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Kz440 belt tension 26 Aug 2023 07:21 #888708

  • Billeuze
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Hi, this is just my second post on this forum 

I have a ‘83 kz440 with belt final drive. I have had this bike for about 15 years, have travelled 55,000 km on it and have gone through at least three final drive belts (possibly 4). If this doesn’t stop I’m going to convert to chain drive. Is it possible I am destroying them by setting too loose or too tight?

I set the tension a bit tighter than what I would for a chain but I don’t want to go too tight. The service manual says to use a special Kawasaki tension indicator tool and set the tension between the indicator marks but it doesn’t say how much tension that tool is calibrated for. I see similar looking tools on Amazon for $20 that say they are rated at 10lbs . Is that the tool I need? Or is there some way to describe how tight to set it without using the tool?
 

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Kz440 belt tension 27 Aug 2023 05:35 #888737

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Page 310 in the 1982 Supplement section of the KZ440 FSM shows an alternate method for checking the tension without using the Kawasaki tension gauge.  It says to apply 4.5 kg (~10#) of force and check that the amount of belt deflection is within the usable range of 8.5mm - 17mm.
Page 311 lists the amount of deflection using the Kawasaki Tension Gauge: usable range = 5mm - 11mm

For good measure I'll suggest revisiting the drive belt description on page 293 and 197.
And make sure the belt is installed in the correct direction.
Also, I saw two different belt sizes listed but didn't delve into, so make sure you're getting the correct size.pg. 197 & pg. 303.
not sure if there are any other sizes.
 

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Last edit: by martin_csr.

Kz440 belt tension 27 Aug 2023 07:37 #888742

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Maybe 40 year old rubber just isn't what it used to be. I converted to chain even though I had no troubles with my belt. I just didn't trust it, and wasn't going to spend .  hundreds to replace it with another 40 year old belt.

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Kz440 belt tension 27 Aug 2023 08:41 #888743

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Originally I wished my KZ305 was belt drive. But as I have owned and ridden it for rhe past 3 years, I'm glad it is chain drive. If brand new belts were avalible, it might be a different story.
Would you put 40 year old NOS tires on your bike?
3 or 4 belts in 55k miles is ridiculous.
79 KZ400
82 KZ305
85 VF1100c
85 VT 500c

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Kz440 belt tension 27 Aug 2023 23:13 #888771

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martin_csr post=888737 userid=20083

Page 310 in the 1982 Supplement section of the KZ440 FSM shows an alternate method for checking the tension without using the Kawasaki tension gauge.  It says to apply 4.5 kg (~10#) of force and check that the amount of belt deflection is within the usable range of 8.5mm - 17mm.
Page 311 lists the amount of deflection using the Kawasaki Tension Gauge: usable range = 5mm - 11mm

For good measure I'll suggest revisiting the drive belt description on page 293 and 197.
And make sure the belt is installed in the correct direction.
Also, I saw two different belt sizes listed but didn't delve into, so make sure you're getting the correct size.pg. 197 & pg. 303.
not sure if there are any other sizes.

thanks, I didn’t think to look in the supplements. And based ok that it looks like one of those 10 lb belt tension tools from Amazon will work. 

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Kz440 belt tension 28 Aug 2023 06:18 #888780

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As already suggested, you might be better off converting to chain drive unless you prefer the belt.  I've never done it but it's supposed to be a direct swap. I think the chain guard swaps as well but don't quote me on that as it might have different mounting points. I forget.

PS:  what belt are you installing?  I don't remember if anyone ever found a reasonably priced replacement. 

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Last edit: by martin_csr.

Kz440 belt tension 28 Aug 2023 21:26 #888810

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As already suggested, you might be better off converting to chain drive unless you prefer the belt.  I've never done it but it's supposed to be a direct swap. I think the chain guard swaps as well but don't quote me on that as it might have different mounting points. I forget.

PS:  what belt are you installing?  I don't remember if anyone ever found a reasonably priced replacement. 
believe me if this latest belt snaps, I'll convert to chain. And no there is no comercially avaialable direct replacement at any price. So far there has been a relatively good supply of used belts but that supply will just be getting smaller each time I replace it. It has gotten to the point that I keep a spare on hand and once used, I start looking for another. So, I just used my last spare and immediately found another on ebay for $45 (plus shipping). It arrived today and looks good. But as @ 82KZ305Belt  says, its still a 40 year old belt.

I won't buy another. if this current one snaps, I'll install the spare I just received and start shopping for sprockets to install for next time.

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Kz440 belt tension 29 Aug 2023 08:17 #888823

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Just an FYI. There's a Kawasaki belt tension gauge listed on EB for $17.99 w make offer button. description says it's a new part. probably NOS.

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Kz440 belt tension 29 Aug 2023 09:41 #888827

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I thought about going with a chain and found the guard mounting points to be different.
Only Reason I stayed with a belt for now is I found a brand new one for a great price.  When it goes I am ready for the chain swap.
As Always,

1983 KZ440

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Kz440 belt tension 29 Aug 2023 13:20 #888833

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I thought about going with a chain and found the guard mounting points to be different.
Only Reason I stayed with a belt for now is I found a brand new one for a great price.  When it goes I am ready for the chain swap.

 
By brand new, do you mean recently manufactured or NOS.
79 KZ400
82 KZ305
85 VF1100c
85 VT 500c

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Kz440 belt tension 30 Aug 2023 10:56 #888867

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NOS. I bought it from a person who went into a dealership to buy one. The guy behind the desk said he might have seen one somewhere in the warehouse. He found it on a shelf behind some other crap. The person I bought it from went the chain route instead and I got a belt that had never been used.
As Always,

1983 KZ440

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Kz440 belt tension 30 Aug 2023 20:48 #888877

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Just an FYI. There's a Kawasaki belt tension gauge listed on EB for $17.99 w make offer button. description says it's a new part. probably NOS.
Thanks for letting us know. But either I can't find it or its already gone. I found lots of NOS ones starting at US$50 + shipping. So I ordered one of the cheap $10 Chinese models

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