot of chain and sprocket wear in a short time. Did Stampede 9 with a chain and before I could get home the chain was kaput and the sprockets badly worn. I suspect it's that since there is no rubber cush drive thingy in the system, that somehow causes excessive wear.

SkidMarr
09-07-2015, 8:13 PM
On my rigid Sportster i wanted to do a chain conversion because i trust chains, they're easier to replace, and just cooler. But after something like 8,000 maintenance free miles, i think ill stick with the belt.

Pendulum
09-08-2015, 1:27 PM
I've been eyeballing the damage to my belt, and I think I'm just gonna run it. It's a nick, right on the inside edge, but it hasn't gotten much worse over the last 2 wks (and about 1000 miles) so I'm gonna hope for the best on this trip. Thanks everyone.

goofyfoot2001
09-08-2015, 1:59 PM
I looked at belt for my sporty and it was under $150. If you want to be a nightster hipster, put a chain on it.

hattiesbike
09-14-2015, 11:31 AM
I have an 06 sportster, chain conversion. It's good, pretty much just looks and sounds cooler. If you go the conversion route, don't get the O-ring. It'll be slapping the frame right under the passenger peg, no matter how tight it is. I think it even says right on lowbrow that you can't run an o-ring on 04-up.

Could you explain the reasoning behind this? Are you saying that an o-ring chain has more stretch or slop in it? I've got many miles on my 05 w/ a renthal o-ring 530, no slap/slip/bang/tickle, and it rarely needs adjustment.

Pendulum
09-14-2015, 12:42 PM
I looked at belt for my sporty and it was under $150. If you want to be a nightster hipster, put a chain on it.

I was going by dealer price since I would've needed it fast.

AlbertaFarmer
09-14-2015, 12:52 PM
If it makes you feel any better about running a questionable belt, I have over thirty thousand miles on mine and she still turns the wheel. It is pretty chewed up from running guard less and catching rocks, but I've got a good feeling about it hanging on there. Also, I have a shelf of replacement belts from swaps that cost between $5 and $20 and that's Canadian, so they should be easy to pick up down South.

Buellbomb
09-15-2015, 6:10 AM
I forgot how much quieter a belt is until I put it back on my Sportster. Cleaner too, but the pulley is some kinda ugly.

Dezertboy74
09-15-2015, 12:07 PM
I've been eyeballing the damage to my belt, and I think I'm just gonna run it. It's a nick, right on the inside edge, but it hasn't gotten much worse over the last 2 wks (and about 1000 miles) so I'm gonna hope for the best on this trip. Thanks everyone.

I'd run it man. I have a coupe nicks and tears and my belt. Probably from running it without a guard on it. It's been that way for almost 10k miles. They don't seem to be getting any worse!!!

BuxBitza
09-16-2015, 8:45 PM
If you are getting ready for a trip coming up soon, then replace the belt with a new belt. If you go the conversion route with a fast approaching deadline, it is GUARANTEED that something will not fit or you will discover a problem halfway through the trip. Save conversions and other modifying projects for those times when you have all of the time in the world.

jonnyoz
09-17-2015, 3:06 PM
I don't see any reason to convert it. Chains will stretch and it's a pain in the ass to keep adjusting it while it does. I only converted to chain on my chop cause the stock belt was too short...it's been kind of a hassle cause I dont' have room for a tensioner and I'm constantly having to adjust the chain.

I've put over 30,000 miles on the stock belt on my night train, 95" 100 tq and zero issues. The stock belts are damn good and are maintenance free.