Alex Fortune is an Arctic Cat rider (and Wildcat racer) with a penchant for performance. He recently purchased a new 2014 Arctic Cat XF 7000 Limited from his dealer, then logged 600 miles in the few remaining days of winter snow prior to the big melt.
Below are his observations on the sled:
John, after our recent conversations, I wanted to bring you up to speed on what I found with the 2014 Arctic Cat XF 7000 Sno Pro I recently purchased – I LOVE THIS SLED!
It reminds me of a heavier Sno Pro 500. It’s a lot of fun to ride and, for me, is the perfect set-up for our trails in Iowa. Here’s what I’ve learned in the short time I’ve owned it:
-602 miles in 2 weekends of riding and a grin ear-to-ear – top speed of 92 mph 0-75 as fast as the 800s in our group.
-I put on 33 miles the first night I owned it with a group of members from my local snowmobile club and after I got it home I realized I had taken a few snow chunks to the radiator causing the fins to fold in. Arctic Cat part number 6639-111 (snow mesh for the hood of the turbos) fits perfect and stops any roost you may get from your buddies from hitting the radiator causing the fins to kink.
-I started getting hot feet after two days of riding in the 20’s with the engine running around 190 degrees. I took the rear plastic (referred to as the bat wing if that makes sense) and opened it up so the air could flow around the sound deadening foam, giving myself a nice knee warmer. Motor temps dropped into the 180 range. I cut about 1/2″ off and may cut a bit more to really get the air flowing. I will also vent the upper side panels using proven design product vents to let that 4-stroke hotbox breath a bit more.
-I swapped out the stock rear skid shocks with shocks from my racer that were valved for xc and had rebound and single speed compression adjustment. Huge difference over the stock setup, the sled doesn’t bottom on g-outs and the rear end feels very stable
-For the heck of it I threw on my front stage-5 Elka shocks from my 800 (still valved for the 800’s lighter weight) along with dual rate springs, dual speed adjustment and rebound adjustable. These are exactly what I thought the sled needed.
The floats were okay, but I couldn’t get a happy medium for a ride control that would handle bottom outs and high speed cornering. With the addition of a DSC setup on the front I got awesome ride and even better cornering. On a long flat sweeping corner near my place, I was able to only do it around 50 mph due to the bobbing of the sled. Once the Elkas were on I didn’t have to lift around the corner – and this is with an incorrect valve/spring setup for the extra weight of the 4-stroke.
-Performed the 500-mile oil change myself. Next time it will go to the dealer – it’s a messy job. The location of the tank in relation to the drain hole doesn’t make for a clean drop. Not a big deal if you try the suggested funnel method in the book but my funnel couldn’t keep up with the drain speed and eventually it dumped out of the top of the funnel.
-137-in. Ripsaw 2 track with the 1.25-in. lug is a great pairing for the sled – lots of good bite in the deep and on hard pack. I might go to a 1.5- or 1.75-in. lug track next year when I add some Speedwerx horsepower.
-Skis are okay. I’m looking into C&A’s for it as the stock units seem to sink quite easily when you let off vs floating like my 800 did.
-The Clutching runs hot! The belt looks good after 600 miles but I have to think if this was higher hp the belt might not last as long. The shifting is firm and somewhat crude, the weights were an issue I was told from my dealer as I’d hit the rev limiter if I cracked the throttle wide open from a slow rolling corner, but a box from speedwerx should fix all of that – their kit did wonders on my 800 and made it buttery smooth in the power and significantly dropped belt temps
I can’t wait for winter to return next season and put more miles on this awesome machine!