Since our 2009 Polaris Shift 136 would be pulling double duty as a trail sled in Minnesota and Wisconsin and in the deep snow of the Michigan U.P. and Montana, we knew its factory-installed banana peel with 1-inch lugs wouldn’t do the trick. So we pulled out the stock Camoplast Hacksaw track and bolted in Camoplast’s 136-inch Cobra ($697). It was a good move.
Camoplast classifies the Cobra as an inch-and-a-quarter track because the paddles are 1.25 inches tall, but protrusions on the lugs actually extend beyond that length to 1.352 inches. The Cobra is a great track for all-around conditions. It provided lots of rear-end traction when needed, but did not cause the sled to push more through corners than it did with the stock rubber.
It was a significant improvement over the stock track when boondocking. The Cobra’s flexible, cupped lugs did well to scoop snow without causing vibration or slippery handling when driving through corners, and the raised dots — which look like snake skin and give the sole its name — on the belting provided great traction on hard-packed trails. The aggressive pattern caught the eyes of other snowmobilers at gas stations and trailside rest stops, too, and got them to inquire about the interesting design.
We logged more than 1,000 miles on the track and it was in good shape at the end of the season, indicating it’s durable. Conditions it rolled over ranged from soft powder snow to icy trails littered with dirt patches and tree roots. The track was fully clipped, patterned with two consecutive clips drilled to collect ice and snow for lubrication followed by a solid clip. White reinforcement fibers showed along the edges at the end of the season, but none of the clips fell out and the lugs had otherwise normal wear and tear to the tips.
Whether your sled’s track is shot or you want a traction upgrade, consider the Cobra as an alternative to the popular RipSaw, especially for hybrid sleds that head out into the backcountry from time to time.
It’s available in 120- to 146-inch lengths and not only does it perform well, but its unique pattern looks cool and makes a great conversation piece with other snowmobilers.
— Andy Swanson