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Thread: Lifespan of the CVT belt

  1. #1

    Lifespan of the CVT belt

    Hi all.

    Apologies if this was already discussed. I recently did my 12K service and that was a pretty penny (approx $1500). They replaced everything that is sched. for the 12k service (belt, rollers, some other things). My question is it really a necessary change of the belt every 12K? The upkeep on this bike is gonna kill me.

    I read the burgman 650 belt basically never needs to be changed, why isnt that the case with the BMW? Whats the longest a belt has lasted for someone?

    Thanks in advance.

    Akkis

  2. #2
    Senior Member davidh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akkis View Post
    Hi all.

    Apologies if this was already discussed. I recently did my 12K service and that was a pretty penny (approx $1500). They replaced everything that is sched. for the 12k service (belt, rollers, some other things). My question is it really a necessary change of the belt every 12K? The upkeep on this bike is gonna kill me.

    I read the burgman 650 belt basically never needs to be changed, why isnt that the case with the BMW? Whats the longest a belt has lasted for someone?

    Thanks in advance.

    Akkis
    Excellent question and I'm not sure anybody knows. I, too, have been replacing mine about every 12k miles (I just replaced my third one last week at 15k miles). The short answer is that I don't believe there's any warning when the belt is ready to go. It'll just break and probably at the worst possible time (e.g., going 80+ MPH down the freeway). Were that to happen there are two possible outcomes -- 1) the bike becomes a rock and you have to get it off the road before being run over, or 2) the belt shreds, gets caught around the clutch or driven shaft and locks up the back wheel (with an even worse outcome). I've never experienced either but have friends who have both, mostly on Vespas but I believe the principle applies here as well.

    For my piece of mind, I'll continue replacing at 12-15k miles. Finally, it's a pretty simple job and will definitely save you many hundreds of dollars!!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member justscootin's Avatar
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    I changed my first belt at 15,000 miles. I am not sure about when it is time to change it except what they tell us at 12,000 miles. The other thing you have to careful about is to inspect other parts such as the seal behind the clutch.

    The belt may not break or shred but it will become to small and leave you with minimal power
    A bad day on the C650 GT Scooter is better than any day at work
    Keep your right hand cranked

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    Senior Member exavid's Avatar
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    Honda recommends changing their CVT belt around 15,000 miles or so but I changed the belt on my '07 Silverwing at 24,000 miles. It measured out very close to the new belt and looked almost identical. The C650 belt setup is nearly the same as the SW, I have a new belt for my GT on hand, stored in a dark, cool place in a sealed plastic bag and will take a look at the original belt around 20,000 miles if no unusual sounds or anything occur. I bought one of the Mitsoboshi belts That Skutor mentioned from Italy for $100 a couple months ago and will use that when the time comes.
    2013 C650GT 1994 K1100LT

  5. #5
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    I had the belt and roller changed at 16000 miles and had them return the parts to me the rollers look almost new and the belt look the same no glazing or wear I think the belt could last twice the milage that they recommend for change, and that would depend on how you ride, lots of fast take offs and hard driving will take its toll, it's a crap shoot.
    AKA Bill Steele

  6. #6
    Senior Member JaimeC's Avatar
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    My belt was replaced at around 20,000 miles, and only because a leaking seal behind the clutch got the clutch and belt soaked in fluid, so my belt replacement didn't cost me a thing (replaced under warranty).
    Jaime A. Cruz
    Nassau Wings Motorcycle Club
    http://www.nassauwings.org
    http://www.freddysrun.org

  7. #7
    Senior Member justscootin's Avatar
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    It was the cost of hassle and being the passenger going home and recovering the scooter latter

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeC View Post
    My belt was replaced at around 20,000 miles, and only because a leaking seal behind the clutch got the clutch and belt soaked in fluid, so my belt replacement didn't cost me a thing (replaced under warranty).
    A bad day on the C650 GT Scooter is better than any day at work
    Keep your right hand cranked

  8. #8
    Senior Member JaimeC's Avatar
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    True Dat. But I did have a pleasant ride home from Rochester once it was FINALLY repaired. The leaking seal wasn't even what caused me to break down on the side of the road, either but I'm glad it was fixed.
    Jaime A. Cruz
    Nassau Wings Motorcycle Club
    http://www.nassauwings.org
    http://www.freddysrun.org

  9. #9
    I think BMW's service intervals err on the side of caution and are probably mandated by lawyers and accountants rather than engineers. BMW recommends replacing the alternator belt on my 1995 R1100RS every 24,000 miles. I didn't replace the original belt until it had 80,000 miles on it. I don't recommend ignoring BMW's service intervals, but I think my alternator belt experience illustrates my point. I think BMW also recommends replacing the drive chain on the C600/C650 at 12,000 miles too and I've heard a couple of people who do their own maintenance say that the chain was fine and they just needed to replace the adjuster with the next larger size. Since the chain runs in oil, I don't plan on replacing mine until I've used all 4 sizes of chain adjusters. My C600 Sport has 6,000 miles on it and doesn't have enough slack in the chain to need the second adjuster yet. As for the belt, I'm guessing that it will wear width wise becoming too narrow which will cause it to slip or cause the clutch engagement RPM to change long before it will actually break. I had a Suzuki King Quad 700 ATV with a snow plow on it that I used for 5 years when I lived in Colorado. I abused the heck out of that thing and would plow massive amounts of snow with it until the belt would actually slip and begin to smoke and you could smell burning rubber. It never broke and I never replaced it in the 5 years I owned it. Again, just my 2 cents worth (for what it's worth), and since I do my own maintenance (I also run my own independent motorcycle repair shop), I'm willing to take my chances as I inspect things such as the belt and chain fairly frequently. However, I don't necessarily recommend that approach for those who rely on the dealer for service. Roll the dice at your own risk!! I'm just glad I grew up with a Dad who was a mechanic as doing my own maintenance has saved me a fortune in the 30 plus years I've ridden BMWs. I couldn't afford to ride them otherwise!!
    Last edited by kreiman; 06-19-2016 at 06:55 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member SteveADV's Avatar
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    Several good lessons there.

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