The CVT: A Basic Explanation of Your UTV’s Transmission

Owning or renting a UTV or ATV is not a small responsibility. Knowing as much as you possibly can about your machine, inside and out, is extremely important in order for you machine to last as long as possible and for you to decrease as much as possible the chance of you getting hurt in some way. When you’re on a tour with Dirt Road Uber, the chances of something going wrong with the machines is extremely low as they are as thorough as can be in maintaining and repairing their vehicles. But certainly, for those of you who own or are thinking of owning an off-road vehicle, we think that you’ll find the following information about this UTV transmission very helpful.

CVT transmissions

There are many different types of transmissions that can be found in various makes and models of off-road vehicles throughout the market, but the most common one was designed originally by Yamaha. It’s called the CVT transmission. CVT stands for continuously variable transmission. It is widely accepted that if you consider only the belt-driven transmissions available, this one is likely to win the prize of most durable. It’s been copied by many other companies over the years. You’ll have to take a peek inside the gearbox in order to fully understand what makes it tick.

The CVT transmission also has some other common nicknames that are widely used. Some of those include step-less transmission, single-speed transmission, twist-and-go (used primarily in reference to motorcycles), and pulley transmission. This UTV transmission is automatic and has many capabilities, including one that allows it to smoothly rotate through gear ratios uninterrupted. Because it’s a belt-driven system which means that two big pulleys are involved. One pulley is referred to as the drive, the other as the driven. In this belt-driven system, there is also a component called the ACC, or Automatic Centrifugal clutch. The ACC is in charge of allowing the pulleys and the belt to engage with the transmission gearbox.

At the increase of RPMs, the ACC weights begin communicating with the steel-made internal clutch housing which is found behind the drive pulley. The belt doesn’t slip due to the belt being held in perpetual tension through the process just described. The drive pulley then turns the belt at the same time as the motor spools up when the ACC engages it. A resulting spinning motion by the driven pulley starts the movement. The drive pulley spreads apart as the driver applies additional pressure on the gas pedal. The heavyweights found on the inside cause this to occur. The driven pulley comes together and the drive pulley pulls apart which together causes a speed increase. Varying the nature of the gearing of either one of the pulleys will adjust the engagement.


The CVT transmission is one of the most important and interesting elements of UTVs and ATVs. Getting to know your UTV transmission is a great way to increase your general off-road proficiency and will help you address transmission-related issues that could present themselves in the future.

utv transmission

The CVT: A Basic Explanation of Your UTV’s Transmission

UTV Transmission