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Mid sized shaft bikes, where are they?


himaro
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So, I'm an all weather bike rider and I'm currently on a 62 plate DL650

It's pretty soulless and boring but it's good for getting to work. Except for one thing that becomes especially annoying in the winter. It's chain driven.

I live in a flat with no garage so all maintenance has to be done outside, in the cold, wet and windy weather we all know and love in the UK during winter.

In short, I'm just sick of freezing my hands adjusting the chain.


There used to be a bit of variation in shaft driven motorbikes that were sub 1000cc with the CX500, GT550 \ GT750 and the old XJ900 Diversion.

But today, we basically have the NT700 Deuvelle (which makes my DL look like a sports bike) or the Moto Guzzi v7.... and that's it.


I'd rather avoid going back to the 80's and getting a CX again but at this rate, I might have too. Any ideas?

The Divvy is up for consideration but something just turns me away from them.

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If you want maintenance free.. or as much as possible. then you have two options aside from a shaft.


add an auto-lube system to a chain-driven bike, like a scottoiler. and then all you have to do is keep an eye on tension and the reservoir topped up.


or get a belt driven bike. and you are mostly looking at BMW for that.. the F800S. F800ST. both a few years old now (they first appeared in 2006) and plenty about second hand. or the newer F800GT. parallel twins and rather good at that. I had a F800S for a couple of years and rather liked it. Only getting rid because it wasnt practical enough.. no proper sized luggage available. just little 'sport/weekender' panniers. Most came with ABS. mine didn't.


belt needs no maintenance at all aside from the occasional visual exam. will last at leasy 24,000 miles but often a lot more than that.

takes 15 minutes or so to change. replacement belts are available (S and ST only) without the BMW pricetag https://www.onlinecarparts.co.uk/contitech-7004352.html



no need to lube. no need to check tension, once set up.. and lovely and smooth to ride.


If a shaft breaks then you are stuck and depending on what went wrong can face a relatively large bill.

Edited by Gerontious
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F800ST is a cracking commuter bike. It won't set the world alight, but it's not a bad ride.

 

I'd not considered belt drive bikes.

How often do they need changing? And roughly how much does it cost to do?

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F800ST is a cracking commuter bike. It won't set the world alight, but it's not a bad ride.

 

I'd not considered belt drive bikes.

How often do they need changing? And roughly how much does it cost to do?

 

as per [mention]Gerontious[/mention] post above every 24k :thumb:

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F800ST is a cracking commuter bike. It won't set the world alight, but it's not a bad ride.

 

I'd not considered belt drive bikes.

How often do they need changing? And roughly how much does it cost to do?

 

See post #2

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The 24,000 mile interval is as recommended by BMW. But... Many owners go far beyond that, only changing when actual damage is seen... Usually one or two "teeth" go missing and that's the sign it's on its way out. 30,000+ is not unheard of.. It all depends on how the bike is ridden.


Conti belt.. About £100. No need for sprockets. Just Cush rubbers which aren't expensive. Very reliable and once set up. No maintenance at all. Just an occasional visual exam.


You can change the belt at the side of the road, in about 15 minutes with just a few very simple tools. Remove covers. Pull the old belt off. Push the new one on. Replace covers. That's it. Do the Cush rubbers later and maybe double check the tension. No probs.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As far as I am concerned there is no contest between chain and shaft drive, shaft wins hands down! Since 1991 I have ridden 380,000 miles, exclusively on shaft drive bikes (Yamaha XJ900F and two 1300 Pan Europeans) and in that time I have had to carry out NO maintenence on the final drive. All I have done is change the final drive oil at the specified intervals. I wonder how many times I would have had to check and adjust chain final-drive over that milage not to mention how many replacement chains and sprockets would have been needed? What is surprising is that the motorcycling fraternity puts up with this antiquated drive system!

Yes, there is a need for middle-weight shaft-driven bikes and now even the Deauville has gone out of pruduction!

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