Apache Track System
Apache Tracks make new paths
The time has come to resurrect a giant, and this is no ordinary dinosaur. It's our version of Trackasaurus. Once thought to be extinct, this beast has been spotted in the hills of Georgia rolling over the competition like it's not even there.
When we started our Workhorse project way back in March we planned to do a lot. Like all plans, however, they shuffled and things changed a bit.
In talking to the great guys at Can-Am I came up with the idea of trying the BRP Apache Track system on our project quad. This would make the two up 650 capable of getting over obstacles once thought impossible, and give a good insight as to just how versatile the tracks are.
We picked up our track system from the local dealer and it was amazing to finally see these things in person. The box of hardware was intimidating but I knew that to get these bad boys on, there must be some complicated mounting gear. The first thing I noticed was just how soft the tread on the tracks were. Having very little snow here I thought our biggest test was to find out just how usable these Apache tracks would be in general farm or riding conditions and with tread as soft as this, it would grip on almost any surface.
After unboxing and separating all the hardware, I decided to get into the daunting task of installing the tracks. The rear on a scale of one to ten with ten being the hardest was about a seven. This is partly because you have to cut away part of a gusset that supports the shock mount. Don't worry, though, because its a very little amount and the engineers at Can-Am promised us it would not compromise the support.
From there, everything bolts in and is not too difficult to adjust. The front, however, had the most hardware and we had to clear our minds to get it right the first time. There must be twenty bolts of all sizes and each one has its place. Be sure to not over-tighten these (like it says in the manual) because it will bend the mounting plates. The stabilizer bar that is provided helps keep the tracks from spinning all the way around, and assists in holding the track from turning too sharply into the inner fender.
Adjusting the front was slightly more complicated, but I would rate it around a seven also. The hardest thing was the shear weight of the tracks when we put them up onto the axles. This is not something you want to do by yourself.
Once the Apache Tracks are mounted, it's time for the real test. Let's see how they like the great outdoors when there's no snow to cushion the ride. We ventured off onto the palatial estate here in North Georgia and we realized really quick that if we wanted to steer this monster we needed to keep it in four-wheel drive. Not necessarily in diff lock but definitely in 4x4 mode.
This is where the dominating fun began. First thing we noticed was the amazing ground clearance the track added to our Can-Am Outlander 650. The space between the front and rear track made it effortless to get over downed trees or even washed out areas near the creeks. Although we didnt want to get these beauties into deep mud we did find some places to test their ability to work out of the sticky stuff.
It wasn't a challenge for the tracks. Steep grades were no toughie for the Trackasaurus and it quickly became my favorite toy. Plus, everyone and their brother was asking for a chance to ride it. So through pretty deep mud and steep climbs up dirt banks, and crossing very large downed trees and washes almost four feet across and three feet deep it took very little effort.
The downside is that these tracks do have some limitations with the turning radius. If you plan on twisting this monster around in the drive you can forget it. It takes a large area to turn the tracks around, and it's not grass friendly. Also, most trucks do not have enough room in the bed to haul it, so you'll need a substantial trailer. We managed to throw a track back in the woods near a creek - man, let me tell you - that's not fun at all. With a strap that was left in the Moose Storage bag I was able to tie up the front right track. I wrapped the tow strap around the A-Arms and limped this big boy back to the truck where the tools were. Although easy to fix, it began as a nightmarish event.
If the Apache Tracks can get a grip, they will climb up it, over it, and through it. These things are great confidence builders because sitting on a quad with the Apache Tracks, you feel like you can go anywhere.
Overall, these tracks are a blast and if you ever have a chance to ride them don't pass it up. Oh, but your arms will be sore the next day! Very sore.