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Thread: Tracks on Polaris & Can-Am UTV's?

  1. #1
    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Question Tracks on Polaris & Can-Am UTV's?

    A guy on another forum sent me a PM, that included the following advice:

    "One final point. brand such as Polaris and can-am don't work well with tracks because they don't have locking front differentials or in Polaris's case if the rear wheels stop spinning in 4wd the power to the front wheels/tracks is cut off and you go back to 2wd. Which for tracks is a big problem. I found out the hard way and on top of all this it's written in the manual (small print)."

    Opinions?
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  2. #2
    Member Spookum's Avatar
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    Man. I don't know on what grounds those statements are made? If I had to pick a four wheeler it would a Yamaha grizzly with power steering and camoplast tracks.

    The Polaris issue doesn't make sense in your original post. Please get that dude to elaborate

  3. #3
    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookum View Post
    Please get that dude to elaborate
    Here's what he wrote back:

    "As for the tracked polaris and can-am's. Can-am brought out their own Apache tracks to fix the problem with their visco-lok front dif lockers. The apache gearing is quicker so it tricks the visco-lok into engaging most of the time. If you put camoplast tatou tracks on a can-am outlander one of the front tracks stops turning often and it acts like an anchor. This normally happens when you come out of a turn and speed up or when going through slush.
    Polairs i believe i explained this in the last PM. I've helped many tracked polairs atv/utvs and it's actually easy to do. You simply slip a pole or log/tree under the back of the polaris utv and lift a little while they press on the gas a little and away they go. The rear tracks spin a little and the 4wd comes back.

    There are several videos on youtube showing the polaris ranger on tracks where the 4wd or power to the front tracks shuts down and you stay anchored in that spot until it notices that back end is up in the air and spinning. It's written in the polaris manuals and mentioned in a few of their promotional videos as well. Normally with tires this isn't a problem but from personal experience hauling a wagon up will with a polaris the 4wd cut out on me far too many times and in some very dangerous places. The last couple times it did this to me i drove back 20 miles to get my honda or my arctic-cat diesel atv. I had the polaris ranger 6x6, ranger diesel, X2 and they all had major problems."

    Don't shoot the messenger, I'm just trying to get answers.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  4. #4
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    On a Polaris ATV the front diff is controlled by a sprag bearing.
    In 4WD the only driven wheels are the rear unless you get on a slippery surface and the rears begin loosing grip and start spinning faster than the fronts. When the rears reach the point where they are going faster than the fronts is when the fronts become driven. As long as the rears are spinning faster, the front stays engaged.

    Because of this method of engaging the front wheels, the rears are spinning a bit all the time when the front tires are being driven. The front and rear diffs have different ratios. (this is based on a 2000 Sportsman 500).

    When running tracks on a ATV, you drive it more like a dozer (don't let the tracks spin) than a snowmachine (track speed is king). Most of the time anyway.

    So with the sprag controlled front diff your back tracks tend to be spinning a bit compared the fronts. NOT ideal for MAX traction.

    I believe Camoplast also puts 2 different size sprockets on the polaris machines to help keep the front end locked in.

    I now have a Grizzly 700 with tracks. It works good with the tracks. It all depends on your riding style.

    If you like to hammer it and spin and snort, probably doesn't matter which type of 4wd you get.
    If you like to finesse your way thru things, you'll do better with a locker type front end.

    You will use your front locker a lot. I do the finesse method........................
    "The older I get, the better I was."

  5. #5
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    The type of riding where a locking front diff shines in highly technical, where you are likely to have one wheel in the air. That said, that kind of riding is not what tracks are good at.

    Tracks give you a larger footprint (flotation), and thus excel at riding on snow and mud. However, with the angle of the tracks, they easily become stuck on obstacles which fit between the front and rear track (like a log), and don't back well (they have a tendency to tunnel down under an obstacle rather than climb over it).

    If you want to do technical riding, go for tires. Put on the tracks when you want to make it through the soft stuff. Also, despite what the brochures say, tracks will cut you speed and gas mileage in half, add about 300 lbs to your rig, and ride really rough on hard terrain.

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