Expectations of a Clutch Kit
I talk to people everyday all day and get emails about wanting a clutch kit to fix something they did so I thought I needed to write an article to set a set of expectations for a kit. Keep in mind we sell Dalton kits, which I think are the best on the planet but the article really covers any brand kit or even the Duraclutch we sell.
Keep in mind it is a clutch kit, not a turbo, not a big bore kit and certainly not a gear reduction, you can go too far. Example: I received an email asking me what kit we have would give his 2010 800 back the power his 34" tires took away. That vehicle came with 25" tires. Without going into details that is way too far for a 800 RZR, it needs more power and gear reduction before he gets into clutching.
I have said before and even wrote an article about clutching not being black and white. Just because you put on bigger tires you do not necessarily need a clutch kit, all depends on what you are doing and where you are meaning elevation.
Almost everyday on a forum, the question is asked. "What size tires can I run without doing a clutch kit?" The answers he gets are always right. Meaning, one guy says nothing and next says you need one. What they leave out is what are you doing with it? So here is the explanation of that. If you have a vehicle with larger tires and you mainly use low and mainly go slow then leave it stock as far as the tuning components go and the reason is, if you are slow rider you need belt grip not performance. Stock weights and springs will have more belt grip because the weights are heavier and springs are lighter in the primary. Now if you have larger tires and drive fast most of the time then you for sure need a clutch kit because the job of the kit is to slow the shift out down, bring engine rpm up during shift phase and give you some of your lost performance back. In a general answer it does this by lightning the weights and stiffening the primary spring for the lost rpm during shift phase and in the process "can" lose belt grip when going slow. So you are mixed use guy, have bigger tires and go fast sometime and slow others. Well I say get the Dalton kit, go ride and where you come up short call me and we can discuss an adjustment to the kit to get it to do better where you want but you should know, you will always lose it elsewhere. Something I do recommend all of these guys is, use our belt because there is a thicker belt that grips better available for slower riding and if you have a 16 and newer vehicle make sure you swap your square pucks for our round rollers.
With that being said, everyone receives a benefit no matter what but the difference might not be worth the purchase for some people. Example: I also answered a post on the RZR forum. The guy asked at what point he needed a clutch kit buying tires and he never used AWD and rarely exceeded 30 mph just tooling around with his wife. He is not asking his vehicle to do much so why spend the money for a kit when he isn't asking it to do anything? At Hunterworks we listen then make recommendations.
A note on stock clutching, most times Polaris does a decent job at clutch calibrations and other times they do an awful job like the 2016 XP 1000 models. The information here so far can be a very general answer and does not always apply. I like to say stock clutching is good for everyone but you!!! LOL. When in doubt pick up the phone and call me.
The person or persons that are my favorite kit buyers are fast riders with stock tires or slightly larger like 1-2" and duners with near stock size tires. Why? They are the very people that kits are made for and get the most results from. Each one needs slower shift out, higher rpm and better back shifting plus both of these guys absolutely know they installed a kit. Now these guys still need to buy a quality kit that was made correctly like the Dalton to achieve that, of course there are other quality kits out there and then there are some really bad ones with bad support.
I am not leaving out other kinds of riders, an adjustable kit like the Dalton can be set up for most any kind of riding, rock crawling, slow technical riding etc. it is just some get more benefits than others and some can do without the kit.
Now back to expectations and just things to think about. Example: A guy with a General is riding at 10,000 ft and has 30" tires on it and simply can't get enough RPM out of it even with a kit. Why? He has two things working against him, elevation is a really big power robber and his larger tires are robbing power too. Did the kit help? Absolutely and he is happy now after doing some additional adjustments but he is on the edge of not getting much help due to where he is and his tire size. If he was at high elevation with stock tires, it would help a lot or at sea level with 30" tires it would help but put them together then it is tough.
Now enter in a four seat 900 RZR with 34" tires, no reduction loaded up with gear, heavy riders maybe four adults and riding at high elevation. Think that is nuts? Trust me I get these calls and emails. Perfect example of just going too far for a clutch kit to help that much. Would it be better? Well sure it would but it would not be the solution to the issue, more power and gear reduction would be then clutching. If this guy did what he needed to do then he would still need a clutch kit to get his clutch calibration right but only after the reduction and more power.
I use goofy examples here everyday and one is, " Hey man I pull a ski boat with my RZR, can you help me with clutching?" "Well sure I can but after we are done you are still pulling a ski boat".
All that means is, you went too far, clutching will help but not the total solution.
The point of this article is not to stop you from buying a clutch kit because I really do believe everyone benefits from a kit it is just some people get more out of it than others. What we don't want to happen is a guy like the 34" 900 guy buy a kit get a smaller return on his investment talking to a potential clutch kit buyer like a fast rider or duner with slightly larger tire and telling him not to get one because he didn't get much out of his when in fact that very guy will be very happy about getting one. If this happens there is no winner here, that guy that would have received a really good return would not now because he listened to the "gone too far guy". Again I am not singling out fast riders and duners as the only people who need a kit, I am just saying they feel the most in their butt dyno
Other people get benefits they can't feel, better belt engagement, less jerky starts, less belt burning etc but may not feel much power difference or see much acceleration change simply due to going too far.
Here at Hunterworks we want you to experience the best you can from your vehicle and enjoy it more, ride it more than working on it and having issues. You also can't always trust everyone selling you stuff. Just this week, a guy sent his transmission from a 16 model 900 to a place to get a reverse chain upgrade, had 32" tires on it and while the company was in it, they said he didn't need a reduction which he certainly did and then in the process installed some other year model input shaft requiring him to buy a different year model secondary then told him he didn't need a clutch kit to dial it it and he certainly did but guess what I could not help him. He didn't know what secondary it was, what shaft it was, what helix, what spring and he was blowing belts left and right. The guy stopped answering calls or emails and this guy is in a mess because he trusted someone that he should not have.
I certainly do not know everything about these vehicle or clutching but I do know what not to do most of the time and you can feel free to call me any time to discuss any of this.