Pinch An Inch


Skill Level

BDL’s 3-inch to 2-inch Open-Belt Drive Conversion

Without a doubt, thin is in. As styles change, so do parts. Belt Drives Limited (BDL) has responded to the demand for slim with its new, 2-inch wide open-belt primaries. Six years ago, when I first installed the 3-inch open belt that was on this bike, I had wished that I could get a narrower one, but the 3-incher was popular at the time. I was excited when I discovered that BDL was making conversion kits to the smaller belt width for my older-style backing plate — converting only requires a new clutch basket, main shaft pulley, and BDL’s 2-inch wide belt. This is great news for anyone out there like me who wants to convert to the slimmer belt without having to spend the time and money for an entirely new primary. Of course, they offer new style backing plates and an assortment of new cover designs as well for each type of drive, but there was nothing wrong with my backing plate — and why would anyone want to cover up all the intricate and beautiful mechanical components of the exposed drive?

Firsthand experience is best, and I had the privilege to go directly to BDL’s main facility in Anaheim, California. One of its head technicians, Scott, swapped out my old 3-inch beltdrive for the new 2-inch version on my custom Softail-style bike (all parts involved are exactly the same as what is required for a ’86-99 H-D Softail). Not only was the installation top notch and quick (it only took an afternoon), but BDL also showed me a few of its cool new tools that will be available to the public very soon.


Belt Drives Ltd.