Author Topic: Atv Tracks worth it or not?  (Read 5278 times)

Offline Hawkeye97

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Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« on: Jan 22, 2017, 09:00 PM »
Hi guys,
I was thinking about making the switch from walking to having a ATV. I see a lot of people without tracks, but wondering what situations do you need tracks? I don't want to think I don't need tracks to only have to get them and not financially plan for them. Suggestions and advice would be great!
Thanks

Offline Kidder

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 23, 2017, 04:28 AM »
Depends on the amount of snow/slush you get in your area. I have tracks on my sxs and when the slush gets deep during a warm up or when the drifts start to stack up along the shoreline they are worth their weight in gold. That being said, an ATV with chains on the rear tires can be pretty capable also.

Offline bigstorm

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 23, 2017, 07:22 AM »
I fish the southern half of WI and so far I haven't had any issues without tracks. I do know that there have been times after a large snow storm that I wouldn't make it out on some lakes, so I just go to a different lake

That said, if I lived in northern WI or other areas that traditionally get more snow, that would be a different story

Offline Hawkeye97

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 23, 2017, 07:43 AM »
From what I gathered tracks cost around 3-4k, closer to the 4k all said and done. I'd rather buy a 90's snowmobile for 1000 and then have both in the case I'm fishing a lake with deeper snow.

Offline Ericbres

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 23, 2017, 08:05 AM »
From what I gathered tracks cost around 3-4k, closer to the 4k all said and done. I'd rather buy a 90's snowmobile for 1000 and then have both in the case I'm fishing a lake with deeper snow.

This is what I did as well. If the snow is deep - I take the $1200 snowmobile ... if its not, $25 chains on the ATV tires is how I go.

Side note - I am not sure what state you live in, but you should check with Fish and Game before purchasing and installing tracks on an ATV.
Here in NH we have had a big up-tick in tickets issued by F&G due to:
1. Apparently there is a "maximum width" that ATV tracks can be. So if you install them and they extend too far beyond your wheel wells, you can be fined (54" if I read the post correctly).
2. Tracked ATVs must be registered as a snowmobile ... which means, dual registrations if you drive it in the summer with tires.

Offline Hawkeye97

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #5 on: Jan 23, 2017, 09:55 AM »
Thanks for the heads up with the track regulation. I live in Iowa, but it'd see South Dakota and Minnesota waters possibly. I'll make sure to check that out in the future.

Offline sra61

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #6 on: Jan 23, 2017, 11:55 AM »
I have had tracks for  a few years now. For our Montana lakes you basically have two types of ice. Western Montana gets a lot more snow so you have deep snow and slush. For that I wouldn't even think of going without my tracks. Eastern Montana tends to have less snow and a lot of times it's just glare ice. For that situation the tracks aren't really necessary. However, when you consider the amount of load per square inch on the ice with a tracked ATV I feel that just the added safety factor begins to make sense. With tracks you're looking at around .6 psi compared to tires with about 2 psi. That's a pretty big difference. I did put some screw in studs and with those on glare ice there is no more sliding at all. They are super easy to install. I just use a drill and drill them in. A bag of 250, 5/8" Kold Kutter screws is like $25 on Ebay. I believe I was able to get one bag of 250 to do all four tracks. I just alternated bars and went one side then the next. SOme pull out and some wear down. I just go over it at the beginning of the season and add whatever needs added. I probably have to add maybe 50 screws a year. You can find used tracks on Craigslist or Ebay for about half of a new set. I paid $2500 for my used Tatou 4S set on Craigslist and went over to Spokane to pick them up. There is a big track dealer in Spokane, WA that advertises demo models for around $3500 I think. I take my tracks off in the spring and they go back on when the snow flies. I can pull a pretty good load with them too. I like them.

Offline xjma

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #7 on: Jan 23, 2017, 12:11 PM »

2. Tracked ATVs must be registered as a snowmobile ... which means, dual registrations if you drive it in the summer with tires.

Are you sure about this?  I have ATVs and Sleds and the sticker is the same.  My neighbor has an ATV with tracks, grooms with it, and he only has one sticker on it. 

Offline tyme2par4

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #8 on: Jan 23, 2017, 01:39 PM »
Are you sure about this?  I have ATVs and Sleds and the sticker is the same.  My neighbor has an ATV with tracks, grooms with it, and he only has one sticker on it.
I've never heard of having to register it as both, but I do know there is a difference.
My brother went to register the ATV this winter, and somehow they registered it as a snowmobile. Much arguing later, they finally refunded the money (almost twice the price of ATV registration) and then re-registered it as an AV.

