As many here guessed, the announced Arctic Cat unveiling at Hay Days was the new-for-2012 Arctic Cat Sno Pro 600 ProCross race sled. For the first time since 2004, the Arctic Cat race sled is largely identical to the Arctic Cat sleds the rest of us ride.
As has been the case in recent season, both a cross-country and snocross version will be available.
Judging by the spec’s of the new racer, there will be a few trick items available for ProCross and ProClimb chassis machines in the near future.
The 2012 Sno Pro racer features the same new engineering that defines the ProCross and ProClimb chassis: Tapered tunnel; Arctic Race Suspension with 30-degree A-arm mounting; tall one-piece, forged spindles with ball joints; Arctic Drive System; Torque Control Link and more.
But it’s also a defined race sled, thus receives some competition-focused engineering dedicated to added performance, reduced weight, increased strength and optimized ergonomics.
The Radial Master Cylinder brake system is retained, with the caliper and disc on the driveshaft, but a larger 9/16-in. bore on the master-cylinder and race-spec pads increase braking power, while a machined disc shaves weight.
Likewise, the single bell-crank steering system is retained, but reworked to incorporate the variable steering ratio used on Sno Pro race sleds since 2005.
To reduce weight, twin-sheet plastic construction of items like the fuel tank and air box shaves a few pounds. The XC racer will get a 12-gallon tank while the snocrosser sports a 5-gallon unit, and each is clear for simplified fuel level sighting.
Unlike the standard ProCross/ProClimb models, the racer’s airbox is now the nose cone (with additional area inside the hood) – rather than pulling air from behind the windshield – for a more direct path to the carburetors with cooler air.
The Peak Torque Load (PTL) drive shaft of previous seasons has been replaced with a new Arctic Cat-engineered Torque Overload Sensing bottom “slipper” gear. Both the drive and driven shafts are hollow/tubular (with welded ends) to reduce weight.
The hood shape is identical to standard ProCross/ProClimb models, however, the removable body panels have “grown” to incorporate more the hood, increasing access to the engine bay when removed.
A roughly 2-in. increase in seat height eases the transition from sitting to standing on the Sno Pro, while new “gripper” material improves rider control.
In a strong departure from the previous Sno Pro (intent to eliminate the tendency to swap in fast-chop) the rear suspension on the ’12 model is a race version of the Slide-Action design, complete with Torque Sensing Links, longer front arm, revised geometry and a newly-designed, high-flow Fox remote reservoir rear shock.
In a nod to what most racers spec their sleds with, Arctic Cat added Fox FLOAT X EVOL shocks (with comp/rebound adjustability) to the front suspension.
The same 600R race engine graces the new Sno Pro, including its 40mm Mikuni TM carbs, adjustable timing, V-Force reeds, Exhaust Pipe sensor and Hot Start button, but with a reworked pipe and silencer for the new chassis.
The snocross Sno Pro comes with 15 x 128 x 1.7-in. lug track and C&A skis, while the cross-country version gets the 1.25-in. lug Cobra 2-ply and Arctic Cat skis.
And yes, the Sno Pro is white on the right side, green on the left.
The sled that was unveiled by CatGirl-for-the-day Meisha Johnson had a few prototype parts (like the fuel tank) and was assembled just in time for the event, thus it hasn’t yet hit the scales. Based on my conversation with engineers, the expected weight for the new sled will be a few pounds lighter than last year’s machine.
While there might have been a few disappointed Cat fans at Hay Days who were hoping/expecting a 600 consumer sled, there are a few goodies on the Sno Pro racer that will undoubtedly be available as accessory items in the future, such as the lightweight brake disc; powered-up 9/16-in. master cylinder and race spec pads and Torque Overload Sensing bottom gear.
Better still, with Cat racing the ProCross chassis, there will undoubtedly be more improvements/engineering that will unfold in the coming seasons which, like the days of the ZR, can trickle down to the consumer sleds.
Racing fulfils its maximum potential when it directly influences consumer machines. Judging from what I see with the new Sno Pro 600, success looks inevitable both on and off the track.
John Zanon says:
9/10/2011 11:27:00 PM
And yes, that is the same machine in all the pictures...right side is white and left side is green! A fantastic job by the engineers and everyone involved. "I love it!"
9/10/2011 11:29:00 PM
That is one sweet looking ride, love the green tunnel. I wonder about the durability of the nose mounted air box and no bumper. Cant wait to see it on the race track.
9/10/2011 11:30:00 PM
Joe Rainville says:
9/11/2011 12:09:00 AM
Great job on the artical. Awsome sled, should have put in one for one:>( One note, the 2003 was pretty much the last of the 440 Sno Pro's that used a stock looking tunnel and hood set up. For 2004 the 440 racer was updated to the deep one piece tunnel that look to used until 07. 2004 was the first year of the rider-forward, handle bar through the speedo mount, tall seat sled. (I had an 03 and still have my 05 440)
Thanks for the eye candy!
