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The 2023 M 8000 snowmobiles are the lightest and most capable mountain snowmobiles Arctic Cat makes. The playful nature of the ALPHA-ONE single beam rear suspension is their signature cornerstone backed by a powerful C-TEC2 engine and a variety of track  lengths and lug height options. 

Why To Buy

Because you’re a rider of competitive nature looking to best everyone in the backcountry with the ultimate in maneuverability – Buying an M 8000 means not having to make a single compromise.

1. ALPHA ONE – this single beam rear suspension single-handedly heightens your ability to ride in deep powder. Maneuverability based on rider input is second to none.

2. Color Ways – there’s no gray in these graphics! Bright and Bold is the way for 2023.

3. ATAC – Adjust-on-the-fly suspension setting at your handlebar mounted fingertip. Adjust for the conditions doesn’t get easier.

4. Ascender – this mountain chassis is light, forgiving, responds to rider input, and most importantly, has the industry’s best durability. 

Tech Talk 

All M 8000s are centered around the revolutionary ALPHA- ONE single-beam rear suspension system with choices of a 2.6- or 3-in. lug Powerclaw track. Opt for one of three skidframe lengths – 146- or 154- and 165-in. With maximum track side flex, riders can maneuver the Alpha One to a degree not possible with conventional snowmobiles. 

The Ascender platform starts with the lightweight Arctic Mountain Suspension (AMS) with mountain-specific spindles, geometry, G2 ProClimb-7 ski and a 35.5-in. to 37.5-in. stance for better side hilling, reduced drag in the snow and optimal handling. 

The C-TEC2 794cc twin-cylinder engine, delivers clean responsive performance with leading fuel economy, 165-class horsepower, push-button engine reverse and choice of manual, or electric starting. Smile-Inducing power, smoothness and reliability is backed by Arctic Cat’s ADAPT CVT System. Drive and Driven clutches are light-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.

For 2023, there are two M 8000 model choices; HARDCORE or MOUNTAIN CAT. Each has components to satisfy all your deep powder needs and are available in two very vibrant color options: Medium Green with Spark Orange or Skye Blue with Spark Orange.

M 8000 HARDCORE – Has a moderately aggressive ALPHA-ONE rear suspension calibration with manually activated FOX 1.5 ZERO QS3 COIL-OVER ski shocks and equally calibrated FOX 1.5 ZERO QS3 COIL-OVER front- and FOX 1.5 ZERO QSL COIL-OVER rear-track shocks. The L stands for Lock – A manually switchable setting, locking your rear shock for optimum deep snow flotation.

HARDCORE also features reinforced running boards, a vertical steering post, 1-in. mountain-height windshield, LED headlight with accent, deluxe digital gauge, front sport bumper, goggle holder, mountain storage bag, 11.7-gal. fuel tank and a front-mounted heat exchanger and skid frame-mounted ice scratchers. 

M 8000 MOUNTAIN CAT – Has choice of two different ALPHA-ONE suspension packages – the first is a moderately aggressive suspension calibration with manually activated FOX FLOAT 3 QS3 ski shocks and equally calibrated FOX FLOAT 3 QS3 front- and FOX FLOAT 3 QSL rear-track shocks.

And those 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 FLOAT 3 iQS3 ski and FOX FLOAT 3 iQSL rear track shock. ATAC provides a huge rider advantage by allowing them to instantly switch between three factory compression settings (Soft, Medium and Firm), with two additional customizable calibration settings (Driver 1 and Driver 2). 

ATAC’s LOCK feature allows you to quickly adjust your FOX FLOAT 3 iQSL rear track shock to Lock on-the-fly. Locking the rear shock helps stiffen the suspension to reduce trenching, and aid in easy flotation.    

MOUNTAIN CAT also features a vertical steering post, 1-in. mountain-height windshield, LED headlight with accent, deluxe digital gauge, front sport bumper, goggle holder, mountain storage bag, 10.4-gal. fuel tank and a front-mounted heat exchanger and skid frame-mounted ice scratchers.

The Snowmobile at a Glance

  • 794cc, 2-stroke, C-TEC2 Twin-Cylinder Engine
  • 165-Class Horsepower
  • Choice of Manual or Electric starting
  • ADAPT CVT System
  • 35.5-in. to 37.5-in. adjustable ski stance
  • G2 ProClimb-7 skis
  • 146-, 154- and 165-in. ALPHA-ONE single-beam rear suspension lengths
  • 15-in. Powerclaw track with 2.6- or 3-in. lugs
  • LED Headlight
  • 1-in. Mountain-Height Windshield


  1. According to CountryCat, there are 48 M8000 variants, and only 2 ZR6000 variants.
    Why are there so many M8000s?
    M8000s account for 64 percent of the WHOLE lineup offered, whereas 600s account for less than 3 percent!

    • You’re correct. 48 variants of two M 8000 models (Mountain Cat or Hardcore). The variants stack up because you have popular buying choices: 146/154/165 track lengths in either 2.6 or 3.0-inch lug heights and electric start or non-electric start and a couple suspension package options.

