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King of Badass: 1971 Arctic Cat King Kat 800

1971 Arctic Cat King Kat 800. Photo by

The 1971 Arctic Cat King Kat 800…one of the original musclesleds!

Powered by the 800 Kawasaki four-banger, this and the 800 3-cylinder Hirth version were the biggest and gnarliest Arctic Cats of that year, and that era.

Only 124 of these babies were produced. They are among the most sought-after snowmobiles to this day.

This King Kat is owned by the Ische family of Glencoe, Minn., who allowed my to photograph it for the 50th Anniversary of Arctic Cat book that we produced in 2011.

To this day, and to my eyes, there is nothing that screams “BADASS!” on a snowmobile with quite the same authority as four cylinders sticking out of a hood.



  1. OMG! this is one sweet BADASS ride! The music from those pipes surely must be intoxicating! John, you are a lucky man! I could not have photographed anything else. Nothing else compares!

  2. I think all the 1971 race sleds are badass. From the little EXT to the Specials to the 650 triple KK and it’s bigger brothers shown here, to the late season Turf Tiger grass dragger. It was just a special time. They were the flying wedge hoods with the big fins that gave the competition a wedgy….LOL. If you didn’t have one, you wanted one or wanted to beat one. 46 years later we are still talking about them. That’s the mark of a classic.


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