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16 Things You Need to Know about the 2017 Arctic Cat Snowmobiles


(3/1/2016)

BAM! Arctic Cat unveiled its 2017 line of snowmobiles, comprised of 82 machines that include 19 new models and a long list of new technology, engines and components.

Here’s the lowdown on the 16 essential things we need to know about the 2017 models.

 

One (with a bullet): 180-hp Thunder Cat/9000 Series

2017 Arctic Cat Thundercat. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Military jet! That’s the closest description I can think of for the new 9000-series snowmobiles from Arctic Cat, each featuring the 998cc turbocharged triple from Yamaha.

The companies are saying 180 hp.

I’m saying it’s lag-free, smooth-as-silk, ultra-quiet (no burping waste gate) and utterly intoxicating to experience. The sensation is pure thrust until you’re WAY into the triple digits (I saw 118 mph indicated). The rush of acceleration is awe- and laughter-inducing, whether it’s from a dead-stop or while cruising along at 50 mph.

Compared to the Suzuki turbo twin, the new 998 triple turbo delivers noticeably quicker throttle response; is 10 lbs. lighter; doesn't exhale the horse-like sound from the turbo waste gate; and is both quicker and faster (this last point has been made to me by several engineers who have spent a couple years on the new engine).

Drag racing against the Arctic Cat 8000 ZR (which by all accounts has been the quickest/fastest of the 800/850 models at Snow Shoot), it’s not even close. The Turbo smokes it.

2017 Arctic Cat 9000 Thundercat 998 Turbo

This kind of horsepower isn’t for everyone. But for those who want that kind of power, this sled delivers like no production musclesled I’ve ridden in the past 25 years (and I’ve ridden them all).

Instant legend.

New 2017 snowmobiles available with the 9000 Series Turbo engine: all ZR models, including the new ZR Thundercat; and the XF Cross Trek, XF Cross Country and XF High Country.

 

TWO: Next Generation Bodywork

2017 Arctic Cat body plastic on 9000-Series models

All 2017 9000 models also feature the next generation bodywork for ProCross and ProClimb platforms. Similar to the original bodywork at a quick glance, the new plastic keeps the lineage intact but adds more airflow under the hood AND offers the truly quick and simple tool-free removal of both the side panels and the hood.

Each side panel has two quarter-turn plastic levers that enable quick detach/attach, with no fighting to get tabs into the bellypan.

With the side-panels off, simply unplug the instrument gauge wiring and quarter-turn a couple more fasteners, then slide the hood off.

Total time is less than 30 seconds.

 

 

THREE: SVX Snow Vehicle Evolves

Tucker Hibbert rides the 2017 Arctic Cat SVX 450 Snow Bike.

2017 Arctic Cat SVX 450 Snow Bike.

2017 Arctic Cat SVX 450 Snow Bike.

A team of Arctic Cat and Camso engineers have been BUSY with the rapidly evolving SVX snow bike, as evidenced by the difference in what we see here compared to what Arctic Cat unveiled at Hay Days last September.

At this point in time Arctic Cat is still quite limited in what it's saying about the machine, but there are a few key details they've shared:

"Arctic Cat launched a variety of firsts for the snowmobile industry and enters a new product category with the introduction of the SVX 450 purpose-built snow bike."

"Arctic Cat’s patented SVX 450 is designed to provide an exciting new experience for riders who want the lightest, most affordable vehicle for mountain riding."

"The development of the SVX 450’s revolutionary single-beam skid frame was a collaborative effort between Arctic Cat and Camso – the industry leader in track designs – to be lightweight and agile, and provide traction on the steepest hills and backcountry adventures."

"The front precision-engineered ski complements the rear suspension, providing the maximum amount of flotation in deep snow and accurate handling and control on the trail."

"The powerful 450cc, 4-stroke engine with electronic fuel injection propels the SVX through unchartered snow terrain."

 

FOUR: Aggressive M 8000 Mountain Cat

2017 Arctic Cat M8000 Mountain Cat

Arctic Cat offers an even more aggressive back-country package on the 8000 M line for 2017. Called the Mountain Cat, it features several key changes for improved deep snow performance as well as rider maneuverability and foot placement.

2017 Arctic Cat M8000 Mountain Cat

First, the driveshaft has been lowered by 1.125 in. for increased clearance of the 3-in. lug track while enabling the use of 8-tooth drive sprockets (vs. 7-tooth) compared to the previous design. This results in a flatter track-to-snow approach angle for improved floatability, quicker climbing on top of the snow while accelerating as well as improved overall handling.

2017 Arctic Cat M8000 Mountain Cat

Next, revised running boards are 1.0 in. narrower than previous designs for improved side-hill performance and ease of laying the sled over in deep snow.

2017 Arctic Cat M8000 Mountain Cat

Likewise, a revised bellypan shape allows the rider’s feet to move 2 in. further forward for even greater ergonomic options for riding.

And finally, thinner gauge aluminum on the rear tunnel section work in concert with new cut-outs on the front tunnel section to reduce machine weight by more than 2 lbs. (on top of the 6 lbs. of weight reduction I’ll talk about in a moment).

The Mountain Cat comes in 153- and 162-in. track lengths, and is the top choice for pure powder playing. It joins the other M 8000 packages including the SE (think of it as the base model); Sno Pro, Limited and HCR.

 

FIVE: 4-6 lb weight reduction on M Series and High Country

2017 Arctic Cat M Series snowmobile

Arctic Cat engineers continue to pull weight out of the M Series and High Country models without sacrificing their class-leading durability. For 2017 they pulled a couple pounds out of the FLOAT-ACTION skidframe thanks to lighter rails; 0.75 lbs. via a new Torque Control Link on the engine; 0.5 lbs. courtesy of lighter handlebars; 1.45 lbs. from the ceramic coated muffler (instead of the heat fabric wrap); and 1.25 lbs. from new intake plenum material.

 

SIX: Return of XF Cross Country

2017 Arctic Cat XF Cross Country snowmobile

Yep, Arctic Cat brought back the Cross Country crossover models for 2017 after a XX-years of having gone fishin’. Take a ZR 137-in. platform with the SLIDE-ACTION skidframe and 42-43-in. ski stance, then add: the new 1.75-in. lug Backcountry X track; mountain seat; mountain handlebars; a rear storage bag and rack; and, because they're "Limited" models, the coolest graphic package of the year (yes, that’s my opinion). The result is a cross-over sled that absolutely lights up the trails and deep snow.

I put a couple hundred miles on these machines, primarily on trail but with some good Idaho mountain tree riding for good measure, and I’m here to tell you it’s a hit. Flatland riders are going to love it for trails, bush-wacking and boon-docking.

I’m going to write a dedicated story on these born-again models, because they are superbly executed machines that are going to make a lot of riders very, very happy.

 

SEVEN: New Low-Profiel Grips (Seriously)

2017 Arctic Cat snowmobile grips

New low-profile grip design is 3.7mm smaller diameter for improved comfort and ergonomics. The material is now made primarily of rubber instead of plastic, resulting in a softer grip with enhanced tactile feel.

When I first felt these grips with bare hands, I worried the material and new pattern might be too rough and hard. But that’s definitely NOT the case when you ride with gloves. It might seem crazy, but these grips make a significant impact on the comfort and ergonomics of a sled. They are going on all my previous year Arctic Cat sleds.

Oh, one more thing: they transmit noticeably more heat to your hands via the handlebar heaters. Bonus!

Oh, Part II: The new handlebar design is made from a new alloy steel, weighing 0.5 lbs. less than the previous bars while maintaining strength.

 

EIGHT: Improved Halogen Headlight (Can I Get a Halleluiah!?)

Improved headlight on 2017 Arctic Cat snowmobiles

I say “halleluiah on this one: After wrestling with either an unusable low- or high-beam (depending upon how you aimed your lights) for several years, Arctic Cat has improved the headlights on all ProCross, ProClimb, ProTour and ProUte machines so that both low and high beam halogen light patterns aim where they’re supposed to. Specifically, the high beam pattern has been moved downward by 5 degrees, improving the light pattern and coverage for much improved nighttime riding.

 

NINE: TEAM Rapid Response II Drive Clutch

TEAM Rapid Response II and Rapid Reaction clutches for 2017 Arctic Cat snowmobiles.

On the heels of all-new TEAM clutching across most of the 2016 line comes yet another all-new TEAM Rapid Response II drive clutch on the 9000 models for 2017, and it’s going to rewrite the rules for maintaining consistent performance thanks to its auto-adjusting belt tension design (working in conjunction with the Rapid Reaction driven) that delivers consistent performance without manual adjustments. Yep, an auto/self adjusting system... a bit of the Holy Grail of drivetrain performance.

It also features a 12.5 percent lower effective starting ratio (while maintaining the top ratio) for smoother engagement and reduced belt wear at drive-away speed, with more evenly distributed force for lower belt pressure.

This means no more having to adjust for belt wear; consistent performance and ultra-smooth engagement. It’s only on the 9000 models for now, but I would not be surprised to see it expanded to other models in the coming years. Look for a detailed story on this in the next couple of months.

 

TEN: More FOX QS3 Shocks

FOX QS3 Shocks expand on 2017 Arctic Cat snowmobiles

You could see the writing on the wall for this one: Arctic Cat has included the quick-adjust FOX QS3 shocks on many more models for 2017, including M Series (HCR), ZR RR models; and Cross Country. That’s in addition to the ZR El Tigre and Limited models.

