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HomeFeaturesExplained: Inside Arctic Cat's New TEAM Clutches

Explained: Inside Arctic Cat’s New TEAM Clutches

2016 Arctic Cat TEAM Rapid Response and Rapid Reaction clutches. Posted by

With the news that Arctic Cat is going to TEAM clutches for most of its 2016 snowmobile model line comes the question: What is it about these clutches that are an improvement over the Cat drive and driven assemblies?

2016 Arctic Cat TEAM Rapid Response and Rapid Reaction clutches. Posted by

For the Rapid Reaction drive clutch, Arctic Cat and TEAM partnered to design a more durable clutch, with smoother shifting, reduced weight (by 0.25-lb.) and improved performance (including more consistent performance, particularly after long term use). The new design is also rebuildable, meaning no more throw away clutches!


2016 Arctic Cat TEAM Rapid Response and Rapid Reaction clutches. Posted by

Key to this new clutch is a steel spider. TEAM started this project with an aluminum spider design, but it didn’t meet the group’s requirements for durability. A switch to steel delivered significant increases in yield and fatigue strength compared to previous clutches. It’s cavernous design (the result of both FEA computer whiz-bang as well as field testing) delivered a robust design with decreased wall thickness to hit the goals for low weight.


2016 Arctic Cat TEAM Rapid Response and Rapid Reaction clutches. Posted by

The roller bearing surface area of the spider arms is 30 percent larger than previous clutches thanks to an increase in width. Likewise, the buttons have 70 percent more surface area.


2016 Arctic Cat TEAM Rapid Response and Rapid Reaction clutches. Posted by

Every button-to-tower contact point is measured after CNC machining to ensure the exact dimensions have been maintained.

Manufactured and assembled in the U.S., the highest possible level of quality control is maintained on every clutch.


2016 Arctic Cat TEAM Rapid Response and Rapid Reaction clutches. Posted by

To withstand the torque pulses from engine combustion, the rollers and flyweights were designed to shuttle, or move in unison. This extends the flyweights’ durability by greatly reducing the roller-to-flyweight wear point.


2016 Arctic Cat TEAM Rapid Response and Rapid Reaction clutches. Posted by

A 40 percent increase in the base width of the flyweights prevents rocking, increasing stability and durability. The flyweights themselves get a carburizing heat treatment process on the rolling surface for extended life.


2016 Arctic Cat TEAM Rapid Response and Rapid Reaction clutches. Posted by

The TEAM BOSS Rapid Response driven clutch is equally impressive in its design and focus on quality, featuring machined sheaves that mount directly to the machined-matched driven shaft.


2016 Arctic Cat TEAM Rapid Response and Rapid Reaction clutches. Posted by

On the BOSS system, the movable sheave (the sheave that moves to allow the belt to move lower into the clutch) slides on the driven shaft, rather than on a separate steel post that’s built into traditional driven clutches. The result: a 0.25-lb. weight reduction and quicker acceleration.


2016 Arctic Cat TEAM Rapid Response and Rapid Reaction clutches. Posted by

The area of the driven shaft on which the clutch slides/moves is polished for improved performance and increased bearing life. The shaft itself is larger diameter than traditional shafts.

Arctic Cat hinted that there are further, future weight savings made possible by the new system. They didn’t say it, but one could imagine a gun-drilled shaft sometime in the future that sheds even more weight.

Combined with optimized cooling fin geometry, the changes to the drive system deliver a 20-degree reduction in clutch and belt temperatures for improved belt life and performance.


2016 Arctic Cat TEAM Rapid Response and Rapid Reaction clutches. Posted by 

Changing belts and adjusting belt deflection is quick and simple with the Rapid Reaction driven. To change belts, an L-shaped removal tool (included in the tool kit) simply threads into the clutch, which spreads the sheaves to loosen the belt.

To adjust deflection, just loosen the lock-nut and adjust the set screw (which adjusts the distance between the two sheaves) and then tighten the lock-nut. Spacers are no longer needed.

The Rapid Response drive clutch is available as a direct replacement on previous model Arctic Cat snowmobiles. I’ll update this story with MSRP pricing when it’s available.

