Sunday, 8 February 2015

T-Max gets a new belt (again)

Well the little light came on on the dash to tell me it was belt change time. So I pulled the paneling off the side (as per the manual) and took off the cover and (as directed in the manual) pulled the belt from the pulleys (sheaves) by inserting 2 50 x 6mm screws into the slots and separating the halves of the secondary sheave (that would be the back one).

As last time the belt looks immaculate ... absolutely no sign of wear either visually or according to the spec.

I compared it to the new one and even on a flat surface (Engineeringly flat surface btw) there was no discernable difference in belt width (measured at the back of the belt btw).

Here is the old one.

Looks perfect to me, with not the slightest indication it would fail.

The folks who sold me the belt (I bought a Dayco, as Yamaha wanted twice the price and didn't have any in stock ) said something like:
Jezuz what is this belt out of? A snow mobile??
Which confirms my opinion that  the belt is well over spec for its needs. I can only assume that Yamaha expect the users to totally punish the belt (can't imagine how in an automatic bike) or that maybe the 20,000Km inspection interval may just turn out to be 10 years for some people. For me its about 2.

The entire job (including driving over to the belt shop to show them the extracted belt - which was pointless because they are all just afraid to say anything meaningful ... PC shit) took about 3 hours. With about 10 min involved in struggling the belt off and another 10 struggling it back on.

If you are the faintest bit mechanically apt its all do-able with the manual and a few basic tools. I've noted though that many scooter owners are at their mechanical limit putting air into the tyres...

So having gone to all the trouble to pull it down I put the new belt in and have my head to scratch about the whole thing. Myself I reckon that for how I use it, that 20,000 is more the inspection time. Assuming it passes inspection, just leave the thing in place and save yourself $100 and the extra struggle. While removing the belt you need to remove and clean / replace the belt areas air filter, so its good to pull it down anyway. Assuming you're doing the work yourself I'd reckon that it'll last 40,000Km or more.

Or course if you were taking it to a workshop you may feel awkward about paying for two hours labour (or about 2/3 of the total cost) for nothing more than an inspection ... and besides, Yamaha gets to sell you a $200 part.

One note, since replacement the belt makes a "squeal" or "whistle" rather like a deeper version of fan belt slippage but only on rolling off the throttle (that would be slowing down). I can't recall if it did this last time or if its part of the bed in procedure.

I'll report back.


Belt has been returned to Dayco. They think there was something wrong with it. Meantime their technician inspected my older belt and confirmed that it looked perfect, and they would have no hesitation with refitting it.

So I did and its perfect ...