 

ELEVEN: Floating Towards Coil Springs

FOX QS3 Coil-Over shocks on 2017 Arctic Cat snowmobiles

Speaking of shock spec on the 2017 models, it’s interesting to note that for the first time in many years, there are no FOX FLOAT shocks on Arctic Cat trail and (most) crossover sleds. It’s all coil-over shocks for ZRs, Cross Country and CrossTrek. When asked why, Cat engineers talked about the ability of coil-over shocks to deliver more supple performance in light chop/stutter bumps.

Depending upon the model and package, there are Arctic Cat IFP, FOX ZERO, FOX ZERO QS3 and FOX ZERO QS3R with Kashima.

 

TWELVE: ZR 3000 LXR with 700 C-TEC4

2017 Arctic Cat ZR 3000 LXR

The sweet 700cc C-TEC4 4-stroke twin that debuted in Pantera and Bearcat models last season will now also be available as a ZR LXR model in 2017. Smooth, quiet, torquey and ultra-miserly on fuel, this engine makes for a great light performance cruising machine. There will be no speed records set (I saw 60 mph max in ideal conditions), but that’s not the point for anyone interested in this sled.

 

THIRTEEN: Camo Orange Limited Models

2017 Arctic Cat ZR Limited in Orange Camo

For riders who love themselves some camo, the Orange Camo livery on the ZR and M 8000 Limited Models is as bold as it is desirable. Yes it’s camo, but there will be no blending into the background with these machines. They will capture attention!

 

FOURTEEN: LED Headlight2017 Arctic Cat LED headlight on 9000 and RS Edition sleds.

Along with the new bodywork on the 9000 models comes a new LED headlight that looks sweet and, I’m told, delivers significantly greater performance than the halogen system. When the high beam is activated, the low beam also stays on to deliver a light pattern with great range and width. And the stylish LED accent lighting comes on when the key is turned on.

 

FIFTEEN: No New 800 2-Stroke

Suzuki 800 power for Arctic Cat in 2017

It’s safe to say that most of us were expecting a new 800 C-TEC2 engine. When Arctic Cat unveiled the new sleds to journalists last month, Snowmobile GM Brad Darling shared with the crew info that a change in vendor for a certain engine component last spring (one year ago), meant that Arctic Cat needed to go through another full season of validation testing of the new-vendor-supplied part.

As it turns out, testing of that part this winter has shown that it meets all validation protocols. But given the timing of when companies have to order production parts to build engines, Cat would have had to commit to the new engine before testing commenced this winter. Which is a gamble company leadership (smartly) didn’t take.

That means one final year with a tried, true and entirely competitive Suzuki 800 engine that will run with anything in its class and is satisfyingly bulletproof.

I fully acknowledge peoples’ disappointment. Hell, I’m disappointed. But I far prefer another year with the Suzuki engine rather than Cat having gone all-in on the new engine without confirming the newly supplied part.

It was a safe, smart decision on the part of the company.

 

SIXTEEN: Roger Skime-Edition ZR 6000

2017 Arctic Cat Roger Skime Edition ZR 6000

For the first time that I’m aware of in the history of snowmobiling, a company will produce a model commemorating one of its employees.

But the fact is, Roger Skime is more than an employee of Arctic Cat: he’s been its heart and soul. For 55 years, Skime has innovated, pioneered and inspired the company to reach deeper and drive further. It’s why he’s a living legend.

And it’s why Arctic Cat will produce a very limited number of RS Edition ZR 6000 models featuring special graphic livery on the new body plastic (that’s also on the 9000 models), as well as an array of premium components.

There will be a very limited number of these produced, and all orders will be taken as you read this at the Arctic Cat dealer show that’s happening this week in Las Vegas. I have a feeling this will be a prized collector sled for many.

Roger isn’t going anywhere, he’s still at Arctic Cat. But for a very few lucky individuals, there will be a sled to honor the truly exceptional man.

Thanks for reading, more to come!



Comments (111):

S.K.LEPINNET says:
3/1/2016 10:22:00 PM

I'm a mountain sled man! But number sixteen is one of a greatest things I've since 7cZr600
Joe says:
3/1/2016 11:06:00 PM

Will the new led headlight retro to older chassi
taperk600 says:
3/1/2016 11:24:00 PM

Thanks for the insider report on the 17s.

The tribute to Roger Slime is one extremely beautiful gesture !! And I like the fact that it has the new body work too !!

It's nice to hear the true story on the 800 C-tec but I am also one of the few very happy with the ultra-reliable 'Zuke 8.

And nowhere else has anyone mentioned anything about the upgraded "standard" halogen headlight. I was looking for info about retro-fitting the LED to the "old" body.... but this sounds like a perfect way to correct the poor lighting. Wonder if Cat will release this new headlight at a special "upgrade" deal like they have done with other items in the past. Doubtful...but hey, never know.
WiJim says:
3/2/2016 12:06:00 AM

No matter how much horsepower you put in a 4 stroke it will never make a mountain sled (or michigan for that matter). Its going to take something more like a 950 than a 800 to dominate. And width is getting to be as much a factor as weight. And graphics are cute in the showroom but it don't take long to peel them on trees.
Edward Abraham III says:
3/2/2016 1:56:00 AM

Cat should try make ah turbo charger for there zr 3000 c tech 4..for a light weight 4 stroke with at least 110 hp anybody with me
Karl Z. says:
3/2/2016 4:35:00 AM

I can't help but feel that Cat has decided to leave the mountain market for 2017. They basically extended the chaincase to allow 8 tooth drivers on the mountain cat, no 4 stroke turbo option. I've been waiting patiently for them to build an upgraded mountain ready 4 stroke, so it seems my options are now to pick up another holdover to use as a builder platform, or jump back on the 2S bandwagon. Frankly, Polaris and Ski-Doo offer more excitement in the mountain segment. It also appears the SXV snowbike didn't make the web site? I don't want to look at pictures, I want to ride one and see if it's worth my $$$.
Dear Arctic Cat: you will NEVER gain market share in the west without providing something more then BNG. I've been a Cat guy for a long time because of a great dealer, but your lack of interest has me looking elsewhere to spend my hard earned money. I am very disappointed, as I'm sure my local dealer is as well, who primarily sells mountain sleds.
Kevin says:
3/2/2016 6:02:00 AM

Was anything mentioned about a reflash for the 2016 ZR 8000?
I have a 2016 and it drinks gas like crazy and is so slow compared to my buddies 2016 800 etec.
I had stock 1100 turbos both 2012 and 2014 and this is totally dead compared to them.
Hope they will reflash the Ecu for better fuel mileage.
jeff says:
3/2/2016 7:26:00 AM

Ahh, nice on bringing back the T-Cat, but it should have been more menacing in all black.
some of the heavy hp guys may be disappointed as apparently this motor wont handle the major aftermarket hp upgrades that the mighty Suzuki did.
Be very curious to see the actual total sled weight difference on this years 9000 vs last years. It sure looks packed under that hood.

John Sandberg says:
3/2/2016 7:41:00 AM

Joe: The new LED headlight won't retro to previous Cats, but the revised halogen system will. I don't yet know the specific details on it, but will post when I do.

Kevin: I haven't heard anything about a reflash on the the 800. My '16 CrossTrek 800 is getting 11-12 mpg consistently on rides that I'm hammering the throttle, and it's performance is equal or better to any 800s I've run up against this year. But yeah, the Suzuki 800 isn't going to be a high-mpg motor.
SNWPRO says:
3/2/2016 7:55:00 AM

John, curious as to the colors on the Roger Skime sled...are they the same green as last years Limited's? Can't tell if they are a yellow shade or green shade. Your pics look much more green than on Cat's site. This would go for the cross country as well. thanks
george says:
3/2/2016 8:03:00 AM

how can these 800 cats be faster than all 800cc class sleds including the new doo 850? the previous years (up thru 16my) were not even close (out of the crate) in performance to doo, unless you did clutching and mods. So this means to me they pulled a fast one at the snow shoot, probably with a 1 off tuned ecu map.i would like to see improved consistency in clutching and performance.
Jon Nelson says:
3/2/2016 9:13:00 AM

Where is the 2017 zr 4000rr. Dropped? Only 4000 snopro on website without team clutches.
Jon Nelson says:
3/2/2016 9:23:00 AM

P.S. The RS 6000 would be awesome to have but I would be afraid to even ride it because that will be a collector one day!!
Derek Elias says:
3/2/2016 9:54:00 AM

Very nice line-up. I'd take the ZR 6 RS Edition right now. That's one sweet sled man. Good on AC for honouring a true legend to AC team. Overall the refinements and updates are all you need sometime. We don't always need a big new sled, etc. Each and every manufacturer can't please every single rider all the time.

