While you’re lounging, here are two CATALYST videos to help pass the time. Earlier this week, I shared some photos from Broken Arrow Studios taken at the CATALYST media event for Midwest snow editors. Below is an impression video they captured and edited for Sledhead 24-7 and host, Jeff Fischer, focusing on the new Arctic Cat 600 RIOT 146. Also this week, Arctic Cat hosted the Western snow editors in Idaho for a first ride on CATALYST M 600 models. The second video here is quite long, but worth the watch. Reviews and discussion are shared from SnoWest editor/owner, Ryan Harris during his SnoWest podcast. Enjoy! – Kale
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I have listened to the SnoWest Podcast twice already. The new M really has me thinking. Due to kids, life, etc., my western riding days have been on a bit of hiatus. The new M might be just what the docter ordered to make a triumphant return!!!
I was lucky enough to be in the photo shoot and I thought Arctic Cat had a game changer on their hands. Going back to Wisconsin and riding my ZR 8000 it just wasn’t the same.
It nice to hear the “experts” chime in and have nothing but positive praise for this new platform. Hopefully, others can get to test ride the Catalyst. I am confident that when others get a chance to drive these new sleds they will be as impressed as I was. I know that people want a big bore engine and an updated gauge and they will be coming just not in 2024, but I believe this initial release will definitely bring some riders of other brands back to Cat.
I couldn’t agree more, Jim.
When the Snowest guys were talking about how much easier the Catalyst was to ride, they could’ve been talking about the ZR’s, too. I don’t know how Arctic Cat designed the same chassis to be so much better at every kind of riding, but they did and it’s cool to see everyone discover it in their own way.
Love all the hype videos, cant wait to see what’s next. Will arctics patented turbo fit under that hood? And what’s next for four stroke guys? I wish arctic would just share more future info.
I think we’ve all been lucky to see the “future” info from Arctic Cat for the past six months with CATALYST. AC is first in recent OEM rollout history to show their hand this early. Im doubting we’ll see any info from the other OEMs on their future plans. The unknown and speculation is one of the fun aspects of snowmobiling though. Never know when one of them throws a curveball at ya… 🙂
Its great for the brand, Unfortunately the only reason we’re seeing anything now is because of the leaked photos. Who ever leaked the photos managed to put more attention focused on the brand, than the marketing team has for the last 4 years combined.
They got fired the second their id was figured out, but should have been promoted to the head of marketing lol.
You are so wrong on that one. They released what Cat would allow. Ponycatfan for one.
Krom – the plan all along was to launch Catalyst at Haydays and roll it out until February.
I have more appreciation for what the Cat marketing team is doing after seeing them work. There’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.
What has the Cat marketing team done with the Catalyst platform?
Haydays, color schemes, and then the deep dive?
They did seem to promise rollouts of Catalyst info between Haydays and February, but have not seen it. I’d say they are generally MIA.
They look like they’re going to work pretty nice, but when are they gonna bring back an on-the-go adjustable front arm limit on the rear suspension? The ATAC is cute, but I could really care less about changing compression. My most important adjustment when conditions change is ski pressure. Every other adjustment is set it and forget it or just peripheral fine tuning. I’ve considered putting an old school Fox crank adjust on my ’18 ZR just for this reason.
Perhaps it has changed, but to my knowledge the Cat ATAC system only controls the rear skid shock (vs the FOX IQS which controls all 4). Really wish the Cat system gave us control over all the shocks. They did great a couple years ago listening to consumer feedback and added custom settings which allow the ski shocks and rear shock to be set differently…maybe they can add skid front shock control as well.
Atac is just the iAct renamed. It controls the ski shocks and the rear arm shock, at least up to 2023.
The ATAC gives you 3 preset compression settings for the rear arm and ski shocks. I’m talking about a limit adjustment to increase or decrease front arm stroke, for adding and removing ski pressure while riding. This is what the fox crank-adjust front arm shocks did in the 90’s. Ski-Doo has a cable-operated limiter strap adjuster that does essentially the same thing. On-the-fly compression adjustment is more of a gimmick, it doesn’t significantly affect the main handling characteristics of a sled.
There is two custom settings as well. As far as the adjustable front shock? That was a nightmare. Failures abound. I see no need for it as once you find the sweet spot, you really never change it.
It is interesting how they all said the sled is smaller and doesn’t feel like a full size sled. No testers I have listened to have mentioned anything about wind protection. Small and Mid sized sled feel makes me nervous about wind out cruising. My mind Im still young and want to blast, but reality is I like to hammer the trails occasionally but like to cruise too, so I need some good comfort and wind protection as well…. 600 is all I need.
In my opinion, wind protection is subjective for every rider…and I hold that opinion based on everyones different clothing/helmet set-ups and body sizes. For me personally, no windshield fully protects me because Im a big galoot…the wind hits me somewhere. I will say the high windshield on CATALYST did a great job pushing the wind around me, and up towards the top of my helmet and protecting hands. If you’re going to buy a CATALYST, Id recommend that windshield for the best comfort, and I think it looks pretty good too.
I think I talked about wind protection in my video, because all of the photo shoot sleds had the “bikini” windshields and my handlebar warmers were cranked up to high on our trail rides.
