If you’re a scooter rider, sooner or later you’re going to need to replace your belt. But how long does a scooter belt last, exactly? And what do you need to know before replacing it? Here’s everything you need to know about scooter belts and how long they last.
I did a little research and here is what I found. Scooter belts last for at least 20,000km, but you can expect them to last for 30,000km if you look after them properly. If you clean and lubricate the belt every 5,000km then it will certainly last longer.
The best way to tell that it’s time to replace your belt is when the scooter starts making weird noises like squeaking or screeching sounds but we’ll get into that in a moment!
What is a scooter drive belt?
In simple terms, a scooter belt is a toothed rubber belt in the engine. Its primary function is to transfer power from the engine and transmission unit to propel you forward.
Scooter belts come in different thicknesses and widths depending on the make and model of your scooter. In terms of diameter, the standard size for 50cc engines is around 450mm while some 125cc scooters use a belt that is close to 550mm in diameter.
What affects the lifespan of the scooter drive belt?
Some drive belts seem to last longer than others and you may be wondering, why is this so? Well, there are a few things that affect the lifespan of your scooter drive belt.
- The quality of the belt
- How well it’s been looked after
- The climate you live in
- Scooter usage
Let’s break it down!
The quality of the belt
The main thing that contributes to the lifespan of the drive belt is the quality of the rubber, or more specifically, whether it’s made out of natural or synthetic rubber.
The natural rubber has two main weak points, it doesn’t last very long and tends to stretch under heat. In order to improve the life span of the belt manufacturers use synthetic rubber which is much more durable and lasts longer.
How well it’s been looked after
If you have a scooter that is low on oil or has no lubrication then the drive belt will stretch each time you start up the engine. Over a long period of time, this constant stretching will weaken the drive belt until it either snaps.
The climate you live in
If you ride your scooter during cold weather, especially if it’s raining or snowing, the drive belt will stretch and wear out much more quickly than if you’d ridden in nice hot sunshine.
Why? Well, cold air is denser than warm air so when your scooter’s cooling system kicks in, the air around the belt cools down quickly which causes it to contract.
How hard you use your scooter is another factor that can affect how long the belt will last.
If you are gentle with your throttle and try not to accelerate too quickly when starting off then this will keep pressure off the drive system and ultimately pull on the drive belt.
Of course, there are other things that can affect how long your scooter belt will last but these are the main factors.
How do you know if your scooter belt is bad?
There are a few hints that your belt will give to you. Here are some of them.
- If and when you notice cracks on the belt – When checking your scooter for cracks on the belt, be sure to look at it from all angles. You want to check if there are any signs of cracking and how far they go up or down the belt.
- Engine misfire – If you turn on your scooter and notice a weird noise when accelerating or notice that your scooter starts to jerk then this could be the sign of a bad belt.
- Jerkier hesitant driveaway – If your scooter seems to hesitate when you accelerate then that could be your scooter warning you that something isn’t right with the belt.
- When it starts making a loud noise – On most modern scooters there is no chance of hearing any weird noises before you start the engine. If you hear loud noise after starting your machine then turn it off immediately and inspect the belt to see if there are any signs of damage.
My final thoughts.
If you want your drive belt to last you for as long as possible then be sure to check it regularly and if in doubt go get it tested by a professional.
If the damage is not too bad then you might be able to save your scooter by replacing your scooter’s drive belt with an aftermarket belt.
Additionally, you can always extend the life of your belt by giving it a little extra care, which means making sure that you’re using a high-quality belt and lubricants and keeping your scooter in good condition.