To measure your snowmobile track, you need to know the drive pitch and number of lugs. You then multiply these two numbers together to get the length.
The quick formula is Pitch x Number of Lugs = Length.
I’m Chaz, and I’ve been an avid snowmobiler for nearly 30 years. I grew up riding in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and have years of experience working on many different types of sleds.
This article will expand on the quick formula I just mentioned to show you how to determine your pitch and the number of lugs to come up with your track length. I’ll also tell you why knowing this length is important.
Take to the track, and let’s get to it.
Table of Contents
Important Terms/Measurements to Know
There are some important terms to know and understand about the length of a snowmobile track. Let’s break down a few of these.
- Drive Pitch = the measurement from center to center between the drive lugs on the track. This measurement is taken on the inside section of the track and is in inches.
- Lug = the extensions protruding from the snowmobile track that grips into the snow. Sometimes also known as paddles or crossbars.
- Lug Height = the distance the lugs protrude away from the track towards the snow.
- Track Width = The measurement of one side of the track to the other. If you are looking at the track from directly behind, this is a measurement from left to right or left to right.
- Track Length = A measurement of the inside circumference of the track. This is calculated by multiplying the drive pitch by the lug count. It is measured in inches and rounded up to a whole number.
How to Measure a Snowmobile Track
If you have never measured your snowmobile’s track before, you might be scratching your head wondering why you need to perform a math equation to figure this out. Luckily, it’s not that complicated.
Follow these steps to figure out the length of a snowmobile track:
1. Determine the Drive Pitch
Measure the distance between two lugs from center to center to determine the pitch. For a slightly more accurate measurement, measure the distance between 10 lugs and divide it by 10.
Using a tape measure is the easiest way to do this. You can also run a piece of string and then take it to the shop bench or garage floor if you don’t want to measure directly on the track.
If the distance between two lugs is 2.52-inches, that is your pitch distance. If you measure 10 at 30-inches and then divide by 10, you’ll get a pitch distance of 3 inches.
The standard measurements you’ll find for pitch are 2.52”, 2.86”, and 3”. Some can be a bit higher and measure out at 3.5”. If you can’t quite tell the exact measurement on your tape measure, you are most likely looking at a 2.52” or 2.86” pitch.
2. Count the number of lugs on the entire track
The next step in figuring out the length is to count the total number of lugs (paddles, crossbars, whatever you call them) on the track. I like to put a piece of tape on the first lug I count to make it easier to keep track of.
3. Plug these two numbers into the Length Formula
Once you have the two numbers figured out from the first two steps, all you have to do is multiply them together to figure out the track length.
Here’s the formula again for reference: Pitch X Number of Lugs = Length
So if you have a 2.52” pitch and 45 lugs – 2.52 X 45 = 113.4” this would be either a 114-inch or 113-inch length.
If you have a 2.86” pitch and 45 lugs – 2.86 X 45 = 128.7, which would be rounded up to 129 inches total length.
Why Track Length Is Important
The biggest reason for knowing your track length is when you want to replace your sled’s track. You need to match up the same length track, or it won’t fit properly, and you risk having it slip or not work at all.
Another reason to know the length is that it can give you insight into how any given snowmobile will perform. Shorter track lengths are generally a little more agile and speedy, while longer lengths can perform better in deep snow.
I’d classify a shorter length as anything under 140-inches – these will be your faster machines. 145-155-inches would be in the middle of the pack and have decent handling and stability. 160-inches and over are big mountain options built for floating and not getting stuck.
Once you learn the basic formula for measuring a snowmobile track, alongside how to make those measurements, it’s pretty easy to figure out track length. The next time you want to make an upgrade or are shopping for a used machine, you can keep it in mind.
Remember that if the measurement for length ends up falling near the middle of an inch, one brand might round up, and the other might round down. So you could see a 136-inch and 137-inch track that is actually the same.
What is the length of your snowmobile track? What is your preferred length and why? Let us know in the comments below.About Chaz Wyland