Types of ATV Belts?

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ATVs use either dry or wet belt drive transmission, with belts made from rubber compounds that may contain Kevlar. Belts need to be replaced occasionally, and it’s critical to use a suitable replacement. The belt is directional and must be installed correctly. Failure to do so can cause the belt to split and separate prematurely. Wet belts can’t be replaced with dry ones, and vice versa. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations will lead to better belt wear and a more enjoyable riding experience.

All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) use a dry or wet belt drive transmission in the design of the machine. The difference in ATV belts used on these machines is the belt’s ability to operate in or out of an oily environment. Typical ATV belts are made from a rubber compound that can contain many other ingredients, including Kevlar, a component used in bulletproof vests. As with any rubber-based component, ATV belts need to be replaced occasionally due to wear, damage, or tears, and it is critical to replace the belt with a suitable replacement. Most belts are directional, therefore they must be installed in the correct direction to work for more than one initial start.

The typical ATV uses a rubber belt to provide engine power to the transmission. Even on ATVs that claim to be shaft driven, a belt is still used to provide initial power from the engine to the transmission. ATV belts act similar to a clutch in a vehicle’s manual transmission. The clutch mechanism on an ATV works by tightening the belt, thus applying a driving force to the belt. On some ATVs, the clutch is designed to run in an oil bath which acts not only as a lubricating component, but also provides cooling for the ATV’s clutch components and belts.

In this type of transmission, the belt is made of such components that it can provide friction even when wet with oil. The metal face of the clutch can catch the wet belt. This ability allows you to apply power to the transmission so that the machine can run properly.

If, by chance, this wet belt were to be replaced with a belt designed and intended for use in a dry transmission, the vehicle would not function properly. The transmission would slip, overheat, and possibly catch fire. Conversely, putting ATV belts designed to work on a wet drive on a dry drive could also cause poor operating behavior. The wet strap will overheat, slip and may break due to the heat.

The intricate design of ATV belts requires that the belts also be routed on the clutch and drive pulleys in the correct direction. Failure to install ATV belts in the correct direction will cause the belt material to split and separate prematurely. Following the ATV manufacturer’s recommendations for proper care and riding of an ATV will generally result in much better belt wear and a much more enjoyable ATV riding experience.

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