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Discussion Starter #1
So I have a pair of 2014 polaris 850s. One is the touring model. Manual says 8mph and less is low and over 8 is high. We burned up a belt on both quads this week. Less than 700 miles on them. Pretty religious about following what the manual says.

Went to a large dealer in TN to get belts and service guys say 20mph and lower, or thick mud, or climbing hills, should be low gear. Flat and going over 20 is high.

I'm looking for someone with late model, similar gear set up quads to comment, or service guys. Don't want to keep plowing thru belts when they are 135 a pop times 2 quads.

Thanks in advance.
 

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For me it depends on what the terrain is like. I also use low to warm the belt up at the start of my ride. Got in the habit from when I had a RZR
 

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12mph and under,steep hills,mud, I use low. Still on my original belt with 1800 km on it.
 

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Low is good for 20-25mph, fast enough for all the power/pipelines around here.
I save Hi for roads, as I too ruined a belt when my quad was new.
A clutch kit can help as well, as it will keep the belt engaged till a lower rpm/speed before freewheeling.
 

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I have a clutch kit for my big wheel kit and have 2K miles on the original belt. So my motto is "if u don't know use 4 low" also if I'm on a slow going technical trail 15mph n slower I will use low.
 

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I use high 98% of the time from start to finish. I use low in the winter to warm the belt and when plowing. I use low if climbing or trying to get out of the (sticky stuff which I try to avoid). I have never burned a belt. Most premature belt failure is caused by not following the proper belt break in procedure in the beginning.

20 MPH is too high for low. I would say between 10 and 15 MPH max.
 

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I have owned several different brands of ATV over the years and have learned to use low on polaris way more often than other brands. I can always "feel" when low is required. That said I have an estimated 10000km on several different polaris models and have never replaced a belt on any of them.
 

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Low is good for 20-25mph, fast enough for all the power/pipelines around here.
I save Hi for roads, as I too ruined a belt when my quad was new.
A clutch kit can help as well, as it will keep the belt engaged till a lower rpm/speed before freewheeling.
x2, I'm In low 98% of the trails I ride except on the road to and from the trails. I ride heavily mudded areas.

High gear is what kills belts not low gear.
 

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I use high gear on smooth trails where I drive constantly over 20 mph (30 km/h). I use low for plowing snow, steep hills, going over logs or rocks, mud, or anything that will put a strain on the belt, even if it's just a very short distance. After I clear the obstacle I stop and shift to high. I am using the original belt with 2,300 miles (3,700 kms) on it - had the dealer check the belt last fall, he said it looked new.

When I'm not sure I err on the side of caution and use low. It's amazing how fast you can burn out a belt on an 850 in high gear when you should be in low gear - 77 hp is a lot of power. Some guys try to stay in high gear all the time like people on Yamaha's and Honda's do. Honda is gear on gear and doesn't have a belt, Yamaha has a better CVT with no belt slipping so it's a bit tougher.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well maybe it's the load on the belt if your in high. High plus trails that are moderate or better steep, or high with mud, must not be good. With the new belts we got this week, we are doing low for everything unless we are going 20mph. low for everything else. Just don't understand why polaris has bad stuff in the manual.
 

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it can have a lot more to do with the use of the throttle, than the use of the gear lever too. You'll see people punch it in high to blast through something that they should have been in low on just because they didn't want to take the time to shift. a smooth acceleration versus a punchy one will help save your belt too.

My machine doesn't have the choice, it's F/N/R and my belt still looks brand new (have a spare just in case) and my machine is at 2400 miles plus. Granted, My machine doesn't have the near the power of the 500's let alone the 850.

A clutch kit is probably the best investment one can put into their machines. Saves belts, axles, and increases performance.
 

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it can have a lot more to do with the use of the throttle, than the use of the gear lever too. You'll see people punch it in high to blast through something that they should have been in low on just because they didn't want to take the time to shift. a smooth acceleration versus a punchy one will help save your belt too.

My machine doesn't have the choice, it's F/N/R and my belt still looks brand new (have a spare just in case) and my machine is at 2400 miles plus. Granted, My machine doesn't have the near the power of the 500's let alone the 850.

A clutch kit is probably the best investment one can put into their machines. Saves belts, axles, and increases performance.
I have to disagree with you about smooth acceleration vs a punchy one. Smooth acceleration will slip the belt, a blip of the throttle will grip the belt. Your putting more wear on the belt by slipping into the engagement point.
 

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gradual wear vs abrupt wear. think of the reverse, easing into the breaks creates less heat, and allows the heat to dissipate better than slamming on the brakes. Which creates a very large amount of heat very quickly causing more wear. Same applies to the belt and the clutch. Quick acceleration creates more heat than a smooth acceleration. Also consider that belt/clutch connection is a friction connection. so as the clutch squeezes on the drive pulley it's creating more friction laterally on the belt to force the clutch weights out. This extra friction creates more heat. Very quickly if your mashing on the throttle. I stand by my statement, but would be happy to digress if proof otherwise is provided.
 

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gradual wear vs abrupt wear. think of the reverse, easing into the breaks creates less heat, and allows the heat to dissipate better than slamming on the brakes. Which creates a very large amount of heat very quickly causing more wear. Same applies to the belt and the clutch. Quick acceleration creates more heat than a smooth acceleration. Also consider that belt/clutch connection is a friction connection. so as the clutch squeezes on the drive pulley it's creating more friction laterally on the belt to force the clutch weights out. This extra friction creates more heat. Very quickly if your mashing on the throttle. I stand by my statement, but would be happy to digress if proof otherwise is provided.
I will have to disagree with you but neither will I attempt to change your reasoning. I prefer blipping the throttle, you want to sort of blip the throttle until you bring the revs up to a point where the clutch engages quickly and smoothly. You don't want to slowly open the throttle because it will cause more clutch slipping which will result in more belt wear.

For someone like myself who has a QSC Clutch Kit set-up to engage at 2400rpm your way of slowly rolling into the engagement would be hell on my belt. To each his own, I stand by my method.
 

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Owning several Polaris atvs the best way to get long belt life is to get the atv moving faster than belt engagement speed quickly. Use low under 10 mph, mudding or rock climbing and starting out on steep hills or towing.
 

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Quicker engagement

I believe in general (and especially in severe conditions) a quicker belt/clutch engagement is better on wear than a longer slower one. The reduced opportunity for extra friction/heat just makes sense to me.

As proof this is correct here are some quotes from my '10 sporty's user manual:

Page 113 under the Troubleshooting section - Drive Belt Wear/Burn:
Possible Cause - Solution
1. Slow/easy clutch engagement: - Use the throttle quickly and effectively.

2. Stuck in mud or snow: - Shift the transmission to low range and carefully use fast,
and aggressive throttle application to engage clutch.

3. Climbing over large objects from - Shift the transmission to low range and carefully use fast,
a stopped position: and aggressive throttle application to engage clutch.


So in effect there is some Polo documented proof that "fast aggressive" throttle blips are useful and not damaging compared to "slow and turtly" take offs. I tell all my riders not to baby the throttle on take offs - doesn't mean hammer down, just a firm take off - probably takes a little practice.

Luck everyone! :cowboy:
 

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I Think you guys are misunderstanding what I'm trying to say. I'm not saying minute increments to get the throttle on. I'm saying don't go from No throttle to full throttle instantly.

So more of a no throttle to say 1/4 throttle then smoothly up to full throttle or desired speed depending on what you're trying to do.
 
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