Sledding enthusiasts come in all shapes and forms; From the person who dedicates every waking moment to the outdoors, the one who jitters with anticipation, to the weekend warrior who can’t wait to get out on the trail, and a new path in their wake, forgetting about all obligation except the untouched snow ahead of them.
Regardless of this, one thing drives them. Passion for the sled and the outdoors. This has birthed many different personalities and opinions in to the right tools for the job (and situation). There are those who stick to straight OEM, trusting steadfastly in the brand they represent, those who go cost efficient routes, and those who find the greatest tool/part for the situation, which brings us to the meat of this article.
No! Don’t go! Stay with me!
As dry as it may seem, drive-belts serve an important function in our sleds and busting out hundreds of miles in a weekend certainly puts a level of strain on whichever belt you happen to have on your unit. As individuals who are interested in that “best-part-for-the-job” mentality, it meant we decided to go dive down our own rabbit hole of finding and stocking the best aftermarket belts to not only bring to our customers, but to use ourselves.
Enter: Gates Corporation
Curators of all things rubber (Automotive belts, hoses and couplings), Gates has thrown their name into the hat of top tier products for your snowmobile, moving over to the rugged outdoors with their G-Force drive belts. These belts are engineered for a precise fit and have near enough belts for every sled you can think up. That was as good a reason as any to give them a shot. At their foundation is a continuous carbon tensile cord. Carbon, naturally strong and resistant to strain and stretching, is a great choice to create a crisper response for extended periods.
As per manufacturer instruction, a minimum 30 mile break in period is recommended, where aggressive acceleration and jerky throttle movements (at low speeds) should be avoided. Holding speeds, pulling heavy loads and long run times without allowing a belt cool down. Outside of this, setting ride height in secondary (Like any new drive belt) is necessary to compensate for narrower width of the replaced drive belt. Varying through speed and engine RPM will help shift belt through standard operational range.
Gates G-Force belts come in most sized and fit most sleds. Visit drivenpowersports.ca and find out the belt for your sled.
Once the belt is broken in, you’re off the races. They show little wear even after extended use and keep up to whatever task you’re asking of your sled.
SledGoers T.J. Krob wrote:
“At wide-open throttle through 2 feet of snow of varied consistent (ice chunks, trenches, sugar), both belts left the speedo showing 45 mph and peak engine speed at 8000 rpm – right where Ski-Doo specs the 800R engine to purr. A difference between the two that I felt through the seat of my pants was the sled accelerated quicker with the gates belt installed, especially when near the 45 mph peak under full load.”
With slow wear and ability to maintain its integrity, the Gates is a great consideration if you’re out on the trails/lakes or anything else for the remainder of the season. They’ve really put their name high on the list of contenders that are dominating the aftermarket world. We recommend looking into them, and as a backup for any sledding you may be doing this season. We’re excited for Spring to roll around so we can try them out in our ATVs.