I’m with you, rode too many seasons freezing to death, don’t want to do that any more. Most sleds from the 70’s and 80’s were awful (for wind protection), and I remember those days too well!
Since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about it while riding my 21 Riot with a tall windshield. I thought the Catalyst “felt” more exposed, less protected, than my 21. HOWEVER, as I ride my 21 now, I think they’re pretty close to the same.
After seeing the real-world windshields on the Catalyst, I don’t I’d have a problem with wind protection.
Totally off topic, but is anyone else still waiting for a 2023? I ordered a 2022 RR that still wasn’t delivered by March of 2022, so I canceled it and rolled the order into a 2023 RXC. Originally told it would be shipped end October, then December, then January 17th. Now February 7th and still no sled…….
Yikes. Honestly the 2 main factors that will keep me from ordering this year:
1) Nothing bigger than 600cc
2) VERY high likelihood you’ll experience delays in receipt of the unit.
I cannot imagine plopping down $15k+ for a 600 when i wanted something bigger, then not even getting it until mid February or later. I’d be livid.
This has been an ongoing problem for all manufacturers, and I agree with you, Premium – as a buyer, we can no longer be sure we’ll get a new snowmobile in time to ride it next season.
I think Kale said all of the RXC’s were done, the last time he was at the factory, but I don’t know what that means for the actual ship/delivery timeline.
I was told today it has not shipped, still waiting on shocks. Same story as last year with the RR I ordered and never received.
If this makes you feel any better. I just met a full semi of SkiDoo’s today. Going down the Hwy . They must be still building 023 also 🤨‼️ I got denied a sled in 022. So I do feel your pain .
That sucks. I wonder how many sleds are in limbo. It can’t be that many. Cat needs to find enough shocks, even if it costs more.
This is what I ultimately did to find the parts for my truck – I got insurance to approve them at a higher cost, and then we started looking for alternative sources, not just OEM Ford.
Is there an official release/spring order date set yet?
I’m getting mixed signals on that. What Kale said was that the Cat presentation for 2024 model year offerings would be February 28. I think we can assume you can place an order on that day, but I’ve heard things that make me wonder about that. For now, I think Feb. 28 is the only date we have to work with, and we’ll have to wait until then to find out what the actual order window is.
You can give your dealer the 500 anytime. Sleds will be announced the 28th. Money will go to the Blue/ black/ Green with ATAC for me.
I rode that one for a day – looks sharp!
Hey Brandon, I believe that’s Feb.28th.
Is there any word from cat on how long the belt lasts for final drive. Will u need to carry a spare?
If you read, watched any of the videos, they stated broken in properly, probably outlast the sled itself.
I did hear that, in one video jim r but that doesn’t mean that’s what actually happens.
So why would AC put the 600 in this chassis
It’s probably last in mpg in that class
Last in HP
What a waste to introduce the new platform with an outdated underperforming power plant!
It’s a redesigned 600 engine. I’m sure they’ll go into specifics – or someone else will – later this month.
They announced their plans on September 10, and you can view that presentation in its entirety here:
I think the next thing for us to do is watch the official reveal from Arctic Cat on February 28 – that’s where I would expect to hear about why the “new” 600 is better than the “old” 600.
You really need to read before spouting false facts. Even in it’s current form, the 600 is dominant against the off brand 600’s.
Jim r you are funny, have you actually ridden a 600r ski doo or 650polaris. I’m a cat rider but they actually aren’t close to the cat. They are smoother, quieter, better on gas and oil. And produce more power. And the 650 is made to run on 87 octane which in my opinion is huge. I would not switch brands but I also think that cat is screwing up this awesome sled release with making ppl,myself included wait at least another year for something new and bigger. Ski doo released an 850 in 2017. That’s 8 model years for 2024and 9 before cat has an answer. And 9 years for ski doo means there ready to introduce the next big thing I’m sure. Polaris has 850, 850 boost and 9r. And cat is unveiling a newish 600,come on u can admit that no one goes out and buys a 600 mountain sled. It’s a joke. Covid is not an excuse skidoo and polaris have gained market share in every category during
The last two years. Cat has made excuses and not delivered sleds on time. It’s a joke
Has anyone delivered all of their sleds on time? Parts shortages are everywhere. Don’t get in an accident with your car or truck, no eta on parts.
The Catalyst is a huge step forward, and the plan for the next 2 years is pretty impressive, based on what I’ve seen and heard. Criticism is based on what we don’t know or can’t imagine. The situation is better than you think.
I have. The cat is better on oil than both. Gets the same mileage as the 650 and has more torque. I will never run eth gas in any small engine so 87 means nothing to me. Just based on past practice, that Polaris will end up costing you rides. Poor quality on Polaris history.
I agree bob, last year I ordered a 22 thundercat. IT NEVER CAME till late march and the snow was gone. Two buddies ordered 22 mach zs at the same time they got the machs in late December. They were missing the key but they got them and rode them. This year my wife ordered a 23 xcr 650 and it was here late November. Ppl are still waiting for 23 cats. It just seems like cat isnt handling this as well as the others are. Like I said I’m all cat I drove 20 hours to tour the cat factory, I just expect more from cat than what were getting. Textron,Yamaha, and whatever is left from arctic cat should be wowing us every year. Not still playing catch up.