How do you break in a new Polaris belt?

How do you break in a new Polaris belt

Breaking in a new drive belt for your Polaris RZR side by side utv is crucial if you want to get the best performance and longest life out of it. You can also break in any spare belts you have lying around. Trust me, you don’t want to skip this step or you’ll be sorry later.

Buy the right belt with our Polaris UTV drive belt buying guide

Now, breaking in a belt isn’t just about putting in a set number of miles and avoiding high engine RPMs. It’s about flexing the belt in the correct direction so that it wears and mates to the proper angle of the sheaves and friction. This wear needs to happen under low load and temperature because belts run hotter when first installed and are more sensitive to high loads until they break in.

So, to break in a belt properly, you need to use low gear (if available) while varying speeds and avoiding wide open throttle for 5 to 10 miles. If no low gear is available, vary at moderate speeds while avoiding wide open throttle for 50 miles. The goal of break-in is to achieve a high number of flex cycles under low load while maintaining low temperatures.

Now, even with a proper break-in, it’s still possible to damage a belt with excessive heat or spin-burn. Spin-burn or hourglassing is a result of not using low gear when tires are stuck in mud or sand or when loading or unloading your vehicle. An engine misfire often indicates belt slippage because of spin-burn. So, inspect your belt for hourglassing, jerky or hesitant drive-away or acceleration, loose cords, missing cogs, cracks, abrasions, thin spots or excessive wear. Compare belt measurements with a new drive belt, and replace if necessary.

The Best Polaris Belt

If you do need to replace your belt, We recommend the Polaris OEM UTV drive belts, which are designed and tested specifically for their off-road vehicles. Always clean any debris from the PVT intake and outlet ducts and from the clutch, clutch covers, and engine compartments if a belt fails. Verify the clutch rollers are tight and rolling smoothly and the weights are not notched or loose. Ensure the seal on the clutch cover is in good shape, not twisted or torn, and installed correctly.

And finally, if you accidentally ingest water into the PVT system, use the following instructions to dry it out before operating:

  1. Position the vehicle on a level surface. Place the transmission in PARK.
  2. Remove the drain plug from the outer clutch cover. Allow the water to drain completely. Reinstall the drain plug.
  3. Start the engine.
  4. Apply varying throttle for 10 to 15 seconds (we suggest 5-6,000 RPM) to expel the moisture and air-dry the belt and clutches. Do not hold the throttle wide open for more than 5 seconds.
  5. Allow the engine RPM to settle to idle speed and then shift the transmission to low range.
  6. Test for belt slippage. If the belt slips, repeat the process. Your vehicle requires service as soon as possible. See your authorized Polaris Dealer.

So, there you have it. Take care of your belt and it’ll take care of you. Don’t be a fool and skip the break-in or you’ll be singing the blues later on.

Related Questions About Polaris RZR Drive Belts

What does a failing drive belt sound like?

RZR belt breakage is a problem that can have several culprits. It could be due to overloading the vehicle with too much weight or putting it through the wringer in harsh riding conditions. Riding in extreme heat or thick clouds of dust can speed up the wear and tear on the belt, causing it to fail sooner. Neglecting to keep the belt clean or ignoring warning signs of wear and tear can also lead to breakage. And, in some rare instances, defects in the manufacturing process may cause the belt to fail before its time.

Why do my belts keep ripping?

Why do my Polaris drive belts keep ripping? Well, it could be due to overloading the vehicle or carrying too much weight, harsh riding conditions such as extreme heat or dust, poor maintenance, or even manufacturing defects. Take good care of your belt and avoid straining it, and you’ll have fewer problems.

Roger Lanken

Greetings! I am Roger Lanken, with over two decades dedicated to the UTV industry, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience. My journey began as a passionate off-roader, and over the years, I've evolved into a leading expert, consultant, and trusted voice in the UTV community. You can reach me at if you want to get in touch. This platform serves as a global hub for SXS fans, where enthusiasts from every corner of the world converge to exchange insights, experiences, and the sheer thrill of UTVing. My mission is to foster a community where the love for these powerful machines is celebrated, and knowledge is shared freely. Having tested, reviewed, and ridden countless UTV models, I've gained an unparalleled understanding of their mechanics, capabilities, and potential. From guiding beginners on their first ride to advising professionals on advanced techniques and equipment choices, my expertise covers the full spectrum.

6 thoughts on “How do you break in a new Polaris belt?

  1. Didn’t realize the importance of breaking in a belt until I read this. Makes total sense now. Will definitely be more cautious with my new belts. Great read!

    1. Glad you found it informative, Duke! Taking care of your belt from the start can save a lot of hassle down the road. Keep enjoying those trails!

  2. I’ve been guilty of skipping the break-in process in the past. No wonder I faced issues. This article was an eye-opener. Appreciate the insights and tips!

    1. Thanks for sharing, Rex! It’s easy to overlook, but the break-in process is crucial. Hope your future rides are smoother with these tips in mind!

  3. Always wondered about the right way to break in a new belt. This article cleared up so many misconceptions I had. Gonna follow these steps next time. Thanks for the detailed guide!

    1. You’re welcome, Ted! Proper break-in can really extend the life of your belt. Glad you found the guide helpful. Safe riding!

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