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Thought you’d all like to see some of the photos taken at the CATALYST media event held in Thief River Falls, MN. This set of the RIOT 146 is from Brody Boese who owns Broken Arrow Studios. Brody is the smiley guy behind the lens at all the ISOC National Snocross races, Sledhead 24/7 Television and Champ Offroad events. I added some more insight in the captions. Enjoy. -Kale

Roger Skime’s Ranch house provided a great backdrop for the 2024 RIOT 146 on this snowy afternoon. In case you can’t see it, there’s a tall windshield on this RIOT and it works great. 🙂
The rider interface with the console is nicely centered. The center-pull handle works easily for Right or Left hands, tether and key are in easy to reach spot, and my favorite standard feature on all CATALYST models is the helmet shield plug-in, positioned just left of the tether switch.
I shared this video in an earlier post on the CATALYST, but in case you missed it, Ben Langaas, High Performance Engineer, takes us through how to access CATALYST for serviceability. More of Brody’s photos below show some great under hood views.
Brody captured some great photos with all the bodywork removed. I enjoy all the little details about the CATALYST that you probably won’t read about in a brochure. The wiring harness was reduced for unnecessary weight and now has 30% less overall length. Thats around 100ft of wire removed. (The height of a 10 story building)
The CATALYST one-piece front frame structure is created to be tough. Built from ultra-high-strength steel, it is lighter and exceedingly stronger than the competition. With no joints or fasteners, the one-piece design sheds unnecessary weight and possesses the rigidity engineers were striving for that won’t loosen over time. You also get a good look at the simplified laydown steering post which is centered on the platform and attaches to Arctic Cat’s proprietary variable ratio steering. Developed in snocross, the steering effort is light, but has a precise positive ride eliminating bumpsteer and feedback through the handlebars. (Like Power Steering)
Here’s a good shot of Arctic Cat’s ADAPT clutches. The drive belt part #s will change versus 2023 600 models as the Center-to-Center distance has changed. Here you get a glimpse at the Torque Control Link (TCL) shown behind, and between, the drive and driven clutches – which is the link/plate tying together the engine with the jackshaft. A fixed distance between the ADAPT drive and driven clutches are achieved, ultimately improving belt longevity and clutch performance. The TCL is one example of an area on the CATALYST platform utilizing composite materials. Through the use of long-fibre composite technology, the TCL has an incredible strength-to-weight toughness other composites can’t match and improves engine, clutch and belt drive vibration dampening.
On this side we get a look at Arctic Cat’s all-new belt drive system which is a departure from the traditional chaincase. Eliminating the rotating mass and weight of a traditional chaincase allows the CATALYST platform engine to spool up quicker providing better throttle response, instantaneous acceleration and frees up horsepower to transfer it to the snow more efficiently. The belt drive pulleys are aluminum for wear and corrosion resistance and offer several gearing options that can be swapped easily via three common tools. Once your belt tension is set, and no more oil to monitor or change like a chaincase, this is nearly a hands-off service item. I just mentioned Arctic Cat’s patented and proprietary TCL…it speaks volumes to me, that (partially) because of it, Arctic Cat has figured out how to utilize a belt drive on all Trail, Cross-Country, Crossover and Mountain CATALYST models, and not just in the mountains. From this side, you can also get a look at the clear oil tank which I literally enjoy seeing. The cap is right-sized, easy to get at, and easy to fill.
Thank you Brody for the great photos! And go check out Sledhead 24-7’s website and social channels for more CATALYST information.


  1. Hello Kale thanks for the feed of engineering and design details of the Catalyst. My cat family is pumped! I’ve met you a couple times. This past hay days you were handing out vintage black and silver cat heads. I had it sewed onto my jacket. Do you by chance have a couple more of those? I’ll be at the snomo hall of fame dinner in St Germain. Thanks

    • Hi Rick! I think Im sold out of those patches, but Ill take a look as there might be one lurking somewhere. Email me ( your address. If I have one, Ill send it your way and you can owe me an ice cold Coors Light somewhere down the road. 🙂

  2. Great article! As always I learn more here than anywhere else. Really looking forward to having an opportunity to ride one. Thanks again for this wonderful site!

