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Tnx Chris! I'll check out ExactUK. Knowing that about the shelflife is good to know.

Any new discoveries from close to 10 years more in the market?
Have you established an average life expectancy of your belts or other lessons learned?
Also, does Ducati or other start to take notice?

Kind regards
K
 

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Gates also makes belts for Ducatis, at least the 2v. I’ve bought them for my next service.
Belts do not have an infinite shelf life, even if stored under ideal circumstances. Always flex them before installation checking for any sign of cracking. I threw out some of my belt inventory at work because they got stiff and would crack and fail prematurely. Not worth down time on a production line. I’ve used Exactfit belts since I bought my first Ducati. They work fine.
 

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Belts do not have an infinite shelf life, even if stored under ideal circumstances.
Agreed, according to Gates:

Belts should not be stored near windows, which may expose the belts to direct sunlight or moisture.
Belts should not be stored near heaters, radiators, or in the direct airflow of heating devices.
Belts should not be stored near any devices that generate ozone. Ozone generating devices include transformers and electric motors.
Belts should not be stored where they are exposed to solvents or chemicals in the atmosphere.

Gates RMA Bulletin IP-3-4 (1997) states that acceptable belt storage life is 8 years. This assumes the above environmental conditions are met. If a synchronous belt drive meets these described conditions, Gates would fully expect the belt to provide full industrial service as designed, even if stored for EIGHT YEARS on the drive UNDER TENSION.

(Consider this when strictly following Ducati's recommended belt change mileage and time intervals.)
 

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/-------//
Gates RMA Bulletin IP-3-4 (1997) states that acceptable belt storage life is 8 years. This assumes the above environmental conditions are met. If a synchronous belt drive meets these described conditions, Gates would fully expect the belt to provide full industrial service as designed, even if stored for EIGHT YEARS on the drive UNDER TENSION.

(Consider this when strictly following Ducati's recommended belt change mileage and time intervals.)
I wonder if Gates is fully aware the Ducati engine uses little 2 inch cam drive pulleys instead of the bigger 5 or 6 inch pulleys used on Gold Wings and most cars? I've never liked the idea of the belts sitting for extended periods of time on a bike without being ridden often.
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I used a couple pair of Exactfits...they worked great.

I also like the fact that the Exactfit belts seem to be built to a higher standard. On their website, they even say they had a hard time establishing a standard due to the differences showing up in official Ducati belts they were measuring.. Too wide of a variance in the Ducati belts.
That gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling....not!
 

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I've got my two sets waiting to be put on this spring before the ECM. (y)

Hey, Chris. Now that you're on the east coast, you should come join us! You're not far at all.
 

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Any new discoveries from close to 10 years more in the market?
If belts get too loose they break. One of the first things our manufacturer's engineer said to me was: the tighter the better. (Better for the belt to stay belting, not necessarily better for the bearings or other parts in the system)

On their website, they even say they had a hard time establishing a standard due to the differences showing up in official Ducati belts they were measuring.. Too wide of a variance in the Ducati belts. That gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling....not!
Actually, it is testament to the of engineering of synchronous belts and the evolution of "rubber". Belts are far stronger than anyone can imagine. Until they get loose and break. Even then, the forces involved are difficult to grasp.

@chris_k I was totally serious. We'd love to see you there even if it's only for a day or two. Just tell your boss you need a couple of days off. ;)
Where's "there" ?
 

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Where's "there" ?
Our annual East Coast Meet.
 

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stock belts are Gates... exactfit appear to be Chinese knockoffs... so NO there is an exceedingly small percentage chance they're as good, and an even smaller chance they're better. They're (to me) like the company selling chinese knockoff full 'leathers' that are 'ducati branded' for $300 on Facebook - are you REALLY going to trust your bike and your safety to knockoff crap to save a couple bucks?
 

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stock belts are Gates... exactfit appear to be Chinese knockoffs... so NO there is an exceedingly small percentage chance they're as good, and an even smaller chance they're better. They're (to me) like the company selling chinese knockoff full 'leathers' that are 'ducati branded' for $300 on Facebook - are you REALLY going to trust your bike and your safety to knockoff crap to save a couple bucks?
do you realise the chris_k bloke posting above is the owner of california cycleworks?

as his australian importer, i've sold over 6,000 pairs of his belts over the last 10 years. i don't tell anyone they're better than the oem belts because i don't make claims that i can't 100% back up with facts. on these bikes, i don't see the belt area as one where there are consistant and regular failure modes that could be tested for. certainly all the oem belt failures i've seen or heard about over the last 10 years generally strike me as quite random. or just plain owner/servicer stupidity.

but anecdotally I'd say they're certainly every bit as good.
 

