Installing Tech Cycles Open Belt Drive

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Article And Photos Jimmie Lee Coen

Originally Published In The October 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine


Hey Guys and Gals! Aren’t you lucky, you get me twice this month! HaHa! I’m changing it up a little bit this month with a tech article by yours truly. The following article will outline the installation of Tech Cycle 2” Open Belt Drive on “Grace”, the bike I built for Michael Lichter’s “Motorcycles As Art” exhibit. “Grace” is a ‘53 Panhead motor with a Baker Softail Style 6 Speed Transmission. Unlike my last install where I used a Baker 6 into 4 with a tapered shaft and a motor with a spline shaft (Shovelhead), this is the exact opposite, this motor has a tapered shaft and the tranny has a spline shaft. As with all Tech Cycle drives you can get them with a motor plate that aligns the motor and tranny with little or no guess work or just the Isolator plate that house’s the Clutch basket, starter and nose cone for the starter jack shaft. I chose to go the route of just the Isolator plate because I wanted that clean open space between the motor pulley and clutch basket (I had plans for that space).

The fi rst thing I noticed when I unboxed it was that the Iso Plate was much thicker than the last one and came with a starter jack shaft extension kit (we’ll cover that in another issue). The front pulley insert that would allow me to have just the right offset for alignment purposes had to be fi gured out. I went through the choices of inserts that are offered, starting with no offset and then move up in 1/4 inch increments. Once the proper insert is chosen, the mock up can proceed. As always, be sure to read the instructions. I’ll get to that in a minute as to why it’s critically important! When you have a motor plate with your kit it makes aligning your motor and tranny much easier but as I stated earlier I chose differently this time.

First, I checked all the holes on the  tranny that I was going to put a bolt in for debris or anything that would make the bolt jam or misalign in a thread which is No Bueno. You will have to remove the main shaft spacer on your tranny as the ISO plate has a sealed bearing that replaces that. (NOTE: if you do not have the right tool take it to someone who does, cutting one off with a wheel is not recommended.) Once the spacer has been removed you can install the plate, loosely snug down the 4 supplied 5/16 -18 Allen bolts, remember we’re just at the mock up and alignment stages at this point.

The cyclone clutch comes assembled, so in order to get your basket on the main shaft you will have to remove the clutch pressure plate which is easy as unscrewing the 6 allen’s that attach it to the basket. Be careful when doing this as each bolt has 3 other pieces that go with it and you don’t want to lose any of them. Once all 6 have been removed, the plate is removed from the clutch basket body. There you’ll find the main shaft nut (left hand thread). Remove the nut and check the splines on the shaft as well as the splines on your basket for debris. Once cleaned, you’re ready to slide the basket onto your main shaft again. Be careful not to lose any of the clutch plates when turning the basket on its side (if this happens refer to clutch build up and installation in the instructions). Align the splines on the shaft with those of the basket and gently slide it on. Now, since this is a set up with no motor plate you can slide your tranny all the way to the forward position.

Next, we take the front pulley and find our key and keyway on the motor shaft, making sure there is nothing hampering the two to mate properly.

I place the belt around the basket and then grab the front pulley and belt and slide them onto the motor shaft. Now this can be tricky as your trying to do a few things at the same time (align the pulley with the key and keyway and hold the belt) but take your time and don’t get impatient

Once you’ve got the belt on the pulleys and have the motor sprocket nut and main shaft snug, you can move onto alignment. Now, since I went with a softail style tranny, and not a 4 speed that mounts on an adjustable plate, it’s a little harder to get the alignment since there isn’t an adjustable plate for a 5 speed style case. After some work, I got the alignment right and just to make sure I used a straight edge to verify that my belt would run true and not cock eyed. This can be done by jacking up the rear wheel, placing the tranny in its highest gear (to turn easier) and spinning the wheel to see how it tracks. If all looks good, then reverse what you just did for disassembly and start the process over again. Tech Cycle recommends a dab of red Loctite on transmission main shaft nut.

When reassembling the clutch basket make sure to align the dots on the back side of the pressure plate and clutch basket. If this step is not done correctly the clutch will not work.

Reinstall your 6 spring cups into the pressure plate, followed by the spring, spring retainers, and socket head cap screw. Snug them until they bottom out. Do not over tighten them. Once the entire drive has been reassembled, the fi nal step is to tighten your adjuster screw until it lightly seats on the clutch push rod, back the screw out 1/2 turn and lock it in place using the jam nut provided using a little red Loctite on threads.

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