October 20, 2009

by Jim Zeiser
(Deposit, NY, US)

I had a little mystery with the Milano and it was driving me crazy. One day I started it up and it gave off a little screech and would vibrate as I rode down the street. Odd, very odd. I consulted with my experts and nobody could come up with a reason why it would suddenly go from smooth as silk to a paint shaker.

I finally decided to check the drive belt and CVT drive. When I opened it up I couldn't find a thing wrong there. The variator was fine, the rollers were round and the drive belt measured the proper width, which is the usual indicator of wear.

Well, it was open so I thought I would replace the Chinese OEM belt with a Gates Powerlink Premium belt with "super aramid fibers". When it came I compared the two belts side by side. In terms of width they were the same but when I stretched them together the old belt was much more stretched out. Ah hah!

When I put it back together the vibration was gone and the scooter is running at a much lower engine speed at the speeds I ride at, at least by sound. I don't have a tachometer. I'm happy that the rollers are wearing so well at 2350 miles, they look good for at least 10,000 miles at the present rate of wear. Much better than people say for Chinese material.

Another lesson learned and I'm glad I stopped and checked out the problem, a broken belt was a distinct possibility if I left it alone.

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