Arctic Cat just had an amazing year, pretty much catching up with Polaris in terms of total units sold and now in a neck and neck battle for second place. Yes, some of these sales were from carry-over inventory, but the fact remains that Arctic Cat has been selling a lot of sleds. Getting rid of the carry over units had to be done so the company and their dealers could return to being profitable, which is the main reason any company remains in business. With progress on that front, the new products can be introduced.
Considering the current snowmobile market, deep snow mountain sleds remain the most consistent segment and continue to be in high demand, so it is very logical for Arctic Cat to continue to place great emphasis on these machines. Their 2018 mountain sleds fitted with their new 800 engine have been excellent performers, and they are going to get even better for 2019. But that’s not the only changes from Thief River Falls for 2019, as there are actually 13 new models in their lineup of 72 snowmobiles – nearly all of which have upgraded features and components.
When it comes to snowmobile suspensions, Arctic Cat has introduced many of the snowmobile industry’s firsts including: the revolutionary slide rail rear suspension, the first production independent front suspension, the production use of gas shocks and the first A-arm front suspension, among others. When we all think of suspension innovation, we should all think of Arctic Cat – past present and future.
So for 2019, Arctic Cat Technology once again revolutionizes snowmobile suspension innovation with the M 8000 Mountain Cat ALPHA-ONE featuring a single beam suspension and an 11 pound weight reduction for cutting edge backcountry performance. Gone are the two traditional parallel slide rails, replaced by a single beam with two hyfax and an all-new track design with wide clips in the middle, giving sleds fitted with this technology incredible agility and snow evacuation characteristics. The single beam allows the track to flex and conform to the ground and snow, allowing for instant tip-ups and maneuverability in deep snow. The single beam doesn’t pack and trap snow in between two rails, delivering real-world reductions in the amount of snow, slush and ice weight being carried by the suspension, shattering the paradigm for what a deep snow snowmobile suspension should look and act like.
Additionally, on trail performance ZR models we now find the first interactive electronically-adjustable shock package, appropriately named iACT. This new iACT Suspension system gives riders instant and interactive on-the-fly control of the FOX ZERO iQS gas shocks. These are basically FOX QS3 shocks fitted with electronics to change the settings. A thumb operated button on the left-hand controls of the handlebar controls both ski shocks and the rear track shock, allowing the rider to instantly switch between three compression settings corresponding to Soft, Medium and Firm, to optimize suspension performance for varying conditions and riding styles.
This means we now have ZR models ranging from “base” ZR to ZR Sno Pro to ZR Limited to ZR Limited iACT to RR, all offered in both 129” and 137” track lengths (except the RR which is 137” only) and then we have four engine sizes (6000, 7000, 8000 & 9000). Well, five engines with the ZR 3000 model powered by the 700cc 4-stroke. Pick your engine, pick your track length, pick your suspension and trim level.
In the new model department we find all-new Norsemen X models that blend 2-stroke technology with utility, backcountry and trail riding versatility. The all-new Norseman X 6000 and Norseman X 8000 are like the already versatile Norseman models but on steroids, in the form of a 153 x 2.25” lug height Power Claw track, reinforced rear rack for hauling heavy loads, Deluxe Digital gauge and Arctic IFP gas shocks. Think of these machines as a crew cab pick-up truck with big tires and you start to realize their true versatility and the wide range of conditions they can be used in.
Back to the mountain segment, Arctic Cat brings their M 8000 Hardcore mountain models to North America. When we say “Hardcore” we mean it, as these machines are not designed for the faint of heart, or those lacking the courage to face something difficult or dangerous. Aimed at hillclimbers interested in competition and launching big air in the backcountry. It comes equipped with coil-over FOX ZERO QS3 and QSL shocks for maximum adjustability, plus added suspension rail braces to withstand the rigors of big-air riding. It comes in either 153” or 162” track lengths.
Nearly all 2019 Arctic Cat snowmobiles come with redesigned, slimline handlebar controls that are easier to use while riding with improved ergonomics and able to transmit visible information on the digital instrument gauge. All of the switches are easier to operate. The reverse button is easier to operate and no longer requires the tip of your fingernail to activate. A new push-to-start button on the left controls eases starting, instead of having to reach up to a key on the dash to fire the unit up. A new magnetic tether switch mounted to the right side of the dash cowling comes standard, complementing the key ignition switch for added safety and convenience.
Along with the new left-hand controls is the new Stealth Master Cylinder brake system which offers enhanced braking performance with a more protected design. A new short-throw composite brake lever is smaller and easier to feel, increasing ergonomic comfort. The best thing about the composite lever is it doesn’t get as cold which we really appreciate. On the right hand side, a new stop switch is now a single mounted adjustable unit separate from the throttle housing.
Most models now benefit from wheel upgrades and improvements in the rear suspension. A new 3-wheel rear axle system features lightweight 7.12-in. wheels (on 129-in. track models) and 8.0-in. wheels (on 137-in. track models) for more consistent performance and better stability, complimented by new 5.5-in. side idler wheels. A revised rear shock pivot on 137-in. SLIDEACTION rear suspensions relocates the idler wheels to the outside of the slide rails and prevents the pivot from over-rotating during installation. Some models also now feature 9-tooth involute drive sprockets deliver smoother top-end performance.
