What are the pros and cons of Diamond Drive? I think the older F7s without it were faster than the new ones with it.
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Diamond Drive was built to get rid of the cumbersome drive system sleds have used for decades. The idea seemed sound – loose the chaincase, jackshaft and associated bearings and still maintain the gear down effect of a chaincase.
A couple realities have interfered with this over-all logic in some applications. D-Drive requires a very low mounting position and is a factor in restricting more centralized mass as is seen in the Ski-Doo XP with the secondary almost on top of the primary.
The other issue is the complexity of gearing changes with the system. It is still insanely costly to acquire alternate gear sets for D-Drive compared to any competitive chaincase system. One undeniable effect of D-Drive is its seamless feel.
The system gets rid of drive-line slop we are so accustomed to on sleds – we don’t even know it’s there – but it is apparent on all chaincase setups. I suspect the need to centralize mass will ultimately over rule the benefits of D-Drive in the future. Having to put the secondary so low means you can’t get the engine back as far as most makers want in an effort to achieve increasingly centralized mass and rider forward ergos.
I’ve heard both arguments about D-Drive vs chaincase drive on F-7’s so I really think its more about clutch set-up and track friction. I don’t think D-Drive is slower – in most cases.
Hope this helps,