9/11/2011 2:36:00 AM
Right on, thanks for posting info about the sled. I've been curious about it since this morning. I like that Cat has gone to a production based chassis. I think it will be good for both Cat and the racing industry.
Paul Hein says:
9/11/2011 8:47:00 AM
Excellent article and good pix. You guys made me nervous on the man lift. Do you know OSHA requires you to wear a safety harness ? This from a lifelong "hard hat" wearer. LOL !! I went from the release right to Thomas SnoSports and bought another Procross 50th 1100 na. from Tom. We have to go riding together some time. Nice job !!!
Greg W says:
9/11/2011 9:40:00 AM
What about the 2" higher seat??? That seems like an instant consumer add-on that MANY would buy.
Greg Hallstrom says:
9/11/2011 9:49:00 AM
When are Cat engineers going to get it through their heads that we snowmobilers do not want to practically sit on the ground with our knees way up in the air? Install a taller seat so we can ride our machines like a motocross bike making it easy to transition between sitting and standing. I almost went back to Polaris after buying my '09 Crossfire because the seat was so low. But then I installed a mountain seat from a 2010 HCR and loved it. I plan to do the same on my new XF800 Sno Pro. To put it bluntly, the stock seats are a joke!
9/11/2011 10:34:00 AM
WOW!!!!! THIS IS AWESOME THAT TEAM ARCTIC WILL BE FIELD TESTING THE PROCROSS CHASSIS ALONG WITH US CONSUMERS!!!WATCH CAT BUILD A BETTER DURABLE,REFINED SLED FASTER!! THE POO AND DOO CAMPS WILL BE VERY AFRAID!!!!!!!GREAT JOB ROGER AND KIRK!!!
Jim R says:
9/11/2011 10:44:00 AM
I hope that they offer the lower seat for this ride. Hate sitting up so high. Love the lower seat of the consumer pro cross.
9/11/2011 11:26:00 AM
Love it !!! Now give us the 500 EFI in this chassis and I'll be running to the dealer to trade-in the two 2010 Sno Pro 720s I have now !!
9/11/2011 7:09:00 PM
I like that the race sled matches the consumer sled. I also think Cat has done an excellent job with the seats. Not all drivers want that motocross bike feel on their sled.
Cortland McGraw says:
9/11/2011 8:31:00 PM
Is Joey's brother 6' 10"? Polaris really missed out on his business!
matt gilbert says:
9/12/2011 6:19:00 AM
What a let down. Another cool race sled we can't buy. Why all the hype for that?
Todd Ulschmid says:
9/12/2011 7:16:00 AM
Sweet! It is what it is... It's the coolest race sled to date.
9/12/2011 9:49:00 AM
"Change your life"? How so? Only if you are a racer I suppose.
I love the color scheme, but I expected to see at minimum some new motor tech in there. Bummer.
Is it oil injected at least? If so, I would love to have a cross country version of this for my ride. But, with the price these things would run, you would be much better off getting the 800.
9/12/2011 10:21:00 AM
Thanks for posting these. Sure is a sweet sled. Hope the competition is ready, cat has a pretty good hand this year.
9/12/2011 10:25:00 AM
Anyone who has a site with more pics of beast:-)
9/12/2011 12:15:00 PM
Why they didnt put the race slide action suspension on the consumer sleds. Longer front arm travel would make the sled better for ditch banging. Also weight transfer would be better. Cat did again what they did when they released the Sno Pro 600 in 2007. Perfect sled for the cross-country riding and ditch banging but the race sled engine is too raw and unreliable for every day riding. Trails here in finland are not in very good condition and here the sleds needs almost like the race sleds. PLEASE make next year similar sled but with 800 or 600 consumer motor.
9/12/2011 1:03:00 PM
VERY nice race sled guys. BRAVO!!!
Get my 2013 (real) SnoPro Cross Country 800 powered sled ready for me next season. =-)
Jeff B In Maine
9/12/2011 2:36:00 PM
I'd like to take it for a spin!!!
9/12/2011 2:55:00 PM
I just wish cat would offer a factory shock upgrade on equivilent with the doo xrs. If i could get float evol x's for a $500 factory upcharge i'd go for it. This sled is so close to the consumer model they could off a 800 sno pro R (race) that has the cooler looking side panels, custom graphics, higher seat, and the upgraded suspension. I think this is a hole in their offering that wouldn't require any tooling changes on thier part.
9/12/2011 3:43:00 PM
Now the real question........ does an 800 fit in this one??