6000 & 8000 Series machines will also feature a new ECM calibration for 2019 and a new ceramic muffler for more consistent and enhanced engine performance. To top it all off, all 3000- and 7000-Series machines now feature Next Gen bodywork, joining the 6000, 8000 & 9000 Series machines. One more thing – you will see liberal use of the color purple across the model line-up for 2019, bringing back some great memories for many of us and destined to create new ones for Arctic Cat riders everywhere. We thought it was pretty cool!
New Hand Controls & Magnetic Tether Switch
Most 2019 Arctic Cat snowmobiles feature new handlebar-mounted controls that are easier to use while riding, with improved ergonomics, and that transmit visible information on the digital instrument gauge. A button on the handlebar controls now toggles the display screen on the gauge. A new push-to-start button (that doubles as the Reverse button) on 6000 and 8000 Series models allows the rider to keep both hands on the handlebars while starting models equipped with electric start. Momentary-style hand and thumb-warmer switches provide more heat level settings and also prevent unintended setting changes.
Most 2019 Arctic Cat snowmobiles will also come equipped with a new tether switch in addition to the ignition key. The all-new tether uses magnetic connectivity (instead of a plunger) to enable the engine to run.
Arctic Cat Technology sets a new standard for interactive suspension adjustability. The iACT suspension system gives riders instant on-the-fly control over the ride settings on select Arctic Cat snowmobiles.
It’s comprised of FOX ZERO iQS gas shocks – each featuring piggyback reservoirs and three compression settings corresponding to Soft, Medium and Firm – and an electronic control system designed and developed with Arctic Cat Technology.
Using a thumb-operated button on the left-hand controls of the handlebar, which is wired directly to a shock control module (SCM) on both ski shocks and the rear track shock, the rider can switch between the three settings while riding.
The iACT system is also integrated into the engine control module corresponding to engine reverse, so that iACT automatically calibrates the shock settings for optimal handling and control when riding in reverse. iACT setting/position is indicated on the digital instrument gauge for quick and easy visual reference.
With iACT, the ability to instantly customize the ride for conditions and riding style while riding means that riders can enjoy the maximum level of riding comfort in every situation.
Stealth Lightweight Master Cylinder Brake System
New for 2019, the Stealth lightweight master cylinder brake system with a new lever design delivers increased braking power with less required force compared to the previous design. The dual-piston caliper is positioned with the rotor, so that any chassis flex won’t knock back the pistons. Reduced knockback allows smaller caliper pistons and a shortened lever “throw” before the pads contact the rotor, which enables more powerful braking pressure. The new master cylinder is more protected and robust than the previous design, and is less likely to be damaged in extreme situations. The new lever shape is more ergonomically comfortable, and its composite construction feels warmer compared to aluminum levers.
ALPHA ONE Rear Suspension System
ALPHA ONE is the revolutionary new Arctic Cat rear suspension system that uses the newest technology and innovation to deliver the industry’s lightest rear suspension.
Unlike traditional slide rail suspension designs that have two parallel rails positioned on the outer portion of a track, ALPHA ONE features one single aluminum beam positioned in the middle of the Power Claw track, allowing the track to significantly flex and conform to the snow.
The result is the lightest suspension in its category that offers an entirely new level of increased maneuverability with less required rider input; substantially easier side-hilling; and increased traction and deep snow performance. Best of all, ALPHA ONE eases side-hilling and maximizes maneuverability for beginning riders while offering a higher level of performance and capability for experienced riders.
A full 11 pounds lighter than comparable systems, ALPHA ONE is the industry’s lightest mountain suspension. And it’s a system that doesn’t trap snow within the skidframe like traditional designs, so it rides even lighter in real-world conditions in the same way as other Arctic Cat mountain sled innovations.
Constructed from extruded aluminum with magnesium attachment points, the ALPHA ONE suspension is 4.5 pounds lighter than traditional rear suspensions. The 15” wide ALPHA ONE Power Claw track comes in 154- and 165-in. lengths with 3.0” lugs. Its design and unique internal construction supports the increased flexibility, while its 3.5-in. pitch design results in a 6.5 pound weight reduction compared to traditional tracks. Large 10” rear idler wheels ensure maximum efficiency with minimal power loss.
ALPHA ONE retains the front suspension arm dampened by an adjustable FOX FLOAT QS3 shock, and a rear suspension arm dampened by an adjustable FOX FLOAT 3 QSL semi-locking shock for quick and simple customization for riding conditions.
G2 ProClimb-7 Skis
New for 2019, the G2 ProClimb-7 skis feature a new shape that delivers improved flotation with a slightly less aggressive keel shape for easier steering and more consistent performance in varying snow conditions. Molded-in foot traction on the top of the skis adds boot traction and usability for experienced riders. The new G2 skis work in concert with the AMS spindles to deliver a new level of deep snow performance and adjustability. They incorporate a tapered width, from 7 in. at the tip to 6.5 in. in the middle, which works with a unique rubber dampener to keep the ski tips up and floating on top of the snow while preventing diving or knifing into the snow. A wide ski saddle accommodates a full 2 in. of lateral ski stance adjustability.
A new LED headlight on select 2019 M 8000 models and all M 9000 models delivers enhanced lighting performance. When the high beam is activated, the low beam also stays on to deliver a light pattern with great range and width. On the 9000 model, special LED accent lighting comes on when the key is turned on.
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