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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it wise to carry a spare alternator belt and drive belt when traveling the distances? I always kept a spare primary belt for my old Shovelhead Harely...

What kind of life to you typically get out of either, if you behave on the bike?
 

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Ric , I always carry a spare alternator belt but not a drive belt although I don't think it's a bad idea for long trips . A drive belt is not that easy to change on the side of the road but with the right tools and equipment anything is possible .

Jack
 

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On the trip to canada, I zip tied an alternator belt tightly to the right rear frame rail and it was hidden from view under a sidecover. I had a spare drive belt I zip tied into a figure 8 like shape and stored it on top of my luggage and in the gaps in the figure 8 I stashed smaller items like cellphone chargers etc.

Didnt need either, but was good peace of mind if any need came up to fix those.

Aldo
 

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Ric said:
Is it wise to carry a spare alternator belt and drive belt when traveling the distances? I always kept a spare primary belt for my old Shovelhead Harely...

What kind of life to you typically get out of either, if you behave on the bike?
We have been told that the drive belt will last 100,000 miles so that sounds good.
Alternator is a different story. If you get caught in the rain it seems to give up quicker but about 20,000 miles is the best I have seen.
On the serpentine it should go further.

Adrian
 

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I have a look before a trip. If it's cracked, I change it. If not, I leave it and don't worry about it. Preventive maintenance has always worked for me. However, I fault no one for doing what feels good for them... My point is, however, where do you draw the line? According to some, they'd have a pilot vehicle with a repair trailer along if possible. :lol:
 

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I feel there are several things that can and will break that are very easy to carry as spares . Alternator belt , throttle cable , relays, breakers , ignition module , fuel pump , fuses and a few other odds and ends don't take up much space and are all things that if they fail can leave you on the side of the road . So why not be prepared ? :)

Jack
 

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had a v-belt fail on a rainy trip, switched to flat belt. have there been any problems with flat belts ?
 

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HogV8 said:
I feel there are several things that can and will break that are very easy to carry as spares . Alternator belt , throttle cable , relays, breakers , ignition module , fuel pump , fuses and a few other odds and ends don't take up much space and are all things that if they fail can leave you on the side of the road . So why not be prepared ? :)

Jack
It's interesting that people look for advice on this type of issue as it's entirely a personal decision. There are no wrong answers, just bad luck.
 

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Adrian said:
Ric said:
Is it wise to carry a spare alternator belt and drive belt when traveling the distances? I always kept a spare primary belt for my old Shovelhead Harely...

What kind of life to you typically get out of either, if you behave on the bike?
We have been told that the drive belt will last 100,000 miles so that sounds good.
Alternator is a different story. If you get caught in the rain it seems to give up quicker but about 20,000 miles is the best I have seen.
On the serpentine it should go further.

Adrian
Last drive belt that I heard broke was Tony Gillys, way before 100,000 miles...but never found out why it did. Usually folks get stones caught up in them that rip a hole in the belt because they dont have lower belt guards installed. Thats the reason I put one on for the trip to Canada.

Aldo
 

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crazymf said:
I have a look before a trip. If it's cracked, I change it. If not, I leave it and don't worry about it. Preventive maintenance has always worked for me. However, I fault no one for doing what feels good for them... My point is, however, where do you draw the line? According to some, they'd have a pilot vehicle with a repair trailer along if possible. :lol:
I guess your draw the line at the limit of your capabilities...for me its having to rebuild the motor or tranny along the side of the road. Pretty much everything else, I try to plan for, unless you're involved in an accident which makes the bike unrideable. The hard part is that all the Boss Hoss parts are not available easily, so we should check hard-to-find-quickly on-the-road things like waterpumps (we've had to fix those on the side of the road, but someone had a spare) etc or check ahead on the route we're planning to take to see where parts can be gotten if needed.

It really sucks to go on a multi-day bike vacation only to have the bike break down and not get to execute on the vacation plans and run out of vacation time trying to get the bike whole again. And also forcing a group that you're riding with to mess up their plans because you didnt do your homework.

The Gillys may have rode their metrics instead of their Boss Hosses to Canada for peace of mind, as their Boss Hosses always seem to find some reason to not cooperate on long trips. Might just be bad luck, but their bikes are highly modified and they may not have ironed all the bugs out yet.
Aldo
 

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Drive belts are pretty tough, I have a couple stone holes in mine and have done many many long burnouts with no problems. Not to say it couldn't but thats my experiance to this point.

I only carry 3 items, a alt belt, fuel pump, and a throttle cable. Have never needed any of them but better to be safe I guess. :shock:
 

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Last drive belt that I heard broke was Tony Gillys, way before 100,000 miles

I busted mine at 30K. Don't know why. I took off from a stop sign, in a residential zone, just gave it a tiny bit of "extra" throttle and "BAM". Slung it about 50 feet behind me. Stock 350/385
 

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If you have a breakdown, and you have spare parts and a few tools, either you can fix it yourself or if you find a mechanic, you have 2 out of 3 problems already solved by having the parts and tools along with you.

