While the stock, enclosed, chain-driven Harley primary is a reliable setup, when it comes to customizing their bikes, many people prefer to swap out the stock assembly for the more mechanical look of an open, belt-driven primary. Years ago when the wide-tire trend was in full effect, beltdrives were reaching near treadmill-like proportions. While a 5-inch beltdrive might have complemented the look of a wild one-off custom with a 360mm rear tire, it didn’t do much for the ridabilty. In fact, it actually hindered the bike by reducing the lean angle. Thankfully the “gotta go wider” trend has nearly disappeared and tire and open beltdrive sizes have come back to more manageable proportions.
Looking to ditch the stock primary on a ’91 Softail with the mean look of an open beltdrive, we came across the Ultima Old School 2-inch Belt Drive. We liked the Old School Belt Drive because it wasn’t so wide that it would cut into the lean angle of the bike, nor was it so skinny that it wouldn’t fit with the proportions of the rest of the bike. Basically it was just the right size. Distributed by Midwest and offered in either a raw or polished finish, the Old School Belt Drive comes with a 140-tooth, 2-inch Goodyear belt, Alto High Performance clutch plates, 45-tooth engine pulley, 71-tooth trans pulley, and all the necessary hardware. Midwest offers the 2-inch belt drives for ’90-99 Softails (’90-06 coming soon) and ’91-05 Dyna models. For those that want a little more meat on their belt, Midwest offers a 3.35-inch open beltdrive for ’90-06 Softails and ’91-05 Dynas, and the company just recently started offering open beltdrives for ’90-06 Baggers as well. Aside from offering quality components, the beltdrives are rather reasonably priced with MSRPs as low as $995.
We headed over to Freedom Cycles in Anaheim, California, where service tech Kazoo performed the install. HB
(714) 628-0049 | freedomcyclesoc.com