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HomeFeaturesInside Look: 2022 ZR 8000s and ADAPT Clutch Interview with Kyle Olason

Inside Look: 2022 ZR 8000s and ADAPT Clutch Interview with Kyle Olason

2022 ZR8000 Limited Available in Orange

2022 ZR8000 Limited in Green


2022 ZR 8000 RR Green

A mere mention of the ZR name and snowmobilers know of its legendary winning ways. Riders needing 165-class horsepower can look to two performance-built ZRs with a variety of options for 2022 – the ZR 8000 Limited and ZR 8000 RR

CTEC2 800 

Each is powered by the C-TEC2 794cc twin-cylinder engine, delivers clean responsive performance with leading fuel economy thanks to DSI, Electronic APV Exhaust Valves, Exhaust Pipe Temperature Sensor, electric oil injection, ceramic exhaust and convenience of push-button engine reverse and electric start.

New ADAPT clutching-Look for interview below with Kyle Olason

Championship-winning power, smoothness and reliability is backed by the all-new Arctic Cat ADAPT CVT System. New Drive and Driven clutches are lighter-weight and employ a compact design with advanced idler system. ADAPT maintains constant belt tension throughout the RPM range resulting in minimized wear and maximum throttle response throughout your drive belts longer life without fade.

ZR 8000 Limited ATAC with FOX iQS shocks

Stout engine and clutching performance is matched by the race-proven ProCross chassis delivering an ultra-rigid platform and optimal riding position. Up front, the Arctic Race Suspension (ARS II) offers 9-in. of bump-eating travel, while the coupled 137-in. SLIDE-ACTION Rear Suspension boasts 13.5-in. The ZR 8000 employs the Ripsaw II track with 1.25-in. lugs for a masterful blend of speed and traction. 

The ZR 8000 Limited has choice of two different suspension packages – the first is a moderately aggressive suspension calibration with manually activated FOX 1.5 ZERO QS3 ski shocks. In the rear are Arctic Cat IFP 1.5 front- and FOX 2.0 ZERO QS3 rear-track shocks.


Limited riders looking for the ultimate level of premium rider performance can opt for the ATAC adjust on-the-fly suspension system. The innovative ATAC utilizes a thumb-operated button on the left handlebar controls to operate the FOX ZERO iQS3 ski and the rear track shocks, allowing the rider to instantly switch between three factory compression settings (Soft, Medium and Firm), with two additional settings (Driver 1 and Driver 2) allowing you to customize your own calibrations between front and rear shocks.

Deluxe Digital gauge, push-button electric start, LED headlight and 11-in. mid-height windshield are standard features on the ZR 8000.

The ZR 8000 RR is a no-compromise cross-country race-replica aimed at the big bumps, with championship-winning features including competition-calibrated components like the front FOX 1.5 ZERO QS3R ski shocks providing quick adjustability, a premium Kashima coating and rebound dial. The rear suspension gets the same shock treatment – FOX 1.5 ZERO QS3 front- and FOX 2.0 ZERO QS3R rear-track shocks both with Kashima coating. Rounding out the RR features are push-button electric start, LED headlight, hand guards and a 5.5-in. race-height windshield.

The performance-inspired bodywork comes in Green (8000 and 8000 RR) or Orange (8000 Only) and includes a commemorative 60th anniversary badge.

ZR8000 Limited with Trail Blazer Accessory Kit

2022 ZR 8000 with Trail Blazer Accessory Kit

2022 ZR 8000 RR with Trail Blazer Accessory Kit

Snowmageddon Ordering and Accessory Kit

During the Snowmageddon Order period you’ll get your best deal of the season. All ZR 8000 models are available in Green (8000 Limited and 8000 RR) or Orange (8000 Limited Only) with an Accessory Trail Blazer Kit option including Pro front bumper, handlebar bag, large rear storage trail pack and taller 15-in. mid touring windshield.



Alot of you have asked for more information on the new ADAPT drive and driven clutches on full-size 2022 models. I got a chance to sit down with Kyle Olason, mechanical engineer in the Arctic Cat Drivetrain Design Group to ask a few questions.

AI: Kyle, what is ADAPT?

