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Powersports Belt & Clutch Maintenance Tips

PowersportsBeltClutchMaintenanceEvery day our tech team sees post after post on social media forums asking about belt usage. And we see the frustration that many riders are dealing with – trying one belt after another with the same results – short belt life or a broken belt and unfortunately, less riding time.

Let’s start with how to maintain both your belt and clutch – paying attention to them as a system is the key to longer belt life.


Belt Break-in
Every vehicle and belt maker recommends a specific break-in process. Countless hours of testing is conducted on drive systems so it’s critical to trust the process recommended. At Dayco, our belts need to be put through two-heat cycles at no more than half throttle during the break-in process to ensure the best performance and longest life.

Belt Alignment
Ensure that the belt sits properly on the clutch and that the primary and secondary sheaves are aligned with one another. Broken or cracked motor/transmission mounts are a common cause of belt misalignment so give those a good inspection as well.

Belt Temperature Monitoring
This is so important that many newer powersports vehicles are incorporating temperature gauges into their design. If your machine doesn’t have one, consider installing an aftermarket gauge. Belts running under 190 degrees will show green, which is safe. Belts running at 200-210 degrees will give off a yellow light, meaning time to slow down and vary your speed until it cools off.  And anything above 220 degrees will show red and is a sure sign of impending failure.

Clean the Clutch Box
It’s a best practice to blow out the clutches regularly with compressed air. Dirt will cause rapid wear on the clutch’s moving parts so this should be conducted every 250 miles, depending on riding conditions.

Clean the Filter
Almost all ATVs and UTVs have a clutch cooling system with primary and secondary blades that move air through the housing. There is a filter on the intake side that must be cleaned regularly to help ensure proper airflow across the clutch sheaves.

Clean & Inspect the Clutch Faces
Use a rag and acetone to wipe the sheaves. Also – regardless of whether your machine uses rollers on the helix or a sliding type button, they wear out over time. Use a flashlight and give them a thorough inspection.

 For more tips, check out our video on powersports belt and clutch maintenance.