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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, I know this topic comes up every once in a while (Because I searched the forums and read most of those threads) but I'm looking for advice on where to get a drive belt for my 2015 Vstar 950 tourer and not spend a fortune. I've looked at a lot of the resources mentioned in previous threads, but since new sites and sources appear all the time, I thought I throw this out there and see what I get. My local shop can get the OEM belt for $450, but has no other options.

FWIW, I have a little over 15000 miles on the bike, it seems to me like the drive belt should last longer, but I'm pretty sure it's slipping when I accelerate too hard. I'm attaching a picture of the belt, too, because it'd be nice to have another opinion about the wear on it.

While we're discussing drive belt, does anyone know the spec on that belt? Ie, length, teeth per inch, etc?

Thanks everyone.
 

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FWIW, I have a little over 15000 miles on the bike, it seems to me like the drive belt should last longer, but I'm pretty sure it's slipping when I accelerate too hard.
15k miles is a very short belt life. Gear teeth issue? Way too tight or loose?

Attaching a shot of my 2010 950's belt at 20k miles.

Also found this thread on starbikeforums:
https://www.starbikeforums.com/forums/15-stratoliner-roadliner/2966-drive-belt-life.html

A quick search on the web was more frustrating than enlightening. A currently popular video shows a sportster with a snapped belt. Looks like a clean break at its joint. The guy says that it broke after 26 years. Didn't mention the miles, so that wasn't much help.
 

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If the belt is slipping it must be way too loose - it should last 100,000 miles no matter how hard you ride.

you might not need a new belt, the notches are rounded off on a good belt (like grey beards)

read the link on proper belt tension

be aware though, if you set it too tight it will destroy the bearings in the rear wheel quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If the belt is slipping it must be way too loose - it should last 100,000 miles no matter how hard you ride.

you might not need a new belt, the notches are rounded off on a good belt (like grey beards)

read the link on proper belt tension

be aware though, if you set it too tight it will destroy the bearings in the rear wheel quickly.
I just had the rear wheel replaced by the dealer. I'm assuming the Yamaha Certified repair center would tension the belt properly. Maybe I should take it back over and have them check it.
 

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^ that is a debug trap we all fall into

something is wrong with your bike, if the belt did not slip before you took it to the dealer, and now it slips
that is a single point failure

sometimes things go wrong, someone gets distracted while working on the bike, and then skips adjusting it...

there is a little gauge thing you can get to check the belt tension, and Im sure there are other ways you can ball-park check it
but yeah... you got 85,000 miles left before you should have to think about replacing it

take it back, if its loose, and its buggered up now, they owe you a new belt.

if they adjust this belt, and it works ok, thats good too.
 

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my belt had to be replaced at 30k miles because it started slipping. verified by a collaboration between an independent mechanic who consulted Yamaha directly to diagnose the issue as the belt having stretched out too much. he said he had never seen it happen before. my current belt has almost 60k miles on it now and still going strong. if your belt has been stretched out, you're not gonna tell just by eyeballing it.

the yamaha specs on belt tension for this model is just wrong. just look at any 950 forum enough and you'll see. the manual suggests 3-5mm of belt tension at 10lbs. but 7-9mm is where it likes to be. so if your shop tightened it to yamaha specs, it should be loosened a tad. check your tension and loosen it if it's too tight and see how it runs then.

$290.53
https://www.yamahapartshouse.com/oemparts/a/yam/54455ca9f870020ad8f5e826/rear-wheel
 

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After a yamaha shop changed out my rear wheel, it wasn't on straight (by just alittle though), and the belt tension was at 28mm. I noticed it slipped, and check it, readjusted it to 8mm, and haven't had any more issues with it, and straightened the wheel.

The belt spec is 14mm teeth width. You will have to measure it over a good many teeth to tell if it is stretched. Plus, it might only be stretched at one spot on the belt, and not uniformly. Ideally check like 10-20 teeth or so at a time, and make sure they are 140, or 280mm in length all the way around the belt. Not much fun doing it on the bike, expecially a tour model, and just as annoying to take it off the bike.
 

