The Legacy of Polaris University: The Evolution of UTV Clutching

In the high-octane world of motorsports, innovation is the lifeblood that fuels champions. Behind every victory, there’s a story of relentless determination, pioneering spirit, and a quest for perfection.

Such is the tale of the legendary Polaris Professional Snowmobile Race Team (often referred to as “The Starfire Kids”), whose audacious pursuit of excellence birthed a revolutionary new snowmobile component that changed the game – the Polaris clutch.

Fast forward to today, and the spirit of innovation continues to thrive within Polaris, and companies like Duraclutch, who evolve and create products to meet the demands of modern off-road enthusiasts. Enter the realm of UTV clutching, where the legacy of the Starfire Kids lives on through the groundbreaking Duraclutch.

The Genesis: Polaris University and the Birth of the Polaris Clutch

Wes Pesek on one of the 1970 race machines with the earliest Polaris clutches.
Wes Pesek on one of the 1970 race machines with the earliest Polaris clutches.
In the annals of motorsport history, the names Leroy Lindblad, Jim Bernat, Jerry Shank, and Larry Rugland loom large as the founding fathers of Polaris University. In 1969, fueled by the challenger of doing what they were told could not be done, these visionaries embarked on a journey of discovery. Their mission? To engineer a clutch system that would redefine performance and endurance in the harshest of conditions.Through rigorous experimentation and unwavering dedication, the Polaris race team unleashed a game-changing innovation – the lightweight, adjustable, aluminum Polaris clutch.Engineered to withstand the punishing rigors of oval, cross-country, drag, and enduro racing, this revolutionary component propelled Polaris to the summit of snowmobile racing supremacy for over a decade.
First Polaris RANGER

1990s rendition of the Polaris RANGER – photo from Polaris. 

The Evolution: From Snow to Dirt – Ushering in a New Era of UTV Clutching

As the roar of the famed Polaris racing engines faded into memory, the spirit of innovation remained alive within Polaris and those who worked there, transcending disciplines and embracing new challenges. It was within this crucible of creativity that several of Polaris’ major products were developed under Mitchell’s direction at Polaris, including the Sportsman ATV, RANGER Utility Vehicle and Youth ATV product lines.

years later, Greg Grahn and Mitchell Johnson, the founders of Duraclutch, saw an opportunity to revolutionize UTV clutching. Drawing upon their decades of experience and the indomitable spirit of the Starfire Kids, Grahn and Johnson embarked on a mission to enhance the performance and reliability of UTVs. The result? The birth of Duraclutch – a game-changing advancement in UTV clutching technology.

Duraclutch: The Gold Standard in UTV Clutching Excellence

Designed to deliver smoother starts, extended belt life, and superior engine braking, Duraclutch represents the pinnacle of UTV clutching innovation. Crafted with precision and calibrated for a range of Polaris models, including RANGER, RZR, GENERAL, SPORTSMAN, XPEDITION, and ACE, Duraclutch stands as a testament to Polaris’ unwavering commitment to excellence.

In a market that is now flooded with cheap, Chinese-made alternatives, Duraclutch stands apart as a beacon of quality and reliability. While the allure of affordability may tempt some, the true cost of inferior clutches becomes evident over time. With Duraclutch, discerning riders can rest assured knowing they’ve invested in the ultimate upgrade – one that delivers unparalleled performance and durability.

kit #15-576

One of the newer innovations at Duraclutch: The R-Series. 

Conclusion: Elevate Your Ride with Duraclutch

In the dynamic world of off-road adventure, mastery is often defined by the equipment you choose. With Duraclutch, UTV enthusiasts can elevate their ride to new heights of performance and reliability. Say goodbye to the days of wrestling with subpar clutches and hello to a smoother, more responsive driving experience.

Don’t let UTV clutching become another sill to master – embrace the legacy of innovation and excellence with Duraclutch. Join the ranks of champions past and present who trust in the precision engineering and unrivaled performance of Polaris technology. Upgrade to Duraclutch today and experience the difference for yourself – because when it comes to UTV clutching, there’s simply no compromise.

OEM Replacement UTV & ATV Belts

Photo courtesy of Polaris

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