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Dear Ralph: I bought a 1999 Yamaha Vmax 500 with 120 studs in the track. I would like to drop down to running 96...

Dear Ralph:
I bought a 1999 Yamaha Vmax 500 with 120 studs in the track. I would like to drop down to running 96 studs removing every other on the outside edge of the track. Am I going to weaken the track leaving the hole exposed, or should I install shorter studs in these holes to hold things together? I don’t like a lot of studs on the outside edge of the track. I called a couple sled shops around me but get different answers. The track only has only 1000 miles on it and is in great shape.
Ed Roberti

I agree fully with your desire to run fewer studs overall, and especially with the desire to not run as many in the outer belts. This will loosen up the rear some, and will be less of a handful after a day’s ride.

As for the issue of leaving holes open like that, logically you would assume it does something to the long-term durability, but this is common practice and doesn’t really seem to make much of a difference. I suppose if the track happened to hit a sharp rock at that point it could tear the track easier since a hole is already there, but it’s not like you’re going to have something stick in it or anything.

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