Perasonally, I try to carry the spare parts that you just don't walk into an automotive parts store and get with out ordering them. But I agree with Stu, it is a personal decision as to what you feel you should have with you.

Ciao
Giancarlo
Ride Smart
 

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crazymf said:
I have a look before a trip. If it's cracked, I change it. If not, I leave it and don't worry about it. Preventive maintenance has always worked for me. However, I fault no one for doing what feels good for them... My point is, however, where do you draw the line? According to some, they'd have a pilot vehicle with a repair trailer along if possible. :lol:
Brother Stu :shock: . That sounds like ME for the first 10 months!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: _______________________________________________________________________ :biker:

EAGLE!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Good cross-section of answers... I used to carry spare stuff as well like an old coil, spark plugs, points, wire, baling wire, tire tube, and the like on the old Harley. But it's only because of the things mentioned earlier... "I'd rather be looking AT it, than looking FOR it! But I just wanted to get a feel for the weaker points of riding the Boss long distances.

Any other ideas will find me interested! I'm not overly paranoid, just hate to have to actually USE the bottle of Jack Daniels I keep in my saddle bag (To keep me company) while I wait for roadside assistance.
 

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Ric,
Alt Belt, Fuel Pump and long spark plug wire. (I have changed all on the road.) Also Drive belt on long trips, asst tools. and now maybe a spare set of bearings. (Hopefully joking on the bearings). I also carry on long trips straps for straping the bike down. I do not trust that the roll-back trucks will have the straps for the bike and I do not want heavy etc. straps holding the bike if I need a tow.
Glenn
 

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Interesting about the belts, my first one lasted 25,000 miles and it stretched to a point where I had to run shorter bolts to get tension.....but it still looked okay when I changed it. I guess I wasn't surprised it stretched as I have abused mine pretty much since day one.

I don't carry any spares...just a Visa card and a cell phone :wink:
 

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Ric said:
Good cross-section of answers... I used to carry spare stuff as well like an old coil, spark plugs, points, wire, baling wire, tire tube, and the like on the old Harley. But it's only because of the things mentioned earlier... "I'd rather be looking AT it, than looking FOR it! But I just wanted to get a feel for the weaker points of riding the Boss long distances.

Any other ideas will find me interested! I'm not overly paranoid, just hate to have to actually USE the bottle of Jack Daniels I keep in my saddle bag (To keep me company) while I wait for roadside assistance.
My logic is time and cost based...if is easy enough to store it and have the part available for either me to fix or a knowledgeable assistant, then I have it available, especially if I've been having issues with it or know that temperature extremes will affect its usage. If the outside temp is 110 or higher, some components are going to struggle. Towing my bike 50-200 miles outside of where I live is way more time consuming and very expensive vs having the right part available for repair as well as the associated tools for a quick on the side of the road repair. As murphy's law states, your breakdowns usually occur in dangerous areas on the road, not usually close to civilization, unsuited for repair, usually in extreme heat or cold, so having at least the right parts and tools when you're on your own...makes sense. There is always a balance as to what to carry. I do have a cellphone/pda, manuals on my PDA memory stick, and a towing plan with brosclub, but the challenge is to get the bike going again in the shortest time possible to a safer place.

So far, with this strategy, I have 3 years and 45000 miles of not needing a tow truck, and only one time with phone support on the road to Adrian to replace a spare HEI Ignition rev-limiter module for my NOS (which I now carry a spare) except when my tranny broke and I was able to ride the bike home in 1st gear. So it got towed the 90 miles from my house to Adrians garage for repair for a couple of hundred dollars.

Aldo
 

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Well in 6 years it has finally left on the roadside twice....in LaCrosse it spit a rocker arm off the stud at Hanson's Hideout, David Ward and Stan were the rescuers on that trip...the second time the distributor exploded coming home from a ride one day...left me 100' from the door of our shop.

Neither of these would have been repairable on the side of the road with items able to be carried on the bike...I needed a complete distributor assembly....the rocker would have been "iffy" except I would have needed a 5 gallon can to drain the tank into.

I think I' m now of the persuasion that some items (fuel pumps, relays, belts, water pumps) should just be changed out every so often whether they fail or not. Again the luck for Wag & I are the bikes being 1 serial number apart and close on mileage....when something goes "south" it is a sign that it will probably fail on the other soon. I guess at 6 years I am not too disappointed in the performance the bike has given me since I pound the snot out of it everytime I ride it .... I love pounding on it :capwin:
 

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I'm really surprised that you guys that do a lot of burnouts don't snap a lot of throttle cables especially considering the snapping open of the throttle . I've only broken 1 cable and pulled the ball off from another . It's a helpless feeling when it happens though not a big deal to replace . :cus:

Jack
 
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