Belt Drive - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
    WildWilly's Avatar
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    Dear BMW: Keep belt drive or make a light weight shaft drive model. I want to remain in the fold and purchase another new bike.
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  4. #2
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    Good luck with that request. I do believe BMW doesn't really care what their customers want. They sell what they want you to buy.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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  6. #3
    WildWilly's Avatar
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    I feel it has more to do with the economics of production. The GT, their only belt drive, has never been a great seller. Same with the smaller shaft drive models. They'll build whatever sells.
    Last edited by WildWilly; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:34 AM.
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  8. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildWilly View Post
    Dear BMW: Keep belt drive or make a light weight shaft drive model. I want to remain in the fold and purchase another new bike.
    That sums it up for me too and is the main reason I bought my 2017 GT. This is my first non chain bike and I love it. Cant see me going back to another chain but i could have a problem as most of the shafts are so big, heavy and expensive which is why the GT is perfect for my needs.

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    So, my question to the group: Exactly WHY do you have to have a belt drive?

    I feel the same, and I have articulated WHY: I have always been a motorcycle tourer (ridden in all the lower 48 states three times on three different bikes), but that means I am in a hotel every evening trying to clean and lube a chain--often in the dark and on a muddy/wet parking lot. I have ruined lots of shirts and pants in this fashion, therefore, I have sworn off chain-drive motorcycles--my ride must have either belt (preferred) or shaft (acceptable). When I quit touring and ride primarily locally, then I will reconsider a chain-drive motorcycle (am currently drooling over the G310R).
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    I come at this slightly differently. My bikes prior to the GT where shaft drive. I've never really had to live with chain drive on a motorcycle (not on a bike I've ridden daily) . I chose the GT for other reason than the belt drive it just so happens to have belt drive same way as mine just happens to be white, it's only now after 10 months ownership and 6,000 miles in that having not done any maintenance to the belt and having a lovely oil free swinging arm that I'm persuaded these belt drives are actually pretty good.
    Last edited by MGD109; 11-16-18 at 12:36 PM.

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  14. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildWilly View Post
    ....The GT, their only shaft drive, has never been a great seller. .......
    Huh?

    You are referring the the K1600 GT/L? Certainly shaft drive. But what about the boxer engine? By far, the best selling BMW design for decades. As far as I know, has always been shaft drive and I expect they will continue this design.

  15. #8
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    I like the idea of a belt drive or shaft drive on a commuter bike. When I was working, I'd pull in the garage. Put the bike on the center stand and get my laptop bag out of the top box. And then go inside where it was nice and warm and dry.

    Meanwhile my bike stayed out in a cold garage dripping wet till the next morning when I backed it out of the driveway and rode it another 70+ miles for my commute in Seattle's rain. As a daily commuter, a belt or shaft drive is way preferable to a chain and the mess and bother of cleaning it almost every day.

    Then when I started riding long trips after retirement...it is so sweet to take your gear off the bike, and walk into your motel room and be done for the night.

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    I liked the belt for a similar reason. Rose and I would do hundreds of kms in one day, get off the bike, take our gear into the motel room and relax knowing that that's it for the day.
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    One thing you can be sure of is that if their customers really like one of their features, BMW is sure to get rid of it and change to a feature that they won't like.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

  19. #11
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    I'm looking at getting another bike into the future.
    I was always inclined towards another F800 due to it's size, weight and the belt drive.
    I suppose now that the belt drive will be going that it will open up my choices greatly as there are a lot of mid-sized, similar weighted, chain drive bikes out there.
    As of Mon, 1st Feb 2016- ;
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  20. #12
    Melbourne, Australia IanA is offline F800Riders.org Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by TelemarkTumalo View Post
    Huh?

    You are referring the the K1600 GT/L? Certainly shaft drive. But what about the boxer engine? By far, the best selling BMW design for decades. As far as I know, has always been shaft drive and I expect they will continue this design.
    I think Bill actually meant to type "Belt", Mark. Give the old bugger a break!

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  22. #13
    steve n rose's Avatar
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    That's a bit like 'the pot calling the kettle black' isn't it, Ian!
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  23. #14
    WildWilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanA View Post
    I think Bill actually meant to type "Belt", Mark. Give the old bugger a break!
    Guilty as charged on the belt boo-boo . . . also on the old bugger . . . .
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    The belt drive wasn't a huge issue for me ... until I had it. I am quite fond of the lack of required maintenance now (not so fond of how BMW rips us off for replacement belts, but I have a while until that shock hits). Maintenance-free, nothing to fail or final drives to explode ... it flat works with seemingly no negatives. I'd like to see them keep it also. But BMW never seems to ask it's owners what they want so we know it's a goner.

  26. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutoXer-1 View Post
    The belt drive wasn't a huge issue for me ... until I had it. I am quite fond of the lack of required maintenance now (not so fond of how BMW rips us off for replacement belts, but I have a while until that shock hits). Maintenance-free, nothing to fail or final drives to explode ... it flat works with seemingly no negatives. I'd like to see them keep it also. But BMW never seems to ask it's owners what they want so we know it's a goner.
    Actually BMW doesn't care what you want. They build what they want to sell and what they insist that their customers buy.

    And if their customers are ungrateful and refuse to buy what they are selling, they just remove the product from the market and pretend it never really existed.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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  28. #17
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    Jim, nowadays you can buy a belt directly from Contitech. Used to be only for the ST but now it's availble for the GT, too.

    There were 4 big reasons I chose the ST as my next bike. Touring capability, low weight, simplicity of construction without feeling overly like a budget bike and belt drive. My fiancee's father has a shaft-drive bike and chain maintenance was always a pain on longer trips. Not to mention the grease all over the rear wheel.

    While belt drive reliability is, in my opinion, lower than that of a chain it's at least fairly simple to replace ( sourcing a new belt might be the tricky part ). I consider the belt a reasonable middle ground. Especially since I learned last year how a shaft drive failure can wreck a touring trip.

    Shame that everything points to a chain drive for the F850GT.

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