No Strings Attached: Pro Armor Tether Installation
It was a beautiful day and we were out on a perfect hillside taking part in the Rock The RMK ride clinic with Andrew, Evan and Jonathan of Sledcore Ride Clinics. As everyone was making their way across the slope one sled lost its edge and rolled down hill. The rider jumped off prior to the sled rolling but as the sled rolled down hill and came to a stop upside down the rider was sliding down the steep slope toward the sled. To make matters worse the throttle was jammed with snow and the track was spinning like a banshee. The aftermath of this incident left the rider with a shredded jacket and some nasty abrasions on his back and arm. After this incident (and a few more close calls involving rolled sleds and jammed throttles) I began to really see the importance of the tether. The tether is a device that when activated will cut power to the sleds ignition causing the sled to shut off.
When you think of backcountry safety, the things that come to mind are obvious (helmet, vest, beacon, probe, etc.). But one often overlooked, safety device for backcountry riding is the tether. A wide variety of machines come with tethers preinstalled as keys, but these are often rubber that cracks over time and plug with snow. There are endless options when it comes to tethers but Pro-Armour seems to be the top of the pack. This is a handlebar mounted tether and uses a solid clip to open the circuit (allowing the sled to run). The beauty of the Pro-Armour piece is the absence of wearable rubber.
These tethers will last a lifetime. I installed the tether on my 2016 Pro RMK but these instructions will work for any Axys or pro-ride chassis Polaris sled. This tether can also be easily mounted and installed on any normally open ignition, and detailed instructions come with the tether. The Pro-Armour tether also comes in a plug and play model for the Pro RMK, but I opted for the universal version since it was significantly less costly than the plug and play model and it gave me the chance to spend a few more minutes wrenching on the sled.
This install can be done with just a few tools: A ratchet and extension with a T40 bit, electrical tape, 2 male spade connectors, a pair of wire snips, flat screwdriver, wire stripper/crimper, zip ties, and an allen key to fit the bolts for the tether.
Start by removing the side panels by turning the two plastic zeus levers and pulling the rubber strap behind the shock body. Next pull the side panels down and away from the sled and set them aside.
Next, remove the hood by undoing the smaller zeus fittings and unplugging the wiring harness from underneath the hood. The simply lift the hood off and place it somewhere safe.
Then remove the two T40 torx bolts from the top of the airbox and remove the four small plastic clips from the top and front of the box assembly. It’s important to be extremely careful when prying the small plastic clips since they can break easily.
Then you can pull the airbox assembly up and to the side to allow access to the wiring harness underneath.
Once the airbox is out of the way, you can access the bag of wiring behind the steering column.
The side of the bag is velcro, and can be pulled apart and away from the wiring cluster underneath.
This is the plug hidden in the wiring cluster for a tether.
The Pro Armor tether is a stout looking piece that works like a charm.
Next feed the two wires from the bars down to the connector. Be generous with the routing of the wire to give lots of room for movement.
Then trim the two wires from the tether to length.
Then pull the tether wires back up through the steering column and strip the ends.
Crimp on a male spade connector on each wire. These will fit almost perfectly into the underhood connector. I prefer the connectors with the built in heat shrink for this application due to its sealing ability.
Lastly wrap the whole length of the wires with electrical tape to keep the wires together and protected.
Finally time to install some parts. Bolt the tether to the bars in the position you chose earlier while sizing the wiring. I chose the lower part of the bar on my brake side.
Reroute the wiring down the same path you chose earlier when sizing the wires, and plug each spade connector into the outlets on the plug. It doesn’t matter which connector goes into which outlet.
Next, wrap some electrical tape around the connector and the wiring harness to keep it secure and protect it from the elements. Then wrap the wiring bag back around the wiring harness and secure the velcro on the sides to seal the bag.
Lastly, reinstall the airbox, hood and side panels. I also took the extra measure of adding some zip ties around the tether harness to keep it tight to the other wiring from the bars.
And there you have it, a great looking and excellent functioning piece that will be sure to spare you some dangerous situations in the backcountry and may save your sleds engine a time or two.