      On ZR 6000 side there are 3 variants (ZR 6000 and RXC with ES or Non-ES) Why so few? Varying reasons…137 is a skid frame length best suited for trails (why have more length options?), 600s in general have far lower sales than 800s, mix in some supply chain obstacles for the 6000 and you land at your availability options.

      • From what I can see in the spec sheet, the only difference between Hardcore and Mountain Cat is the suspensions. Why not make it like this?
        2 color choices, that makes 2 total sleds.
        3 track lengths, that makes 6 total sleds.
        2 suspension options, that makes 12 total sleds.
        2 starting options, that makes 24 total sleds.
        24 out of now 51, makes 47 percent. Now, those extra 8000 engines can be used for other models. R XC and Cross Country Limited 8000s would be POPULAR and HIGHLY ORDERED machines.

        Is there a real difference between a 2.6 inch paddle, and a 3 inch paddle? They should come with a 3 inch, and if the customer wants a 2.6, they should cut the paddles themselves. It’s not hard, just time consuming, and it would take longer to peel the stock graphics off and put an ugly wrap on there.

      • Forgot to talk about this.

        The R XC is a 129, right? That should have a 137 option. That’s 4 total 6000R XCs.
        The ZR6000 should have 2 color options, green and orange, and 2 suspension options, QS3 and ATAC. That’s 4 ZR6000s.
        That makes 8 6000s. Plenty to satisfy. Maybe sprinkle in an XF6000 Cross Country Limited with a bigger paddle 137, and a FEW M6000s, and ya got a winner.

        What kind of supply chain obstacles? Don’t the same suppliers supply parts for both engines? I heard flywheels aren’t there. Why? The supplier can make flywheels for the 8000s, but are having trouble with the 6000s?

      • If 800’s sell far better than 600’s imagine how well an 850 or a 900 would sell. Hard to believe AC still doesn’t get that. Instead they build a 400 that I still haven’t seen on a trail since they were introduced 2 years ago. It’s not hard to see why Cat will be last in sales again in 2023. The bous in Green need to wake up before it’s too late!

      • I disagree, the 129 is best suited for trail riding. 137 will push more in the corners. Newer front end with 129 would carve like a Ginsu knife.Its time for cat to build what the customer wants not what they think they want.

  2. Where are the 600cc or even 800cc 2-up touring sleds with either 137 or 146 inch skids? Or even a TCat touring? AC (textron) really dropped the ball for MY23. They will loose sales like crazy, no new technology, no new chassis, no new engines, less sled variants. Mind you the current procross chassis is an excellent performer

      • We need to find out if the competition’s touring sleds are selling. If so, it’s still alive. Why else would the Blast XRs even exist?

    • Elias, I’ll go out on limb and say AC will sell EVERY sled they can make this year. In fact, even though orders aren’t officially starting til April 19th, most will be sold out that day. And I’m guessing some like the RXC are already sold out.

  3. Need to make early order option with out electric start on all models. I to only rode 600 until we found that cross overs with 2″ track uses more fuel and oil. Still think it would be wise to release new 700 & 900 in new chassie

    • That’s good. Not everybody wants electric start. I do, because I’m lazy and out of shape.
      A 700 is not really needed, because of the insurance increase, and won’t offer much over the 600, about 145 HP, or 140, if the 8000 is as weak as it’s allegedly. A 900 has been done, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t wanna be called a follower. A 950 isn’t worth the development costs for only 50ccs over that. We NEED a 1000 again! That will CEMENT us as the DOMINANT 2 stroke. Maybe a lil supercharger for the mountain and fast trail boys? It can be done, we need more 4 strokes to clean up the fleet average so the @$$holes at the EPA will bugger off.

  4. Thanks for continuing to provide all this info on this site. Especially because there continues to be zero 2023 info on Cat’s site.

  5. If they are sold out before they can “technically” be ordered, they need to make more sleds. That will lower the amount of money they can demand for them, so the profit per sled is down, but will sell more sleds, so profit margin is UP. I may have slept through economy class in Jr. High, but I know Capitalism. Give the people WHAT THEY WANT. I say if John Q. Public and his friends order say 3000 ZR8000R XCs, then BY GOD, THAT’S how many SHOULD BE MADE, with some extra, in case someone decides they want one. No one should go without the sled they want because there ain’t enough of them dammit!

  6. the blue and orange actually is quite striking on the snow

    when’s the Riot 9000 post coming?

    I’m looking forward to more bitching and complaining 🙂

        • Can’t have 2 9000s. But that’s OK. That system needs to be scrapped anyway. We don’t need a 900 anyway. Polaris already did that. I don’t wanna be a follower. Also, a 950 sounds like a follower type move. These are the engines and/or modifications we need.

          65hp 400, with added radiator and fan
          95hp 4 stroke twin, with radiator and fan
          125hp 600 as is
          145hp Yamaha 1050 H.O. 4 stroke
          165hp improved C-TEC2 800
          195hp C-TEC 2 1000
          225hp Yamaha 1000 H.O. Turbo, with advanced tuning and intercooler with coolant path and fan
          255hp C-TEC 2 1000 Supercharged, with ONE mountain model, ONE cross country model, and ONE trail model, extremely limited time, like the first week of ordering time to order one.

