DirtyDawg Performance Clutch Kit for RZR XP 900
Hands Down the Best Single-Improvement for your XP
April 19, 2013
By Brit Mansell
Throughout the entirety of the 2011 UTV racing season, we raced on the stock clutch on a Polaris 2011 RZR-XP 900. I was comfortable with it and I knew what to expect from it in every situation. In my naivety, I assumed that I would be able to overcome any shortcomings of this clutch setup with my understanding of it’s performance characteristics.
For 2012, DirtyDawg Performance joined the team as a supporting sponsor. I had heard many good things about their products and I was excited to see the performance benefits of running their clutch kit on our new 2012 RZR-XP. After my initial phone conversation with Dale from DirtyDawg, I was hooked. It only takes a brief moment to realize that Dale has intricate knowledge of CVT clutch systems and has been around them long enough to make big improvements. We briefly spoke about my racing plans and the varying race environments. He said he had enough information to put me in the ballpark with clutch weights and setup. He sent out his DirtyDawg Performance clutch kit for the RZR XP 900.
One of the issues I did have with the OEM clutch was the heavy engine braking caused by the stock clutch helix. I’m sure this is a safety feature built into the product by design, but for racing it is a big hinderance. The DirtyDawg kit comes with a specially designed helix which eliminates the drawbacks of the engine braking making for a much smoother transition to applying braking pressure.
I have a heavy mechanical background, but I had never even broken into a CVT clutch. I was a little intimidated by diving into something completely new with such a short timeframe to complete the install. However, I had no issues whatsoever getting the clutch kit installed. The only specialized tool I used was a spring compressor attached to a bench vise (pictured below). This allowed easy access to the circlip holding the clutch spring into the secondary. The install process calls for a new spring in the primary, a new spring in the secondary and replacing all three of the clutch weights. All in all, this process took me about an hour.
I hate to jump right to the ending, but it’s just too good to keep it to myself. I’ve thought long and hard about putting this in “print”, but I truly believe this product is the biggest single-product improvement I have ever done to a RZR-XP. Not only do the new clutch weights provide major adjustability and a proper “stall” feeling, but also the new helix provides a plethora of benefits. Every part of the vehicle seems to be affected by the new engine braking mechanism. The vehicle slows as I expected it should while descending down hill as well as approaching a corner, but what I wasn’t expecting is how that affected the braking action. After installing the DirtyDawg helix, I am able to properly drive the car with the brakes as where before it felt like I was fighting the brakes on the RZR-XP. The added braking precision is a plus I hadn’t even considered during the install process.
I put this kit to the test almost instantly. It was installed on our 2012 RZR-XP for the opening round of the WORCS series, held at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, CA. Through all but the last lap, this kit propelled me to the top three or four positions. Just as fate would have it, my race was cut short on the last lap due to a clogged radiator and the car going into limp mode. However, the DirtyDawg Performance clutch kit was a key component to my success during the race. I’m looking forward to more seat time and adapting to the new found capabilities of the RZR-XP.
If I had $400 to spend on any single part for a race car or a play car, this would, without a doubt, be where I spent that money. I can’t possibly explain, in words, how much I appreciate the benefits of this clutch kit. It will be on all of my RZR-XP’s from here forward.