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Inside Look: 2022 Blast XR Right-Sized Crossover


(3/10/2021)

I've gotten to spend a little bit of time behind the bars of the new 2022 Blast XR and Im nearly certain Ill be spring ordering one through Snowmageddon.

If youve been following the site this season, youll know I purchased a 2021 Blast ZR. Our family has fallen in love with that snowmobile. The fun factor is off the charts, engine is quick, its lightweight and I can't say enough about having reverse and turn-key electric start.

The new Blast XR has all the same attributes, but improves upon some of the ZRs shortcomings if you want to play in deeper snow, and want to bridge the trail bumps better. That's all thanks to the longer 146-in. skidframe and deeper lug (1.6-in.) track.

I upgraded to the Blast ZR after selling our minty Z440 Sno Pro - An amazing snowmobile in its own right, but ours was a cross-country race sled with spot-on clutching and a precision-tuned starting nuance for racing no family member could understand but me. (If its cold, part choke, pull once, flip choke off, pull again, itll pop, but pull again, stand on your head, do a cartwheel...sigh)

Try explaining that to a kid over the phone when you're traveling and they wanna ride. The ol gal left my kids stranded one too many times after flipping the choke when it was warm and flooding it. THIS is why I sing the praises of the Blasts electric start and engine reverse. No matter what age, or experience, riders in our family started the Blast without explanation, and not one call this winter from anyone stranded on the trail...nor did I worry! Hooray! Money well spent.  

Lets take a look at the XR's details...  

2022 Blast XR Right-Sized Crossover with 146-in skidframe

New for 2022, Blast announces a new revolution in 50/50 trail crossover mid-size performance - Blast XR 4000 - a right-sized package built to turn trail and legal backcountry riding into your playground.

CTEC2 397cc single-cylinder with DSI and 65-class horsepower 

Centered around the newest C-TEC2 engine from Arctic Cat - a 397cc single-cylinder two-stroke with 65-class horsepower and Electronic Fuel Injection, the XR adds deep snow engineering DNA straight from the Blast LT. 

CVTech Clutches on Blast 

Starting with the proven Arctic Drive System, power delivery via CVTech clutches is quick and precise for smile-inducing fun factor. When you gas-up the 11.7 gallon fuel tank for your adventure, you’ll quickly realize how far your backcountry or trail ride will take you.

The C-TEC2 engine performance is matched by a lightweight chassis delivering an ultra-rigid platform and optimal riding position Arctic Cat perfected. Up front, the lightweight AMS suspension has a 37.5-38.5-in. adjustable ski stance working in harmony with the chassis offering 7.2-in. of bump-eating travel and paired with Trail-6 skis. 

146-in rear skidframe 

Directly underneath the rear of the chassis, the 146-in. suspension provides all you’ll ever need to traverse trail and deep snow with 12.5-in. of travel, adjustable torsion springs, a 15-in. wide Cobra track and 1.6-in. lug.

The right-sized seat height and premium handlebars with hooked bar ends provide ergonomic comfort and a precision input at every corner.

Headlight, Handwarmers, Thumb warmer and Engine Reverse are all operated via dash mounted switches

Dash mounted rocker controls are easy to use when switching on hand/thumb warmers, headlights or engaging engine reverse. The digital instrument gauge transmits all info brightly and magnetic tether switch is standard.

The Blast ZR/XR/M all come standard with 4-in. race-height windshield  

The performance-inspired bodywork shares a 4-in. race-height windshield and comes in Gold with a commemorative 60thAnniversary badge.

Blast XR shown with Trail Blazer Accessory Kit 

Snowmageddon Ordering and Trail Blazer Accessory Kit

During the Snowmageddon Order period you’ll get your best deal of the season. The Blast XR 4000 is available in Gold with an Accessory Kit option that includes a ProClimb front bumper, 15.5-in. windshield and mid-size rear storage trail pack.



Comments (22):

Sam Landers says:
3/10/2021 10:08:00 AM

My dad used to tell me if you can start it, you can ride it. Thats great an all, but Im living in what you experienced Kale, and for same reasons Im looking at Blast ZR. Winter is short. Id rather have my kids riding and growing up with that memory versus f'ing around trying to get our snowmobiles started. Hahaha. Thanks for sharing. Anyone interested in a couple old Jags?
jackson says:
3/10/2021 10:17:00 AM

Somebody please tell Textron that Arctic Cat is Green Black and Purple. These other colors they are adding are just ridiculous.
Puss600 says:
3/10/2021 10:52:00 AM

Yup. the gray is hideous!!! Also it would be much safer to have the hand and thumb warmer controls on the handle bars. When i tried one you pretty much had to stop to safely change the settings.
JimR says:
3/10/2021 11:07:00 AM

Looks good! I love the gray on this sled. Puss, Not hard at all to switch from the dash while riding. Most older sleds were that way. More expensive to put on the handlebars.
Dulpher says:
3/10/2021 11:25:00 AM

No matter what color AC puts on sleds, onlookers will always b!tch. Apparently nobody remembers when Cat put green and purple on the 2019 ZRs.B!tching then too.
Greg says:
3/10/2021 12:55:00 PM

I want to get one,great sled to put a novice on.
We have family and friends that have never ridden before and we always put them on our oldest smallest cc machine,great upgrade...ha ha
IH says:
3/10/2021 1:53:00 PM

I have no problem with the colours (I think it looks sharp with the accessory kit) or the heated grip switch being on the console. The only two things I would change would be to have a hi-lo-off switch for the grips and the hi-lo beam control moved to the bars (to me this is a safety issue, the ski-doo sport line has the same problem).
Dagger says:
3/10/2021 2:15:00 PM