Offline Ericbres

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #9 on: Jan 23, 2017, 01:47 PM »
Are you sure about this?  I have ATVs and Sleds and the sticker is the same.  My neighbor has an ATV with tracks, grooms with it, and he only has one sticker on it.

Here is where I got all the info from ... NH Fish and Game posted on their Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/NewHampshireOperationGameThief/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE

*Edit - to be clear, so no - I am never sure about anything  ;D

Offline 52isntbigenough

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #10 on: Jan 23, 2017, 03:23 PM »
Hi guys,
I was thinking about making the switch from walking to having a ATV. I see a lot of people without tracks, but wondering what situations do you need tracks? I don't want to think I don't need tracks to only have to get them and not financially plan for them. Suggestions and advice would be great!
Thanks

Pulling sleds and gear in snow/slush is so much easier.
Increased ride height
increased surface area with the tracks makes an easier go of it in snow

4th winter with tracks up in NE Wis and I wouldn't have it any other way.


Offline mnhunter2

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #11 on: Jan 24, 2017, 10:09 PM »
Got a set of tracks on my 550 Sportsman and it has been one of the best things I have bought for ice fishing.

Offline noam1700

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #12 on: Jan 25, 2017, 09:29 AM »
If I had the money for an ATV with tracks I wouldn't even think twice about owning a snowmobile anymore.  Deep snow, slush, bare ice you name it an ATV with tracks will go anywhere and do anything.  Not to mention you can just unbolt the tracks and throw on the tires and use it in the summer as well.  I saw a wheeler with tracks pull a permanent shanty off in about 2 to 2 1/2 feet of slush here in the UP two years ago.  Snowmobiles were struggling and that thing was unphased.  Smoke still rolling out of the chimney on the permy and everything!!!

Offline bogmanjr

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #13 on: Feb 07, 2017, 12:24 PM »
I have tracks for my Ranger. It will go anywhere in the snow. Love them. However if you fish anywhere that slush is an issue forget it. I now run chains for normal ice and bought a leftover Ski doo tundra for when there is snow and slush. When you get stuck in the slush with those tracks it ruins the day. The extra leverage is hard on wheel bearings too.
I would skip the tracks and look for a long track snowmobile for the same $$

Offline Highball

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #14 on: Feb 08, 2017, 11:35 PM »
Get the tracks. I have them on my Can-Am Outlander and love them. Tire chains will still leave you high centered in snow or slush, with tracks you stay on top. You'll lose some top end speed, but you'll get where you want to go without having to take the long route.
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Offline fmoore

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #15 on: Feb 09, 2017, 08:38 AM »


Completely depends on how much snow you get. A few winters ago we had so much snow the quad would have sat all winter if I didn't have the tracks. The past two winters, I've had them on and off because we can't keep a decent amount of snow on the ground. If the snow isn't deep, they're not worth it. Way less power with them on.

Offline xjma

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #16 on: Feb 09, 2017, 09:06 PM »
(Image removed from quote.)

Completely depends on how much snow you get. A few winters ago we had so much snow the quad would have sat all winter if I didn't have the tracks. The past two winters, I've had them on and off because we can't keep a decent amount of snow on the ground. If the snow isn't deep, they're not worth it. Way less power with them on.

Since they steal so much power, if you are considering tracks, you'll want to look at bigger CC machines, think 1000cc!!  No, you can get away with less, but smaller CC machines are going to be real dogs.  electronic power steering helps a lot too with the tracks. 

They're not for every situation, but for certain situations, they are the balls.

Also, you can ride a quad with tracks on a snowmobile trail in the winter, while you can not do the same with an quad with tires.  They're great for grooming trails!!

Offline sra61

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #17 on: Feb 10, 2017, 10:31 AM »
My experience is not that they rob power, they cut speed. They are geared down by the big bogie wheel and therefore create more power for towing and stuff. I pulled my brother out of a ditch the other day with my 800! He has a 3/4 Ton Dodge Cummins. I pull my wheelhouse through slush and snow without the skis on. That's my experience.

Offline Fisherman 1

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #18 on: Feb 10, 2017, 11:20 AM »
Also, you can ride a quad with tracks on a snowmobile trail in the winter, while you can not do the same with an quad with tires.  They're great for grooming trails!!