  3. Nice pics! One concern – Hood off – snow ingestion in the box – people will need to cover the opening IF hood needs to come off while it’s snowing.

    • Specific horsepower gains were never mentioned at the event. Given that, I doubt there are any, and if so, its minimal. That said, between the combo of significantly reduced platform weight and efficiency of ADAPT clutches, new belt-drive and freewheeling chassis, some usable horsepower has been freed-up and you’d swear it gained a whole bunch more. Something I never mentioned in my impressions was the uniquely identifiable sound (Rasp) that an Arctic Cat has…Im not sure what it is about this new CATALYST, but that CTEC2 600 at full bark sounds better than ever.

      • Hopefully they lost a few pounds inside the exhaust can ! It Kinda still looks like the heavy suitcase. They been using since 012 ‼️Would be nice to see a 5lbs loss there .

  4. Well done, and I enjoyed the underhood pictures. I just wish there was a high windshield.

    Seems like a minor deal, but having the key down in the center, along with an RCA plug for heated stuff is a nice touch – much more convenient.

    Did you see two different reds on Riots? Every time I look at a Riot, it’s red, no orange, no red, no orange. It seems like there’s actually two colors, but I’ve never seen both at the same time and maybe it’s just lighting or my color blindness.

  5. I like the concept of belt drive but will reserve judgement on its durability for trail sled use until seeing how it works out next season. I like the steel tube bulkhead a lot more than the cast and glued Polaris type.

  6. What is the difference between a ZR and Riot? Is the Riot just a long track trail sled?

    Also does the Catalyst Riot have a 146 or 154 tunnel? My 2020 Riot has a 154 tunnel as they didn’t have other 146 sleds in the lineup yet.

    • The Catalyst Riot gets a 39” ski stance, as opposed to ours (I ride a 2021), which has a 42” stance. Both can be adjusted an inch in or out.

      The rear suspension is also different, with the new Riot getting what I believe is a tweaked version of the “Cross Action” uncoupled skid on ours. The Catalyst ZR’s will get an updated version of the Slide Action coupled rear suspension.

      Like the 600 engine, both rear skids are similar to previous years, but improved. They didn’t just take parts off the shelf for the Catalyst.

      I’m sure Kale can get more detailed than I can.

      I have ridden both (a few weeks ago). When I compare my Riot to the new one, the Catalyst will out-corner it easily. It’s impressive how well corners, in spite of having a narrower front stance. However, the new ZR will leave both of them in the dust on trails.

      I also saw mountain riders make quick work of a meadow on the new Riot, and it looks like it’s going to be better at everything.

  7. A return to a clear oil reservoir, what a novel idea!!
    Who ever designed the procross reservoirs as part of the chaincase cover and everything about the chaincase was just garbage. Hopefully that engineer is long gone.
    This open drive belt is what we should have had years ago.

  8. Great photos even if they were taken by a nerd like Brody the brodozer

    I can attest to the Adapt clutches being buttery smooth on the 600 platform and the fact that it truly does not feel like a 600.

    the only time I really miss my 800 is for long straight line stretches.

  9. this may sound like an odd question but… will the wonderful big ass windshield touch or hit the top of a clamshell when closed? any word on a mid-height sized between the speedometer cover on the RXC and the full on trapper/fisherman size?

    gracias amigo 😉

  10. Any chance that we can see pix of the front frame and bulkhead without any of the claptrap occupying that real estate? The description sounds intriguing but with the engine, exhaust, etc in place ya just can’t see it.

  11. Kale, any word on a heated seat option? My wife is ready to retire her 2013 F1100 LXR with 9,000 miles and don’t want to give up on that option.

  12. For trivia buffs I got a pen pal who has an old Cat Lynx proto frame with a belt drive chain case from about 1980. So Arctic has looked at this before. He’s been trying to find the pieces or pictures so he can restore the sled. Sadly he’s hit a brick wall. If anyone can help, email me. Thank you so much for this website Kale!


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