In theory you could also update to the BOSS Rapid Reaction driven clutch, but it would require the new shaft, new bearings and (I believe) new gears/chain, rendering it fairly impractical.

Thanks for reading.



  1. As always John thanks for the hot new clutching details. Looking forward to see which & what previous years sleds can be retrofitted with them (and costs too).

  2. Jeremy: the helix is inside the movable sheave. I’ll try to get a photo of the clutch breakdown next time I’m in TRF. Maybe next week.

  3. My 2012 turbo has 6000 miles on it and I have the new big fin clutch which helped solve my belt issue and doesn’t have that many miles on it, I also have my old secondary as well. So I’m sitting good on secondary’s!!

    But my sled has the original primary which is still working fine but I worry about it. I think it would be best to keep it as a spare and upgrade.

    Question is can I do this?

    To be honest I’m scared. Belts are expensive, also my turbo is stock and it needs to see the proper rpm to run correctly.

    I just hate to lose ride time if that primary fails on me and I’m keeping this sled for a few more seasons. I know some competent clutch builders but nobody has laid eyes on this new clutch.


  4. Good for Arctic Cat, and good for the American (Minnesotans) workers that design and build this stuff. Good news for the hundreds of workers in my home town!

  5. Any chance the drive will be available with a 30mm taper for us old folks ? That outfit would look yummy on my T Cat ….

  6. This looks great, improved secondary set up should help eliminate excess keyway wear I’ve seen on sleds built in the last decade.

  7. I know many will disagree with me, but I really liked the fixed pin part of the arctic primary, I have a 2007 F6 with 7500 miles and the wear in the primary is really minimal. This is with many, many top end speed runs and lots of tuning……

    on another note, I agree with Mike F. this is good for many in MN, especially those near me, and my home town.

    Jim D, I believe there is a 30mm taper clutch available from TEAM, but not sure if it has the goodies the new clutches have described here. I know you can buy TEAM clutches for vintage sleds with a 30mm taper, check out

  8. what about the zr’s gear and chain set?? hyvo? team? or? somewhere I see the 9000 mountain gets new…tell me the 9000 flat does too!

  9. Nearly all 2016 models come with a new Borg Warner chain and sprocket combo (like the 7000 models did last year). More durable, less stretch. Plus the chain tensioner pad has been updated to DuPont’s Vespal material for longer wear.

    Jim: I’ll find out about a 30mm taper on the newest clutch.

  10. @ I Bleed Green – The fixed pin primary from 2004 – 08/09 were solid primaries. I don’t know if Cat went to a low ball vendor or what happen but it was about 2010 when I saw more and more failures. The look of them never really changed but something did, and they went south.

    I’m excited to see how the new Boss works and if Cat will let us rebuild them again!

  11. Besides the issues of the 33mm clutches being over torqued occasionally and heat from belts slipping allowing them to expand more as the thinner post wall slides a bit further on (creating nearly 100% of the jammed clutches the past few seasons).. You’d think Cat would realize that their “next door neighbor” (brake assembly) isn’t doing one iota of good for either clutches long term life/reliability… Afterall… It does emit brake dust and micro-sized METAL PARTICLES that I’m sure go a long ways towards adding their own factor of wear to components that are normally longer service life vs recent model years since 2012-on….

    Those other TEAM primaries mentioned DO NOT withstand engines in excess of 120hp Mr. Dimmerman (Just a heads up for you there)

    That is why they redesigned these spiders in steel (I’ll stick with the fixed pin design myself)
    However, it would be nice to see someone make adjustable magnetic weights with the Polaris 11-series curvature profile throughout the whole length… (TEAM IND.,, YOU LISTENING?)

  12. From what we can see in the pictures am I correct that this secondary works like the Team Tied where the moveable sheave opens axially to the stationary sheave without rotational movement. This translates to no scrubbing motion on the belt face (had to copy and paste a little from Team web site)

  13. @ Sven – “The fixed pin primary from 2004 – 08/09 were solid primaries.”
    Agreed; It is my understanding those primary clutches were built by Team, then as you say AC went to another vendor

  14. This is great news for Arctic Cat and the people that ride them, in this day and age quality needs to be your number one priority if you want to stay competitive in what appears to be a shrinking market.