Kyle: ADAPT refers to the new CVT system as a whole (drive and driven clutches, and belt). The biggest innovation focused on the drive clutch which we’ll get into. The drive belt is carry-over from Model Year 2021 models. Driven clutch, while new, retains similar mounting and system to current production. 


Kyle: The new clutch system is an effort to internalize the design of a critical component within our vehicles. The new system retains the idler bearing method for automatic belt tension which debuted on the MY17 9000-series snowmobiles and MY18 6000+ series snowmobiles. When bringing the design back to Arctic Cat, there were opportunities to get creative.

AI: And those opportunities to get “creative” were what?

Kyle: This is a three-fold answer:

1. Our past solutions in the drive clutch have had the torque transfer buttons aligned with the cam arms, and this set a parameter of minimum width possible for the moveable sheave. By moving the torque transfer to a different location from the cam arm/roller, the width of the clutch became a focus to utilize space more efficiently.

2. Concepts showed moving the cam arm radially outward from past designs would allow the spring to nest deeper within the spider.

3. Unique spider design allows for the spring to nest inside much of it while transferring torque and reacting to the cam arm load.

AI: And the benefits were what?

Kyle: While it started off as a study of “What is possible”, much of the unique aspects were able to be retained.

1. 1lb. lighter than current production

2. 5% reduction in inertia

3. Compact design with ~25mm or 14.1% reduction in width

4. Our goal related to belt life is to keep performance from our current product. We have had good belt life with our MY21-previous system. The idler drive system ensures the belt deflection is consistent throughout life while maintaining that low starting ratio.

5. Maintenance: The goal is zero-to-minimal service. The pocket in the spider above the cam arm can make inspecting for wear easier

AI: Will ADAPT retrofit to past models?

Kyle: Yes. Consumers wishing to retrofit ADAPT will have the opportunity this Fall when available.

AI: Will ADAPT add any top speed?

Kyle: You’ll see a quicker throttle response and acceleration 

AI: Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. I appreciate it.

Kyle: You’re welcome!



  1. Great update I wouldn’t have realized there was green in the Limited models. Thought 8000 only came in orange, and only thing Ive seen green was the RR. Thanks again Arcticinsider.

  2. So what windshield comes stock with the RR. Have seen pictures of with both white or green. Pretty sure the RR is following me home.

  3. Sounds like an upgrade from the Team clutches. If my 19 clutch has a problem, I’ll go with this instead. I was wondering if they would work on the older models so that was good to hear.

  4. The question was asked “Will ADAPT add any top speed?” And the response was – “You’ll see a quicker throttle response and acceleration”. That’s not an increase in top speed. Correct?

  5. Could it be that the more narrow clutch design be a clue for a new chassis to be trimmed down in width? Maybe just wishful thinking.

  6. Puss600 and Paul Priest – From my understanding, there won’t be top speed gains. But I like the idea of getting to whatever that is quicker.

    Allen Teach – My guess is you will see this on future snowmobile models, and if we look back at evolution of bodywork, all snowmobiles keep getting narrower.

  7. Kale, any chance you can get an exploded picture of this??
    I’ve been unable to find any. Even pausing the video on their website doesn’t get a clear picture.

  8. Puss600 & Paul Priest , and anyone looking for More MPH . Gear Up ! A/C lowered the gearing on there sleds . After the 012-013 belt problems . Belts run cooler . With lower gearing !

  9. If the diameters of the drive and driven remain the same, NO top speed increase will happen. CW called it, gear up if needed. I also keep trying to zoom in on the new clutch for a better look-see, its a very interesting design.

  10. Definitely adding the adapt to my 2020 Thundercat my Team drive clutch needs replacement anyway do I need to purchase both or will my existing Team driven work?
    Ordering a 2020 6000 RR this week to replace our second sled that currently is a Ski Doo want something I don’t mind riding !

  11. Does Arctic Cat use the Adapt CVT clutches on their snocross race sleds? My guess is no, they probably continue to use Team clutches. Does anyone know?

  12. Battling Bill – The clutches on Team Arctic race sleds are from TEAM. Maybe the 2022 race sleds will have ADAPT? Not sure yet.

  13. It says that the 2022 800 engine has DSI again… Is that a misprint? I thought the 20′ and 21′ 800’s were SDI not DSI like the 18′ and 19′ engines?


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