FOCUSING ON A CENTRALIZED DESIGN
When developing the CATALYST platform, Arctic Cat engineers kept stringent focus on Centralized Designs to ensure the high-performance platform reacts quicker to the rider’s input and body english. What’s that mean for us? We get a platform requiring less effort to corner, carve and throw around – Ultimately improving our rider skills. Hooray! The below information is a broader look at the overall CATALYST platform. In the coming weeks, Ill dig down further into each of these categories to share details. -Kale
So, where did engineers focus attention?
- Having a low center of gravity is key and they focused on starting down low in the middle and placing heavier components in a centralized location with lighter components on the exterior.
- At the heart of the narrow, tightly compact and completely balanced platform, features Arctic Cat’s exclusive laydown engine design, the C-TEC2 600, 2-stroke. This is one of my favorite engines and its 125-class horsepower is highly reliable. More details will come on all the engine changes, but the compact design is lighter with stainless-steel exhaust and the airbox is located up front.
- Introduced on 2022 models, the benefits of the ADAPT CVT System enhance the lightweight centralized design focus of the CATALYST platform. Lighter than previous CVT systems before it, ADAPT has a 5% reduction in inertia and its compact width is perfectly paired to the all-new body panels which are narrower and sleeker than the Procross GEN II bodywork.
- The CATALYST platform is loaded with attention to rider balance details the majority of us don’t think about like gas tanks and the fuel they hold. Engineers spent time optimizing the shape of the 10.4-gallon gas tank to keep weight centralized and enhance rider ergonomics, but they went many steps further to maintain constant fuel pick-up and equal out platform balance by decreasing the amount of fuel sloshing for a variety of riding styles and applications.
When you think about all the quick accelerations, firm braking and ride angles a snowmobile is subjected to both on the trail, and off, a traditional flat bottom fuel tank is sloshing its gasoline from side-to-side and front-to-back thousands of times with a fair amount of force. I love their attention to these details!
DRASTIC WEIGHT REDUCTION
IMO, I don’t see any detractors of having a lightweight snowmobile unless it ultimately takes away from durability. Arctic Cat has done a great job of reducing incremental weight over the timespan of their ProCross/ProClimb trail and mountain platforms, and seemingly figured out a near perfect mix of lightweight vs sacrificing durability. That said, they kept weight loss at the forefront of the CATALYST design process resulting in a drastic 10% weight reduction for new Trail, Crossover and Mountain models.
Where’d they lose it?
- The reduction was accomplished using less plastics and parts, lighter seats, a new intake configuration (with a better seal), use of the ADAPT CVT system, shorter and lighter weight heat exchanger and a new belt drive system with less than half the components of the current chaincase system. The engine is also mounted with a long carbon fiber composite Torque Control Link (TCL) with integrated clutch guard which decreases weight and improves engine vibration dampening.
- We’ve already talked about CATALYST’s new low-thermal conductive running boards — a first in the industry — They are lightweight, strong and durable, but the best part, the material prevents snow from sticking, to minimize additional in-the-field ride weight where it matters most.
DURABLE AND EASY SERVICING POINTS
An ultra-high-strength steel, one-piece chassis with an aluminum tunnel provides extra support and durability where needed without being bulky. The improved weld joints on the chassis mitigate stress, providing a strong, more efficient design that is easier to service.
The new drive system is belt-driven — unlike the current chaincase — resulting in fewer parts for significant weight reduction, easier serviceability and maintenance, and enhanced performance. It features an adjustable center distance for multiple gearing options and allows for easy belt replacement.
The all-new bodywork panels utilize a toolless design making them easy to remove to access key components such as belts, oil reservoir and coolant. The all-new lightweight seats are easily removeable with a quarter turn to access the battery location quickly.
- CATALYST’s ergonomics make the rider one with the sled. Its narrower design, along with the optimized shape of the gas tank, give the rider more area to maneuver in the rider cockpit. The rider will appreciate a new recoil rope centered in the middle of the snowmobile, with revised routing for easier pulling via either hand/arm, and is prone to less rope wear.
- The running board design decreases vibration to the rider’s feet.
- The ergonomics coupled with the centralized design makes for an agile, easily maneuverable sled minimizing rider fatigue and gives the rider more confidence and control.
- The aggressive exterior leads state-of-the-art, cutting-edge snowmobile design with an agile, sleek, aerodynamic styling featuring a signature LED headlight setting it apart from the competition much like the auto industry.
- Sliding lap joints were used where possible to provide seamless transitions in bodywork for better fit, finish and appearance.
OPTIMIZED SUSPENSION AND STEERING FOR DIFFERENT RIDING STYLES
- The suspension and steering focus between models differentiates where needed but keeps commonality where it makes sense, providing a platform that works for all model segments.
- The Trail and Crossover models have the belt case (remember, no more chaincase) rotated rearward, providing added ground clearance and allowing the front and rear suspension to move rearward for optimal sled balance. The front suspension has geometry changes including upper A-arms that have been lowered and shortened, new lightweight, yet more durable, ball joints and restyled spindles combining to give the rider a more position-reactive snowmobile that hugs the trail while skis stay flat in the corners. Adopted from the snocross track, the Trail and Crossover CATALYST platform models have a ratio steering rack system that feels like power steering, providing a light, but tight feel.
- The Mountain platform has a driver position optimized for floatation and provides a lower center of gravity for improved climbing, carving and descents. With its centralized and constant center of gravity, the platform works in tandem with the rider instead of the rider muscling the sled. The design provides less weight shift to-and-from the skis for a more enjoyable, smooth and agile ride experience. A 36-inch wide ski stance features a longer lower spindle and shortened top of spindle for an increased lower A-arm clearance from the bottom of the ski. This new design provides increased belly pan and track driver clearance through the rough terrain commonly found in the backcountry.
- The mountain platform features centerline vertical steering and was made possible by integrating it with the new intake and exhaust positions within the front portion of the chassis. The new spindle steering geometry, paired with a vertical steering system, and adjustable ski stance reduces steering effort which creates a less fatiguing, better ride experience in the backcountry.
- The CATALYST platform utilizes an all-new heat exchanger design with an optimized fin profile to provide additional surface area to improve cooling performance in low snow conditions.
- The trail and crossover models feature an all-new snow flap design enhancing cooling performance for any trail condition.