  15. As these may be improvements over the current secondary and recent primary, I see it also requires us to (again) start all over with new tuning components…… which has always resulted in quite a bit of lag in getting product available to sell and limits the number of variables available for a few years.

    John, any idea where to look to find out what will be available for different weights, springs (both primary and secondary), helix angles ???

  16. Hopefully Cat makes a “upgrade kit” at a good price for the older turbos, I am very interested.
    I was looking into buying Supreme Tool clutches for my 14 9000 because the
    Stock ones are garbage.

  17. I like the primary, however the secondary is prone to fail based on the design. Anyone remember the Kawasaki secondaries from the invaders? All relied on the moveable face sliding on the jackshaft, all had premature wear and eventual failure at the steel splined hub. Should have stuck with the tall tower roller secondary, still my favorite.

  18. Going to these clutches is one of the best things Cat has done for the procross/proclimb chassis. From what I am hearing from a few of my sources it was originally planned to have higher quality clutches on the new chassis when it was originally released in 2012 but the current ceo at the time said let’s use the cheaper model and increase our profit margin. Little did he know at the time how much of a mistake that would be. Not only did customer confidence take a hit but the rest of the snowmobile world noticed too. That ceo is now gone, thank god, but anyone that has a 12-15 model sled will always have to answer the question, “do you blow belts?”, regardless if you had problems or not. Just so you all know, I own a 13 xf800 sp and obsolutly love my sled and have never blown a belt. But if I had a quarter for everytime someone asks me if I blow belts I would be a rich man. Thanks Cat for making things right even if it took 5 years.

  19. I am curious as how the spider will be locked on?? Quick change hopefully??

    Also I sure hope this new clutch is available in a 30mm taper for us guys running older sleds. My old 9 post clutch is about wore out after 11,500 miles on my Zrt800. Its been a good clutch but is starting to crack so its time for a replacement.

  20. I purchased clutch (primary) for my can am maverick ,curious if the new spider will be a direct fit for can am ,as the cast spider cracked . Nobody seems to know if the new steel 1 will fit without buying it and trying. Any info will be helpful,thanks .

  21. on the helix there are three numbers one model im working with the numbers are 62,46,36 ER this is part of my schooling assignment to tell my instructor what the numbers represent! any help is greatly appreciated…I know the ER part just need the meaning to the numbers, Helix angle?

  22. I was wondering the same thing about reading the numbers the first number is the first angle the second is the second angle and the third is how long the first angle lasts for… Example 50 40 .36 would be 50 degree initial transferring to a 40 degree angle after the first .360 of an inch.

  23. Iwas wondering how many secondarys have came off. New 2017 800 miles came off 5 times wrecked team clutch 150 miles from room. good job arctic cat. never had problems until procross sleds

  24. I have a 2016 lxr 5000.4300 miles in my clutch is blown to pieces.cost me a belt as well .I have talk to others with the same machine and there’s went even sooner then mine.I thought these clutches were suppose to be better.I think they should be of the biggest reasons I bought this machine was because the clutch was new and improved.I’m very disappointed.

  25. They need these on the Wildcat 1000x. I just broke my aluminum spider and I have talked with other Wildcat 1000x owners that have broken theirs.

  26. I have 2016 XF8000 high Country #803 and my primary rapid response team clutch rollers are worn out at 7,353 km on tail use. What’s the problem, slower engagement by 500RPM difference! compaired to my other 2016 XF80000 High Country #802 with new clutches replaced on warranty due to a belt guard sheet metal screw fall on the belt pulverizing up all the sheaves.

  27. My 2019 ZR6000 has a bad primary slip bearing. I am being told not rebuildable and cannot be cleaned. Could be belt dust. I need to replace the entire clutch at upwards of $1000. So much for “no more throw away clutches”.

  28. I have the same problem my rollers on the drive clutch are wore, nothing else is wrong, so i would just like to replace the rollers, problem the dealers don’t have them, were can i get replacements rollers


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