I applaud AC for taking their time and making well rounded decisions to improve their line-up.
82Gunner says:
3/2/2016 10:05:00 AM

Thanks for the first look. Completely agree with Derek after 45 years riding and bleeding green. Quick question/clarification re. 2017 ZR 4000 LXR. Electric start this year?
Bulldog says:
3/2/2016 10:05:00 AM

John, I dont know how you can say the 800 2 stroke is the fastest out there. I have a 2016 El Tigre, my brother has a 2015 El Tigre and 2 other friends have a 13 and 14 800 ZRs. They are all the slowest 800s in our group. The E-Tec's eat them alive and so does the 1 polaris axys in our group. Maybe you guys should try racing a production sled before making stupid claims like this because the ones that come off the line are SLOOOOW on top end. The mid range is fine but they fall flat on thier face after about 80 mph. The ENGINE COMPONENT excuse on the 800 c-tech is also a piss poor excuse. I would rather you tell the truth then make up a lame story like that. What are they doing in that fancy "State-of the Art" engine facility, playing Candy Crush all day? As a 2 stroke guy I am very disappointed and if you like 4 strokes you cant even get the new Thundercat in a 129 or an El Tigre. WTF... the new graphics other then the El Tigre package are butt ugly! Who the hell designs these things? The only new thing you get for 2017 is a headlight that should have been changed back in 2013. Woo-Hoo take my money now I'm so excited!! Meanwhile ski-doo releases a new chassis, motor, clutch and already has the best rear suspension. 2 stroke sales for AC will be terrible this year. I feel bad for the poor dealers trying to sell against the competition who is clearly kicking AC's ass.
Ken says:
3/2/2016 10:18:00 AM

I've been reading a lot of negativity on the Arctic Cat 2017 models. I for one am here to say Cat did an excellent job! I'm really liking the El Tigre with the 137 track. I've read that several wanted this. That Thundercat is really something! I like the idea of the new side panel and hood access on some. I like the new graphics too. I especially like the "Purple" on the Pantera. As far as the, "No new 800", I don't care. I love my XF8000 with the Suzuki motor. It's bullet proof and I don't care about MPG. From what I am reading they are working on it so it does exist. Just have to wait for them to perfect it. Not a deal breaker for me by any means. Most of all, I like that they built a Cat for Mr. Skime. So well deserved for a great man. Thanks Arctic Cat and Mr. Skime. Awesome job!!
GregW says:
3/2/2016 10:19:00 AM

Dumbfounded...

I WASa spring order customer... now I am not. How many years do we have to wait for an 800 that actaully runs right? Why would i drop $15,000 to upgrade my 5-year-old sled when you are offerring NOTHING new? No new 800, no new plastic, no LED lights, no new guage... In the 800 market you are 5 years behind your competition.

Tired of paying MORE for a Cat and getting less...


ericsno says:
3/2/2016 10:24:00 AM

I had a 13 and 14 cat 800 it is not near as fast as my 16 e tec 800, i have 3700 miles on my 16 xrs 800 ,already ordered a 17 ski doo 850 mxzx,cat is going to continue losing buyers,on the trail u see 50 600s and 50 800s for every turbo,i did just purchase a 15 wildcat limited sport special services for 10,800 ,don't spend 16k for a turbo buy a 15 turbo through special services for 5 or 6k or maybe even more off.
Joe K says:
3/2/2016 10:51:00 AM

Arctic Cat has "Dropped the Ball" once again....I laugh at the statement on their facebook page "Our sleds reflect the intensity of our drive"......compared to the competition intensity, CAT Flat Lines!!!!! Wake up, duh.......with my 2013 XF Sno Pro Limited, change a few stickers/wrap, add QS3 shocks for $1500 investment, and wamo I got me self a 2017.....wow Arctic Cat what intensity of your drive....bunch of BS

Dear Arctic Cat: I've been a Cat guy since 1976 (292 lynx 1 lunger), most because of a great dealer, but your lack of interest has me looking elsewhere and just snow check Renegade XRS (company w/real intensity & drive). You can only get kick in the groin so long before you have to say "Uncle"......I am very disappointed, and talking/texting w/my local dealer last night thru midnight so is he along with other dealers around him..........thanks for the lack of "intensity" & now having these dealers loose customers and possibly loose their business. SORRY tooing your own horn w/words on Facebook is not intensity/progress/advancement.....just makes people madder and having to move on to companies who produce technology meeting todays standards.....not keeping a motor (800 suzuki) with the same technology as my push lawn mower!!!

Have fun looking back a few years from now wondering why your broke/loosing money/loosing even more market share/less dealers and on and on.
Bulldog says:
3/2/2016 11:19:00 AM

John Sandberg - Are you telling me you really haven't heard about how slow the 2016 800's are? Log onto Hardcore Sledder and start reading. All we want is for Cat to fess up and tell us what we need to do to make our 800's perform like 800's. I am afraid to race a 600 with mine. Please help!
John Sandberg says:
3/2/2016 11:28:00 AM

SNWPRO: As for the green on the RS-Edition, it is a yellow-shade-of-green rather than darker green. I don't know if it's the same PMS as last year's limited.

Regarding the Suzuki 800 vs. everything in the world: I've seen Cat 800s eat other brand 800s for lunch. And I've seen Cat 800s get beat. The impromptu races that happen at the magazine photo shoots tell me a lot, because all the brands have their stuff there running as best they can (rather than some trail rider who hasn't adjusted belt tension in 1200 miles). All three brands build nice 800s.

Jon Nelson: No 4000RR for 2017, but there is a 4000 Sno Pro (new model) that has reverse but NOT electric start.

Bulldog: The engine component story is true. But everything else is made up just to get you riled up. As for why no 129-in. Thundercat... the track would never stop spinning. I kid you not (but like I said, everything else is made up). But, it is avail in 129 as Limited and RR.
THEREALDEAL says:
3/2/2016 11:32:00 AM

Reading HardcoreSledder is like reading the national enquirer!

Alex says:
3/2/2016 11:58:00 AM

Good to hear the company doesn't treat its end user as a beta tester like they did in 12, I can wait a year for a new mill as my 16 has too few of miles to trade off. Then again when the dealer calls and asks if I need a new one I find it hard to say no.

I love the graphics on the cross country! very cool!

I think the thundercat should have been the traditional black hood with some nifty 90's style neon graphics haha! Just to keep up with the times ya know for the kids!

A very exciting future for the cat fans.
trdehmer says:
3/2/2016 12:13:00 PM

Any word on how the 9000 Turbo is mounted in the sled? TCL still exist? How will engine alignment be in the 2017's compared to previous years? No update in drivetrain - same chaincase design that likes to pop out of reverse and ruin gears it appears?

What about weight? Does the 9000 Turbo (sled as a whole) have an estimated dry/wet weight?
catman says:
3/2/2016 12:42:00 PM

If everyone is honest with themselves, this was kind of a letdown release. I don't think anyone can argue every single motor in the lineup is bulletproof but to not add LED's or something like that to some of the models that are essentially 16's with new graphics will only equal more leftovers. I'm excited to see how sweet the new turbo is, even though the price is not sweet. It seems cat tends to throw all their eggs into one big release one year instead of a trickle of stuff. A new turbo is a big deal but it's a small market compared to the rest of the models. Love Cat, but heck, I though we'd see some more new tech at least. Now I'm just excited to see the leftover prices continue to be amazing!
erisno says:
3/2/2016 12:58:00 PM

How much heavier is the turbo than a 800 ?
Todd Ulschmid says:
3/2/2016 1:06:00 PM

How does the weight of the new Thundercat compare to the Suzuki powered 9000? I've heard "rumors" of being 40-50 lbs lighter?!?! Any specs on weights of the new Thundercat?

Love the new shade of green. When I saw Selby's race sled this season for the first time, I had a feeling we were getting a preview of what was coming.... Horny!
Eric says:
3/2/2016 1:06:00 PM

Bingo on the trail rider who hasn't adjusted the belt or has his track too tight.

I studded my 2015 6000XC RS and never took the time to readjust the track tension. As we all know studding a track will greatly tighten a track. Anyway I don't have heat in my garage and didn't want to use loctite in freezing conditions so off I went.

Great conditions on a RR grade the best I saw was 86mph on a long long pull. That's about 10mph slower than I normally see. So setup means everything.
Catman says:
3/2/2016 1:16:00 PM

I'd agree with everyone on setup is key but I think what some guys are saying is that on the whole regardless of setup, their not seeing the Cat 800 beat the Poo and Doo as much as it should. Because we have to admit that not all the guys riding the Poo and Doo are going to have everything set up perfectly either. Just point this out. I see both sides. I can say I've ridden the new Poo 800 and IMO it's nasty fast.
ericsno says:
3/2/2016 1:21:00 PM

The cat 800 is faster than the axys 800 i had a 2015 axis 800 put 3000 miles on it id say the cat is a better sled than axis, but the 16 e tec is faster than the cat not even close
MK says:
3/2/2016 1:48:00 PM

Could the release of the Doo 850 have anything to do with the new 800 not being released? Finally bring one to the table just to be "dooped" by them, so hold back to make it a few more CC's?

In all honesty with the prices of these things now, I would hate to see how much more they would be with all the new tech everyone wants (or that the competition already has). Pricing is out of control IMO.

The RS is very cool gesture, it is neat to see that for Roger. Thanks for another good write up here on the new iron.

Bulldog says:
3/2/2016 2:48:00 PM

Trust me my track is not too tight (i loosen it until it ratchets on hard take off and then tighten slightly from there) and my belt deflection is perfect. You are not talking to an amateur here. I have about 800 miles on the sled and it had no top end from the get go. After 200 miles I loosened the track and aligned it and also adjusted belt defection to try to get better performance. It's still lucky to see 100 unless you are on an ice covered road with absolutely zero drag. The 2016 800 Cat has no top end and everyone knows it. My dealer is aware of it as the guys who bought 800's from him have all complained to him about it. (It's not just me) Write it off as whatever you want but the 16's are slow. It would be nice to hear from somebody at Cat with an explanation and possibly a fix or a re-flash.