Not everywhere.

Offline SpitzoMT

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #19 on: Feb 10, 2017, 04:57 PM »
Also, you can ride a quad with tracks on a snowmobile trail in the winter, while you can not do the same with an quad with tires.  They're great for grooming trails!!

Nope.....Not here !!
        

Offline fmoore

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #20 on: Feb 12, 2017, 07:21 PM »
Since they steal so much power, if you are considering tracks, you'll want to look at bigger CC machines, think 1000cc!!  No, you can get away with less, but smaller CC machines are going to be real dogs.  electronic power steering helps a lot too with the tracks. 

They're not for every situation, but for certain situations, they are the balls.

Also, you can ride a quad with tracks on a snowmobile trail in the winter, while you can not do the same with an quad with tires.  They're great for grooming trails!!

For the most part you're really not going to be able to legally ride a tracked ATV on the trails in NH. Try to find a quad with tracks that's under 54" (as per state law). It's not easy. Even my 660 is 54 1/2" and obviously that's a smaller machine. Not to mention tracked quads will suck fuel and go significantly slower than most sleds. They have their time and place but after 3 years of running tracks on my quad, I'm not sure ice fishing is it. Just my two cents.

That being said, with all the fresh snow I just put the tracks back today. Thinking of offloading them and getting an old used snowmobile for next season that I can use when the snow gets deep.

My experience is not that they rob power, they cut speed.

You are correct. In my last post I said less power with them on, but I meant to say more power, less speed.

Offline 52isntbigenough

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #21 on: Feb 13, 2017, 09:45 AM »
For the most part you're really not going to be able to legally ride a tracked ATV on the trails in NH. Try to find a quad with tracks that's under 54" (as per state law). It's not easy. Even my 660 is 54 1/2" and obviously that's a smaller machine. Not to mention tracked quads will suck fuel and go significantly slower than most sleds. They have their time and place but after 3 years of running tracks on my quad, I'm not sure ice fishing is it. Just my two cents.

That being said, with all the fresh snow I just put the tracks back today. Thinking of offloading them and getting an old used snowmobile for next season that I can use when the snow gets deep.

You are correct. In my last post I said less power with them on, but I meant to say more power, less speed.

My Polaris 570 with the Polaris (camoplast) Prospector II track set is exactly 52" wide.

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #22 on: Feb 13, 2017, 06:57 PM »
i have a 2008 long track arctic cat bearcat and a can am outlander 800 with tracks , tracked wheeler will outpull any sled but on bare ice you can stud a sled easier than using screws in a tracked wheeler . i got pics in post your ride thread.  i bought my apache tracks used ( but like new) for 2200 bucks it was well worth it.  you gain lowend gearing but lose top speed,  but mine will still go 50mph and thats more than fast enough just make sure your wheeler has powersteering mine doesn't but i'm gonna put a aftermarket kit on

Offline sra61

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #23 on: Feb 14, 2017, 02:52 PM »
  you gain lowend gearing but lose top speed,  but mine will still go 50mph and thats more than fast enough just make sure your wheeler has powersteering mine doesn't but i'm gonna put a aftermarket kit on
I put that Super ATV EZ Steer on my Polaris and it's awesome! Tracks are no problem to steer any more!

Offline quickshake

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #24 on: Feb 24, 2017, 09:23 AM »


You are correct. In my last post I said less power with them on, but I meant to say more power, less speed.
[/quote]

I bought a set of Ad bovin tracks used for $800. the sprockets are the same diameter as the tires so I lost power  with them. I just use low range anyway for pulling snowmobiles out of the water.  they are the only track set I seen where the sprockets that drive the tracks are the same diameter but when they came up on CL for that price I wasn't asking questions, I couldn't get the money out of my pocket fast enough. The previous owner never used the front set, said he only put the back ones on his ranger and it was unstoppable, I have used them with all four on but I need them on for what I use it for, make the quad a bear to steer so I just went and bought a new one with power steering   

Offline Cristijaberjaw

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #25 on: Jun 19, 2019, 07:39 PM »
I find the information at https://www.atvtracks.net/track-systems/atv helpful because they give a variety of options. And what's nice is itís not just ATVís but UTVs and dirt bikes along with snowmobiles. I like the how to videos also they are quite helpful.