I honestly can't read through these comments anymore listening to grown men complaining about colors. Since when did a neutral color like gray become hideous? You guys must spend your weekends at the mall cosmetic counter picking out the perfect shade of lipstick too. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Or change it...that's why paint and powder coat was invented. If Cat only offered green and black sleds for 60 years, people would complain about lack of color choices. Cat gives them new colors and people whine that cat should be green and black.
Just stop.
The Swede. says:
3/10/2021 3:19:00 PM

I hate the
"Industrial/primer GREY"
color on all Snowmobiles !!!
The Swede. says:
3/10/2021 3:24:00 PM

Give us a:
"ZR-400 EXT Sno-Pro"
in Arctic Cat/Kawasaki Ninja GREEN.
( 146" track and better shocks )
Svenny says:
3/10/2021 4:52:00 PM

If only there was a way to customize a sled to your liking? Oh yeah, maybe a sled wrap from Blown Concepts or Action Graphics to have a true one of a kind look.
Jeff says:
3/10/2021 6:17:00 PM

Be interesting to try this. To me a 146 track with 65 hp is not a good ratio, Is it enough power to turn that much rubber?
Seems odd they didn’t try a 136ish track.
And I agree with Dagger as much as I love the black and green it’s nice to have some different ones in the mix.
Kale says:
3/11/2021 7:10:00 AM

Colors - Gray is a color you either love or hate. Im assuming AC uses it on the bodywork to keep costs down, and its a relatively neutral color to add a variety of different complementing colors year over year. As evidenced in the Blast line-up...green, orange, red, blue and even gold work with a gray backdrop. Personally, I look past what is presented to me in any stock vehicle because I want to make it my own. To Svenny's point, most times that involves me coming up with my own graphic schemes from shops like Blown Concepts.

Controls - After owning a Blast ZR for a season, Ive never felt the controls being on the console were unsafe. The hand and thumb warmer choices are either On or Off, and when you want to switch to reverse, you are stopped anyway.

The Swede - The XR is what you describe. Again, you'd have to design the color scheme yourself. I shared some information last week on tuning the Blast suspension. In it, there were options for different shocks.

Jeff - I urge you to find a dealer with an XR offering demo rides (snow dependent) AC introduced the Blast in 2021 in the LT chassis which had the same 146-in. skidframe as the new XR. Both are equal in performance and perform quite well despite the longer tracks.
Robert Klapperich says:
3/11/2021 8:26:00 AM

I like this new XR, and am neutral on neutral colors. Cat appears to be doubling down on the Blast, with additional models, and that is a good sign.

Having ridden the Blast ZR and M, they are a lot of fun. During the demo rides I attended, grown men couldn't stop talking about how much fun they were to ride.

My wife rode our new Riot for about 2 miles this winter and demanded to switch back to her Polaris. Why? Steering effort too heavy, handlebar position too high and way too much power for her style of riding and the rock-hard trails we were on. Sounds like a good candidate for a Blast.....

Maybe there will be some in-season demos this next year.


Kyle T says:
3/11/2021 1:03:00 PM

Dagger, most guys don't want to take their brand new sled all apart to paint or powder coat the gray pieces. Also, wraps add to the price of the machine, and in my opinion, look hokey.
artdcat says:
3/12/2021 8:27:00 PM

Yup, that industrial grey makes a sled slow, handle poorly and ride rough. I agree, AC should change the color scheme and forget about the rest of what makes a sled work.
Gone Cat’n says:
3/13/2021 7:32:00 PM

The blast is a home run. I purchased a M Blast for ny son and I cannot say enough about the handling and performance of this sled. He is 9 years old and the alpha suspension allows him minimal rider input to make it turn. The steering is very light and the engine has nice torque and is responsive for a single cylinder. I was actually surprised how well this sled was on groomed trails. Although I am tremendously disappointed with cat in the last couple of years since textron ( I have a large vintage collection and have ridden cats for over 40 years), this is a nice sled. I hope they can turn things around and quickly.
Kyle T says:
3/15/2021 7:17:00 AM

artdcat, let's see how the Venoms sell compared to the Blasts...
artdcat says:
3/15/2021 2:51:00 PM

Kyle T- Yamaha's Venom is available in "frost silver/team yamaha blue" while the Blast has 4 color combinations. I prefer the Blast ZR clad in Arctic Cat Green/black/industrial grey. The Blast is also $354 less than the Yamaha. I can buy a lot of gas for $354. We'll see what sells the most I guess.

Polaris uses is lot of industrial grey, Ski-doo has a pile of "army brown" and gun metal grey or whatever, just a whole lot of ugly.

Arctic's stylists are up on the fashion colors, trying to attract new riders by using colors that are "now." New riders to this sport/industry don't give a crap about our history- black, purple or green.
artdcat says:
3/15/2021 5:01:00 PM

Blast in 5 colors, not 4.
Frosty says:
3/15/2021 7:37:00 PM

Anybody remember the 73 Ski Doo Silver Bullet? Wonder what would have happened if comment boards had existed back then. Ski Doo is still running strong and the color was a one year wonder.
Gbarchives says:
3/30/2021 12:31:00 PM

Wow this sites got too many angry people venting ignorance. If new riders don’t care about history, tell that to the young folks buying Harleys. Tell that to the folks buying Mustangs. Tell that to the young folks buying Broncos and Jeep’s, And tell that to the long time Cat riders like me. Riding black since 1967 and I have helped restore dozens of old Cats. Arctic is more than trendy graphics, it’s about the soul of a machine riding through winter, “Feeling the blood rush through your veins” as Edgar Hetteen said. If this is the new generation of rider, I’m out.

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