MK - That is what I was getting at. The went oh crap... our brand new motor just became second fiddle and we haven't even released it yet. Pull it back and tell the masses we had a component supply issue. Lol
Snogasm says:
3/2/2016 3:08:00 PM

I think this sport is getting out of control they are pricing them self's out of the market. This sport is getting way to expensive for the sort season we have. I do like the new tech I guess you have to pay to play. Seems Im thinking more and more about it every year is this really worth it or not....
ericsno says:
3/2/2016 3:20:00 PM

There are lots of leftovers people can get a new 15 cat 600 for less than 8k
JimR says:
3/2/2016 3:47:00 PM

There is not a lot of leftovers in Minnesota. Country Cat had 2 015's left and a grand total of 16 sleds as of three days ago. Prices on everything has gone up. Inflation and cost of materials to build them. I don't worry about price anymore. I really want that RS 6000.
Ed P says:
3/2/2016 4:16:00 PM

Wow! Disappointing with graphics as well as no Mountain turbo on Cats website, however why do they show the 9000 series engine on the Mountain page?

Loss of only 6lbs? Durability reasons? Sounds like Yamaha thinking, build a tank to last forever and people will come flocking.... see how that turned out with the Apex mountain and sales of new Poo's out West.

I must say the graphic designers on the 2017 Viper and Sidewinders did an excellent job.

Guess Robby Gordon is taking all the R&D money on Wildcats, they best be making that buggy faster and more reliable or Cats going to have a dismal year.
kevin sebastian says:
3/2/2016 4:30:00 PM

My 2013 xf 800 sp is damn fast! So is my wives 2014 el tigre 6000! Frankly I would rather see Cat wait one more year and get the 800 right than have a 1000 mile puffer like Polaris did for so many seasons.
rick says:
3/2/2016 4:36:00 PM

Well I don't know what to ride anymore I bought a new 2015 z r 6000 last year put 1018 miles on it and I could only get about 83 mph out of it otherwise i liked the sled so I traded it on a spring order 2016 renegade x 800 and it took alot of thinking for me to switch to ski doo its alot faster but it worries me how long its going to stay together with the vibration when idling do all the 800s vibrate so much .so I'm still searching for the perfect sled
Mike F says:
3/2/2016 4:58:00 PM

JimR, a few simple clicks will you show you that there thousands of leftover sleds available, from all manus, in the upper midwest. No snow in the Northeast will put them in the same boat.
Kevin H says:
3/2/2016 5:39:00 PM

Good luck AC with the 2017 line-up. You have some nice sleds in there for sure. It's clear in spite of a lot of feedback encouraging you to do so, giving spring buyers the ability to make some choices with their sled with things like colors, track, windshields, etc... isn't going to happen. However, I believe you are a company with passion and you care and want to get it right. Hopefully the strategies you are following will pay off. Also, here's a shout out to my dealer, Adventure Centre -- thanks for being a great dealer!
Rusty says:
3/2/2016 6:53:00 PM



"Reading HardcoreSledder is like reading the national enquirer!" << Lol! I'll be dammed if that's not the truth! :o

Snogasm said it best.... Great post SG

Paul Hein says:
3/2/2016 9:49:00 PM

I haven't gone to Hardcore Sledder purposely, I can't imagine the amount of whining on there. Same **** different year, "I'm jumping ship to Ski Doo or Polaris" well go ahead if you don't want to ride the best looking most dependable sleds made. Look at the Shoot Out results, you're talking tenths of seconds and mph in some cases. Seems like a small weiner deal to me. I've got 1400 miles on this crappy winter and haven't been asked to race anybody yet, guess my 7000's too scary fast for them !
I've been on Cat since 1969 and I'm staying. ; )
Jamie A says:
3/3/2016 7:24:00 AM

I find the new Thundercat to have missed the mark in terms of looks as well as track choices. It seems that you can at least on the website get a new 9000 in an RR. The red / white / black looks like its from 1993 to me maybe that was the plan. To not offer it in an El Tigre' is beyond me. Give me an all black 137" option with QS3 shocks on all FOUR points! I love the ZR Sno Pro graphics the green / black looks awesome but the non painted tunnel doesn't fly and its missing the QS3 shocks. The closest thing to the sled I would want is the Cross Country LTD 9000 but then your stuck with a 1.75" track, mountain seat and mountain bars. They need a Thundercat in the Cross Country Ltd color scheme.
Kevin Koehler says:
3/3/2016 7:49:00 AM

Paul Hein, I am with you... My brother always said it best, and I think he knows because he's been on Cat since 1973. Here's his exact words. (Whether people like to believe it or not, they are all driving Arctic cats) if you peal the decals off, there all Arctic Cats.
And yes I agree with SG, these sleds are getting to expensive now days but, that's why I take care of the ones I got and run em for 10 years or so. After all it's about getting out and and enjoy your surroundings. And getting out with family and friends. Who really gives a **** whos got the fastest. Because no matter what you got there is always going to be someone out there that's faster.
I do think the 17s look pretty damed nice. And I think that I would love to have that new 9000 for my next sled. I don't need it but, just for self satisfaction! My 14 7000 is more then I need but I enjoy it. Keep up the good work Arctic Cat and thanks for making mine and my wife's winters so enjoyable!
Funny thing about my self is, when I go to watch races the first person I keep an eye out for is, to see if Rodger is there. Very personable guy, and always says how he appreciates that you drive Arctic Cats. Never be another like him in this industry.
And thanks for this web site John. As always, great information! Happy Sledding to all.
Rusty says:
3/3/2016 8:03:00 AM

Well Paul, I don't go there for other reasons, but, I do agree on the brand switching BS always being tossed around over there. It's pathetic IMO.

As far as someone going there to read? Not in my bag of daily "to do's". Actually I'm glad to have so much space between many of the idiots there and myself these days. Life has become so much easier.

Same way with Cat, I no longer go around tooting their horn like years past (sorry Roger Skime, nothing against you sir). I'm so glad I made my choice of last sled to purchase prior to the TCL mounting, articulating bearing jack shaft, cast aluminum oil leaking and bolt boss cracking chain case, inner idler wheel (3604-039) gobbling, tri-hub hoax, belt destroying Chinese made secondary POS, 90 lbs of stuff crammed into a 5 lb space DEBACLE that these overpriced toys (that people still buy) have become.

And now, this new self adjusting belt deflection (if it's what I'm suspecting it is), is nothing more than a basic copy of the system Polaris used on most of their smaller cc'c Sportsman ATV lineup years ago (not very tuneable). WAFJ

Were Cat to ever (truly) get their **** together someday, maybe I'd think of giving the company's product lineup (as a whole) a better review. Until then, they're second rate (not 1st) as far as I'm concerned.

Cat is, and will continue to Price Themselves out of Business if they continue to do as they are currently doing in adding more BS and increasing MSRP yearly. These prices are what most customers complain about when thinking of getting new rides. It makes them decide to stick with what they already have ridden for so long.
Get back to the basics, screw all of the bells and whistles, not everyone wants all of that crap.
ericsno says:
3/3/2016 8:10:00 AM

I think arctic cat had the best ideas up till 2002 after that other than the 700 and 800 engines, they have been chasing ski doo,if u look a the 2003 model rev it took polaris up till 2010 to catch up ,yamaha never did ,i had a 2009 f8 good sled but heavy,they rushed the 2012 pro cross with low quality parts ,i had a 13 and 14 zr 8000 rode them 9000 miles other than the clutch blowing apart at 3k on the 13 very few problems,since 2003 I've only had 2 ski doos but ordered another for 17.
John Sandberg says:
3/3/2016 8:10:00 AM

Ed P: Cat shows the 9000 on the Mountain page of their website because there's a High Country 9000.

Kevin says:
3/3/2016 8:38:00 AM

yes no 800 is def a letdown but the funny thing I see is that the RS sled is actually representative of TWO Arctic Cat employees both Roger Skime and Dennis Zulawski being that the sled is a ZR 6000 RS
Ken says:
3/3/2016 9:01:00 AM

I don't get it. Am I on a racing forum here? I don't understand why people are wining about speed on the Cats. Depending on the type of rider you are, does it really matter that one machine can beat another? This of course would only be if you are in the racing circuit. Are you guys not watching the racing circuit? What brand is winning? Cat of course! Not taking anything away from the drivers either.

My 05 700 Sabercat will do 115 MPH. My 14 XF8000 will do 100 MPH. Does any one really need to go any faster. I say NO!! Don't need to be racing each other all the time. There are too many variables that will effect who wins on that particular day anyway.

This is an expensive sport and I understand it's hard to spend the high dollars for the two to three months that you can use the sled. I accept it because snowmobiling is my passion. I of course will always be riding Cats. They are the best looking and performance sleds out there. (My opinion of course) Not taking anything away from Ski-Doo and Polaris, performance wise, I just think they are and will continue to be ugly.

