Those who have a sled fitted with a Camoplast RipSaw track know what kind of traction this track pattern provides in the snow. But, like all rubber tracks, glare ice still presents problems when it comes to braking safely as well as acceleration without spinning. Ice is dangerous, whether in a corner or anywhere else.
Last year Camoplast came out with their first pre-studded track, the Ice Claw. This track had carbide-tipped tire studs inserted into the round lugs of the Camoplast conical 1â€ lug pattern, and demonstrated the traction benefits they added on ice.
Now this year Camoplast released the Ice Ripper, a pre-studded version of their highly-acclaimed Rip Saw 1.25â€ track. It features aggressive 1.25-inch lugs for outstanding handling and acceleration in soft snow, plus 256 factory installed lug-studs (288 on 136â€ version). Amazingly, it weighs less than one pound more than a non-studded track.
Like adding traction studs to any sled, you need to maintain a balance between the amount of aggressiveness of the skis to the track. Most sleds are fine with a good set of carbide runners, but if your runners are worn you will notice the sled pushing due to the added traction in some conditions. A good balanced combination of carbide ski runners and using an Ice Claw track ensures adequate control and better handling.
How much traction does it provide? Right now weâ€™ve installed one into a 2006 Yamaha Apex GT, which was already fitted with a 1.25â€ Rip Saw so it was easy to see the difference afforded by the studs alone. While a sled with this kind of obscene power could easy be fitted with many more traditional studs, we liken the addition of the Ice Ripper to installing 96-121 â€œtraditionalâ€ studs. If youâ€™re familiar with how a sled with 96 studs feels, this is pretty close. A nice improvement, nothing excessive, it helps to keep the tail of the sled from coming around on icy corners and keeps spinning to a minimum. This is intended as a trail safety feature more so than a high performance set-up â€“ itâ€™s for all of the trail riders who want added control on icy trails.
As with any metal traction devices, you need adequate tunnel and heat exchanger protection. If in doubt, check with your dealer for the proper kit (if needed) to provide adequate protection from stud damage.
Available in 15â€ by 121â€ (37 pounds) and 136â€ (41 pounds) models, it comes with a full track warranty, but Camoplast does not warrant stud pullouts. From what weâ€™ve seen, this isnâ€™t a problem. Theyâ€™re fully-punched (open windows) with clips every 3rd window for light weight. Ask for the Ice Ripper, available in 121â€ (#9993H) and 136â€ (#9000H) lengths, at your Camoplast dealer. The 121â€ Ice Ripper has a suggested retail price of $673, and the 136â€ Ice Ripper has a suggested retail price of $733.00.