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Gates has belt factories in the US, Canada, Mexico, India, and China.

From what I understand, Chris has worked extensively with his supplier to create a quality product.
 

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stock belts are Gates... exactfit appear to be Chinese knockoffs... so NO there is an exceedingly small percentage chance they're as good, and an even smaller chance they're better. They're (to me) like the company selling chinese knockoff full 'leathers' that are 'ducati branded' for $300 on Facebook - are you REALLY going to trust your bike and your safety to knockoff crap to save a couple bucks?

Interesting opinion, loosely based on any personal experience or knowledge?

Probably not...
I can't speak to the origin of the CA Cycleworks belts but i can speak to the quality of his products, his level of service and dedication to his customers needs, i've been a customer for maybe 15 years and without guys like Chris, and Brad (belter) our community and bikes themselves would be much worse off.

Sure, there are cheap chinese knock offs that are rubbish, and they can be seen from cheap anodised tat to copies of quality brand names that cost a fortune, but you're way off the mark here.

Get educated before shooting from the hip and embarrassing yourself, because that sort of statement is definitely not relevant to CA Cycleworks products or Chris.
 

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TLDNR: in my experience, OEM is almost always better quality than aftermarket, and that's doubly true when the item is difficult to discern the quality of. It doesn't mean it's true in this case so if you're willing to risk your motor to save a few bucks you can be the guinea pig, but to save a few dollars on "motor grenading on failure" belts when the bike cost me $24k just doesn't compute.

Detail:
No personal experience with these belts and not trying to badmouth China in general (I spend a lot of time there. got me Diamond on Delta last year :)... they're great people and have great technology if you're willing to pay for it)... so they can make world class products. However - they have a big problem with low quality knockoff manufacturing (which their government has been trying to address but it's like playing whack a mole), and a culture of cheap copies that don't adhere to anywhere close to the same design rigor that the big guys follow. I've seen products that "look just like" the product they're copying, while cutting every corner possible to get margin. The point isn't that you can't have very high quality products made in China... but they have a lot more of these cut rate manufacturers than I find elsewhere, so there's substantial risk to the user and it's hard to know how much.
This is especially dangerous when it's impossible for the buyer to know where the corners were cut... like these belts (save some money on composition, maybe lower quality rubber, maybe on reinforcing material... who needs kevlar, who'll ever notice... maybe on the design, simpler to manufacture architecture, etc...). Everyone who bought these and said "installed them and no problem" is basically telling you that the product at least doesn't fall apart out of the box... good but hardly a sign of quality. You won't know it's quality until hundreds of users have run full life under a wide array of conditions and had positive outcomes. Aftermarket vendors know this so they often thin the safety margins knowing that it's unlikely they'll get called out for it - even if a few users have negative outcomes. Most likely Gates belts have VERY fat safety margins. So... pay your money take your chance...
 

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Well...I’m on my fifth or six set of CA Cycleworks belts. When I take them off I can’t see any flaws at all. They’ve been around for a long time...long enough that I don’t feel like a Guinea Pig.

Some OEM parts are ridiculously priced...e.g.: O-ring for fuel flange: $10.00, well-nut for $3:50. I consider $150 for timing belts in that same category.


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Everyone who bought these and said "installed them and no problem" is basically telling you that the product at least doesn't fall apart out of the box... good but hardly a sign of quality. You won't know it's quality until hundreds of users have run full life under a wide array of conditions and had positive outcomes.
yeah, i did say i've personally sold over 6,000 pairs over 10 years. guess you didn't read that bit. bash away mate.
 

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@DaveK ... Get your point in general but you're just wrong here. This product is proven and works at least as well as OEM. The whole OEM or nothing argument is stale. We ain't in the 90's
 

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one thing i find quite funny about the exactfit belts locally is that all the shops i wholesale to are on the eastern side - tas, vic, nsw, qld. i don't think a shop in sa or wa has ever bought a set of belts from me. i know one bloke who would sell a few in wa gets very good pricing on oem, but others have given me the same "well, you never know, they're not proven yet" even after 10 years. it's really odd.

maybe i don't hassle them enough, but that's not really how i roll.
 
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