My point here is just ride, have fun and be safe.
Kevin Koehler says:
3/3/2016 9:22:00 AM

Rusty... That's one good thing in all industries is, that we all have many choices. And we all have to be pleased with the ones we make. And sometimes the one we make isn't going to be the right one. It's the same thing in the auto industry, or anything. I am sure that SD or Pol. Haven't ever built anything that's given any of there customers problems. And if I had those kinda problems as you have had with cat, It would be time to try something different. And for your sake I hope you do get better service out of your next choice, because snowmobiling is suppose to be fun. Best of luck to you.
Seniorfrog81 says:
3/3/2016 9:23:00 AM

Kevin that is the wrong opinion to have.

Two years ago I was the guy on here complaining about the release and all the issues with Cat and how they have fallen behind. I jumped brands after a long time on team green.

My issue with that opinion and the ones many have on here ,are that if you want them to hear you and work harder to reclaim the top spot. You have to throw away your green underwire for a while. Car riders are the MOST brand loyal, no matter what they put out it will be the best. Numbers don't lie and Cat is far from the best snowmobile and brand.

I agree sine 02 they have never caught Doo and are now chasing Polaris. And have cut so many corners to stay relevant they need to back to square 1. The merger rumors are true this company is in trouble, and while they are great people they need to ask so e heavy questions of each other. Have they not had the loyal people that will always argue they are the best, no matter how absurd or weak the argument was, they would be going under now.

Much work to do and I. Am still pulling for them but man it's getting harder
Seniorfrog81 says:
3/3/2016 9:58:00 AM

Sorry for the misspellings it is hard to write that much on a phone??
Bulldog says:
3/3/2016 10:37:00 AM

A-Men SeniorFROG81! I used to be willing to put up with poor build quality because the sleds were flat out fast. Now they dont even have that. The decals get sucked right off the side of my 800 by the competition when they go sailing buy! When you spend 13,000 on a new 800 you expect it to at least be competitive and you buy it for performance and speed. Isn't that the market AC is targeting with that sled?? I am just being honest here and telling it like it is because I hope AC is listening. Please put the top end back in your 800's. I haven't had a fast one since my 2010 CFR 800 HO. That sled would run circles around my 2016 El Tigre.
Rusty says:
3/3/2016 11:24:00 AM

Kevin Koehler... A little FYI HERE...

I do not have issues with my sleds that are time (riding season) consuming, I service all of my own sleds issues (97 ZR440 pipe internal insulation coming loose and blocking stingers tip) was the only issue ever to where my sled made trip to dealer, and that was wty based... The other single issue I've ever had was a bearing on drive axles speedo drive going out in U.P. ...Took care of that as soon as I got back to where I was staying (and still made NYE party '01 into '02).. So no issues on my end really
EDIT: Ooops! Forgot TPS last season.. (Waited until last October to do myself)

Many here know me as "C-note" on the net.. I said what I did earlier as I watch folks have issues with (as mentioned) Pricing and Down Time due to issues Cat tech has "never" heard of, or been alerted to...

A buddy of mine has a 2010 Polaris Dragon Assault RMK 144" with the 800 twin, TWICE.. (2 times) his cranks pto snub has broken off, BOTH TIMES he's received a new engine (complete) and dealer has had it back to him in less than a weeks turnaround time...
As much as I do not love Polaris, that's speaking volumes in my book! (And I'm working service writer/asst. svc mgr at Cat dealer now!)

Theres a guy on a-chat currently (thread: "Blown engine") that is either getting boned by his dealer or Cat (the run-around game wasting time)... When I used to wrench years ago at a Polaris dealer, the answer to something such as whether or not a complete engine were to be supplied for ancatastrophic failure was known within minutes! Not weeks....

I was accused by many in there of running the guy over the coals! If they'd read my first posts bottom closing line, I feel they'd underatand all I was doing (prior where accused of roughing guy up) was asking for some info that hasn't been provided yet..
I have now provided the Cat consumer phone number (in my sig line) for others who feel their dealer may be jerking them around.. These sled prices and time being down for some really simple to answer stuff is costing Cat customers! < That is what I was saying earlier...

Sincerely, C-note
Rusty says:
3/3/2016 11:29:00 AM

"a catastrophic failure"..

Senior frog, mine is done on phone as well.. (Proof read bro') Obviously, I didn't on last post, Lol.
The Cat Kid says:
3/3/2016 11:40:00 AM

First and foremost I will all ways be a Cat guy to the end!! All the Manufacturers have or have had obviously there own issues. We as cat guys have been accustomed to fast and leading technology snowmobiles, but my real concern is the price of these sleds. I paid $ 7200.00 for my 1993 T-cat $5700.00 for my 1997 600ZRT. $ 6500.00 for my 800 ZRT LE and the Most I ever paid for a new sled was $ 8490.00 for a 08 F-1000 Sno Pro. These sleds are getting too expensive for the average working man to purchase. 12K plus for snowmobile is too much. I wish Arctic Cat as well as the others would take heed to this if they have not already done so. Sometimes the power of communication Begins with the art of listening both the Manufacturer as well as the consumer. For you 800 guys I think your real top end speed issue is the 2.86 pitch Arctic went to in 2013 from the 2.52 pitch. Fyi Guys I do not want to start a B session!!
Kevin Koehler says:
3/3/2016 12:27:00 PM

Well... I really do apologize if i offended anyone here. I didn't want to make this a right or wrong situation, or a pissing match. I don't think Cat gets it right and not saying they have. I have had some problems with my wifes 13 1100 LXR, was never left on the trail and was very fortunate to have a good dealer to make it right. I don't have green (underwire /I spell it underwear.) I don't even wear an Arctic Cat suit. I have been snowmobiling, starting back in 68. I have owned Ski-Doo sleds in the past but, and i am not going to go on about my likes and dislikes on those cause i feel its pointless at this point. I thought i was being respectful with what i wrote. And for the people that don't like my opinion, I seriously wish you all the best in your snowmobiling venture. And for the respect for John Sandberg and his great site, I-am out.
kevin sebastian says:
3/3/2016 4:03:00 PM

To all the haters, has anyone ridden the new mountain sleds from cat?? better hear what the western editors are saying ! They LIKE!!!!
Mark H. says:
3/3/2016 4:25:00 PM

I really wish cat would bring their sleds out to the shows like the other brands. I know dealers get some models, but will every dealer take a 9000? And then which version? I am not sure about some of the colors either. I look at my 1993 ZR and it is gorgeous. The old names are used, why not some of the colors? Frankly, I like the Yamaha colors on the turbo better. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so I'm sure some really like the colors. Big question is, do I want to move on from my Z1 Turbo? That's the $16,000 question.
Rusty says:
3/3/2016 6:39:00 PM

Kevin, please don't take my "clarification" (of my situation) post wrong... I was only telling you that I wasn't having bad luck (or any) kind of problems..

Sorry if you took it wrong...

Sincerely, Rusty
G-man says:
3/3/2016 7:07:00 PM

Cross Country 137 is da bomb !!! Give me corner to corner any day and a awesome ride over top end any day, my stock 13 xfire with a 141 will crush any sled in 600ft' on snow.........if you want to go fast find a 04 zr 900 for $2900 and drop one tooth on the top gear and pull 124 mph all day long :)

Cross Country 137 oh yea !!!
Seniorfrog81 says:
3/4/2016 12:53:00 AM

Nothing changes on here. The loyalists are out. One post that's negative and the claws come out.

I used to be one of those people, AC could never do anything wrong types. but got tired of watching my buddies on doo never break down never burn up belts not have to stop at every station and carry strong power through all rpms. You think I enjoyed thier comments even when I jumped brands. Hell no! It sucks I hated to do it, but it was the right thing to do and my responsibility to try and force change. I felt the worst for my dealer. Great guy would even bring me a sled all the way to the UP when things went wrong. But even he is frustrated.

Your all missing my point as well. To constitute change you must create some pain every now and then. While others have chosen to stare at the sky and convince them selves its green I have chosen to make a statement other wise. If you want better sleds for your money then go somewhere else. If your happy being in the 3 hole. Possibly 4 hole (yami has done more innovation on this sled then AC) then by all means keep making excuses and short sited arguments.

Again numbers DONT LIE!!! Why would more people leave team green if they were the baddest fastest most innovative sled out there. Answer that please!
I do see that as a positive thing. Hope it forces change.

Wish it wasn't true. I check 2 sleds a year and sadly again they won't be AC. Wish they were , I really do but I am looking for more right now and want change.

