Yowza is there a lot of new stuff for Arctic Cat’s 2014 line of snowmobiles!
You’ll get more (and more detailed) information here in the coming days, but I thought some of you might like an overview of the significant changes.
Think of this as the Cliff’s Notes version of what’s new for Arctic Cat’s 2014 snowmobile line.
The iconic “ZR” name is back, replacing the F moniker on the 129-in. track models (except for the F5 and F570).
So too has “el tigre” reentered the Arctic Cat arsenal for 2014 on the all-new ZR6000 with the 600 C-TEC2 engine (more on this later).
And speaking of engines, Arctic Cat has reprised the _000-Series model/engine designation similar to the days of the original el tigres. The name change aims to categorize models according to engine performance. Here’s the code:
5000 = 1100 4-stroke naturally-aspirated Suzuki twin
6000 = all-new 600cc C-TEC2 2-stroke twin
7000 = 1049cc 4-stroke Yamaha triple
8000 = 800 H.O. 2-stroke Suzuki twin
9000 = 1100 Turbo 4-stroke Suzuki twin
Two New Engines
For all of us who have been waiting for a clean 600 2-stroke, our day has come. The new 6000-Series C-TEC2 with Dual-Stage Injection is the first Arctic Cat-designed/built snowmobile engine. I spent several of the past few days riding this baby… it’s an absolute sweetheart of an engine. Strong, clean, light… it’s exactly what we needed. I’ll have more to say about it in the coming days.
Next up was last week’s big news… the addition of the Yamaha 3-cylinder 4-stroke engine. As people who have experience with this engine keep saying, it’s an outstanding snowmobile engine. I like it better than any other Arctic Cat 4-stroke powerplant because of its instant throttle response, midrange and power. Several days spent riding the new Arctic Cats with this 7000-Series engine confirmed what I’d hoped/expected: this engine in the ProCross chassis sets a new standard the kind of rippin’ performance I prefer. (More details on my ride impressions in a couple days.)
New 137-in. XF Models
Arctic Cat now has essentially two categories of XF Models: the previous 141-in. track/skidframe and the all-new 137-in. versions. They are different in two key ways.
The new 137 models feature a FasTrack SLIDE-ACTION skidframe with torsion springs (compared to the non-SLIDE-ACTION, no-torsion-spring 141-in. skid).
Also, the 137-in. models feature a Ripsaw II track compared with a Cobra on the 141-in. models.
The XF 137 models are going to pose a serious dilemma for riders who were previously only considering a ZR/129-in. track. They get around the corners and through the bumps very well (thanks to the SLIDE-ACTION front arm). It’s definitely the ticket if you ride a lot of ditch or fast/wide-open trails.
New Seat Shape
My butt is pleased to report about the new taller and contoured seat on all 2014 ZR and XF models (except the High Country). The foam is about 1.5-in. taller across the top, including in the area that’s up to the gas cap that I frequently sit on (and that I bottom-out on when riding hard on the 2012 and ’13 models).
The taller foam leaves me happy where it counts! And nearly as important, the shape of the seat is more rounded and easier to transition for cornering (satisfying another complaint I have about the 2012-13 seats).
Arctic Cat has added the race-version 9/16-diameter master cylinder on RMC braking system for 2014 for more powerful braking. This is another notable across-the-board improvement.
M Series Weight Loss & Improvements
Thanks to a dedicated weight loss program, Arctic Cat chopped about 18 lbs. off the 8000-series M sleds for 2014. The weight was shaved off of the spindles, suspension hardware & components, seat, chassis spars and the move to the single HCR-style heat exchanger.
The seat on the new M8000 models (except the E-Start versions) is 5 in. shorter and 1.5 in. shorter, greatly aiding ergonomics for moving around on the sleds.
Similarly, revised running boards improve snow evacuation, with new machining on the rear bumper for increased boot clearance.
Other improvements to various 2014 M models include a new driven clutch sheave with larger cooling fins (for reduced belt temps); more durable brake disc cover and a fixed clutch guard; increased fuel capacities; and some other stuff I’ll write about in a more complete report.
Various Improvements & Newness
All 129-in. SLIDE-ACTION skidframes on the ProCross models get revised front arm mounting geometry that decreases track tensioning during suspension compression.
All 2014 ProCross and ProClimb models get new ski spindles that are 1-lb. lighter.
The 7000-Series and 6000-Series models get an all-new Deluxe Digital (no analog portion) gauge.
Models equipped with FOX FLOAT ski shocks get the new FOX FLOAT 3 version for improved access to the air valve.
A new driven clutch sheave with larger cooling fins (for reduced belt temps) comes on all ProCross and ProClimb models.
All 8000-Series models get a new visible coolant bottle.
And Arctic Cat is back in the shock business, with IFP rebuildable gas units on the front end of all non-Sno Pro versions of their ProCross and ProClimb models, as well as Cat front skidframe shocks on most models.
Thanks for reading (and look for more detailed stories soon)!