Chain Vs Belt Vs Shaft Drive: Do You Know Which Is The Best Of All?

How well do you know your bike’s drive mechanism? Do you know about the chain, belt and shaft drive system? Depending on your needs, your choice of the drive system may vary. Though a chain drive system is highly popular among the bikers, you must have complete information about all the three options so that you choose right and that too with full conviction. 

Listed below is a brief description about these three drive systems. Read through them thoroughly and decide for yourself which option suits you the best. This will help you choose the right bike with the right drive mechanism.

  • Chain Drive System

Being easy-to-maintain and reliable, a chain the most preferred drive system used in most of the bikes you see in the market. To protect it from getting dysfunctional or rusted, a chain drive system must be lubricated and cleaned properly, after each 500-800 km ride that the bike completes. Typically, you can ride up to 45,000 km using a single chain set. However, if the maintenance is not proper or is not conducted at the right time, the service life of the chain may reduce to approximately 20,000 km. 

The probability of power loss in this type of drive mechanism is very minimal, almost up to 3%. But, if by any chance, the chain breaks, the rear wheel may lock-up. So, you need to be very cautious about its maintenance. Do buy bike insurance policy to ensure that you are protected against unfortunate losses. 

  • Belt Drive System 

This drive system is most common in cruiser bikes owing to the smooth power delivery to the bike’s rear wheel. Unlike the chain drive system, a belt drive system does not require regular cleaning or degreasing. However, when it comes to cost of the setup, chain drive systems are more cost efficient. Similarly, the chances of power loss in the case of belt drive are higher (almost up to 6%), in comparison to the chain drive system. 

As far as the service life is concerned, this type of drive system can last up to 90,000 km. Moreover, the rear section won’t get locked if the belt breaks. 

  • Shaft Drive System

Last in the list is the shaft drive system that is generally seen in bikes like BMW K 1300S and Honda VFR 1200. This drive has the highest percentage of power loss, up to 25%. This drive system needs not to be maintained; you only need to change the shaft reservoir fluid at regular intervals. Owing to its heavy weight, the quality of the rear suspension suffers and in case of any mishap, the rear tyre may get locked up. Though it is a rare case, who knows what the future has in store for you. So, you must always be secured with a two wheeler insurance cover.

So, now you know that all these three drive systems have their own advantages and disadvantages. Based on the information, you can clearly identify the difference between the drive systems and better understand your bike’s drive mechanism.

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