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HomeFeaturesIs the Market Ready for a 2-stroke Triple?

Is the Market Ready for a 2-stroke Triple?

I dont have a lot of detail on these photos, but it got my mind reeling…Is the market ready for a 2-stroke triple-cylinder again? Take a look at the photos, and we’ll regroup for a dream session.

The following photos were emailed to me with message, “Tip on a cool sled. Tim Marklund from Sweden triple 1335cc. 1 1/2 800cc welded to a triple 90mm bigbore.”

Hopefully the photos sparked your triple interest and you’re ready to dream a bit…

Let’s focus, and assume this triple would be for a Trail-only chassis. And lets get  other what-ifs out of the way…We’ll assume it meets emissions, all three pipes can fit under compact modern bodywork, it falls into a proper weight range and it cranks out enough big bore horsepower to be considered a true panty dropper…

Is the market ready for a triple 2-stroke? 

Would AC need to even bother with a me-too 850? 

It could be interesting to have a line of C-TEC2 Engines in Single-Cylinder (400cc), Twin-Cylinder (600cc & 800cc) and Triple-Cylinder (1XXXcc)

Return of the ZRT, or No?




  1. ABSOLUTELY! Let the other clowns have their 850s. As you say, if a triple could stay relatively “light”, I would positively buy one.

  2. That’s a good looking sled right there. The ZRT definitely has its cult following. IMO they were the best sounding two-stroke to date. If you hit the weight and horsepower targets, I think a modern ZRT would be fantastic. Hell, it might even respark the fun of impromptu lake races.

  3. Let’s try a different angle…. Single, large volume pipe? Is that do-able? I remember the old XLTs had a single on them….. Granted you will lose some power, but, will definitely help with packaging….

    Might need a hybrid hood between the turbo and the 2 stroke hood for better cooling of underhood temps…

    Thanks for getting my engineering brain going, Kale! LOL

  4. The old baby ZRT 600 was a rocket. Bring back the baby triple with maybe a single big volume pipe, after all the old Indy RXL 650 had a big single pipe. I’d buy one in a heart beat if they brought back the triples.

    With today’s technology, a triple engine can meet the required EPA regulations

  5. No one would care that the chassis wasn’t updated if the Ctec2 Triple made an appearance in 2022. BAM, who cares about an 850….

  6. I’d be at the dealer so quick for a triple you would think I was heading to your moms house. What I just saw above is the best news of 2020 by far.. no question I’d be on a new triple immediately.

  7. I would consider it. With modern engineering, I am sure it would be a hit. Think of how Singer smooth it would run! A 600 3 into 1 could be doable correct???

  8. I agree with Steve – single exhaust, much easier to package. Skip 850 – even if it were 3 pistons from a 600, that would approach turbo-4 power, maybe more. Keep the 4-stroke T-Cat to keep Yamaha tied to Cat.

    Still need a new chassis next year, and I think Cat is sitting in the weeds with something. But, if there was a new triple 2-stroke to go with it, that would really get people’s attention.

  9. No or a very small market at best. Trail riders want turbos. Mountain riders want lightweight. So do most crossover riders. Triples would be a small niche market for some trail riders and the cost to develop a motor with today’s EPA would be too high for the return.

  10. Oh heck ya!! Ever since Cat came back with the ZRs I’ve been asking for a Cat Triple C-Tec2 engine ZRT. I have a 96 ZRT and would for sure love to have and would buy a 2022 ZRT in the Procross chassis.

  11. Response to Kevin, I don’t think trail riders want turbos (In 2-stroke form) and if this ZRT was focused on a trail-only sled as a competitor to 850s, I think it would make sense to focus on trail only. Id call the two-strokes ZRTs and keep the Thundercat in four stroke trim with turbo so guys can put a tune in the industry’s fastest snowmobile.

  12. I am going against the grain here… I am not a fan of Triples except for their sound and that is with triple pipes. They are way heavier then a 2 stroke and the weight is nose heavy. The 998 completely out does a 2 stroke Triple all day long and be reliable as hell.

