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I've swapped out my belts, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to get the tension right. I have them at TDC, but I can't get the guitar tuner to really pick up the belts. I think I need an idiots explanation of how to do this and a good starting point. Any help?
 

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Some microphones are better than others. I've never had good repeatable success with phone apps. I use a free laptop program and a headset that I can hang on the frame and position the mic good and close to the belt.
 

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I use an iPhone 5s with "Easy Tension" and have no problems with picking up the belt resonance. I also have had good luck with "Tension2Go". Like Ricko said, background noise from fluorescent lighting, heating systems, etc... can interfere with the app.
 

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I used to do my belts with a laptop, microphone and a program written by a guy in France then I discovered the Carbon Drive app from Gates. I figured Gates might possibly know just a tiny little bit about drive belts and belt tension... It works fine on my Android and is much easier than dragging out the mic and laptop since the phone is usually in my pocket anyway. 100Hz is no problem for the Carbon Drive app to "hear" (as long as you are in a relatively quiet place) and it's free. And remember there's no need to obsess over getting the belt to resonate at exactly the absolute to 1 Hz proper tension. Just don't set them overly tight and life is good.
Link:

Tools for Bicycles With Belt Drives | Gates Carbon Drive?
 
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The apps are so finicky you may as well use the Allen wrenches or the Harley Davidson drive belt tension tool.
 

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The apps are so finicky you may as well use the Allen wrenches or the Harley Davidson drive belt tension tool.
I am afraid I must respectfully disagree with that statement. Some apps are better than others I suppose so perhaps you didn't use the proper app or maybe there was a lot of ambient noise when you tried to use it, but the Gates phone app is very good. I can set a new belt to a frequency (100Hz), lock down the adjusters, rotate the engine a few times, stop at TDC again and re-check and it gives repeatable results within 1-2 Hz. Close enough for me and considerably more reliable than using the hex wrench method which doesn't work properly on the DS motor anyway. After I got it I cross checked the phone app results with my laptop program just so I would feel confident in the results and they agreed so I haven't used my laptop again just because of the convenience factor. I guess as they say, YMMV. Out of curiosity, how do you currently set your belt tension? I don't see a DS motor on your ride list just the older 2 valve SS and the 4 valve Monster.
 

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I have 2 DS Bikes and I use LT's specs for the belts 4mm allen for the Vertical and 1mm feeler
for the Horizontal. I have never had a problem I have also tried several apps and they are close
to the same tension as LT's settings. The only time I have had a problem is using the app's once
my Vertical was to tight and the tension roller start making noise after riding for 30 miles.
 

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Twice I've had a professional put new belts on, once with Cycleworks belts and once with Gates. Each time I checked them after a few miles with Allen keys. Both times the readings were 5mm Vertical, 4mm Horizontal.
 
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I have a question for those using the audio approach.

How and where do you "pluck" the belt? The resonance frequency will depend on the distance between the to points (ie rollers/sprocket). I've never found a definitive procedure on the the plucking to setup the vibration. Maybe there's a youtube video someplace?
 

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I have a question for those using the audio approach.

How and where do you "pluck" the belt? The resonance frequency will depend on the distance between the to points (ie rollers/sprocket). I've never found a definitive procedure on the the plucking to setup the vibration. Maybe there's a youtube video someplace?
The service manual for my ST3 shows exactly where to position the microphone.
 

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I have a question for those using the audio approach.

How and where do you "pluck" the belt? The resonance frequency will depend on the distance between the to points (ie rollers/sprocket). I've never found a definitive procedure on the the plucking to setup the vibration. Maybe there's a youtube video someplace?
You should check the Hz between the mobile tensioner and crank shaft pulley on the horizontal cylinder. My 1000DS manual tells me to check the lower left (rear) part of the vertical one, but I've always checked the part between the mobile tensioner and the crank shaft pulley on the vertical cylinder too ... I'm confused.

Screenshot from the SS1000DS manual:
 

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I am afraid I must respectfully disagree with that statement. Some apps are better than others I suppose so perhaps you didn't use the proper app or maybe there was a lot of ambient noise when you tried to use it, but the Gates phone app is very good. I can set a new belt to a frequency (100Hz), lock down the adjusters, rotate the engine a few times, stop at TDC again and re-check and it gives repeatable results within 1-2 Hz. Close enough for me and considerably more reliable than using the hex wrench method which doesn't work properly on the DS motor anyway. After I got it I cross checked the phone app results with my laptop program just so I would feel confident in the results and they agreed so I haven't used my laptop again just because of the convenience factor. I guess as they say, YMMV. Out of curiosity, how do you currently set your belt tension? I don't see a DS motor on your ride list just the older 2 valve SS and the 4 valve Monster.
Right you are, I don’t have a DS. I was speaking of the method, not the motor type. Sorry I confused you. I used n-track tuner last time I set belt tension on mine and wasn’t impressed.
 

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I did the belts on my Sport Classic over the weekend. Another user recommended a guitar tuner app, but I couldn't get it to work right so I downloaded Audio Frequency Counter by keuwlsoft and it seemed to work well. I got the best results holding the mic on my phone about an inch from the belt and plucking repeatedly with my thumb or forefinger. If I only plucked once it wouldn't give me a good reading... had to pluck continuously. It wasn't an exact science either. Some were a little above, some were a little below, some were dead on. I just took the average of like ten sequential plucks.
 

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Same thing I did, pretty much. The whole thing seemed kind of vague. I was led to believe this is the best procedure. I guess I expected a little more precision.
 

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I have an aftermarket ( moto reva?) that I use on some bikes, I just compared it to the gates carbon drive as I was installing some aftermarket belts and the moto-reva was struggling to get a reading. In the end I found the carbon drive to be much less repeatable than the moto-reva in that there would be a wide variance between plucks. This may have been background noise but if it is Then I do not picture building a cone of silence for it.

I also find the aftermarket belts are much harder to get a reading than the oem belts, this does not mean I do not use/sell them as they are still a good product. I just know going in that they will likely have a harder time with setting tension, This is mostly with the 1000/1100 belts which unfortunately are the belts you have the least amount of leeway with. FYI: I have never seen as many belt failures as when the 140 spec was used on the 1000 motors. I think you will find Ducati revised that spec down to 110 because when the motor expands the belts become too tight and you can have a tensioner failure in under 1000 miles.

On old style motors I still use the Allen wrench method so if it is a 600,620,750,800 or 900 no other tool is used but an Allen wrench. I have seen all kinds of methods used whatever method you use be sure it is backed up by people who have been doing it for a long time and do it right and you should be fine. I have seen more than a few done wrong and know that it often ends badly for the engine and your wallet so take your time and do your homework.
 

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Same thing I did, pretty much. The whole thing seemed kind of vague. I was led to believe this is the best procedure. I guess I expected a little more precision.
plucking the Duc at 4:49,real vague.whats interesting is cycleworks did not use the dots on the cam gears but counted teeth & marked the new as the old.
 

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I bought a Moto Reva a few years back, great tool, works every time.
 
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