Keeping all-terrain vehicles running: tips and tricks for CVT belt installation


When it comes to ensuring optimal operation of newly installed Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) belts, there are several measures to keep in mind:


Premature CVT belt failure can sometimes be traced to improper storage, so it’s important to put storage procedures in place and make sure the belt isn’t damaged before installing it. New CVT belts are sensitive to distortion, so it’s best to leave the belt in its sleeve and store on a flat surface like a shelf.


Never install a new belt on dirty pulley surfaces; this will shorten the belt’s life span drastically. Always start CVT belt installation by carefully removing rubber and other wear contaminates off the pulley/belt contact area with a mild abrasive (such as sandpaper or steel wool). Afterwards, use alcohol or acetone to remove any remaining fine particulates – never use brake cleaner! Make sure all impurities have been removed; this will help to avoid belt slippage which might otherwise cause a noticeable drop in vehicle performance.



To maximise belt life and performance, two break-in periods of at least 35 km/20 mi separated by a cooling down period of 30 minutes are required before applying maximum engine torque. This break-in process involves conservatively running through the entire shift range, without exceeding ¾ throttle. The belt surface will properly wear to match the individual pulleys and optimised pulley/belt contact will be achieved. This results in optimum grip performance, significantly reduced heat, glazing and future wear. In short: the belt’s life span will drastically increase. Spare belts to be used during races should definitely be broken in ahead of time.

G-Force® belts from Gates

Although Gates is best known as the belt drive specialist for passenger cars and heavy commercial vehicles, we offer a top-notch product line for recreational and utility all-terrain vehicles as well. Gates’ Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) belts called G-Force® deliver proven results on a multitude of all-terrain vehicles like today’s snowmobiles, scooters and quad bikes. They meet or exceed the fit, durability and performance of the original belt.