    Does Cat need an 850 2 stroke twin over the 800 twin? If Cat wants to garner more sales from Polaris and BRP, then yes they do. IMO, it also needs to be quicker and faster then both of the other OEM’s in order to dent their sales. If Cat can do that and make them as reliable as they are right now, then the sales will boost dramatically. Most snowmobilers always want the most powerful sleds, 2 stroke or 4 stroke…

    One last thing… An Updated chassis would also go along way and make people forget about the BRP lawsuit.

  13. 900 c tec built off of 600 c tec with a single pipe to save weight running about 175 or 180 horsepower on pump fuel,light weight fun,hay they all ready have 3 cylinder turbo charged monster in there,this would be the true kingkat of the next decade,lighter than turbo and faster reving,you got me I want one!

  14. I have been away from Arctic Cat for along time. I would love to come back and a big triple would do just that! I loved my ZRT. Best sounding sled ever!

  15. Cool for nostalgic reasons but I don’t see them being a hit in the real world. I too remember the tripples and have one in the fleet now. They were a pig wrestle around on the trails. This would be a U.P. special and at that point why not just go with the four stroke and turn up the boost? We often look back on the “old days” and how things were. Then when we actually ride or experience it think to our selves how great full we are to be on the new stuff.

    Nice work to the creator of this sled. Well done specialty unit.

  16. MNSnoPro in my mind I remember the handling of my old 96 zr580 being fantastic. Last winter I got the chance to ride one again, and although the CG was great, and cornering was too, the rider position was God awful. LOL. I do think a triple in rider forward chassis could be cool though. Theres a segment of owners who just don’t want a 4-stroke regardless of horsepower.

  17. Owned many sleds over the years the 96 ZRT is still by far my favorite build one and I’ll be one of the first to order !!! 3 always made more power then 2

  18. Been saying this for years. Triples always where better mpg than twins and are lighter than 4strokes. Only advantage i see of 4stroke is when turbo but still cant get around the extra weight. I could see Yamaha bagged SRX being a HOT seller.

  19. I think it would sell. Keep the weight down as best you can. Now about the retro graphics and call the thing an EXT (As in Exterminator, not Extended track.) and name it after the 1973 oval tracker with a paint job to match. Make it limited edition only. Yea I know I am dreaming…..

  20. My dream is that this comes to life, bring back the King Kat name, triple with single pipe! Let the aftermarket gurus have at it

  21. the whole world is going electric and we’re discussing triple 2-smokes?

    okay, I’m in the camp with the 3-600 C-tech slugs-n-jugs with a single pipe in a NEW CHASSIS camp.

    or, a new lighter chassis with an 800 twin and refined skid – no estart and an adult windshield being available. being realistic, 160-ish hp is fine if you shave 50lbs off the sled and keep it a trail ripper. for those who love speed – the turbo 4’s can give most all they can handle.

  22. You are not going to see Electric going main stream for sledding. There is absolutely no charging stations set up and no mom and pop resort is going to spend $100,000 plus for what in reality is not a very big market in sledding anyway, and you will never see a charger in the middle of the woods. E sleds will have a very limited market.

  23. sorry boys n girls. its never going to happen. this isnt in the works at A/C. if it was do you think they would let the CAT out of the bag like this ???? no pun intended. would it be cool ??? YES !!! will it happen ? NOT LIKELY

  24. JimR – there will be 10X more electric snowmobiles running around in 5 years than ‘new’ triple two-strokes and I’m willing to wager on it.

  25. So there will be 100 electric sleds running in 5 years? No one is going to buy a sled that can get maybe on a good day, 60 miles before it needs a generator to power it up again in the woods. Just stating facts.

  26. BRP had to pay Arctic cat in 2016 $46 million due to patent infringements on PWC thrust control. the $2.8 million Cat had to pay was chaff.

  27. Wouldn’t have to be a triple/triple. With what modern day twin/singles are putting out I’d buy any size triple/single they came out with.


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