Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Plumas

CVT or gear?

Recommended Posts

Starting the search for a side by side UTV. Not a racer, just a thing to transport me slowly and surely into the back-country.

I have no prior history with these things, but age and knees have come to call for a change from walking the whole way.

I have found that most all UTV brands use the CVT and a slip clutch way to put power to the wheels. Honda uses gears and a transmission, no belt. 

I suppose each has advantages, wondering what real users think of each method and whatever related weaknesses and maintenance each may have?

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Polaris you can see it here.  

 

It is belt driven and I have 3900+ miles on it now without any problems with it yet.  I wasn't sure I would like the belt drive but it sure is nice and smooth.  It's nice not having to shift.  Mine is a 570 EFI and easily does 55mph.  I use it daily in the 800+ acre park near my house.  I'm the Park Ambassador which is my official city title.  It stands for chief trash picker upper, trail maintenance guy and homeless camp remover.  I was doing the job before I got the Polaris and occasionally drove my Kubota tractor.  But the tractor was hard on my back.  There is no where the Polaris can't go really.  I did get it stuck once crossing the creek at a place where there wasn't a crossing.  But the winch made short work of getting me out.  Mostly I use the winch to pull logs and downed trees as well as park workers vehicles out.  I couldn't do the job without it.  I must do a good job because I'm getting an award next week from the Sacramento Creeks Council for the work I've done.  I also oversee several hundred high school kids that are studying the creek.  I help them do creek improvement projects.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shooter John, congrats for the award...I know it is not why you do what you do, but to be recognized is a nice thing. 

That's the kind of input I'm looking for to learn from example rather than brand propaganda blurbs. Thanks for starting the ball rolling.

55 scares me, didn't realize they could get up and go like that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You call that "real world" experience SJ? :harhar1[1]:   You are definitely white the busy guy, and a stand-up one at that :good:.

I had a CVT drive in my Yamaha quad, before my drunken brother rolled it down a hill :censored[1]:, and it only got wet and failed me one time and it was kind of my fault. I had a gentle roll over about a half hour before that and the vent tube came off allowing water to get in. Even at that the fix was easy, pull the plug, let it drain, ride some more. 

I am more worried about water seeping into the crank case or differentials than I ever am about the CVT belts. 

I have always thought of it this way, why push more levers or pedals than necessary this day in age. When I was young I loved the 5 speed in my 5.0 Mustang. Now that I'm older every vehicle is an automatic transmission WITH AIR CONDITIONING :lol:.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 2016 Polaris 570 EPS. I love it. I take it out to the desert all the time. Drive over mesquite and rocks and sand and snakes.  Never a problem. Still on the original belt.

Unlike SJ, I have never had mine up to 55 mph.  About 35 is as fast as I like.

Good luck with your purchase

 

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From these and other friendly opinions I now accept that a belt drive is not something to shy away from, may not be what Honda with its shaft drive want me to believe, but the opinions here are too strong to ignore. So, shaft or belt is acceptable, other issues now enter into the picture. If it is a given that all major brands will have a reliable engine and suspension design I ask this.....

Without personal experience I thought of sticking to a 50" wide unit just for ease of fitting onto skinny trails or busting over high desert sage, etc. But now I question the tipping stability on  trails that have a sideways slant and such. Is there any thinking out there concerning the width? If I can accept the narrower frame with its obvious room limitations for trail access reasons am I giving up too much feeling of stability that a wider unit would offer when on nothing worse than poorly maintained logging roads (probably 80+% of the time)? 

I'm sure test drives will enter the picture soon, but again, you guys have already suffered through this decision process. I value your thoughts so I can have that knowledge walking into the dealers, ask the right questions and help cut through the brand BS a sharp salesman can throw.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the ability to seat three wide in my Polaris XP.  I guess I never really consider the stability issue because mine is so stable.  I used to think my tractor with four wheel drive could go allot of places but it doesn't even start to compare with the abilities of my Ranger.  Plus it carries so much more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×