Yesterday and today I noticed a strange scraping noise from the rear of my Ultra Limited, and was thinking grit in the brake, or possibly a bearing going as every time I looked there was nothing. Then when pushing back I heard a clunk and spotted this.

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Looks like the rim that holds the drive belt on. My local Harley shop is 16 miles away - is this safe to ride there? Or is this a big no?

Considering I did 50 miles over the last two days on it and I don't think the noise had got worse...


The answer is: It depends.

The ring which came off is the guide for the belt. You can see the belt is ~1/2 way on the cog. It might stay there on the short trip to the dealership. It might not. That's your gamble. If it does come off, you run the risk of damaging the drive belt as well as locking up the back tire. A drive belt isn't very expensive in the grand scheme of things, however, bike riders should know if a tire locks up, you lose the gyro-stabilization of that tire, which means you lose control of the bike. I don't know about you, but I'm not fond of road rash (I'm assuming most people are not ... but there are a few people out there who might ... ;-).

Realistically, you need to put your bike on a trailer and take it to the shop. It's the safest/surest way of getting it there without issue.

  • A better Answer would be don't ride it. That loose belt guide is a recipe for the belt driving itself off the rear pulley. I've been riding motorcycles for 45 years, and I wouldn't ride around the block on a bike with that defect. Aug 4 '19 at 20:18
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    @David -It's always up to the owner as to what to do with their property. I just try to give the best advice I can. Aug 4 '19 at 20:26
  • I understand. Perhaps my perspective as a life-long rider, who's experienced motorcycle get-offs and spent >10 years teaching motorcycling in the California Motorcyclist Safety Program (administered by the CHP), makes my POV a bit more judgmental. I certainly did make it more personal. We do see that kind of judgment here, too, in the should-this-tire-be-replaced threads. Aug 4 '19 at 21:17
  • It's okay folks - I had already spoken to my mechanic, and the local garage is sending a truck to pick it up. Just figured I'd pop the question on here for others to see in future. I was actually very concerned when I saw the loose ring, as I had done nearly 50 miles at 70mph...
    – Rory Alsop
    Aug 5 '19 at 6:58

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