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I’m new to the whole CVT belt drive thing. We went trail riding this weekend in the mountains of Virginia. Our top speed was around 12 mph. The trails were steep in places and rocky where flat and I hit the occasional mud hole but nothing to crazy. I left it in low most of the day because the power felt right while climbing loose rock and descending hills and loose stuff but felt like it was revving to high on straights. High gear felt like it was working pretty hard on hills and rocks and didn’t hold as good going down hills but sounded better on straights. What is the proper gear for this style of trail riding?
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When climbing low gear is your friend, you can stop and change gears on flat ground. If high gear is used on hills the belt will slip causing damage to the belt.
 

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In terrain like that and at slower speeds I like low range. On my property I even use low when on level ground and pulling a heavy load as it gives me better speed control.

You do need to watch out for your use of 4WD. Use is only when necessary and when the wheels can spin relatively freely. When in 4WD and the differentials are locked there is NO give in the drive system. When you turn the outer wheels travel further than the inner wheels. Normally the free spinning differential allows for this difference but with the differentials locked the only give is if a wheel can spin. If the traction is good all that strain gets put into the drive shafts & differentials. If you've read this forum enough you'll find people asking how to replace broken drive shafts and CV joints.
 

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When you turn the outer wheels travel further than the inner wheels. Normally the free spinning differential allows for this difference but with the differentials locked the only give is if a wheel can spin. If the traction is good all that strain gets put into the drive shafts & differentials. If you've read this forum enough you'll find people asking how to replace broken drive shafts and CV joints.
RZRs and such are locked diffs by default, right? Same as ATVs since forever. Never heard of that causing any problems for those vehicles, despite the clear bind they are in when turning on pavement. I guess the tread slips just enough.

I'm glad you stated that people have broken shafts and CV joints because I have been planning to look into how strong they are on the Gators, and never really saw an abundance of problems on the forums. So, now I will do a search and see what's up. I'm curious how much power I can through at the drivetrain without it breaking.
 

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. Our top speed was around 12 mph. View attachment 14582
Yeah, might as well use low gear if 12mph was your top speed. Not sure which gator you have, but we have a 2011 825i with 7000-8000 miles on it and have hardly ever used low gear for anything. Still on stock belt. Never burnt it up. You just have to make sure you are on the throttle enough to prevent the gator from lurching/jumping forward while climbing slowly. If it does that, definitely use low gear. Or give it more throttle!
 
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