When you are going out for a ride on your Can-am Maverick X3, side-by-side, or any other UTV for that matter, your machine can feel one of two ways (pretty basic) when you hit the gas: it either feels “good,” or it feels “bad.” That seems pretty easy, right? However, what you don’t see are the hundreds of mechanical pieces all working together to make your machine drive the way it does. One of the biggest contributors is your clutch.
The clutch is the first gateway your engine’s power. The energy must travel through before it gets to the wheels where that power propels you forward. This makes the primary clutch one of the most important parts of your drivetrain, and it is incredibly complex. It is important for you to know that when you make any changes to the clutch, even small and maybe seemingly insignificant, can have huge consequences to horsepower, torque, and belt life.
Let’s break it down so you know how this key piece of equipment does what it does.
The primary clutch on Polaris UTVs is what is known as a CVT clutch. CVT stands for “Continuously Variable Transmission” which basically means it changes gears without changing gears.
This is where a car clutch and the Polaris’ clutch differ. Most cars shift through different gears as you accelerate. You start in first gear and accelerate easily, but soon your RPMs climb too high and it’s harder to accelerate. That’s when you shift into the next gear up. With each shift, your acceleration stops for a moment and your RPMs drop back down into the optimal range for your vehicle’s acceleration, and then you start the process again. A CVT clutch, instead, changes its shape so the clutch drive belt does not have to shift. That means it can stay in the optimal RPM range all the way until you hit the mechanical limitations of the clutch.
That is the main advantage of Polaris’ clutch setup—you get continuous power when you lay on the gas. But the mechanics that go into that process are a little more complicated. If you know what you are doing, you can take advantage of those mechanics to make your machine behave differently and perform better.
This can be a lot of information to process and if you drive an automatic vehicle, it is much harder to understand the mechanics of how your clutch works in your side-by-side. If you have any more questions about your clutch, give us a call and we would love to answer any questions that you might have.