I think I squeezed the one side open as much as I could and then slid the belt down inside. Then I turned it while slipping it on the variator side. It's been awhile, so sorry for the weak description. It wasn't difficult, I do remember that. I think I went with a Dayco belt for like $35. Got it at AutoZone of all places. Good luck & congrats on that many miles. That's something else. Out of curiosity, what have you had to change/fix over the years? I'm always fixing something. All the bearings have gone out, brakes all around once. I ride this one kinda hard.