Ac rider says:
9/12/2011 4:50:00 PM
Kevin - you could do like I did and go buy an 2012 f800 sno pro. Looks like another reason for not buying
Greg Hallstrom says:
9/12/2011 7:29:00 PM
I am Joey's second cousin not his brother. And, I am only 5'9". But, I do have long legs. And, I have raced motocross bikes and cross country snowmobiles (leaf spring machines even) in my younger and wilder days. Meanwhile, I have already ordered a mountain seat from a 2012 HCR to install on my new XF800 Sno Pro. You can buy the stock seat from me on E-Bay.
How many times do you see Tucker sitting down when he is racing? Also, go on YouTube and you will see a video of Kirk riding an '09 Crossfire with a mountain seat installed on it just like mine. Perhaps you can learn something from him.
I have talked to several Polaris dealers who said they have sold many Rush machines to aging Baby Boomers with back problems. Now, thanks to the "tall-in-the-saddle" riding position of the Rush, those fellows can once again enjoy the sport of snowmobiling.
P.S. I ordered the new kitty to keep Joey gainfully employed. Now, if I could only convince him to offer lutefisk on the menu at the Black Cat restaurant............................................
Scott W says:
9/12/2011 9:59:00 PM
I agree with the race chassis with a consumer engine,look at Doo and they sell a boat load of them....I hope they figure out some things for next year.
Greg Hallstrom says:
9/12/2011 11:14:00 PM
The taller seat is already available. It is called a mountain seat. Go to your local Cat dealer and order one from their parts department to install on your new ProCross. Enjoy the greatly improved ride!
Todd Ulschmid says:
9/13/2011 9:31:00 AM
Doo doesn't use a production 600 mote... It's a racer only motor. Racer ony chassis...Surprisingly, they don't use either of the Etec motors in racing. I think some Iron Dog racers use the 600 Etecs. They drag race the 800 Ptek motor.... Something about the ECU program can't be altered.
Joel Brosseau says:
9/13/2011 3:24:00 PM
I don't think it's any big secret that the OEM's would love their racers to consist of a consumer chassis with braces and a shock package. It only makes sense from a cost and marketing perspective. Dirt bikes have been there for years. Are we there yet? Maybe... we'll have to see how the new SnoPro shakes down this winter. Especiaclly versus the IQR. I say, throw an EFI 6 or 800 in this thing with zero changes otherwise and I'd be all over it. I suspect I'm not alone. The line between race sled and trail sled is getting fuzzier every year and I love it!
Cortland McGraw says:
9/14/2011 8:52:00 AM
I appreciate your response to my wise cracking comments. When you said "we snowmobilers", I took that to mean the typical trail riding consumer, not Tucker racing sno-cross or Kirk on a mountain sled. I am certain I would stand up riding a mountain sled in certain conditions and when I race (cross-country) I stand up sometimes as well. I just consider myself to be one of the "we snowmobilers" that prefers his snowmobile to be like a snowmobile, not a motocross bike. And thank you for the heads up on the seat for sale but I'm hoping the seat from my 50th Anniversary F800 will fit on my new SnoPro 600 Cross Country if I find that new taller seat too tall for my liking on race weekends.
9/14/2011 3:54:00 PM
wouldnt Joey's second cousin know that he doesnt own black cat anymore?
At least that is what I was told, but what the heck do I know, I am not family. :-)
9/14/2011 6:47:00 PM
i bet arctic cat wishes they didn't put a comment section right about now.
Greg Hallstrom says:
9/14/2011 10:57:00 PM
Joey still owns the Black Cat. He just leased it out because he had too many "irons in the fire" (like his new career of racing vintage machines in the I-500).
christer 113/prostock says:
9/15/2011 1:21:00 AM
Hi just one more questipn about the new racesled...
Are there any type of egt gauge or rpm gauge or something on it?
Greg Hallstrom says:
9/29/2011 4:40:00 PM
I actually was referring to the typical trail riding consumer when I said "we snowmobilers" like to sit up high when we ride. Why do you think Ski-Doo and Polaris have been so popular the last few years? It is because the majority of snowmobilers these days prefer the new rider-forward, tall-in-the-saddle riding position that places the riders hips above their knees and their backs straight. Even Yamaha, with their mostly "old school" chassis, have been slowly adding height to their seats the last few years. This will become even more important as the average price of new snowmobiles continues to rise and along with it the average age of the people buying them. If Cat ever expects to become number one again they will have to jump on the bandwagon. Their new ProCross chassis is a step in the right direction as is the 2" taller seat on this racer. Hopefully they continue the trend in the future.
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tim keating says:
11/15/2012 9:58:00 AM
I bought this sled, and its awesome. Trying to find a bumper for it to protect the air box.