          Now, Cat would have enough engines to compete with the 7 Polaris offers, and the 8 Ski Doo offers.

          • That’s a nice wish list, not very realistic but still… nice.

            I’d say…
            -ditch the 400 except for just a few kids models
            -offer a 100hp 600 TBI in a couple full sized ‘budget’ and b-Last models (see SX sled jugs/slugs & FI system)
            -keep the 600 DSI for the RXC and a crossover
            -new ‘F7’ mill for the trail sleds
            -new 900 (not 862cc like the last one) that isn’t an inconsistent abject failure like the 800 has been for some unlucky owners.

            or, just an improved, lighter but strong chassis, better cooling system for big bores, fresh plastics and ffs please don’t make it ugly like BRP and Polaris have done.

            simple, affordable, effective and fresh… KISS principal.

  7. My wife jumped ship, and snowchecked a 650 polaris. It took me 7 dealers to find a 650. Talking to these various dealers they all seemed to be the same in saying that 650s had more supply issues. And 850s were easier to get in 22 and they sell more 850s and make more money on 850 over 650. So even the smaller bore Polaris had more supply issues. So cat prob in the same boat, the 800 is more profitable and easier to make cause the parts are more accessible. Doesn’t make sense but seems to be accurate for both companies.

  8. Kale: I think you’re probably right about selling out the first day as Yamaha sold out in 90 minutes and our dealer got 0 sleds in that. This being the likely case at AC it seems far more fair to dealers to let them pre-order for inventory or allocate so many sleds to each dealer so the folks trying to make a living with this brand have a chance.

    The resources needed to build Yamahas; Trackers; and now youth sleds for Ski Doo are taking product off the AC dealers’ floor at a time when they really need it – and while unintended I’m sure, in doing so it appears that AC is continuing to screw dealerships — now just in a different way.

  9. Kale, do you have any plans to do any interviews any time soon with any head honchos at cat. I think it was supertrax that had an interview with cat and Yamaha guys In 2017. But nothing that I’ve seen since. It would be nice to hear what’s going on what they have cooking behind closed doors, what the deal is with 120/200s and bro. Can you request a sit down, how does that work?

    • Like they’d talk. What are they gonna say? ‘We are less qualified to run a snowmobile company than biden is to be president?”

      We’ll never know what they have behind closed doors, they won’t tell us anything. A simple leaked photo would go a LONG way…

      What’s the deal with BRP? I’m betting it has to do with the “lawsuit”. “We’ll let you sell 2 percent (or some other miniscule number of Cat sales that Canada is responsible for) of your total product in our country, but you have to supply us with 120s and 200s. THOSE should be the sleds Cat shouldn’t make many of! Why waste OUR materials/time/parts making our product for the ENEMY?

  10. The first allocation of 6000 XCs without ES will go to the Team Arctic racers and I could definitely see a limited build, supply chain issue for the XCs to the consumers and dealer stock.

  11. Wasn’t Digi-Key looking to hire over 1k of employees . After there Big addition they put on. That’s we’re probably half of A/C staff is working now . And it’s year round employment. Not laid off in the winter. Except this year.

    • It is year round employment at Cat because they build ATV’s, Side x Sides and sleds are being built almost year round now as well. Cat is planning on hiring up to 500 more workers as welll.

  12. What’s not realistic about it? The chance of any of it getting made? Yes. Absolutely.

    I was figuring on using the 400s in the ZR, LT, and XR Touring, in smaller numbers. No Blast XR standards or Ms.

    A 100hp 2 stroke 600 with the old injection methods would probably be too “dirty”. That’s why I figured on using a twin version of the Yamaha 1050 H.O. If the 1050 can be lightly modded (probably just with timing and premium fuel) 145 HP can be achieved. Lop a cylinder off, put 180 degree, or maybe 360 degree? twin crank, cams, and rotor, and ya got a 700 clean 4 stroke twin that makes 95ish HP. Also, it will clean up the fleet average, so a big 2 stroke can be achieved. That engine would be used in the ZR 129s and bigger touring/workhorse sleds.

    The existing 600 can indeed still be used in the R XC, and I was planning on using it in the ZR 129 and 137 lengths.

    The existing 800 can be modified to make an actual 165 HP, and I was planning on using it in the ZR 129, ZR 137, XF 137, XF 146, M 154, and M 165 lengths.

    I still believe making a 900 (which would probably consist of boring the cylinders out, thus making a bore too big/stroke too small) is a copycat move. “Polaris did it already!” they would cry. But yes. The 800 NEEDS improvement. With that 4 stroke 700 cleaning the fleet average, more fuel and oil could be used, SIGNIFICANTLY reducing or ELIMINATING it’s problems.

    I personally don’t see a need for a replacement for the ProCross, even though it IS old. It’s still good! I don’t like lighter, because weaker usually accompanies it. What were you thinking about changing in the cooling system? Sounds like a good idea. Fresh plastics? Hmm, as long as they still use the 1/4 turn tab method.

    Affordable is good. THAT’S what will draw in new blood. A $10,000 entry sled WON’T.


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