The inner tooth surface of the secondary belt has a thin coating of polyethylene lubricant. During initial operation, this coating will wear off as it is burnished into the belt fabric. This is a normal condition and not an indication of belt wear.
Belt deflection (tension) is set at the factory and should be checked after the first 1000 miles (1600 kilometers), at scheduled maintenance intervals and after a hard ride.
Gauging Deflection
With the rear wheel on the ground and only the rider sitting on the motorcycle, fit the BELT TENSION GAUGE (Part No. HD-35381A) approximately half-way between sprockets.
See Figure 1. Locate the belt deflection widow on the rear drive belt guard/debris deflector and note the belt position relative to the deflection graduations.
Using the BELT TENSION GAUGE, apply 10 lbs. (4.5 kg) of force at the midpoint of the bottom belt. Count the number of graduations between the original belt position and after applying the force. Multiply this number by 1/8 in. (3.2 mm).
1Rear drive belt
2Deflection graduations 1/8 in. (3.2 mm) apart
Figure 1. Belt Deflection Window
See Figure 2 and refer to Table 1 for the recommended deflection. If belt tension adjustment is necessary, see a Harley-Davidson dealer or follow the belt deflection adjustment procedure found in the Sportster Models Service Manual.
Be sure wheel and brake caliper are aligned. Riding with a misaligned wheel or brake caliper can cause the brake disc to bind and lead to loss of control, which could result in death or serious injury. (00050a)
When gauging deflection, check the rear brake caliper position on rear brake disc. Disc should run true within brake caliper.
Table 1. Belt Deflection: 2006 Sportster Models
XL 883C, XL 1200C
XL 883L, XL 1200L
XL 883, XL 883R
XL 1200R
1Transmission sprocket
2Rear wheel sprocket
3Force of 10 lbs (4.5 kg)
4Deflection (refer to table)
Figure 2. Gauging Belt Deflection: Sportster Models