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AI Project Build: 2019 Alterra 450 4x4


2019 Arctic Cat Alterra 450 4x4

This weekend I took advantage of Arctic Cat’s Green Tag Sales Event and picked up a 2019 Alterra 450 4x4 from Thomas Sno Sports

So, Why a 450? 

I love clean-looking obtainable project builds, and this 450 will be something any of us could wrench together in our garage on a budget, but still garner attention from on-lookers, and enjoy the ride and handling of the mid-size chassis on the trail.

What Are Consumers Buying?

While working in marketing at AC, it was interesting to see the product buying swings, which seemingly have come full circle – generalizing, 500cc ATV’s were popular, then it switched to 700’s, then the big-bore craze (1000cc), then UTVs took over in the utility and performance categories and have been the sales leaders for a decade. Is that changing?

After talking to several dealers and hearing the confirmation from Tom Rowland, ATVs are making a so-called comeback with consumers after taking a proverbial backseat to UTV’s. Midsize units like the 450 and 500 are being sought out again due to their attractive pricing and provided smiles per mile.

Andy Olson, Mark Esala, Brian Harris 

In the very near future, I’ll be sharing an interview with Brian Harris, Director of Engineering – Off Road. (Photo above) Brian is a talented individual and a long time engineering employee at the Thief River Falls, Mn factory. He’s been involved in many projects, including the development of the Wildcat XX. Check back to read his take on the industry.

Until then, let me know what you’re riding. ATV’s, UTV’s…GrassCats? 

I (Kale) have a fondness for the lawn maintenance industry which includes GrassCats and Altoz mowers.

Altoz TRX track zero-turn mowers are about as cool as they come. And some very talented past Arctic Cat employees work for this neighboring manufacturer in Greenbush, MN

Comments (11):

JimR says:
5/11/2020 9:59:00 AM

Currently running an 02 500 Manual with the semi independent rear suspension. Has been a great quad. Would love to go to the Prowler Pro but with they would develop one with the narrower chassis like the Prowler 500. Friend had a 14 Wildcat trail and that machine was so damn much fun! Just a bit to loud for my taste.
Kevin says:
5/11/2020 12:14:00 PM

Lookin forward to seeing the 450 progress. Also interested to see what you did with the GrassCat. I haven't seen one of those in ages. Arctic Cat sure did have their hands in a lot of different things in the 70s.
Tim says:
5/11/2020 12:28:00 PM

Im not surprised on ATVs making a resurgence. We bought a Wildcat 4X to bring two kids. They are now of the age to be able to ride their own ATVs. We sold Wildcat and bought four ATVs (Two Alterra 500s and two 150s) for same price we had invested in the WC4.
Chop says:
5/11/2020 1:07:00 PM

Always wished AC would have come out with a sport quad in 450 class that had same attention to ride/handling/performance as they give the race sleds. Makes sense though since that segment of the market went straight down the crapper.
Dulpher says:
5/11/2020 4:19:00 PM

Since you mentioned lawn mowing, I never heard of Altoz on the East coast. I looked them up and holy crap are those TRX models cool! Showed them to my brother. He owns a landscape company and had heard they are good for mowing hills. I guess you can put tracks on anything!
Chad says:
5/11/2020 5:18:00 PM

An ATV is worthless without a cup holder and a beer cooler.
Glad2BGone says:
5/12/2020 8:34:00 AM

That little Kymco 443(450 H1)engine is a go-getter, for its size. I hope AC has done something with the secondary clutch. They tend to bind up, even at relatively low miles, which leads to belt slippage/failure, and the risk of spitting the rollers out of the primary, etc. If you start hearing a sort of hollow knocking sound, go straight to the secondary. AC was well aware of it, but never seemed to push Kymco to address it, unless it was recently. Looking forward to your build.
Jeff says:
5/12/2020 8:52:00 PM

Ran Honda’s and Polaris for years on the farm. Now have
All cat, two 90’s for the kids, 400 auto, 650 TRV, Wildcat Trail, Wildcat X, and one of the last Prowler 700’s.
Cat forever, sure glad the name came back.

Rick Schafer says:
5/13/2020 8:31:00 AM

2015 Wildcat Sport and 2018 Wildcat XX. Enjoy them both immensely !
'78 tigre' says:
5/15/2020 5:52:00 PM

2014 700 TRV LTD. hoping to add a Prowler Pro to the mix.
ZRXF says:
5/18/2020 8:43:00 AM

2014 xc 450 gettin ready to hit the trails

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