While the performance improvements in our acceleration data from a Erlandson Performance Inc. (EPI) Polaris Fusion Pro clutch kit are minute, the kit made our Polaris 900 Fusion perform better.
Elapsed times (ET) and speed measurements at benchmark distances are a measure of performance. But the clutch kit we tested had a different goal. The EPI kit was intended to increase belt life, cool the clutches to help them operate more efficiently and increase the life span of the drive belt. While we achieved a slight ET improvement, it was the increased belt longevity that was the most notable performance increase on our Fusion.
“We worked to eliminate the belt slippage,” EPI owner Glenn Erlandson said. “We wanted to save the belt.”
Most Fusion owners are already aware of the premature belt consumption on the 2005 900 models. There were updates to the ’06 model, including a relocated jackshaft, to reduce heat in the clutches and belt for belt life. Owners of 2005 models should consider an EPI kit if they haven’t already.
The EPI Polaris Fusion Pro clutch kit contained primary and secondary clutch springs, a two-position adjustable helix for the secondary and a set of weights for the primary clutch.
Erlandson wouldn’t tell us the angle of the helix. His solution was to add weight to the primary clutch and take away some of the secondary ramp angle from the stock setup. In addition to the weight and ramp changes, the EPI Polaris Fusion Pro clutch kit has spring rates that work better in high temperatures, Erlandson said.
During our radar testing and subsequent use of the clutch kit for the rest of the season, we didn’t have another belt fail. Prior to getting the kit, our 900 Fusion destroyed three belts.
The kit isn’t all about the increased belt life. There is some performance gained, too. At 1,000 feet, the two-position secondary decreased the ET from the stock clutching at both settings. The stock average was 11.54 seconds. With the kit installed and the helix in the “A” position it pulled .1-second out of the stat: 11.44 seconds. The average for the helix’s “B” position was 11.48 seconds.
The clutching was more efficient, making better use of the CleanFire 900’s horsepower and the 144 studs in the Camoplast Rip Saw track. The stock speeds were faster at the same 1,000-foot mark: the average speed captured on our Stalker software was 86.02 mph. Average for positions “A” and “B” were 85.18 mph and 85.79 mph, respectively.
Off the line performance to both 30 and 60 mph was improved with the clutch kit as well — though only slightly.
In semi-packed snow conditions, our Fusion performed best with the secondary helix dialed into position “A”. Though the speeds were slowest, the clutching/traction combination was best for putting the most horsepower to the ground for an improved ET.
Like many functions on a snowmobile, manufacturer clutching is one of many compromises. There is no do-everything clutching combination that pleases everyone, so most clutch kits are tailored to increase top speed or improve mid-range acceleration.
While we noticed a slight increase with the EPI Fusion Pro clutch kit, the company was successful in providing a solution to what Polaris seemed to compromise most: belt life.