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I'm on my 3rd belt at 24K miles. But, let me explain.

I picked up a piece of asphalt in one of the belt grooves at about 4K miles. Noticed it jumping a tooth only under hard acceleration. Took me a while to find the blob and by then the belt was ruined. Belt #2 was ruined when the front drive pulley worked loose and started to wobble. Didn't find that until the belt wore and started squeaking.

Inspect the belt for damage or foreign stuff very carefully.

If you determine that you do need a new belt, I found my best price from:
https://bignumberone.dealerspikeparts.com/oemparts/c/yamaha/parts

Ordering online saved me about $100 off the normal list price elsewhere. (Tried a phone order and the price went back up to normal list.)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, dropped the bike off at the dealer today. First they said they'd put it in for a belt service, but I kinda implied that I was *NOT* paying for that if they screwed it up. So they were going to have a quick look and let me know.

Cut to 3 hours later and I haven't heard from them so I stop by on the way home from work. Now they have my bike on the lift and the mech is going over the belt with a fine tooth comb to make sure there's nothing wrong and they will let me know tomorrow what they find.

Should be interesting, but I have a feeling I am not going to be paying 500 bucks for a new belt right now.

Wish me luck
 

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sounds like there are two possibilities here

1 they changed your rear tire and left the belt too loose and it was slipping, or they cranked it down too tight and stretched it, which would also possibly damage the 'needle' bearings in the rear wheel from excessive load.

2 right after they put a new tire on the bike you just happened by random chance to catch a rock or piece of metal that went thru between the belt and pulley, and damaged it enough to stretch it out or skip teeth

the 2nd case is very rare

If they have a repair order from when they changed the tire, and it shows the mechanic checked your tire pressure and it was 34psi, and checked the alignment of your back wheel and it was .within spec from center, and they checked the tension on the belt and it was within spec... and all that was written down when the bike left the shop,

or they checked the tension when you brought it back and its within spec.... then they have documentation that everything was done correctly when the bike left the shop, so something must have happened after it left.

the dealer I take my Fusion to does this in the shop. they dont just inspect the car and say it passed or failed, they list the thickness of the brake pads, the thread and pressure on the tires, the level of any fluids that were low that they topped off, any pending fault codes on the OBD reader... It gives you an indication of how things are wearing, if something is changing, if a tire is leaking.. and it also documents they actually DID check all those things.

If the belt was too tight or too loose when you returned it, and they fess up to that, then its all on them

If the belt was the correct tension when you returned it, then its hard to say what happened.

this is one of the situations that drives me to want to do as much work on my cars and motorcycles as I can. I may not be the best mechanic, but I can take my time and double check everything and make sure I got it right. There are things like changing your oil, adjusting your valves, and on your bike adjusting the belt tension, where if its not done correctly it can cause very expensive damage, or if parts are over torqued aluminum threads can be stripped out, which then need to be repaired.

It can be difficult to find a good mechanic, some will damage your vehicle, and some will do unnecessary work because they need money coming in this week. My local Yamaha dealer has a great reputation, but I still like to do my own work if I can... because after 44 years of driving I enjoy wrenching on my machines.

The other side of this, if you have a great mechanic, he really deserves your respect.

Something to think about, no matter how this turns out.
 

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or they checked the tension when you brought it back and its within spec.... then they have documentation that everything was done correctly when the bike left the shop, so something must have happened after it left.


If the belt was too tight or too loose when you returned it, and they fess up to that, then its all on them

If the belt was the correct tension when you returned it, then its hard to say what happened.

that's the problem with this model. the "correct spec" for belt tension is too tight. Yamaha recommends 3-5mm of tension which is what causes the problems we have with the bike. i highly recommend you check the tension yourself when you get it back to make sure it is no tighter than 7mm or ask them to do it. but to protect themselves, they might say they have to adhere by the manufacturer's specs.
 

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Hey everyone, I know this topic comes up every once in a while (Because I searched the forums and read most of those threads) but I'm looking for advice on where to get a drive belt for my 2015 Vstar 950 tourer and not spend a fortune. I've looked at a lot of the resources mentioned in previous threads, but since new sites and sources appear all the time, I thought I throw this out there and see what I get. My local shop can get the OEM belt for $450, but has no other options.

