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2014+ Chieftain Drive Belt Inspection and Tension Adjustment

Required Tools and Supplies: 

  • 27mm crowfoot wrench
  • Belt tension tool or 10-pound weight
  • Marker
  • 6mm Allen and 13mm socket
  • Ratchet
  • Breaker bar
  • Torque wrench

To learn more about tools, read the Tools and Fasteners Guide

Always wear safety glasses and nitrile gloves when servicing your Indian Motorcycle. To inspect and adjust the drive belt tension on your Indian Chieftain, follow these steps:

1. Park the bike on a flat, level surface and allow it to cool completely.

2. Remove the upper side covers by pulling the corners straight out to disengage from the rubber grommets in the frame.

3. To remove each saddlebag:

  • First, disconnect the saddlebag lock connector near the seat.
  • Next, press the lid latch release button and lift the lid. 
  • Remove the two saddlebag fasteners with a 6mm Allen socket.
  • Finally, tilt the saddlebag out and lift up to remove.

4. Next, lift the motorcycle according to your Owner’s Manual guidelines and elevate the rear wheel. The motorcycle must be stable before proceeding.

5. Ensure the motorcycle is in NEUTRAL.

6. 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.

7. Next, check and record the belt deflection next to the deflection window, applying 10 pounds of force. Ensure the belt is dry before measuring. To check tension, push up on the belt with a tension tool, or use a 10-pound weight to apply pressure downward on the belt. 

  • Using the tire valve stem as a reference, measure at three additional points 90 degrees apart on the tire. The drive belt deflection at 10 pounds of force should be 34mm (1.3 inches) or 11 notches up the belt guard.
  • If adjustment is needed, rotate the wheel forward and mark the tightest measurement point on the tire for reference.

8. Also mark the current adjuster locations on both sides of the rear wheel for reference.

9. Next, place a rag against the exhaust to prevent scratching the paint. Loosen but do not remove the axle nut with a 27mm wrench.

10. Then retighten the nut to 15 ft-lbs (20 Nm) with a 27mm crowfoot wrench.

11. Turn the right-side adjuster nut with a 13mm socket to achieve proper belt tension.

12. When the belt tension is correct, inspect the belt for proper alignment.

13. To minimize change in belt tension, use the left-side adjuster only to make final adjustments to belt alignment. Ensure the axle is seated forward against the axle adjusters during this procedure.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. If necessary, revert back to the initial settings and repeat this process as needed.

17. 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.

18. Tighten the rear axle nut to 65 ft-lbs (88 Nm).

19. Pump the rear brake pedal several times to reset brake pad distance.

20. Verify the wheel rotates smoothly and freely without drag when the brake pedal is released.

21. Safely lower your motorcycle to the ground. Refer to your Owner’s Manual for helpful hints and techniques.

22. To reinstall the saddlebags:

  • Place each bag in a fully seated position on the muffler.
  • Reinstall the saddlebag fasteners. Torque to 18 ft-lbs (24 Nm).

23. Then reconnect the electrical wiring if necessary, and ensure the saddlebags are mounted properly.

24. Finally, align the three side panel grommets and reinstall each upper side panel.

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.

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