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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, been gone awhile. Hope you're all doing well. So Last year I had a belt break prematurely for the 2nd time on my 2004 400. The first oem belt shredded on me after 2000 miles. Not sure how many were on this 2nd one as I haven't checked my records but it was not many.. I came across the mention of someone on Facebook saying that new belts had to be broken in with 2 "heat cycles". I found this info regarding ATV's belt break in from Gates
. I have never seen this mentioned or talked about on this forum in the years I've been a member. Did I miss this info somehow or is this crapola for our Burgmans? It's important for me to mention that I have put a new belt on this machine and had it last 8000-10000 miles before I replaced it just for preventative maintenance. After the first broken belt I also replaced ALL components including variator, clutch, rollers in hopes that one of those caused the initial issue. But for the life of me I can't figure out why I have broken 2 fairly new belts and it's starting to get old :( I have put 25,000 miles on this bike, but I am losing trust issues and I'm starting to get paranoid on going on long rides in fear of breaking another belt. What merit do you guys give this "break in method"? Any idea's why this has happened to me twice?
 

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Can't say if there's anything to the break-in. I've been on three different scooter forums for a number of years and this is the first I've heard about breaking in a belt. It certainly couldn't hurt to do it, and might help.

I'm curious why he says that using brake cleaner on the pulley sheaves can hurt belt performance, don't think it leaves any residue. I'm sure I've used it before.
 
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Couple thoughts regarding your premature belt failures - is the filter clean? If clogged the cooling airflow would be reduced. Also, have you noticed any wear on the inside of the cvt cover to indicate the belt was rubbing? Any grease or excessive dust\dirt in the cvt? Have you run it with the cover off to make sure everything works smoothly, no wobble, etc? Just stabbing in the dark....
 

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plausible, yeah.

mandatory? I dunno, I'm not an engineenerd. seems simple enough.

Kinda reminds me of when nascar teams used to 'scuff' a couple sets of tires during final practice. Putting the tire through a heat cycle, but not causing a large amount of wear would slightly harden the tire....supposedly...did it really work, I dunno.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've been on three different scooter forums for a number of years and this is the first I've heard about breaking in a belt.
I'm with you, never heard about this break in. The video is really kinda useless also IMO. "Drive around no more than 3/4 throttle"? That sure as hell can't cover all different vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Couple thoughts regarding your premature belt failures - is the filter clean? If clogged the cooling airflow would be reduced. Also, have you noticed any wear on the inside of the cvt cover to indicate the belt was rubbing? Any grease or excessive dust\dirt in the cvt? Have you run it with the cover off to make sure everything works smoothly, no wobble, etc? Just stabbing in the dark....
I've cleaned the filter when the belt was changed. I have run it with the cover off, it doesn't seem to run totally smooth to my eyes. But it ran the same with different parts and different oem belts. Nothing I have veer changed made it "appear" to run any smoother. It just kills me knowing I have gone 8,000 in a single season on a belt after the first one broke, then broke a third one. You would think if I had an issue I would have never made it to 8000 on any belt. Perhaps I'll need to post a video....
 

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The thing is……
Belts run on machines where the machine HP is less than the belt’s 100% duty cycle rating will require no special “break in”. Industrial machinery runs 24/7 for years on belts with no special “break in”. Scooter CVT belts on the other hand, are not rated 100% duty cycle at maximum power for obvious reasons, and there comes the “break in” suggestions to mitigate damage done by the brief overloads
 

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As to the belt break-in procedure, consider the source. This is one of the largest belt manufacturers in the world. They want you to be happy with their products so you will buy more. There must be some validity to it in at least some cases. Maybe not every. Who else has the funding and R&D facilities to do more research than Gates? They have everything to gain and nothing to lose by recommending it.
 

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I've worked on snowmobiles my entire life, and belt issues are a huge problem.
Basically it comes down to a couple general things, break in, heat and alignment.
Break in would be scrubbing the waxy mold release off the belt with hot soapy water, then basically going easy on it for the first 50 miles. We like to 'heat cycle' our new engines a few times, but never heard of that for a belt, although it does make sense.
Heat, on a scooter, would be from a plugged CVT filter, as mentioned above.
Belt/CVT alignment; 3 areas, center to center, off-set and belt deflection.
Now, this is assuming everything is in good mechanical working order. (I should've put this on top). I do have a chart full of pictures of bad belts with different things wrong with them and a brief explanation of what caused it. Kinda of like a spark plug chart.
 
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