If you punch it right from the get go, the belt will not have time flex all the cords properly because they are stiff from the factory. I like to let it loosen up for 50 miles or so before pinning it from a dead stop. I think Gates even recommends some kind of break in procedure on the package.
I do the same as rocketman, i never heard of this till about two years ago, the guy that told me i believed that he was on glue. But i found out the expensive way it never bothered the belts on my older smaller sleds but the 800 will eat them up if i don't do a break in period.
I also had never heard of such a thing until a couple years ago. Aside from what Rocketman mentioned, I also heard from racer buddies to take a wire brush and lightly scuff the outer edges of the belt all the way around.
I never really broke a belt in on my 600, but it makes sense to me, especially on bigger sleds. How about any tricks to extending belt life and keeping performance up. How about taking the gloss of a the belt and clutches with sand paper or an emry cloth?
We all know, eveybodys got thier own way of doing things...
Here is mine...
I break in a new belt by trail ridding for 20 to 30 miles. Then I take it off and save it for race day. I don't exactly agree with Rocketman about the factory stiffness stuff. As i see it, once the belt is hot, it should NOT streach anymore, careless if it is bran new or broken in.
I compared a new belt with a used one (measuring deflection) and both belts were the same. Once the belts were warm then they seem to change from when they were cold.
As for hammering the throttle? IMO: once the belt is warm then it is ready to go! never race a cold belt!
As for the "scuffing bussiness"? Before race-day, I clean out the TRA with Acatone and compressed air. I lightly scuff the clutch surfaces with scotch-brite. This will remove all the belt residue left on the clutches. Then I remove all the left-over grit with acatone and an air compressor. I found that this helps the clutch surfaces grab the belt better.
Butch, that's pretty good in my opinion. I've gotten varying opinions on when a belt is bad, or doesn't perform good anymore. Say, when I load it on the trailer, or pull out of creeks or ditches, and the belt slips and burns a little, it creates glossy spot on the belt. Some I ride with say the belt is junk after that. No I know it's not junk, like it's going to fail, but that you will loose a noticable amount of performance because of it. This is when I was talking about scuffing up the belt of clutches to get rid of the gloss and allow it to grab a little better. Contrary to the ones that tell me it is no good after that happens, I usually still ride it. I'm not in competition for prizes, so I figure as long as it doesn't break I will still ride it.
i got 2200 miles out of my stock polaris belt on my 99 indy5xcsp...still actually looks good...you cans ee the sides are rubbed but still will make a excellent backup..i dont think it prolly needed to be change but after 2 yrs i figured itd be good..put on a gates extreme..dont know how much i like it...havent noticed much difference yet...time will tell-INDY
The one I took off wasn't "bad". Like you say jayjaysin, I'm not in it for the prizes. I just happened to notice that it wasn't performing as good as last year. There was a considerable amount of side play in the primary compared to the new belt and the new one sets up in the secondary compared to the old one which had worn down to setting flush. I also cleaned the clutch sheeves with a Scotchbrite pad to clean off excess rubber residue.
I echo "skidoomasters" reply. I'll also add you should not carry a new belt that hasn't been broken in as a spare. Chances are you won't blow a belt in perfect trail conditions, it'll disappear in waist deep snow on the side of a mountain! Thats not the time to break in a new one! Believe me!
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