In synchronous belt drives, a transmission error is generated due to resonance of the belt spanning the driving and driven pulleys when the transverse natural frequency of the belt approaches the meshing frequency of the belt and the pulley teeth. The behavior of this transmission error has been assumed to be dependent on the installation tension. In the present study, the influence of the installation tension on the transmission error in a synchronous belt drive under no transmitted load was experimentally investigated for the case in which first mode vibration due to resonance was induced in both the upper and lower spans. In addition, an analysis of the transmission error based on the experimental results was carried out. A method for reducing the error was also investigated. The transmission error contains two components: one with a period equal to the pitch of the pulley, and the other with a period of half the pulley pitch. Good agreement was found between the calculation and experimental results, thus confirming the validity of the analysis method. For a fixed pulley speed, the transmission error was largest when the installation tension was applied at a position where the displacement of the upper span was equal to that of the lower span. It was found that the transmission error could be reduced by pushing an idler lightly against the center of the span of the belt that was undergoing the largest displacement.