Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Belt vs Chain

     This is the belt from my '04 Electra Glide. It has 110,000 miles on it. I just replaced the belt not because it was worn out, but because the pulley was.
     I recently read an entry on a motorcycle forum, where the writer opined, "Chains drive motorcycles, belts hold your dress up." The above belt and pulley have 110 thousand miles on them, the chain sprocket below is from my Sportster after the last Stampede and has a total of 7,000 miles. 
            Your honor, I rest my case.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My Stampede Bike for 2015, The Tear Down

     One of the things I learned from Stampede 9 was that a belt is far better than a chain. The chain needed constant adjustment, caused vibration and threw chain lube all over the place. So I decided to loose the kick starter and go with a belt drive.
     I ordered a TC Bros weld on hard tail, the price was right and it is well built. I chose a 2" stretch hard tail which uses the stock tire and a 137 tooth belt.
     So the red Sportster began it's new life, I started to tear it down to install the new hard tail section.

My Stampede Bikes


      My first Stampede was #7 in 2012. The race started in Barstow, California and finished 3000 miles later at the Green Leafe Inn in Pine Bluff, North Carolina. I built the Kawasaki (KZ1000p) Police bike for the race.  I strutted the bike and solid mounted the engine. I also sprung the seat and mounted a 3 gallon extra tank.  My time was 49 hours and 51 minutes. I finished 4th.
     For Stampede 8, in 2013, the rules changed and there was a 550 cc limit on engine size. So I sold the KZ and bought a Kawasaki Vulcan 500. 
     I used the struts I made for the previous years KZ1000p and solid mounted the engine. I mounted a trailer fender and made a rack to carry the three gallon gas tank. I also built an air bag seat suspension that worked well. The seat however was too small and hard and caused no end of discomfort. The bike looked a little more like a chopper even though it was still more of a rule beater.
     Stampede 8 started in Tokeland, Washington. The route covered 3600 miles to Pinebluff. I had electrical problems and did not finish. 
     I still make it to Pinebluff, too late, but I still got there.
     For Stampede 9, in 2014, the rules changed again and required a kick starter and allowed only 5 gallons of gasoline on the bike. I found a 2002 Sportster and added a kick starter made by Led Sled. The main tank held 3.3 gallons and I installed a axillary tank that held 1.5 gallons.
     Stampede 9 started in Oakland, California and covered 3200 miles the long way to Pine Bluff. I finished 2nd, just 23 minutes out of first place.

     My plan was to strut the bike for Stampede 9 and build a propper chopper for Stampede 10. For a time I vacillated, maybe the bike was too nice to cut up, but in the end I told myself to stick to the plan. I'll be writing about the "chop" in the near future.
     To read more about The Stampede click at the bottom of the page on - Labels: The Stampede.