FWIW, I have a little over 15000 miles on the bike, it seems to me like the drive belt should last longer, but I'm pretty sure it's slipping when I accelerate too hard. I'm attaching a picture of the belt, too, because it'd be nice to have another opinion about the wear on it.

While we're discussing drive belt, does anyone know the spec on that belt? Ie, length, teeth per inch, etc?

Thanks everyone.


That looks exactly like slipping damage, the teeth are worn and chewed up. The belt needs replacing, and unfortunately only one place to get them Yamaha
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, time for an update.

I did take the bike in, when I dropped it off, I made sure they understood that the issue only started after they changed the tire and no, I would not be paying them to figure out what they did wrong. So they said they'd have a look and call me, cut to 5 o'clock and I'm leaving work, so I swing by the shop. I'm told the mechanic has the bike on the lift and is cleaning and inspecting the belt, they would let me know the next day.

Next day, noon comes and goes and I figure I should have heard something so I call. Well, the guy behind the desk the I had been talking to was not in and the guy I'm talking to now knows nothing about the status of my bike. (This is the desk guy, not the mechanic, I wouldn't think my bike being worked on depended on the desk guy being there, but whatever). So, guy #2 tells me that he'll look into it and call me back with an update. 5 o'clock again and I stop by on my way home. Guy#2 tells me my bike hasn't been worked on because guy#1 was out, so he (guy#2) will make sure it's worked on in the morning and he personally will test it out and make sure all is good. I should expect a call by noon.

Day 3, noon comes and goes, but I got busy and didn't get a chance to call, so around 1:30 they did actually call. Guy#2 tells me that they did a full inspection of the belt, cleaned it re-installed it and tensioned it properly, I could come pick it up. Due to logistics, I arrange to pick up the next day, a Saturday, so My wife can drop me off.

Day 4, I stop in to pick up my bike. Guy #1 is back and tells me that he personally test rode my bike as well as a couple of the mechanics and there is absolutely no slippage. Also, he tells me, they went a bit tighter on the belt than spec because, blah blah , whatever. I take him at his word that they've all tried it and get suited up and drive out. I get it on the road in front of the shop and give it a good yank on the throttle and sure enough, the belt is still slipping. I pull over to let my wife know we are going back and as I'm turning around, I hit the gas and let my wife hear the slipping. Get back to the shop and beckon Guy#1 to come out. I told him it's still slipping then proceed to demonstrate by torquing the motor good and hard and really letting the belt slip (the slipping is pretty loud, in case you've been lucky enough to never experience it), I turn around and slip it some more while guiding it into a parking spot, it's getting pretty easy to make it slip at this point. So guy#1 agrees to take it back in and it will be worked on on Monday (Today).

I have to say, the look on Guy#1's face when he heard it was pretty priceless, I don't know if they actually tested it and just didn't know how to twist a throttle, or if they were BSing me. But at least now they know it really is slipping.

I believe I'm going to contact Yamaha Customer service and at least make them aware of the situation because at this point, I really don't think I should be on the hook for a new belt if it is toast.
 

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Well, time for an update.

I did take the bike in, when I dropped it off, I made sure they understood that the issue only started after they changed the tire and no, I would not be paying them to figure out what they did wrong. So they said they'd have a look and call me, cut to 5 o'clock and I'm leaving work, so I swing by the shop. I'm told the mechanic has the bike on the lift and is cleaning and inspecting the belt, they would let me know the next day.

Next day, noon comes and goes and I figure I should have heard something so I call. Well, the guy behind the desk the I had been talking to was not in and the guy I'm talking to now knows nothing about the status of my bike. (This is the desk guy, not the mechanic, I wouldn't think my bike being worked on depended on the desk guy being there, but whatever). So, guy #2 tells me that he'll look into it and call me back with an update. 5 o'clock again and I stop by on my way home. Guy#2 tells me my bike hasn't been worked on because guy#1 was out, so he (guy#2) will make sure it's worked on in the morning and he personally will test it out and make sure all is good. I should expect a call by noon.

