Snowmobile trail conditions can change from one hour to the next. Head out for a ride in the morning and groomed trails might be tight and firm, causing sleds to handle well because the skis can really bite. But by early afternoon after traffic and warmer air has loosened the snow pack, handling might not be as precise. This is where a new product from Between the Lines Designs can help dial in a machine for the conditions.
Trac-Link is a Goodyear strap with an aluminum adjustment mechanism; the assembly replaces a snowmobile’s front limiter strap or straps. With the accessory installed, riders can easily dial in the balance of traction between the skis and track by adjusting the length/tension of the strap with a half-inch wrench or socket.
Installing the Trac-Link on our 2011 Polaris 600 IQ Shift was easy and only took about 15 minutes. Once it was bolted in, we set the strap to the same length as the stock straps had been set because our IQ was handling well so far.
During our first ride with the part installed, the sled continued to handle precisely and it cornered flat with the original tension setting. Though the balance of ski pressure and track traction was good, we adjusted the strap shorter/tighter by turning the adjustment bolt about two turns. This made the steering noticeably heavier, proving that a little adjustment goes a long way on an IQ. We made adjustments to suit other riders and conditions as the season wore on.
Hardware fit well, the adjuster bolt turned smoothly and held its settings without loosening during our test. Adjustment can be made with the track on the ground, but it’s easier to access the adjuster if you roll the sled on its side. All indications are that the Trac-Link ($74.95) is a quality, durable product. The aluminum adjuster is heavy duty and edges are chamfered for a nice finish, and the strap is thick but pliable.