Offline Monticatgeek

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #26 on: Jun 22, 2019, 04:01 AM »
Thanks for the heads up with the track regulation. I live in Iowa, but it'd see South Dakota and Minnesota waters possibly. I'll make sure to check that out in the future.

as for tracks on atvs in MN you can use them on the frozen lakes but you can not ride on snowmobile trails with them. also since you live in Iowa you would need to buy the MN non resident trail pass. this let's you ride not only the trails in the summer but allows you to go on frozen lakes in the winter too. the pass is like $35.00 for the year I believe. you will need this pass even if you leave the wheels on the four wheeler. here is a link to the MN OHV regulations (covers ATV,UTV, Off Road Motor cycles & Off Road Vehicles) :  http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/ohv/ohv_regs.pdf
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Offline GPSIT

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Re: Atv Tracks worth it or not?
« Reply #27 on: Jul 01, 2019, 01:51 PM »
Tracks for ATV's/UTV's.
I have owned three sets of tracks dating back about 20 years. My first set of tracks were Camoplast that I put on a 400 Honda ATV. They cost $3,200 and had bearings that could be replaced in the bogey wheels. The design was simple and the tracks lasted about 10 years. We began throwing tracks so I opted to purchase a new set. I simply gave the tracks to my employee. He sold them

I purchased a new set of Camoplast tracks. After about 3 years, the bearings in the bogey wheels froze, so I figured I could press new ones in the same as the first set. Nope, you needed to purchase all new bogey wheels. The new version had a tremendous amount of wheels. The tracks cost me $3,800 new and I put in $1,000 for the large wheels to get me through spring. The small wheels were another $2,000....... I gave the tracks to my employee to sell. These were on an Arctic Cat TBX. I had to remove the tracks from the machine because it would cause it to overheat. Also no power steering made it difficult to turn.

I heard all this ruckus about Mattracks as they are made just an hour from us. I had to purchase a new UTV. I worked with sales at Mattracks as I purchased a Honda Pioneer 700 [May of 2016]. I picked up the machine in Grand Forks and took it right to Karlstad and had them install the tracks. Zero miles on the machine. I put on the XT UR [Front] and XT UR Plus [Back]. It cost me around $6,500. At 11 months i noticed some bearings were bad. I contacted Mattracks and they warrant their product for 1 year. I brought the machine back to the factory and they upgraded the bearings to the better bearings on their more costly tracks. At the time of my purchase this set of tracks would runt from $6,500, $8,500, $9,500, depending on the bearings you selected.

So I updated the bearings that were bad from the $6,500 to the $8,500 bearings. They did all the work in house and I agreed to pay for the difference in the price from the warranted bearings to the upgraded bearings. I felt that was a fair deal. I paid $500 for labor. The bill was $1,772. It only cost me that much to operate the tracks the one year. [May of 2017].

I looked at the tracks this spring. I noticed the lugs on the tracks were missing on the rear tracks [XT UR Plus]. I called Mattracks and there is an upgrade kit. So I send them  $2,106 for this upgrade kit and new tracks in May 2019. I get the kit and find out there is no way I can install this kit. I contact Mattracks to get them to do the repair. I drive them down to the factory and they call me a couple weeks later and say, your tracks are in tough shape. I said I know. They inform me that it if I send them an additional $4,200 more or less, on top of the $2,100 I already paid, they could get me fixed up. And they make you think it is a deal....... Needless to say I figured a cost of $6,300 to operate the tracks for 2 years was a bit much. I went down and picked up the tracks. I asked them if they would buy them back, but they declined. I am now going to sell what I can on ebay as some parts are OK.

I own a surveying business. We used the tracks the same over the past 20 years. They are not abused. We used them in the winter to get through snow. We did not overload the machine, which can cause issues. So as a summary this is what I would have into the tracks..... New cost $6,500, 2016 upgrade of $1,772, 2019 repairs $2,100 + $4,200, which comes to $14,572 if I had fixed them.

I cut my losses and only spent $8,272 and used the tracks for 3 years and 2,000 miles and 450 hours. This would be a cost of $7.29/mile or $32/hr., just to operate the tracks. Mattracks look great, but they require a ton of expensive maintenance. For me, we put the tires back and will not be taking any surveys in the winter as we cannot get the cost back from our clients as the profit margin is too small. If you have a golden goose, you are going to use his golden eggs.

Hope this helps others.


 



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