Evidently others on here are ok not being at the top. You can get mad at my comments, and the more fight and argue with reasons and comments to others on here expressing their frustration the more validity there is to the statement, CAT is behind the eight ball. I don't like to admit it as much as others hate the statements but the consumer spend will tell you sadly it's true.
Scott says:
3/4/2016 7:28:00 AM

Sometimes I have a laugh to myself about some of the comments on here. I really do hear each side of the story! I have ridden cats since birth,have 14 cats sitting in my garage and will support my brand to the end! Thats my choice!! I am president of my local snowmobile club, and do everything I can for the sport in my area but it kinda gets to me when people complain about speed and that their sled is "slow"! Just remember their are family's out their enjoying the sport as well, getting their kids out on the trail and getting them into the sport and when you meet a " high baller" on a blind corner on the wrong side of the trail just trying to stay in front of his buddy is not safe for anyone!! Not saying anyone on hear does that but their are people out their that do!!! We all love to Crack the throttle,( trust me I own a 93 T-Cat) but sometimes it gets out of control! Just my 2 cents!! Thanks for a great site John!!!
Nhuskys says:
3/4/2016 8:21:00 AM

With no 4000RR in the lineup, will there be a 4000R XC race sled at Hay Days this year or is the 4000 Sno Pro the only upgrade?
Kevin Koehler says:
3/4/2016 8:36:00 AM

Amen Scott! Iam with you a 100%.
ericsno says:
3/4/2016 8:38:00 AM

For all the people complaining about sled prices i paid 5024 for a indy xcr 600 in 95 u can get a 16 zr 8000 for 8999 ,there are lots of deals on holdovers,i paid 12350 otd for my 17 ski doo 850 mxzx with ice ripper and 3 year warranty.
Bulldog says:
3/4/2016 8:46:00 AM

Scott, I was president of our snowmobile club for 6 years and have 2 small children who ride. I have my own section of trail I put in and take out every year for our club. That has nothing to do with wanting more performance out of my sled. There are places (lakes and flowages) where it is fun to hold it open or race your buddies for bragging rights. Some of that is part of the thrill of snowmobiling for me. If it was just about trail riding with you family there would be no reason to have a 160 horse 800 two stroke or a 180 horse turbo. My cat used to be feared by my buddies when we hit the lake because they knew it was the sled to beat. They would modify clutching and do all kinds of things to try to beat me. Now it is completely the other way around. I'm not even competitive on the lake and it makes me sad. Anybody who disagrees I challenge to take my stock 2016 El Tigre 8000 out on the lake and start racing the competitions stock sleds. You will hang right with them up until about 80 mph and then its see yah later. In my mind the legendary El Tigre (worlds fastest production sled in 1981) deserves better then that.
Phil says:
3/4/2016 8:50:00 AM

Seniorfrog, I respectfully disagree...

We got exactly the change from Arctic Cat everyone on here asked for in 2013-2014. Everyone was complaining about the 2012's coming out too early, not ready, should have tested more, had some updates, etc.

This year Arctic CLEARLY made a statement that they are not going to release something that is not ready by holding the 800 to continue validation. Not willing to sell something that is not ready to line their pockets at the expense of customers. Good on them. That's exactly what customers told them after 2012. I love new tech but not as much as I hate getting drug home. And I cant afford 2 new ones every year, so I need them to last. No desire to stock a case of pistons like my Poo buddies.

As for what they have done:

1) Arctic has the fastest sled. Thundercat. If that's not the fastest, then what is?
2) They have a great 600 motor. I think we all agree on that.
3) They have a great chassis. You may want something new, just to be new. But the procross chassis works. Look at the USXC results or snocross. You don't put up those results if the chassis don't handle.
4) The 800 is a complete rock from a durability standpoint. And is competitive at every drag race I have seen. Fuel, well I run a 6000, and the 800 I ride with frequently is always within less than a gallon of me at the pump. We aren't more that $50 a year apart on fuel and he clearly has more power. It just doesn't seem that bad to me for that to stay another year.

You can call me a loyalist, perhaps I am. Durable product will build more loyalists. And on race day it's always fun to be a Cat guy.

Buddy P says:
3/4/2016 9:51:00 AM

Ive been following this discussion for several days now, it went from a sneek peek at cats lineup to a ***** session in a matter of a few days. To you guys who feel the need to tell everyone that you switched brands, I will say this, I have ridden snowmobiles since 1968, logged thousands of miles, good and bad, there isn't any brand of snowmobiles out there that are immune to a tow rope. Its your choice
Captain says:
3/4/2016 9:57:00 AM

I find it kind of humorous all the people complaining about speed out of the 800 Cats, but with Polaris they cannot make an 800 to hold together. Finally after how many years trying, they MIGHT have it resolved in 2016? Aftermarket companies selling "durability" kits and the Poo faithful buying them like carmel rolls.
Come on guys, wake up. They all build "junk". Its just what "junk" do you want to put up with? A slow 800 or one that doesn't hold together?
The fatal flaw any company can do is to try and please 100% of the people 100% of the time. By accounts it appears Cat is devoted to "getting it right" before releasing the 8xx, but people are blasting them for it.
How about this? 2018 will be a BIG splash. New chassis AND new motor? I think this is why you only saw one model receive the new bodywork this year.
There is lots to be excited about with Cat, but maybe the models that have been vastly improved are not of interest to you, well, so be it.
The touring and utility sleds are the bomb.com.
If I were to buy a sled right now it would either be a new Pantera or a Bearcat. Gone are the days where I care about racing across the lake, but I want comfort and storage.
There were lots of subtle changes to the mountain sleds that I think will make that crowd really happy.
Overall I think its a pretty good roll out. The big brother to the 600 would have been nice to see, but make sure they get it right.
Derek Elias says:
3/4/2016 10:58:00 AM

I'd rather have a sled that is reliable, durable and lasts instead of a new unproven motor, chassis or any other new technology that any manufacturer brings forward.

All my Cat (past/present) sleds have proven to excellent choices whether it be for racing, trail riding or pulling heavy loads and going hundreds of miles up here in Canada's Arctic.
Glen Mallory says:
3/4/2016 11:53:00 AM

17,000 almost for a T-Cat these days. Just for fun, I asked my friends how much the 1971 King Kat 800 sold for when new. Currently their memories are saying it was about 2 grand for the 800 Hirth and 2200 bucks for the Kawasaki 4 banger. Update that to 2016 dollars using an APP on the web, and it comes out to about 13,500 to 14000 in todays money. I do know that a 440 Panther (That's a two up touring wide track in todays buzz words) for 1972 sold for about 1400 to 1500 bucks, depending on bling. Run that through the calculator and it comes just a tick under 9 grand in todays money. Now todays tech would blow any time traveling 1971 riders mind. (A 440 Panther on a good day topped out at 65mph with a tail wind.) But like todays' autos, wow, that initial sticker shock. It makes you think. Just sayin! What do I plan on riding next season? Eh, a restored 1972 Cheetah. Not for the speed. Not for the Bling. Just for the fun of it. Maybe someday I'll go touring 1100 4 stroke IFS. I'd like to. I'll leave the racing to the racers. Been there, done that. Nice article though John.
Seniorfrog81 says:
3/4/2016 1:20:00 PM

Scott
I too snowmobile with my family and yes we are more than careful. And agree there are areas to open up and grab the bar. I ride 800's and don't need to be the fastest, but have an issue with a company that claims that, and isn't. It shows a vision issue with the company. And the T cat is a yami sled in my opinion. Thier motor and thier refinement on the skins

My issue is that these current sleds are not as fun to me as the competitors. I hate to admit it but they are not. AC does have a good front end but the chassis is less nimble and the rear skid needs a redesign. As well as the fit and finish of the ergos, they are not as rider input friendly.

Phil.
Yes I am very lucky to be able to grab two a year. I log about 1900 a year on one and 1300 on the other. Although this year was tough to log miles. Point is I love to ride.

The things I disagree with is 1. I don't buy the 800 argument. This engine has been in the works a long time, and now they have held it so long 2nd and 3rd gen 800 tech is out from competitors while AC is still working on gen 1.

2. Durability for me has been an issue and I am not a wrencher I run stock and am surprised that I have had these issues. It's good to hear you haven't.

3. I hope your right on 18 being the year but I've said maybe next year so much I feel like my Cubs LOL. I hope that they do the same org overhaul soon ( this is the year) LOL.

But for now I will respectfully submit that we will agree to disagree. And I respect the tactfulness of your argument much better than others on here.

Racing is more about the rider at this point and I struggle with that as a argument at all.

But no one can argue that the consumer feels the same as I and that's who can facilitate change.



I would just like if all would look at these comments objectively and this wasn't always a love fest for products that are ok, not great. And yes I have been on other forums and see the same thoughts from the other three brand loyalists.
I will continue argue If they were the best sleds the market would show it.

I hope Phil is right and 18 is the year that CAT begins thier climb back to the top. I will come back but but now is not the time.

John Sandberg says:
3/4/2016 1:38:00 PM

All: I appreciate the comments on here, good and bad. One thing I know for sure is that Arctic Cat listens to us. Of course they don't agree with everything that everyone says, but they listen.

I think it's important for all of us to acknowledge that everyone's mileage may vary, to use a figure of speech.

I read someone's comment that their 2016 800 is slow, won't break 100 mph, and my reaction is "well, my '16 800 is damn fast and busts to 105 on hard pack lake every single time." Just because yours is slow doesn't mean mine is. And vice versa.

(Note about the 800s: there was NO ECU calibration change from '15 to '16. Likewise, baseline models at Arctic Cat showed in testing last spring, and again throughout this winter, that the '16s were as quick/fast as the '15, as it was very deliberate on Cat's part to have equal-to-better performance for the jump to TEAM clutches.)

A few recent comments about Cat focusing on Quality have been spot-on. That's EXACTLY where the engineering focus has gone in recent years, and I for one am grateful for that.

If anyone thinks that the new 9000 is a "Yamaha only" development, you're very much mistaken. That engine, the incorporation of the turbo (and even the design of key components) was a two-company project. Just exactly like the "old" days when a new Suzuki engine came into a sled...that wasn't Suzuki handing an engine on a platter and Cat simply bolting it in. Important design decisions, mapping, calibration...all done by Cat.