Day 3, noon comes and goes, but I got busy and didn't get a chance to call, so around 1:30 they did actually call. Guy#2 tells me that they did a full inspection of the belt, cleaned it re-installed it and tensioned it properly, I could come pick it up. Due to logistics, I arrange to pick up the next day, a Saturday, so My wife can drop me off.

Day 4, I stop in to pick up my bike. Guy #1 is back and tells me that he personally test rode my bike as well as a couple of the mechanics and there is absolutely no slippage. Also, he tells me, they went a bit tighter on the belt than spec because, blah blah , whatever. I take him at his word that they've all tried it and get suited up and drive out. I get it on the road in front of the shop and give it a good yank on the throttle and sure enough, the belt is still slipping. I pull over to let my wife know we are going back and as I'm turning around, I hit the gas and let my wife hear the slipping. Get back to the shop and beckon Guy#1 to come out. I told him it's still slipping then proceed to demonstrate by torquing the motor good and hard and really letting the belt slip (the slipping is pretty loud, in case you've been lucky enough to never experience it), I turn around and slip it some more while guiding it into a parking spot, it's getting pretty easy to make it slip at this point. So guy#1 agrees to take it back in and it will be worked on on Monday (Today).

I have to say, the look on Guy#1's face when he heard it was pretty priceless, I don't know if they actually tested it and just didn't know how to twist a throttle, or if they were BSing me. But at least now they know it really is slipping.

I believe I'm going to contact Yamaha Customer service and at least make them aware of the situation because at this point, I really don't think I should be on the hook for a new belt if it is toast.

It doesn't matter how tight the belt is. The belt you showed pics of is toast. The teeth are shredded and worn down, no matter how tight it will slip. The only solution is a new belt.

Now for the service dept that's another story. They suck
 

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it bears repeating: if your belt is too tight the tension will destroy the needle bearings in your rear wheel...s

cant fix a worn belt with a big wrench
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited by Moderator)
Looks like we will have a happy ending to our story here. But first.....

Got a call from the shop yesterday, back to talking to Guy#1 (For the record, I have their names, just see no need to blast them here). He tells me that the mechanic has the belt off and is going over the whole thing cleaning and inspecting it and they will "do their best with it". I tell Guy#1 that at this point, I'm pretty much ready for them to just replace the belt and be done. He asks if that's what I want to do and I respond "Yeah, but I'm not paying for it". The shortened result of this conversation is that I will have to talk to the manager who has left for the day, call back tomorrow.

Today, they actually called me before I had a chance to call over there. Guy#1 tells me the Mech went over the belt, it's not in good shape and I should just go ahead and replace it. Back and forth a bit and I ask for manager. Manager tells me that 15-16 thousand miles is pretty good for a belt and that it's normal to start hearing some noise from it around that time, it's a wearable part and they won't cover it. I explain that I have only had work done there and that if the belt was so worn as to need replacement this soon, why wasn't that stated on my last service a few weeks ago for a new rear wheel. Also, using tips from you guys, I asked if the paperwork stated that the belt was tightened to X specification or if it was just checked off of a list. He kept talking about the belt "Making noise" and had to kinda go off on him a bit to get him to understand that the belt was slipping, I had demonstrated the belt slipping for Guy#1 and it wasn't just making noise. About this time something clicked with him and he mentions the front pulley bolt may be loose and they would need to check that as well. I made a bit of noise about why hadn't that been checked already knowing that there was a belt problem, etc. So he promises to put the bike back up and look at it.

Couple hours later... Manager calls back, the pulley bolt was not loose, but there was burned material on the pulley and debris in the housing, all from the belt. He quickly said that they would just replace the belt for me and that it would take a few days to get in, I should have my bike by end of week.

So I call it a win for me, but I still wonder, what all did he find that changed his mind so completely? I mean, I did mention that them not putting anything on my last shop ticket about the belt could be considered failure to warn me of potentially dangerous riding conditions and that they'd probably be found liable in court, but I was kinda bull.

Anyway, thanks for reading, I'll add more if there is any more.
 
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