There has been discussion recently about the use of non-Rotax (Dayco) cam belts.
The length, width, and pitch are indeed fairly generic in the power transmission world, although of course, not all of these would be designed nor intended for an engine application.
A belt that fits the application can be sourced by many other manufacturers.
A couple of years ago, the genuine belt was looking like becoming obsolete by Dayco, the OE suppliers to Rotax.
At this time we did some research and tested several other belts for suitability.
The overwhelming result was that although the non-Dayco belts would fit the pulleys satisfactorily, and achieve tension, they would not withstand engine use.
The spurious belts would jump teeth resulting in obvious timing issues.
When physically comparing the belts, the quality of the Dayco belt is very apparent. Dayco uses Kevlar in the construction of the belt, and it is this element which gives the OE belt its structural strength.
The spurious belts all weigh less than the OE belt, again proving the construction.
Gates belts were found to be acceptable, indeed CCM used to use Gates belts in the reconditioned engines they supplied to the MoD in the late 1980’s, but the preferred choice is definitely Dayco!
Our flat-track racing customers in the USA insist on Dayco belts as their engines spend their working life at 8500 rpm.
Fortunately Force Motorcycles and Rotax were able to persuade Dayco to overturn their commercial decision to cease manufacture of our belt.
This involved a big commitment from Force to the total final production run (many thousands of belts), but the product was future-proofed, for the mid-term at least.
Thanks for reading! Hopefully this clarifies the quality difference in the belts on the market. Buy a Rotax belt and you won't regret it.
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