Every brand has good stuff, and every brand has problems with some of their stuff. While it pains me a bit to hear people say they switched to another brand, I'm not mad about it nor do I harbor any hard feelings. It's okay! (However I do think it's kinda wonky to come on here, and Arctic Cat-focused site, and try to recruit others to your way of thinking. But, whatever.) I hope that someday you see something from Arctic Cat that makes you come back.

I think we all want new technology every year, and we're seldom completely satisfied because, no matter what, we want more. However, every single time I ride my snowmobile, I'm so completely pumped and grateful for the incredible machine and trails and places to ride. THAT'S what I'm thinking about, not whether my sled is the fastest in the group or whether it has the latest bells/whistles.

Arctic Cat sleds aren't for everyone. Whether you ride one or not, I'm glad you come here and read about the world of Cat. If you love snowmobiles, then you're a friend of mine.
Kevin Koehler says:
3/4/2016 1:52:00 PM

Thank You John! And thanks for all the great imformation that you offer to all of us that enjoy your great site.
Seniorfrog81 says:
3/4/2016 2:05:00 PM

John I will echo your last comment.

This is a small group of enthusiasts that do need to stick together for the love of the sport.

I'm not recruiting just venting frustrations and hoping for change. We can respectfully disagree on the direction of that change. I have chosen my path and feel I need to explain why, and have. I will not change your opinion and neither to you mine. And I plan to come back hopefully soone rather than later.

But these forums are purposely driven to spurn conversation and good debates. Not be one sided, no one will come if things are always 100% A ok, and constantly give the perverbial pat on the back thumbs up stuff. Look at the other market leading brands forums, same discussions, just different brand perspectives.
I will always call a spade a spade like I and some others have on here.
The fact is we all just want better, including you.

This site does do a great job of displaying everyone's passion. Regardless of the side you sit or the continued barbs thrown. The fact is we love snowmobiling.
Thank you for that
Bulldog says:
3/4/2016 2:24:00 PM

John - I would be as happy as a clam if my 2016 El Tigre (129 in track) would hit 105 on a hard packed lake. 96 - 98 is more like it. The ride is great and fit and finish is getting better. I guess I'm just a die hard cat guy that is frustrated that I need to go to the aftermarket to get the kind of speed you seem to be getting stock. I'm pretty sure you would feel the same way as me if your new sled performed like mine but being an "insider" obviously has it's perks! Haha... don't get mad, that was a joke.

Bulldog
kawcat says:
3/4/2016 3:54:00 PM

I think cat did a good job with the new sleds, they got rid of the puzzle fit side panels, fixed the the gap from high to low headlight (though a little slow to fix) and did mostly away with the air shocks (never did work as good as coil unless evo). I think the supplier changed is BS. At least i hope so, I think they seen the new 850 SD and pulled back. Cat likes to be on top in hp so i think we will see a new 900 or close to it. One thing Ive noticed that cat is doing that's not good is raising the price of parts threw the roof! $183 for clutch weights for team clutch?! ridiculous! My Polaris riding brother paid just over $60 for his weights. this must be the one thing they learned from Yamaha.
Remember, the grass is usually greener on the other side do to all of the BS. Polaris has it issues to. I have seen a few cranks on 600 die and they admit they had a crank seal issue on earlier models and we all know about the 800's of past. Belt drive is not been so great either or glued a- arms.
Skidoo. Lightest sled out there but don't hit anything! Chassis is butter, every year have to inform a hand full of people that there sled in for preseason has a bent chassis. Motors are getting better (by them turning up the oil pump), but are the worst for reliability. They seemed to have finally figured out that crank grease is a very bad idea for next year. Not to say cat is the greatest thing in wiring but Doo takes the cake for issues. Anyone help there buddy find the fuse for there tail light yet or replace a relay? hope you never have to work on one to, they are the worst to service.
Yamaha. well you know who builds them now.
This is just my view from being a tech for 18 yrs. But i will stay in camp cat for now. But Polaris seems to be getting better every year. and they understand that most people don't want a $12,000 600 class sled.
Paul Hein says:
3/4/2016 5:13:00 PM

Thanks for the great article John. Just a few more comments. For me snowmobiling isn't a disappointment because my snowmobile doesn't do 100
mph. I enjoy the quickness more than the speed. I've owned and driven
sleds that have gone well over 100. I ran my 03' F7 105mph in 1000' and I saw 113 on the gauge with the same sled. To be honest I never found out if that was the top or not. Maybe I'm getting old ( I am ) but a trail ride with friends and family is more important to me now. To each his own, some of my buddies drive Fords , I drive a Chevy but I'm not pissed at Chevy for not having a military grade aluminum truck ! Which brings up another point, my 2013 Silverado cost me $32,000. A 2016 the same setup is over $50,000 !
O.K. I'm done .
yamahabandit says:
3/4/2016 6:17:00 PM

Thank-you John for once again creating this platform for discussion. I for one do not ride a Cat because its the fastest( I still wish my 800 had a little more on top) or has the latest bling. I ride and continue to ride a Cat because its built close to home and its ,well , a Cat!
Flintstone says:
3/4/2016 6:51:00 PM

First one to grenade the new Yamaha turbo has bragging rights!!!

Cheq40outsider says:
3/4/2016 8:47:00 PM

Thanks John for all the insight on the AC 2017 platforms. I just didn't like how you smack-talked down us AC owners of the 'zook 1100 turbos over the "new" triple-yamacat turbo 9000 variants...not nice...it's a completely different "motored" sled!
Flintstone says:
3/4/2016 9:02:00 PM

I'm not ready to give up my floats, I have 15,000 miles on fox floats now and am very happy. Last sled I had with coils in the front was my 03 f7 sp. don't miss those days
John Sandberg says:
3/4/2016 9:36:00 PM

Cheq40: LOL, no smack-talk meant or implied on the Suzuki Turbo. Great motor, obviously very friendly to aftermarket improvement. The new Turbo...incredible.
Flintstone says:
3/4/2016 10:55:00 PM

I wonder what Arctic cat/Yamaha opinion is of the Polaris axys? To me on the trail that is a sweet heart of a sled. Hopefully it influences the next generation of cat. It certainly should. I'm just speaking from the heart.

Us older riders need technology to keep us in the game!!! Rider forward was a godsend... That's the kind of thinking we need in sled land.

Also, I wish cat would have released a 1000 ho in the pro cross!! That would have been so much fun
Flintsone says:
3/5/2016 12:39:00 AM

Another point of confusion is that cat said a few years ago that they were done with Suzuki. Suzuki is still very much a critical part of the cat family in 2017. Suzuki must be a wonderful company!! Actually I know they are and have been for several decades. Kinda sad that cat bragged it up that they were done but yet here we are, still being blessed with Suzuki power!!
B&K Motorsports says:
3/5/2016 12:43:00 PM

Most of you guys can't handle a z570 much less a 800.
Bob says:
3/5/2016 12:59:00 PM

After reading all the comments on here, just a few observations. Yes, a little dissapointed, but not much. (what earthshaking sleds did Poo release this year?) Cat already has a good line-up and a yearly "massage" makes it even better. Would have liked to seen the L.E.D. headlight and the easy to remove hood found on the Thundercat put on all models. Was keeping the Suzuki 4 stroke non-turbo a good idea? YES!!! They sold a ton of them, great price, fuel efficent and bulletproof! Still in my mind, one of the, if not THE best touring sleds around! Note to Cat, should have not have put the cheaper speedo on it and offered the choice of a 129 track, but for a list price of $9199.00, this is a great sled. We all have to remember a few things, until you have been at these factories, (I was there for the 50th), and really SEE what it takes to build these machines, you kinda walk away with a different attitude with the pricing. Are they cheap, or is this a cheap sport, absoloutlely not, but yet, every year wherever I go in the snowbelt, I see $50,000.00 dollar pick-up trucks pulling $6000.00 trailers and if you see a machine that is older than 3 years, you take a second look! So we are spending the money! And yes, being a Cat site, we tend to ***** about Cat's, but I'm here to tell you, everybody has a glitch here and there. Saw more than a few Doo 800's blown up coming back on the hook as well a few blown Poo's with crank seals, and oh, How's that "glued" chassis working out for ya? Yup, a Doo is lighter, but don't hit a big bump or you might need a visit to an alignment shop. Not bashing here just making a point. As far as the 800 goes, yup, would have liked to seen a "new" one, but if they felt it wasn't ready, well good for them for not taking the chance, because if they did and all you Tucker Hibbert wanna bees bought one and had issues with it, you'd be the first ones on here *****ing about it, so I'd rather be safe than sorry. Just my 2 cents, take it for what it's worth. By the way John, I LOVE THIS SITE!!!! Check it everyday and the articles, are well, beyond amazing!!! Snowmobilers truly are a special breed of people!! OK everybody, stop your *****ing and start planning your trip for next year and post your pictures from this past winter!!! Ride right, ride safe and ride on!!!!!!!!!!
kevin McCrossin says:
3/5/2016 2:42:00 PM

I currently own 3 800 two stroke cats . 2010 was bulletproof and nice all round sled . 2013 was a mess . towed out with first and second gen broken bolts on secondary countless times. 2016zr800 is a little slower up top but has been very reliable and has not taken a belt off. Progress has been made on these sleds!!!
Paul Hein says:
3/5/2016 5:38:00 PM

B&K Motorsports : LOL !! Truer words were never spoken ! Egos get in the way of common sense, ; ) Maybe if everybody still had 340's & 440's there wouldn't be 20 dead in Michigan alone.
jerry says:
3/5/2016 9:22:00 PM

B&K motorsports, you hit it on the head brother. Compared to all the other manufacturers, Cat is small company. i think they have done a pretty damn
fine job of competing with the other guys. There is something to be said for
brand loyalty. I have been on a cat since I was 5 and im 52 now and I wont buy anything else. they are not always the fastest but who really gives a ****? A true cat man will always be there thru thick and thin. Mr Sandberg, I apologize for my profanity, i really enjoy this site, thank you.
Cole Cat says:
3/5/2016 11:51:00 PM

I have a 04 T660 love this sled .It's a little bully in the corners but great in the the straights.Would like to see this motor in a newer chassis. Think that would make a good trail sled.
Erik says:
3/6/2016 9:30:00 AM

Hej John.( Its time for some "Swedish chef muppet" spelling)

Thanks again for keeping me inside my beloved Cat world. Cant find that many errors in the lineup for 2017. should be something for all that have an interest in the love and life of sledding.

