— Give your CVT a good belt, By the staff of Dirt Wheels.
Lately, we have been hearing a lot about the importance of breaking a CVT drive belt in before running the machine hard. Frankly, we ignored that advice, and the first belt in our 2017 Polaris RZR XP Turbo 4 lasted a full day of driving. We had a lot of fun and drove the machine much too hard, especially climbing some brutal sand hills. It seems other drivers were making the same mistakes, since the stock belt was back-ordered. We checked, and Timken had a replacement Ultimax belt for the machine ready for immediate delivery at $117.10, which is about $80 less than the stock belt.
CVT belts for turbo UTVs have an extremely hard life. The Ultimax belt looked plenty heavy duty with its loaded rubber and stout cord. The belt installed easily enough and fit perfectly. As you might guess, we broke it in on easy driving, and we didn’t go over half throttle for 30 miles. If we had no choice about climbing a mild hill, we selected low range. We also tried to vary the throttle inputs.
After the break-in period we put 400 hard miles on the belt. That time included long, rocky climbs, hard days in the dunes and fast fire-roading. Those are all things a belt hates.
After 400 miles the belt was still working fine, but we wanted to see how it was doing. We also wanted to have a broken-in belt to keep in our spares kit, just in case. We removed the belt and compared it to a new Ultimax belt. Where the cord is, the used belt was a millimeter narrower than a new one.
The same was true at the bottom of the under-cog area. The sides of the belt had a smooth, almost glossy look that a new belt doesn’t have. There was a little chipping on the edges of the rubber on the top cog. It looks like there was something inside the belt case, but the case is filtered. We aren’t sure what could get in there, because we saw no evidence of foreign material in the case.
We are picky about the belts we run in a Polaris Turbo, and the four-seater is heavier, so it is even a little tougher on belts. At 400 miles, the Ultimax belt was still in fine shape. We would recommend these belts for any high-performance application. Ultimax does not sell direct, but the dealer finder on the website works great: www.ultimaxbelts.com.