Always wear safety glasses and nitrile gloves when servicing your Indian Motorcycle. To inspect and adjust the drive belt tension on your Indian Vintage or model year 2020 and older Chief, follow these steps:
1. Park the bike on a flat, level surface and allow it to cool completely.
2. Lift the motorcycle according to your Owner’s Manual guidelines and elevate the rear wheel. The motorcycle must be stable before proceeding.
3. Ensure the motorcycle is in NEUTRAL.
4. Inspect the drive belt for damage and wear. Refer to your Owner’s Manual for belt wear analysis. If inspection reveals a need for replacement, see your authorized Indian Motorcycle Dealer.
5. Next, check and record the belt deflection, applying 10 pounds of force. Ensure the belt is dry before measuring. Locking the tape measurer will make it easier to maintain consistent measurements.
- Using the tire valve stem as a reference, measure at three additional points 90 degrees apart on the tire. The tightest point or smallest measurement should be 28mm (1.1 inches) or eight notches up the belt guard at 10 pounds of force.
- If adjustment is needed, rotate the wheel forward and mark the tightest measurement point on the tire for reference.
6. Also mark the current adjuster locations on both sides of the rear wheel for reference.
7. Next, loosen but do not remove the axle nut with a 27mm wrench. Place a rag against the exhaust to prevent scratching the paint.
8. Then retighten the nut with a 27mm crowfoot wrench to the adjustment specification of 15 ft-lbs (20 Nm).
9. Turn the right-side adjuster nut with a 13mm socket to achieve proper belt tension.
10. When the belt tension is correct, move to the left side to adjust the final belt alignment.
11. To minimize change in belt tension, use the left side adjuster only to make final adjustments to belt alignment. Be sure to keep the axle seated forward against axle adjusters during this procedure.
12. While rotating the wheel backward, tighten the left side adjuster nut until the drive belt is centered in the driven pulley. Sprocket teeth should be visible on both sides of the drive belt.
13. Once the desired setting is achieved, rotate the wheel forward and verify the sprocket teeth are still visible on both sides of the drive belt.
14. If necessary, revert back to the initial settings and repeat this process as needed.
15. Re-check drive belt tension to verify it is still within specification. Improper tension or alignment can cause drive line noise and damage the drive belt.
16. Tighten the rear axle nut to the final specification of 65 ft-lbs (88 Nm).
17. Pump the rear brake pedal several times to reset brake pad distance.
18. When the brake pedal is released, verify that the wheel rotates smoothly and freely, without drag.
19. Finish by safely lowering your motorcycle to the ground. Refer to your Owner’s Manual for helpful hints and techniques.
For more information, see your authorized Indian Motorcycle Dealer. Find a dealer near you with the Dealer Locator.
Maintenance tips, procedures and specifications can be found in your Owner's Manual.
To find diagrams and replacement part numbers, use the online parts catalog.