Colour and stickers are of interest to make a sled attractive. but it should also just be a base model all green or all black for the self wrapping guys or chose something that cat could supply as an acssesory. I am in deep trouble cause my wife wants a red sled.. Cat of course but red...

Times are changing. Cats legasy to have the biggest engine in an touring sled died in 2013. I was hoping for a new Pantera 9000 turbo 146" with all luxury goodies to match my TZ1-turbo to thrill my nerve but that market is probably second to none.(dead according to sales).

I´m not freezing, comfy as a king and scary fast with 240 SPX hp can cary passager warm in style screaming for life. race with friends and pack it up for longtravel ,campfires and ice fishing. Kind of an PanBearcat on steroides.

Ride more is the key to happiness.

All the best from Sweden.

Mike Mattson says:
3/7/2016 9:42:00 PM

Great looking line of Cat's. That is a very special sled to honor Roger. Nice job once again John.
Russ says:
3/11/2016 10:42:00 PM

Well I have to agree with most on here. Cat is falling behind. I also think a Yamaha/Cat is junk.. IMO..Suzuki or Cat motor only way to Fly. I was raised on Cat sleds (kitty cat)and mini bikes..(climber) I have purple power blood in me. I liked it when Cats were ALL BLACK.. with leopard seats.. That is when Cats where always on Top
And there was more then 3 other snowmobile company's to compete with.. I won't by anything other then Arctic Cat.. I have never been left walking with any of my Cats.. Rolled flipped hit trees still got me home.. I'll be with Cat till the End.. I'm 52 , own a 04 Firecat F7 NIGHTFIRE EFI SNOPRO.. fast enough for me.. You all ride safe.. Make it home to your loved ones.. Live to ride another day. !! God bless you all.. !
Jim W. says:
3/23/2016 8:22:00 PM

Hello, I have a 13 - 800 and a 16 - 600 - I found reasonable expectations from both sleds on a normal trail with lots of snow on a warm day. The 800 was at 106 mph. and the 600 was at 91 mph. Both sleds are ZR Sno Pros. I was satisfied with the results for the those conditions. Thank You.
gbarchives6772 says:
3/26/2016 1:23:00 PM

I think the thing to remember with performance is all makers have a box target to hit in their minds. Each driver can affect that real world performance and so can the dealer on uncrating and set up. It's always been this way. Going back a few years to when my kid was racing drags in old school 340 stock, she was always 10mph faster on top end than I was on the same sled. She weighed barely 110 lbs. I'm north of 250. I made that poor kitty work. LOL Now that's an extreme example but hey, toss in altitude, belt wear, snow conditions, fuel issues, etc. I think you can see why something uncrated and virginal might not run like something at the SnowGoer shootout. Just sayin! I don't think it matters if its vintage or new, if you want that last 5mph, you're going to have to set it up for you, your riding style and your area conditions. No sled out of the box can run max top end for every customers 100% satisfaction. They set them up for a target market box, you need to narrow that target to what YOU want through performance tuning if you want that last 2 or 3% for yourself and how you ride. Hey enjoy Spring! It's now warmer in the garage!
Vic says:
3/27/2016 2:25:00 PM

Fun read,Poo and Doo engines yes,Doo chassis yes,Cat engines and chassis,no problem.I went from a ZR800CC that I still own to a 129 6000 ElTigre,the smile is back on my fast sledding again,the handling,the tossabilty from the smaller engine is sweet,do I wish it would go faster than 88 on the speedo,yes,do I need it no.Unless you are on railroad grade or a lake it's not necessary.I have seen too many deer collisions and the 6000 will smoke anything in the twisty trails.Love the qs3 shocks but that torque arm shock....
stanley madurski says:
4/26/2016 9:12:00 AM

Sorry to see the disappointment on this board. Have NO problem with anyone spending big bucks for today's sleds. I think they are ugly and over priced. I ride 2 99 Thundercats. They may be heavy and not as fast off the line as today's sleds, but, they ride nice and have awesome power. Glad I saved my money.....
Mike F. says:
5/4/2016 3:09:00 PM

Russ you must not have ever owned a yami-cat to call them junk. I have a 2014 ZR-limited 7000 and a 2014 XF-7000 Sno Pro and they have been the best ,most fun, dependable and quickest sleds I have ever had the pleasure to drive. Knocking them down just shows your ignorance of them. Long live the 4 strokes. Liked them so much in fact I ordered the new Thundercat 9000 even if it is a little pricey.
Alex.s says:
6/18/2016 4:50:00 PM

Back to the 2016 zr8000 vs 16 800 etec. First new cat I ever bought. I'm sad to say but should have bought a skidoo. At least I could have passed a gas station. My f7 is faster and better on fuel. My buddies 800 etec not only is faster but fuel mileage is incredible even in breakin mode. Keep in mind both these sleds only had 200 miles or so on them don't want to hear the deflection was off or what not. Even my reverse wouldn't work on the cat without squealing the belt that's a good impression at the gas station I can't pass. I even had to tell the dealer how to fix the problem after the first time being there. The helix part for reverse is not deep enough to lock reverse incase someone eles is having that problem. After this next season i am switching teams after 20 years of cat. At least you know your getting your money's worth.
SERGIO says:
10/4/2016 4:47:00 PM

I'VE HAD EVERY THUNDERCAT SINCE THEY CAME OUT IN 1993 MY LAST T-CAT RAN 119 ON RADAR NOT BAD FOR STOCK T-CAT THE 1998 WAS FASTER 124 .1999 T-CAT HAD 13200 MILES BEFORE ENGINE REBUILD.Since 2006 i haven't been on a sled since my back injury.People complaining about prices i paid 10,200 canadian for my 1993 t-cat in 2002 t-cat 13600 it's relative with the increase in wages.But it's sure nice to see reliability like i had with my cats.When they have issues with clutches motors etc. their should be factory recalls like they have on cars.I'm dissappointed cat doesn't seem to care of customer satisfaction like the past maybe they want to get out of the snowmobile business all together .CATMAN FROM CANADA
Jeff Brooks says:
10/8/2016 10:05:00 PM

Seriously ! Turbo your 800 cat and there is nothing not even close to the power they make. I have owned cats since 1972 and have never blown a motor. Jlo Kawasaki Suzuki whatever . I ride the mountains in colorado and no manufactor will build the power they will with a Boondockers turbo set up. None. Just hope when the time comes there motor will be the same. Own there four wheelers also and had no problems yet.
El cathater says:
12/12/2016 10:43:00 AM

Seems to me that cats quality control is all over the place. I've personally had three cats. Old ass panther 440 center seal went after 50 miles. Granted it sat for a long time but so did our excited and phazers. Had a 1991 el Tigre 530 it never ran right but it was abused by the previous owners and the other sled was a 02 mountain cat 800 that had 2200 miles when I got it. It blew up clutch side piston and cylinder @3100 miles. The new cat sleds look wonderful to me i like their style and are beefy enough your not scared to ride em but all the negativity on this form scares me away from a straight cat. I personally think the new yamcats are one hell of a hybrid! Hd motor in a hd chassis. Flame on I don't really care about opinions I want facts I'll ride em and see for myself eventually . I don't like the nytro it requires a lot of user input same with the phazer 2012 pro rmk is a nice ride 2016 ski doo summit 800 XP is a snow slayer and easy af to ride in the steep and deep and anywhere else you take it. I have not rode a pro cross proclimb cat or yamcat but it looks good on paper. Anyone have Any negatives other than weight on the cat chassis ? Btw my current sled is a phazer mtx 144 and it's a blast to ride if the snow isn't too deep and all fluff otherwise it's a day off digging instead of whipping and zipping.
thinksnow$1 says:
12/24/2016 3:35:00 PM

Any comparison opinions about the 2017 AC 9000 Crosstrek 137 and Thundercat? Looking into both. thanks!
chris says:
1/12/2017 10:59:00 AM

help 2012 arctic cat XF1100 turbo 141 inch track which I own or 2017 zr8000 limited 137. speed, weight, whats you opinion helpppppp.
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