10 Reasons To Stud Your Snowmobile
1. Improved braking
Snowmobile tracks have improved a lot over the years, but rubber will never penetrate ice no matter the lug height or design! Studs can create the added friction to stop on hardback and ice. While you might not need the added braking power all the time, you'll be pleased you do in sketchy situations that demand it.
2. Improved acceleration
The power of snowmobiles is incredible. Even on a firm base, higher horsepower sleds will spin the track. Adding studs to your sled will significantly reduce track spin and put that power to the ground instead. The added stud traction propels you forward instead of sitting still ridding a giant belt sander.
3. Keep the rear from sliding side to side
A common trait of unstudded machines is the rear likes to move from side to side during acceleration and turns. The swaying is caused by the track searching for traction and can be an uncomfortable feeling! Studding your track helps to eliminate this phenomenon and plant your track on the trail.
4. Improved control in hardpack and icy conditions
The most common condition you'll ride in is hard pack trail. A studded track shines in these conditions as they can dig in and provide faster acceleration, better braking, and keeping the back end from moving laterally. Riders in these conditions have a lot of confidence that their machine will handle like they want.
Another condition you likely face is ice on the trail. These conditions are prevalent in corners, even in good snow conditions. Corners are where sleds brake and accelerate, so they take the most beating. Some riders with unstudded tracks find enjoyment in spinning the track in corners. A spinning track in a corner will wash all the fresh snow off, which is a real problem if there is a layer of ice in the snowpack. Adding studs to your track provides extra control when you encounter an icy corner. Experiencing an iced-up corner can be pretty scary, and on an unstudded machine, it's doubly scary. The unbalanced traction of the carbides on the skis and no traction from the track can cause the rear end to swing out and roll the sled. Studs help match the grip upfront and reduce the chance of losing control!
5. Predictable handling
It's no fun driving a snowmobile that handles differently based on snow conditions. Studding a track will bring the machine's handling characteristics closer together. Added traction helps you have the confidence to stop when you need to and go when you need to. This will give beginners the confidence to be in control in all situations and advance riders an extra level in their riding.
6. Traction on lakes and rivers
Trail riding will typically involve crossing lakes and rivers. Ice can be hazardous, and so many factors need to be present for safe ice. Lakes and rivers in the middle of a cold winter can still have thin spots and be dangerous. The last thing you want if you find yourself on thin ice or by open water situation is to hit the throttle and spin the track. A studded track allows you to give it the gas and go! It also allows you to ride lakes and rivers in thinner snow conditions!
7. Beat higher-powered sleds with no studs
It's common for a studded 600 to beat unstudied 850s off the line. The goal of the snowmobile is to move forward, not create a giant pile behind it. Studs help the track get grip faster and leap forward ahead. High-hp unstudded machines easily overpower the track's grip and will sit there spinning. What is the point of buying a high-powered machine if you can't even use all the power to accelerate? It is very entertaining to watch the disappointment after a 600 beats an 800!
8. Easier to cross the road
One of the most common accidents on the trails is snowmobile vs. automobile. Many of these unfortunate accidents involve novice riders overcompensating to cross the road. Road crossings often require the snowmobile to be stopped on an upwards slope. This simple task can become quite daunting if there is ice present. This would require an unstudded snowmobile to run up a slope with speed. Putting a beginner in this situation is a recipe for disaster on a busy road and is avoidable! A studded sled can creep up the slope and stop where there is maximum visibility. When the window opens to cross the road, the rider can cross without worrying about their snowmobile spinning or going backward.
Another sketchy situation with road crossings is if the ski carbides grab the pavement too much and cause the track to lose traction. Another novice situation can be hazardous and leave the snowmobile stuck on the road. Studs help counterbalance a grippy carbide and give the track the needed traction to continue forward.
Both situations are no joke and are easily avoided by adding studs to the track.
One of the most fun aspects of trail ridding is when you give it the gas and your skis come off the ground. To achieve the coveted wheelie, you need to transfer all that horsepower to the ground with the track grabbing. Doing this on an unstudded trail sled is nearly impossible. Stud up the track and bring your skis to the sky!
Studding your track doesn't automatically turn a snowmobile into a wheelie machine. You can tune the wheelie characteristic up or down based on the rear skid suspension settings.
10. They look cool
Nothing looks meaner than a picked-out track; it means business and is ready to take you where you need to go. Fast-Trac stud kits take it to another level by offering ten different colors to match your machine! Over time competitor kits will rust and look like junk. Our backers never fade, and studs do not rust, so your kit will continue to look as awesome as the day you installed it!