It is, without question, still one of the largest issues plaguing the SxS community. The relative size and power of modern sport side-by-sides put the CVT belt in the hot seat, literally….
Manufacturers know this, and they are working to address it. Yamaha has taken the most extreme approach so far with their 5-speed sequential transmission, which completely eliminated the CVT belt and replaced it with a wet multi-disc clutch. However, that has proven to not be a bulletproof system either. Alternatively, Polaris and Can-Am have opted for improvements to the current CVT style trans.
While incremental improvements have been made over the model years, via improved clutch designs and venting, Can-Am may be looking to take the next step. In a patent filed by BRP and discovered by SXSBlog.com researchers, there lies a description of an electronic control system with the sole purpose of extending belt life.
The system can basically be described as torque management. It takes drive clutch (engine) speed, driven clutch (transmission) speed, vehicle speed, gear selection, and throttle position into account to determine the amount of belt slip that is occurring instantaneously. When the slip exceeds a pre-determined acceptable amount the system will go into what BRP calls “intervention mode”, cutting the throttle position, ignition timing, and fuel delivery in order to get the slip under control. Here’s the programming logic diagram for those of you who are into that sort of thing…
EVERYONE PANIC!!!! CAN-AM IS TAKING POWER AWAY TO SAVE BELTS!!!
Well ok, maybe don’t panic yet. The patent does detail circumstances in which this intervention will not occur, such as when vehicle speeds are above a certain (not yet specified) limit. Reading between the lines, we feel this system is designed to stop you from completely obliterating your belt during slow speed, high load maneuvers, rather than interfering with your mojo while slamming through the dunes. Patent documents also indicate that there will be a “intervention mode override switch”, allowing you to stick it to the man and smoke that rubber band whenever you damn well please.
Now, of course we’d like to see the issue of belt slippage addressed at its core, rather than have bandaids applied. However, if this does indeed save you from yourself in situations where no good can come, but remain transparent when you want all available power, we’ll consider it a good thing. In fact, considering we haven’t seen this tech hit yet, maybe they’re saving it up for a new model with even more horsepower? BRP also mentions that this tech can be applied to “assisted” cvts, meaning those that are actuated by some means other than standard flyweights (electrically, hydraulically, pnuematically, etc). This could all add up to one high tech CVT system designed to harness big HP dependably.
Want to find out more? Stay tuned and we’ll keep you updated on the latest! Like and follow us on Facebook, and please comment to let us know what you think about this stuff.