How much do you know about your motorcycle’s drive mechanism? Chain drive. Shaft drive. Belt drive. What’s the difference? Which one’s best for you? Your needs should be what determines your motorcycle drive mechanism, and here’s some info to help!
Chain drive is widely used because it is inexpensive and efficient. It does, however, come with some cons. Chain Drive requires a lot of maintenance. Its sprockets and chains wear faster than belt drive or shaft drive. It requires a lot of maintenance lubrication as well as a lot of cleaning as it attracts dirt most of the time.
Though not as maintenance-free as shaft drive, belt drive has longer life than the chain and requires little to no maintenance. This kind of mechanism however, has limited customization option. You cannot dismantle a belt piece by piece like others can with chains.
The two disadvantages of shaft drive are price and weight. It is more expensive and heavier because of the gears and technology. The other disadvantage is the power loss that comes as a result of the gearing joints needed to turn the power 90 degrees from the shaft to the rear wheel.
Shaft drive may not be the best option if you’re the tinkering type who likes to customize your motorcycle’s performance. Chain might be a better option if you’re getting ready for track day. If you’d like a compromise between low maintenance and motorcycle performance customization, consider belt drive.
Whatever you choose, ride safe, and ride well!