Snowmobile product testing Warthog studs

Knowing the studs we’d install on our Z1 Turbo last winter would be worked — hard! — by the sled’s 177 hp engine, the traction products had to be durable. And since Accord’s studs come with a lifetime no-bend, no-break warranty, we figured they must be tough, so we installed 204 1.075-inch Warthogs and round aluminum backer plates ($401.80) in our 2009 Arctic Cat demo sled.

Studs are studs, you might think. They’re just metal spikes attached to a snowmobile track to provide traction and improve safety on slick trails. But designing and building durable studs for snowmobile tracks involves a lot more science and secrets than Joe Snowmobiler would ever think of. After running Accord’s product last season, we think the company has its own secret that makes its Warthogs able to stand up to the abuse a high-horsepower sled can dish out.

Wear resistance was impressive because the studs were in excellent condition after our last ride with the sled, as shown in the photo. Carbide tips were in tact and the leading edge of the steel shank around the carbide insert was only slightly eroded around the carbide pin. There weren’t any bent or broken studs, which is quite a feat considering how much track spin this sled had when we hit the throttle. True mileage on the studs is unknown due to a faulty speedometer, but estimates put the tally at about 700 miles.

With so much horsepower, it’s difficult to get a Z1 Turbo to hook up. We don’t blame the Warthogs for not supplying enough bite because hooking up a turbo is a tall order. Jam the throttle flipper at the apex of a corner and the sleds shoots a mean roost out from the snow flap. If we ran a Z1 Turbo again, we’d go with a longer, taller track (Z1 Turbo EXT) and install the same four-studs-per-row pattern of Warthogs we used last season.

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