Harley-style belt drive on a Royal Enfield Desert Storm 500: Advantages & disadvantages [Video]

While almost all the modified Royal Enfield motorcycles we’ve been featuring on Cartoq carry a set of visual modifications, the Royal Enfield Desert Storm 500 in the video we have below carries an interesting modification that does little to enhance or change the motorcycle’s visual identity. Basically, this Desert Storm 500 carries a belt drive that replaces its chain drive mechanism. Belt drive systems can be found on Harley Davidson motorcycles and are yet to be used by an Indian motorcycle company.

The uploader of this video quickly explains the pros and cons of the belt drive system. On a stock Royal Enfield Desert Storm 500, you get a chain mechanism that transmits power to the rear wheel. This modified RE, however, has a Harley Davidson-like belt drive mechanism. The uploader is quick to mention that adding a belt drive to the RE doesn’t make an improvement in the performance of the motorcycle. Actually, many RE owners are said to be switching to belt drives in hopes of a higher performance that is comparable to that of a Harley Davidson.

One of the advantages of a belt drive is that it has a smoother operation. Unlike a chain, there are no links involved. Hence, there is no chance of a damaged link affecting the smooth transmission of power in any way. Also, unlike a chain, a belt drive doesn’t require regular lubrication or cleaning. The biggest disadvantage of using a belt drive on a Royal Enfield is the loss of power. While chain drives can transmit 80 to 85 percent of power to the wheels, a belt drive can transmit only 65 to 70 percent. A 500cc Royal Enfield Desert Storm usually offers around 27.5 bhp on the front sprocket. Hence, in case of a belt drive, much lower power is transmitted to the rear wheel.

There are many mechanics in Jalandhar and New Delhi who can make this modification to a Royal Enfield. The price of this modification is roughly Rs.14,000 – Rs. 16,000.

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