"Studding Your Track For The Trail"
One solution that can answer all these situations is a properly studded track on your machine. Recent manufacturer's tests have shown up to 50 percent improvement in braking on ice when a snowmobile is equipped with proper studs. Climbing ability, fuel economy, overall handling also show similar, although less dramatic, improvements through studding. But the key is the properly chosen stud, installed in the right position.
To get to the answers on how to do it right, we went to Kurt Riemenschneider of Kalamazoo Engineering, one of the leading companies in snowmobile traction. Kurt's got plenty of experience- he's a long-time racer, specializing on the MISA (MI) circuit. He raced his way through college, and then went into traction full time as a sales and development guy with Kalamazoo. He knows about studding....
Continue studding the entire track in the appropriate pattern, alternating inside and outside of the suspension. Alternating inside and outside provides a good combination of cornering traction (outside) for turns and acceleration/braking traction (inside), while keeping the points near the suspension for top dig.
Using Tomita Fujihiko's 1968 endless track hardened projections patent as a starting point, after 33 years of snowmobile traction history, the laws of physics are now ignored. Fewer and fewer studs on the outside belts decrease your ability to turn.
1993 - Planning
Proper Track Studding
1. If you follow these proper planning steps studding your track can be made easy and effective... The right amount of studs in the right places on your track will produce the best traction results...
3. How to select your stud pattern. It is important when preparing your stud pattern to keep these items in mind.
B. The center belt of the track controls the acceleration.
C. The outside belts of the track control the cornering.
F. Studs closest to the slide rails provide the most effectiveness.
G. Keep studs away from the center 2" of the center belt and the outside 3/4" of the edges of the track.
Traction Catalog, page 7,10,15 - Stud Patterns
2001-2002 (Prior to this, all their patterns demonstrate having studs in the outside belts are more important.)
DO NOT TELL ANYONE THIS! - But studs with a 1/4" stickout will stop a sled 10% faster than studs with 3/8" stickout, because the 3/8" load-up sooner and tip over further. The SESRA report on the safety of studs reported this during the stud band era. This allows you to use the older, better patterns because they do not put as much stress on the track cords. Because shorter studs stop you faster the acceleration should be at least as good as 3/8".
1. The tracks center belt controls acceleration. The two smaller outside track belts contribute to acceleration. The more studs that are installed in the outside belts, increases the cornering difficulty.
Unless you lean into the turn! Who doesn't lean, even without studs in a corner?
The benefits of studding only down the center of the track include: Fewer studs, less rotational weight. When you are eating bark, because you did not make a turn, did lower rotational weight really matter?
The benefits of studding on the outside of the track include: More scratch lines, better hook up. More stud contact with the trail in turns resulting in more responsive cornering. It's true, but who isn't endorsing the center placement of the studs, other than Bergstrom Skegs Inc.?
You can place the studs in the center of the outside bands. This creates one scratchline when taking off and stopping, however, they will create their own scratchines in the corners.
STOP & TURN are the two most important words in snowmobiling!!! The 1/4" stickout mentioned earlier is a safer option!
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