ADAPT CLUTCHING INTERVIEW WITH KYLE OLASON – MECHANICAL ENGINEER, DRIVETRAIN DESIGN
Im sharing this interview again for those who missed it the first time when it was included in the 2022 ZR 8000 models overview story, and for those of you who asked for more photos, Ive added them to this interview. Kyle (Olason) sent me these comparison photos showing the new ADAPT drive clutch compared to the current TEAM drive clutch. Seeing these photos, I share Kyle’s excitement, and feel good knowing Arctic Cat is innovating.
I got a chance to sit down with Kyle Olason, mechanical engineer in the Arctic Cat Drivetrain Design Group to ask a few questions.
AI: Kyle, what is ADAPT?
Kyle: ADAPT refers to the new CVT system as a whole (drive and driven clutches, and belt). The biggest innovation focused on the drive clutch which we’ll get into. The drive belt is carry-over from Model Year 2021 models. Driven clutch, while new, retains similar mounting and system to current production.
AI: Why ADAPT?
Kyle: The new clutch system is an effort to internalize the design of a critical component within our vehicles. The new system retains the idler bearing method for automatic belt tension which debuted on the MY17 9000-series snowmobiles and MY18 6000+ series snowmobiles. When bringing the design back to Arctic Cat, there were opportunities to get creative.
AI: And those opportunities to get “creative” were what?
Kyle: This is a three-fold answer:
1. Our past solutions in the drive clutch have had the torque transfer buttons aligned with the cam arms, and this set a parameter of minimum width possible for the moveable sheave. By moving the torque transfer to a different location from the cam arm/roller, the width of the clutch became a focus to utilize space more efficiently.
2. Concepts showed moving the cam arm radially outward from past designs would allow the spring to nest deeper within the spider.
3. Unique spider design allows for the spring to nest inside much of it while transferring torque and reacting to the cam arm load.
AI: And the benefits were what?
Kyle: While it started off as a study of “What is possible”, much of the unique aspects were able to be retained.
1. 1lb. lighter than current production
2. 5% reduction in inertia
3. Compact design with ~25mm or 14.1% reduction in width
4. Our goal related to belt life is to keep performance from our current product. We have had good belt life with our MY21-previous system. The idler drive system ensures the belt deflection is consistent throughout life while maintaining that low starting ratio.
5. Maintenance: The goal is zero-to-minimal service. The pocket in the spider above the cam arm can make inspecting for wear easier
AI: Will ADAPT retrofit to past models?
Kyle: Yes. Consumers wishing to retrofit ADAPT will have the opportunity this Fall when available.
AI: Will ADAPT add any top speed?
Kyle: Not necessarily top speed, but you’ll see a quicker throttle response and acceleration
AI: Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. I appreciate it.
Kyle: You’re welcome!